Friday, 31 December 2010

The Best Things About Estate Agents

As we leave 2010 and after much gloom in the Property Sector what better way to start the new year than with a brand new positive look at the long suffering Estate Agents’ industry?

Love them or hate them we just can’t do without them so let’s look at what we like most about them, for the purposes of this blog and to avoid sexual stereotypes our ideal agent is called Wallace:-

  1. Wallace will take time to understand your reasons for selling and timescales. 
  2. Wallace will give you three different valuations:-
i)                    One that ensures your property is under offer within four weeks
ii)                   One that may be possible in a lively market when there are plenty of buyers about but which might need some effort on Wallace’s part to pull off and
iii)                 One which is probably not achievable and will have your property and Wallace’s ‘For Sale’ sign hanging around for a year or two waiting for the market to catch up
 – Wallace should advise you against this last valuation which really won’t do either of you any favours but will warn you that other Agents are likely to wave this temptation under your nose.
  1. Wallace will advise you on any improvements you could and should make to maximise its’saleability and value.  Wallace will provide you with details of people who can help you with these improvements in a swift and cost-effective way.
  2. Wallace will take plenty of bright, clear and smart photographs and/or videos highlighting the best your property has to offer - ensuring clutter and unsightly objects are removed before taking photographs.  Wallace will not take photos of washing, lifted toilet seats, unmade beds, open cupboards, piles of clothing, pet food dishes, pet beds or ash trays.
  3. Wallace will keep up to date with all marketing methods available to ensure your property is found by any potential buyer.  Wallace will embrace new technology, Social Media, online and offline networking leaving no stone unturned in promoting your property. 
  4. Wallace will charge the appropriate fee that ensures your property gets maximum and appropriate exposure. Wallace will not cut corners and avoid costs which are necessary.
  5. Wallace and well trained colleagues will update you and advise you regularly.
  6. Wallace and aforementioned colleagues will answer the phone, arrange and attend viewings during early evenings, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.  This, after all is when most Buyers wish to view is it not?
  7. Wallace will understand the nuts and bolts of property and conveyancing. When the survey and legal process throws up the unexpected, causing panic and adverse reactions from potential Buyers, Wallace will respond proactively and swiftly to smooth over the bumps along the way.  Wallace will not allow ‘ransom’ situations to arise at ‘Exchange’.
  8. Wallace will consider the Buyer’s needs throughout – the Buyer is after all the Vendor’s customer.
  9. Wallace will co-ordinate the communication process between all parties keeping the ‘cogs’ well-oiled and moving.
  10. Wallace will not take a day off or go on holiday at Exchange or Completion without delegating efficiently to well trained and informed colleague(s).

I’m looking forward to meeting Wallace in 2011!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Will next year be a year of Dreams or Goals for you?

A discussion thread on the Property Tribes Forum was started a few days ago entitled 'What are your Goals for Next Year?' and the subject of Greed came up. There seems to be a growing number of so-called 'Property Gurus' successfully extracting £'000's by sharing their so-called 'Property Millionaire Secrets' even though they rarely achieved this sort of success themselves  - below is a post which I contributed to the discussion, I thought it worthy of repeating here:-

The 'Greed' thing is fascinating.

There are many of us on this forum who have made a good living from their property and built up portfolios steadily over a number of years in a sustainable and achievable way but I wonder how many of you have people knocking at your doors to ask you the secret and pay you even a sensible amount of money for your expertise?

I'd hazard a guess - not many. I often get asked for help and advice but generally on a 'freebie' basis - if I were to mention that my advice comes at £1000 an hour they'd run a mile, I doubt if any would even pay 10% of that - they don't want to hear that it will take them 10 years or more to make a living from their property.

But if I told them they could become a Millionaire in 18mths - even though it almost certainly can't be achieved except in the rarest and most exceptional cases - then I'm sure I'd get a response. Presentation is everything of course and if you can stand up in front of people and give them a good show they'll be taken in - that's a fact, people love the dream and the drama.

I really wish people would see it for what it is - a glittering show designed to appeal to their dreams.

Goals should be realistic. Dreams are Dreams born out of Greed. Goals must be achievable and bring satisfaction and joy.

So will next year be a year of Dreams or a year of Goals for you? 
Link to discussion thread on Property Tribes Forum