Being ‘Independent’ means our advisers can offer advice from across the mortgage market. There is no need to waste time carrying out unnecessary research when we have it all at our fingertips. It is important that clients understand what independence in the mortgage market means and that they have the information required to choose an expert who can truly offer an independent advice service.
After completing a fact find with our clients, our experts look at all products, solutions and lenders from across the market and make recommendations based on a client’s individual needs and circumstances. As well as being able to recommend from the usual range of mortgage products and solutions we are also able to offer our clients advice and access to specialist products that include second charge mortgage loans.
Only mortgage brokers who are able to advise on the entire range of products available in the mortgage market are able to call themselves an ‘Independent’ broker. But be careful, some firms and advisers are tied to a particular panel of lenders and cannot offer you ‘whole of market’ advice. When you work with Prospect Tree Mortgages you employ the services of a properly qualified and established firm of mortgage advisers that offers ‘whole of market’ advice.
Prospect Tree Mortgages has independent status which means we can offer the best advice and recommend products based on a client’s specific individual needs, from across the entire mortgage market. With access to all the products and specialist solutions such as bridging loans and second charge mortgages. When a client contacts Prospect Tree we understand that they place their trust in us and expect to receive impartial, expert advice, based on all lenders and products in the mortgage market.
There are a few issues that make some lenders nervous when lending money to sports professionals, including the fact that they are deemed riskier due to shorter career lengths and the risk of injuries. All good lenders are keen to ensure that the mortgage loan is affordable for the sportsperson and, crucially, remains so.
Responsible lending means an Affordable Mortgage.
Mortgage lenders and brokers make sure that the loan they are providing is affordable for the client. The nature of professional sports contracts means that there is often a range of income sources that need to be considered and proven over time. Being able to afford your repayments now, and crucially in the future, is central to securing mortgage finance for sportspeople.
Shorter career lengths and earlier retirement.
There are many advantages to being a professional sportsman or woman. Depending on your age and experience you are probably well paid, you may also retire significantly earlier than other professions but, it is that early retirement that can make lenders uneasy.
Mortgages are typically taken over 20+ year terms, and if you are not going to be “working” (playing) past the age of 35, how are you going to afford the mortgage then? Proving to a lender that you have a plan for when you stop playing can be an important step to take during your career. It might be worth starting those coaching badges or helping your club with some scouting work.
Inconsistent income due to bonuses and contract lengths.
With professional sports contracts ranging typically from 1 to 5 years, lenders can feel concerned about providing a mortgage over 20+ years. Furthermore, a good proportion of your income may be made up through performance-related bonuses and there could be clauses involved to reduce the income if relegation occurs for example. There is also the realistic possibility of injury to consider. The reality is that it could end at any point. Lenders need to be happy that you will be able to pay your mortgage should that happen
Prospect Tree Mortgages secure mortgages for Rugby players playing both Rugby Union and Rugby League in the UK. We also work with expatriates and foreign nationals living outside the UK that wish to finance property in the UK.
We work with Rugby players with various length contracts, including players with their first professional Rugby contract.
Prospect Tree Mortgages are Independent and as such have the widest possible network of lenders able to consider lending to professional Rugby players.
As a Professional Rugby player, you may also have media and advertising opportunities, Prospect tree Mortgages are able to utilise this income to assist with your total borrowing power.
A Rugby players income
Similar to a professional footballer, a professional Rugby player will have a contract with a Club that employs them. The contract length can vary but will have a commencement and termination date. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) approved contract will stipulate the basic income. The contract will also state the basic salary and any individual and team bonuses a player may receive.
How do lenders treat Rugby contract income?
Not all lenders are happy to lend where the contract is not permanent. This excludes many sports professionals on fixed term contracts, such as professional Rugby players.
As an independent Mortgage Broker with access to the entire mortgage market we work with lenders that will use 100% of the basic salary plus any bonuses received.
In addition, many of the players we work with have income from advertising and sponsorship.
It is often the case that a player may have set up a Ltd company for additional income sources such as these and others. We will be able to find the right lender that will use this income in addition to your main contracted income.
Prospect Tree Mortgages specialise in securing mortgages for rugby professionals. As a professional, Independent Mortgage Brokers, we have access to lenders that can be flexible with their lending criteria.
When securing a mortgage for rugby professionals we will use our knowledge and contacts to ensure we secure the best possible terms for your situation. We work on your behalf so that you do not have to take time out of your busy day to negotiate with mortgage lenders.
We secure both Residential and Buy-to-Let mortgages on UK property.
In June 2017, The Grenfell fire tragedy shook the country, 72 people died, and hundreds affected. Suddenly, fire safety issues impacting thousands of blocks of flats were exposed. Building controls have been slack for decades and light was shed upon the construction sector who have a history of building cheaply and quickly for maximum profit margins.
The building was covered in flammable cladding causing the fire to spread quickly and easily. Since Grenfell Mortgage Lenders have proceeded with caution when considering lending on flats in tower blocks, especially when the block has cladding. Their concerns directly led to the introduction of the EWS1 (External Wall Survey) in December 2019. The EWS1 was initially recommended for residential blocks of seven stories and above and was meant to assess whether a block has been built using combustible materials for insulation or cladding. Once the survey has been completed an EWS1 form may be issued assuming the building is safe.
EWS1 – Problems
In short, the EWS1 sounds like a great idea. It does however come with it’s own set of issues and stumbling blocks. Mortgage lenders are generally refusing to lend without seeing the EWS1 Form. Leaseholders who want to move or re-mortgage are finding it incredibly difficult to get the freeholders to pay for the inspection to happen. The inspections themselves can be very costly and often are unaffordable for the freeholder to carry out. Even when a freeholder has been in a position to carry out the inspection, they often take a long time to arrange and leave leaseholders in an effective state of limbo.
There is also a significant lack of surveyors qualified to carry out an EWS1 inspection, with only a reported 291 fire engineers qualified to inspect a building. Peabody Housing Association has even told leaseholders it could be 10 years before all it’s blocks have been surveyed.
Since January 2020 safety advice was tightened by the Government causing lenders to ask for evidence of safety for almost every modern flat applied for. Even if there is a hint of cladding such as weatherboarding in a small area evidence is asked for.
Most leaseholders are still not aware of what work if any the building their flats are in need work, or how much this would cost them. The EWS1 situation is really one with no reasonable solution or end in sight. Without the EWS1 Form a property has essentially become un-mortgageable and un-saleable.
The human cost of these cladding issues are not to be forgotten either. Those leaseholders who are trying to sell their properties but are not able to due to the cladding and EWS1 are reporting more mental health issues as you would expect. Plans such as marriage, children and many other situations are basically on hold until further notice.
We work with sportsmen and women throughout the entirety of their careers. Whatever sport you play professionally, whether you are a footballer, athlete, Rugby player or professional coach, getting a mortgage can be a little more complicated than you might expect.
Our mortgage team can help you find the best mortgages for sport professionals and get you the property loan you require. Specialising in sports professionals’ mortgages means knowing how sports players income is made up, from short term contracts to appearance bonuses and win bonuses as well as subsidiary income from advertising and TV work.
We work with players receiving theorist professional contract through to clients nearing sports retirement age that may be moving into other sports related occupations such as paid TV or coaching work.
Mortgages for sports professionals include homes for you and your family to live in, second homes you will stay in occasionally or property investment mortgages (Buy to Let) for property you will rent out. As your career develops there may be additional sources of income that can be used when applying for a loan as well as future plans that you may wish to consider.
Professional athletes, despite their potential high net worth, are often viewed as a lending risk. This is often because of the short-term fixed contracts most clubs will offer. Depending on the nature of their sport, some professionals can be highly susceptible to injury that may cut their sporting career short or impact the amount or nature of remuneration they receive.
Sporting careers tend to have a shorter shelf life than others. Many sport professionals retire in their 30’s or 40’s, or even earlier in some cases. Some mortgage lenders may be willing to lend to sport professionals based on their age at the time of applying for the mortgage and their predicted retirement age.
Many sportspeople also receive additional sporadic income from factors such as bonuses, sponsorship and appearance fees. This can also prove difficult for a standard mortgage lender to assess.
When you are looking for a mortgage as a sports professional, lenders are likely to consider the following points:
How long you have been playing professionally?
Many lenders will want to see that you have been a sport professional in your chosen field for at least two years. This allows them to assess income over time. However, some lenders many offer you a mortgage deal based on anticipated income if you have just been signed by a new club or sponsor.
Many sportspeople travel regularly as part of their role, moving around nationally or internationally. Therefore, the portability of a potential mortgage deal is something that could be important, flexibility is key if you may need to relocate.
If you are an overseas citizen and have moved to the UK to play professional sport, you could initially face difficulty getting as UK mortgage deal as you may not have any UK credit history.
If you or a family member is a professional sports person, it really is imperative you take advice from an experienced Mortgage Broker. We have built up a wealth of experience across the UK within a wide variety of Sports and stages of career. Whatever Sport you are involved with please do not hesitate to get in touch to see how we can help you.
Tomorrow, we will have been operating for three weeks. In this time I can say that I have experienced mixed emotions. There’s been doubt and frustration as well as joy and satisfaction but overall I can genuinely say that the process so far has been extremely rewarding in more ways than one.
Leaving the security of a large company with a set salary and well paid commission as well as all the additional perks like the company car and private health care was scary enough but leaving it behind to set up a new business with all the financial commitment and personal risk involved could of been nothing short of terrifying.
On the day I left I received comments like “You’re brave” and “Is now really the right time to be doing this?”. For a second I maybe questioned what I was actually doing but it was literally a second.
I knew that the effort that both myself and Frances had put in to creating our brand, the website, the software the marketing campaign would pay off and sure enough on the first day before we had even put up our first “Now Open” board the phone rang with a homeowner asking us to visit their property that had been on the market with another agent for 3 months with no offers. That property is now under offer through Mockford & Hunt to a buyer who is also under offer through Mockford & Hunt!
Sellers and buyers just want helpful, proactive service and if you take the time to listen to people it makes the job far easier. It’s not about estate agency, its simply about the best parts human nature, listening, understanding and actually caring about their move.
Market Watch Series
Find out the latest news, views and top tips from industry experts. Up-to-date news and developments from the UK property industry, as well as insights into the ever changing market trends from Estate Agency insiders.
Mortgage interest rates are on the rise. It is imperative to act now to make sure you are not paying more interest than necessary. Understanding the impact increased rates will have on monthly mortgage payments and your budget is very important and should not be ignored.
The last four months have seen mortgage rates increase month on month. The average Two Year fixed rate for borrowers at 85% now sits at over 3% (3.12% according to the latest data from Moneyfacts UK).
This is an increase of 1.01% since July 2020 (when the average was 2.11%) The 5 Year Fixed rate deals have also been impacted with rate rises and are sitting at an average of 3.25% up from 2.34% in July 2020.
The situation for buyers with a 10% deposit has also seen increases to the interest rates as well as a significantly reduced pool of lenders offering 90% products. If you have a 10% deposit you are now looking at an average interest rate of 3.76% for a 2 Year Fixed Rate and 3.98% average for a 5 Year Fixed Rate.
There is no sign that the rates have reached their peak. As we have not seen the conclusion of the external factors assisting the property market. Once we move into 2021 we will know more about how the housing market will react and therefore will either see lenders be open to lending at higher loan to values or not as well as where the interest rate levels will be.
There are many factors contributing to these rate rises but in essence Mortgage Lenders are concerned about the level of risk they are undertaking at higher LTV (Loan to Value) mortgages. Ultimately the lenders are protecting themselves and their customers from fluctuations in the market and mitigating risk against a situation when a customer could find themselves in negative equity. No lender wants to repossess properties from their clients who have found themselves in circumstances meaning they are unable to pay their mortgage.
Concerns over unemployment is one of the main points lenders are worried about. Most lenders will not include furlough income in affordability calculations already. There will undoubtedly be an increase in job loses when the furlough scheme comes to an end and the lenders need to lend responsibly and make sure they are not putting their customers in bad financial situations.
The current Stamp Duty holiday (due to end in March 2021) could also have an impact on property prices and be propping up the high prices we are still seeing across the UK. Lenders will be worried that when this comes to an end housing prices may be affected negatively and therefore houses selling for less.
If you are planning on getting onto the property ladder then now is a great time, before we see rates go up any higher. Take advice, discuss what your options are and take advice to find out what is best for you.
Starting a new venture should always be a challenge.
Whether it be business or lifestyle, trying something new should create some level of anxiety but this feeling should, at the same time be outweighed by the immense feelings of excitement.
Having been an estate agent since my early twenties I can confidently say that I love the job. The level of satisfaction felt when you know that your input has directly helped someone on their journey is almost indescribable.
Sadly, when working for large companies, the pressures of targets and generating income can sometimes mean that you lose sight of why you should be actually doing the job in the first place and contrary to popular belief, estate agency has very little to do with houses! This was really highlighted to me recently when conducting job interviews for new staff. One young man expressed his interest in houses as opposed to the second applicant who spoke about their passion for helping people...
To say that this year has been strange is an understatement. The Covid pandemic has had a profound effect on almost every aspect of everyday life and the housing market is no different. It was partly during lockdown that I started to have thoughts of branching out and going alone. Clients, buyers and sellers really appreciated the time that I was able to spend in having conversations. By really getting to know people I was able to be even more genuine and credible in my actions to get things moving.
Having discussed and talked it through with family friends, I decided to start the ball rolling. I confided in a trusted colleague who I thought may have been feeling the same and together the dream started to become a reality...
Market Watch Series
Find out the latest news, views and top tips from industry experts. Up-to-date news and developments from the UK property industry, as well as insights into the ever changing market trends from Estate Agency insiders.
As we move into September many people will be finding their payment holidays coming to an end, be it overdrafts, credit cards or mortgages. With the current economic climate looking turbulent to say the least and unemployment highly likely to rise throughout the rest of 2020 as the government’s furlough scheme finishes at the end of October.
Borrowers looking to get ahead of the curve and avoid any unnecessary interest could save themselves some money by switching to a new product with a lower interest rate. The mortgage is extremely likely to be the largest monthly outgoing for a homeowner and therefore making sure you have the best deal available is imperative when looking into cost savings. With mortgage rates remaining at incredibly low levels there has never been a better opportunity to make savings.
We would carry out a free mortgage health check to see if a client would benefit from switching mortgage products, as there are a number of factors to consider when working out what the cheapest options is going forward.
The mortgage market continues to be a difficult arena to navigate with lenders criteria changing regularly. Those that have taken a mortgage payment holiday or been on furlough may find it more difficult to remortgage than they have previously. Some lenders have started to not accept furlough as income for a mortgage application for example. Borrowers who are able to resume full repayments are encouraged to do this as quickly as they are able, while consumers taking payment holidays or reduced payments should keep in mind that interest continues to be accumulated during this period.
As part of our mortgage health check process we will be able to advise on what options are available and whether or not this would be beneficial in the long run for the client.
And for those that now need to take a mortgage payment holiday these remain open for applications until 31 October 2020. Consumers who are struggling to meet mortgage repayments should contact their lender immediately to discuss their options. Those who are struggling with debt can also get information and support from Citizen Advice or a free debt charity.
Your Key Move was founded by Carlo and David because they both had experienced poor customer service from estate agents and thought they could do better.
They both realised that a large online estate agent is too impersonal and can never provide the local knowledge or customer service required. Equally a local agent can be very ineffective slow and has higher costs.
So why not combine the benefits of the two? A local online estate agent with excellent customer service and all the cost-saving advantages of a bigger online agent passed onto the customer.
Your Key Move was borne to provide the traditional customer service of a local agent combined with the excellent value of an online agent.
To get the best of both worlds for a customer we needed to offer excellent prices and service. Because we don't have the overheads that traditional estate agent we can compete on price and because we have designed our business processes from the ground up we know we can be efficient and cost-effective.
What matters which is getting the customer's property sold for the right price while delivering excellent value and service.
Customers, value good service. This means offering a reliable, punctual, reactive, and consistent service. As people don’t move homes that often it may be difficult to compare and contrast the experiences they have had unless they are unusually good or bad.
Customers may not have experienced effective, friendly customer service until they have tried Your Key Move.
Most customers are not driven by the price charged or the commission but will select their agent based on their track record and the ability to make their selling process low stress and hassle-free. Price is a secondary consideration that can be agreed upon.
Our main focus, therefore, was to build a robust customer service experience.
To achieve this, we had to look at our entire business process. From start to finish. From answering the phone to signing a contract we always ask ourselves: What could make this easier for our customers? Is there a better way?
Adopting this approach is important as we haven’t made any assumptions. We have just laid out business problems and come out with effective scalable solutions. As a consequence, we have evolved our existing business processes and then tailored systems around these to deliver our objectives of efficiency and clarity.
Customers usually call or us, email us or contact us via Right Move. We must capture that information and respond to it in a timely fashion.
Customers are usually interested in either getting their property listed getting a valuation or they want to view a property that they have seen online.
Customers are impatient and want to get an instant response where possible. This is paramount in securing new business. Would you list your house with an agent who took ages to get back to you?
Our rapid communication model means that we can get back to them in a timely fashion with the relevant information. Different customers want to be communicated to differently, some customers prefer to be called some customers prefer to be emailed.
Marketing A Property
Showcasing a property, the right way is vital. Photographs can make or break a listing online. A lot of people searching for properties online may not know the local area, so the only connection the person will have with the property is the photos.
Very few people will walk the area or do deep research before they go and visit unless they're traveling from a distance, so the presentation of the property is vital.
Using professional cameras with proper wide-angle lenses makes a huge difference. As does taking multiple shots and editing them afterward. The property listing should capture the audience's imagination. Just like a good synopsis for a book or a movie trailer it should draw the audience in.
What three key benefits does this property have? Or unique selling points. I.e. if this were a family home in a town. Near a good school, Large family home with scope for improvement and parking for 2 cars.
These may be obvious to the seller, but it is important to state them none the less.
You will be surprised by the number of estate agents that do not take the time to produce a good online listing following these basic rules.
Some don't use professional equipment to take photographs this has huge that cannot be understated and the property may not get viewings that it deserves and therefore it may not get the offer is that it deserves.
The second important thing is the price. The Psychology of price and price potential in any market is a powerful thing. Buyers can be instantly turned off or on by this one factor.
Pricing a property or asking the question what is my home worth? is a difficult question. A lot of people are emotionally attached to their property (family home, children, and memories).
A property sale is simply a financial transaction that is taking place between two people. price is very important and some people overvalue their property because of their emotional attachment or they feel it has a certain intrinsic value.
The property must be priced correctly in the market to achieve the best possible price.
Know Your Target Market
There are several ways to price a property and employ an effective strategy to go with. This all depends on the type of property being sold and therefore the typical person buying and their psychology.
For example, if we take a dilapidated property that needs a significant amount of work, we would be attracting a first-time buyer or a property developer or a landlord investor.
In this case, this type of property would benefit from almost an auction-style system where each person interested submit the highest bid and the situation and the seller can choose from that.
Conversely, if you have a family home that's all up together and near a good school, the chances are there will be a family wanting to move into that property.
This property deserves a completely different type of strategy, in this case, you may put a guide price on and see what type of buyers are offering and what their positions they are in.
It is highly likely those buying this will be selling an existing property. The devil is in the detail of the chain that lies beneath that sale. Also, how attractive is their property and can they afford to sell for a reasonable price?
A final example would be a property that is suitable for retired people a bungalow that has been recently refurbished. In this case, there may be a lot of straight cash purchases or one sale with a low or no mortgage.
Perhaps for people who are downsizing again, a different strategy may be employed to see who can offer on this property a lot of the people offering won't have any mortgage or maybe buy in cash.
The price you put a property on is affected by the psychology of the buyer and the type of price i.e. a guide price offers over auction style) in all ways and strategies of achieving the best sale price for the seller is very important to consider before you price the property and she just has to ask the question who is buying this property? who is the target market? This is vital.
If a property is grossly overpriced from its market value let's take an example of a four-bedroom house in an area where the average price is 350,000 and someone wants to market the property at 450,000 because it has a nice bathroom and kitchen most owners will be put off by this price comparison. The chances are they will look at the cheaper properties this property will get very few viewings.
The property may then suffer from very low offers putting on it against the price having a more realistic price for this property.
A better pricing strategy would be to put offers over 380,000 because as an added value is a much smarter strategy this will encourage more people to view the property see its benefits and features and then be able to make an appropriate offer based on what they have seen.
It is very difficult to convey a property's presence or value through an advert, in short, it's important to get as many people through the door to put down sensible offers so that you can pick and choose.
State the Obvious
Some buyers may not come from the local area and they may be moving down.
From Capital to Coast is one we see quite often. Therefore, it is very important to sell the benefits of the local area.
Is there a good school nearby? How is it rated? What transport facilities and amenities are nearby? These are all driving factors that justify the sale price of a house that may be obvious to local buyers but not to people from outside. These considerations will also determine whether they come to view the property or shortlist it. Assumptions are dangerous. So, spell out the obvious!
when it comes to selling your property and marketing your property don't seem that the buyer has local knowledge.
Qualify Your Purchaser and Their Offer
Getting the property under the offer is just the first step. A lot of things can change in the time between a sale being agreed upon and completion. Never assume the sincerity of the buyer or that they are honest.
Have they provided proof of that mortgage agreed in principle? Did they show the cash for that purchase? Have they viewed other properties but didn't get them?
All these details must be woven and delicately balanced to protect the genuine buyer but to have a healthy suspicion for all offers. We see all the time people that say they have a mortgage agreed in principle or their house is sold only to find this isn't the case. In the meantime, driving off other genuine buyers.
Can we demonstrate that they have currently marketed or have an offer on their property which is for sale? This is where a genuine cash buyer with no chain had a great advantage in the market because they can complete the chain quite easily. Often, they will be able to bid at a lower price and this may be reflected throughout the chain.
it is important to balance the sale price with the ease of sale this then puts the vendor is in a strong position for their purchase.
The Dark Art of Sales Progression
Sales progression is a dark art and involves the estate agent moving between various solicitors and trying to get an accurate and up-to-date picture of what has happened and how close the property is to exchanging and completing.
We have found that we are building up a chain and a regular flow of business with an estate agent that we can then rely on the same person dealing with that convincing and communicating correctly between the estate agent and the vendor.
Communication is paramount as miscommunication down the chain can lead to people pulling out finding out the property and breaking the chain that is in place it is therefore imperative that every week the chain is progressed information is passed correctly and more importantly both lenders and solicitors are chased if they are not or have outstanding tasks that are causing the chain to not complete.
Furthermore, if there are changes in the chain, in other words, someone’s mortgage has changed or property has fallen through this must be also communicated as this can be repaired all the circumstances can change i.e. someone sale falls through but then they find another buyer who is actually in a stronger position.
This is why sales progression is almost half the battle of getting a property sold and completed and thus the estate agent getting the completion commission.
Okay so when our exchange and completion date will the battle is not over yet now we have to make sure again we have clear communication and that the transaction goes through smoothly what time will the completion take place are we using standard times where are the keys he’s going to get the keys what about removals well if people agree to vacate the property were there any special things that were supposed to be left have been agreed on the T2 forms these are all questions that need to be asked and answered before the completion date.
The last thing you want to do is let your customer down at the last minute and ruin good customer service and leave a bad lasting impression so you must make sure that you make contact with the vendor is on the day of completion and everything has taken place smoothly if it’s not going according to plan again make sure communication is flowing between the buyer and seller and the solicitors so that everyone is kept up-to-date this should reduce the stress of the completion day and keep everybody happy.
At Your Key Move, we do a lot of sales progression behind-the-scenes to make sure that everything is running smoothly, and that the information has been communicated to the correct parties.
Giving the bulk of the fees to a solicitor on completion is often the best way forward as there is a direct incentive to getting the property exchanged and completed. Sales channels for an Estate Agent are paramount.
Visibility Is Key
Recent customers may recommend us to their friends or family based on their experience this is really important word-of-mouth can have a big impact on our reputation and therefore our long term success.
Visibility is also vital. From for sale or sold boards these can be seen on main roads their design and appeal are important.
Search Engine Optimisation and online presence are vital so that new customers can discover your services and excellent reputation through keywords. Finally using social media to promote new property listings or providing useful tips gains you a local, collective audience. This all helps towards brand awareness from potential customers.
Review Your Self and Build Trust
Online reviews are an important tool to gain the trust of new customers and to demonstrate your experience.
We focus on Google reviews and Trust Pilot, and these are both important for recording customer service experience. People may consider the rating important as part of the decision-making of which estate agent they should go with.
First Impressions Count. So true in our industry. The first golden "five minutes" with a customer can have a lasting impact.
They will make their decisions based on the type of experience are having from the offset. It is therefore imperative that we pick up the phone promptly and answer it in a timely fashion and a professional manner.
Some customers will list their property because they are in “established in the area." They assume they can’t go far wrong with that agent and all of their customers are satisfied.
However, logically they don’t consider the track record of the agent and how effective they are at selling properties. Do they underprice or overprice them? What type of service could they expect? How rigid are they on their fees? What is the average time to offer?
These are all important questions that simply don't get asked most of the time. Again some people are emotionally driven and don't consider the facts when comparing and contrasting agents.
In theory, the customer should choose all of the above when deciding which agent to use however people are logical, they don’t always decide on the best.
Coming back full circle. Re-enforcing our 5-star rating and excellent reviews on trust pilot does help cement some of these ideas into a prospective customer. Would you eat in a restaurant that had terrible reviews?
We have found for customers that have looked this has a big impact on who they choose to list the property with.
Sometimes it’s best to Walk Away
Some customers have had the property on and off the market dozens of times and I’m very indecisive about whether they want to sell the price which they prepared to sell. These vendors are generally best avoided. They consume a lot of time and resources and often don't yield good results. Time is a precious resource.
As an estate agent, it is important to be firm and fair with your customers and that you stick to your guns and your structure there is no real purpose in overpricing property opening a property on the people don’t want to sell this will just waste everyone’s time and causes a lot of confusion and frustration.
Be transparent with your customers. Do not try to inflate their or their properties' ego. Always aim to under-promise and over-deliver. Set realistic expectations on price and deliver effective marketing. The sale will follow.
It is better to refuse to list a property at an unrealistic price than market it at all. Make sure you re-enforce that marketing the property a high price, won’t generate any interest.
As an agent, we can see how many people have viewed a particular property online. How many clicks throughs did it get and more importantly, how many viewings has it had?
Properties that are correctly priced and are correctly marketed will sell usually within 2 to 3 weeks in a buoyant market. If the property is bespoke or the market is slow it may take longer.
Most properties that are on the market for over 12 weeks are either poorly priced or poorly marketed or both. This will just lead to more problems for that property in the future.
Again this comes back to what I was referring to earlier, who is the target audience who will be buying this house? what features are they looking for? If you’ve got retired people they may want to live in a quiet cul-de-sac it may be worth reinforcing level walking towards shops if you have a family who has children you would want to reinforce the good schooling in that area and other facilities that may be of use to that family. Always sell and re-enforce the key benefits to that target market.
This is all an important part of marketing and selling the property to owners there is no point just listing the property with a price without describing the benefits of the area.
Remember it is very hard for non-local customers to appreciate a property with an excellent location without actually visiting it.
Yes, there are things like Google Maps or 3-D walks that you can do but it’s very difficult to appreciate the actual situation of property without knowing the local area and have been there. Therefore we must get lots of people through the door this means the property should always be attractively priced whether that she’s in the guide price or referring to the lower end of the price this will encourage more people to visit the property and therefore should generate more offers this then allows the seller to choose from those offers.
And the offer isn’t just the amount that someone is offering it they’re buying position do they have anything to sell so they have a mortgage agreed in principle these are all important factors that will feature for the person selling what is the person selling doing are they moving or are they just selling an investment property again these are all important factors that will determine which buyer they choose to go with.
Offering a higher price and the property will get the attention of the person selling it and they may well choose you however if you are in a long complicated chain and the sale could take the time or may fall through they may well choose a lower offer from a buyer who is in a stronger position, in other words, they don’t have anything to sell or have cash and or have a mortgage agreed in principle.
Reinforcing the Chain
It’s critical that we check the information has been given to us by those buyers it will be very easy for someone to say I have a mortgage agreed in principle I have someone who is already lined up to buy my property these would make that buyer more attractive and allow them to offer a lower price however all of these facts have got to be qualified.
A good estate agent and a good solicitor will check these facts and make sure that they are correct as they affect the state of the purchase there is no point taking the property off the market only to find the person buying it has a long chain hasn’t sold their property these facts need to be established quickly so the property can be taken off the market and the necessary process put in place also the second point is that you must never discount those that didn’t offer enough came second or third one bidding for a property because circumstances can change very quickly.
People can change their minds finances can change facts can change therefore it’s important that those people that bit lower amounts or had slightly more complicated chain are invited back and not kept up-to-date as they may want to still buy that property.
Our Neck of The Woods
Folkestone, Hythe, and the surrounding areas are a lovely place to live, there is a lot of history and you are close to the sea. Property prices are still sensible, despite having risen sharply and some areas still offer great value for money in comparison with London.
We are now dealing with a lot of people are moving down from London who can take advantage of the high-speed train link and are now able to work from home.
Folkestone is a great family place it has good schools nice beaches and good surrounding areas for activities for families therefore it’s not surprising that we find a lot of younger families are moving down to the area to take advantage of the green space and beaches.
All this demand has caused property prices to rise very significantly, especially larger properties on premium roads that are near to the sea or the station.
I would imagine that in about 10 years’ time Folkestone, Sandgate highs those surrounding areas will move towards the type of prices that you could see in pool or Bournemouth in Dorset and particular special areas may even move towards sandbank type prices.
There is still a great opportunity to buy properties at a good value in the right areas of Folkestone and there are certainly opportunities to buy larger properties and improve them towards the coast as there is a high population of elderly people there is also a lot of opportunity for probate sales where properties could be improved and result for profit.
There is a great demand for flats and bungalows for retired people who want to move down and downsize. People from the capital now want to have clean simple living by the sea.
As the medium price of property increases in the area so does the potential profit margin as the fees the estate agent charge is between say half a percent and 1.5% depending on the type of property the value they will make will increase as the prices increase.
Easily outstrip inflation what this means is the expectations of those customers will also rise when dealing with a property at £1 million-plus the expectations of those customers have a far higher than the property marketed at say 500,000.
The Devil is in the detail
The larger higher-end estate agents which are online won’t benefit from the local knowledge and equally local agents that charge higher fees may deter those people from selling their property this is where a local online agent with local knowledge has a massive benefit.
This brings me onto business processes and e-commerce it is vital that this agent has an effective online website and also effective business processes to deal with all the aspects of buying and selling a property.
For example, anti-money laundering checks which are a requirement by law can all be done digitally and easily through third-party website customers details can be securely stored and checked and the customers can be verified before the properties go to market.
There was also a great opportunity for ancillary revenue when selling property things like EPC is energy performance certificates can be booked online again using a third-party.
Extra value things like 3-D floorplans or premium listings or featured properties can also be sold along with things like viewing packs.
Solicitors referrals also a great way of generating ancillary revenue and also add the benefits of having solicitors that you know and trust dealing with the purchase and sale respectively.
A Customers Journey
Let me talk you through a customer’s journey and the key steps of selling their property number one customer will contact us by the website or phone call and they would want to book a valuation.
Number to the agent will make contact with the customer and arrange an appropriate time to visit them at the property during this visit they will appraise the property and give the owner an idea of the valuation and also highlight the key benefits our business can bring into selling their property.
It’s very important the agent emphasises our track record of customer service and demonstrates our philosophy when dealing with them. We can get the property sold for a reasonable price and still deliver great service.
You would think the commission price would be paramount in closing lease deals it really isn’t yes the customer wants to get reasonable value but more importantly they want to trust the person involved in being able to sell the house effectively with the minimal hassle that’s the key part gaining the customers' trust without gaining the customers trust you will never be able to list and sell the property.
Therefore, don’t slate the competition or say how poor other people are. We simply focus on how good we are what we provide and we let ourselves shine amongst the competition other agents that resort to these types of tactics often look desperate and very poor themselves.
The customer has to sign a contract we digitally produce these contracts using third-party software. This lays out the terms and conditions and it also saves time and money because its digital. Once signed, the property can be listed what’s important here is to choose the right weather conditions sunlight I’m on portly use excellent photographic equipment.
You would be surprised the number of listings that I see on Rightmove that have been taken using poor photographic equipment with the wrong type of lens, for example, someone has used a smartphone to take photographs of the property this is a very unprofessional and poor practice we use proper photographic equipment with the correct type of wide-angle lens to do the property justice and to make sure prospective customers can get a feel for the place without having visitors.
Having a decent floor plan for the property is essential as is having an accurate description which highlights the key benefits of the property and encourages someone to want to view them, therefore, writing this description is imperative.
We believe the customer is always right and that’s why the customer is always the person to authorise the advert we should have a draft preview of the advert and make sure they are happy with the contents before it goes live, after all, it’s their property and we want to make sure they are comfortable with how it’s been marketed and sold.
Once the property is live, we will relay any interest for viewings to that customer and arrange for viewings to take place.
Once the viewings have taken place, we make sure both positive and negative feedback is given back to the customer so they are aware of what people think of the property and to help guide realistic price expectations.
We try to interact with our customers every week and provide an interactive marketing report to say how many people have looked at the property online and what interest it’s getting.
All of this information feeds back into a loop to see if the property should be marketed differently. Should the price be adjusted? Could anything be changed to attract more people?
The Price Is Right
I think the property should be priced correctly from day one I think adjusting the price afterward can have an adverse effect.
It is more effective to use a lower-end guide price, to begin with that certainly would be my preference for marketing or selling any property that I own.
When a property has its price changed frequently and has relisted on multiple agents it smells of desperation and sends out confusing messages. This intern will encourage people to put in low offers and they won’t take the sellers seriously.
even if a property has had very little interest if you can make the buyer feel they are lucky to be viewing the property and it has had a lot of interest and sensibly priced this will help achieve sensible offers for the property.
Conversely, a property that has been grossly overpriced i.e. sold for offers of 500,000 when it’s only worth 400,000 not only will the property not get much interest but those viewing it will probably actually end up offering even lower amounts and when you show that type of discrepancy in the price it makes the buyer wonder why the property has been priced so poorly in the first place.
In this case, it will be much more sense sensible for the buyer to put the property on a Guide price of two 425,000 this will encourage people with a budget of 400,000 to look at the property and maybe those with a higher budget also to look at the property and make offers.
Hopefully, this article is giving you some insight into the type of things that we need to do in running an estate agent on a day-to-day basis and the type of philosophies that must be employed to ensure you have great customer service.
Also, you can see the work that goes into the listing, marketing, selling, and completing on a property.
To build a successful estate agent, you need to gain a customer’s trust. Make sure your business is both efficient and friendly. Deliver the service and grow your reputation.