Be property prepared this New Year!

kings place

2014 is just a handful of days away and the property market is about to undergo its annual holiday hibernation as property owners and searchers alike put their feet up in front of the fire and browse for investment ideas on their smartphones.  Don’t be fooled, though, by a quiet Christmas market: while the festive season is typically one of the year’s least active periods the New Year is known for being quite the opposite.

Plenty of time to think and browse at home coupled with the inevitable New Year’s Resolutions will soon see homeowners rushing to sell in droves, buyers renewing their search with a new energy and landlords taking advantage of the annual post-Christmas flood of tenants.  The expected bustle is always great for the market as a whole but individual clients can find an increase in pace and choice daunting.

That’s why we advise registering with a sales or lettings agent now to take advantage of the automatic property alerts offered by good London estate agents like James Pendleton.  Searching for your dream home is the ideal pastime when the Turkey sandwiches are out and the re-runs are on, and automatic updates tailored to your search criteria remove the need to navigate busy property feeds.

Our advice to property owners is, naturally, to get prepared now to get your property out there ready for the New Year.  Now is not the time to wait-when the whole market is thinking the same thing it pays to be an extra fortnight ahead!

If you’d like to find out how to make the current property market work for you it makes sense to contact your local estate agents in London to speak to an expert.

Advertisements

Property Pixel: An innovative fundraising initiative

Property Pixel Homepage

The Property Pixel homepage

Five times award winning London Estate Agents James Pendleton are among agents showing support for Zoopla Property Group’s Property Pixel initiative.  The project, run by a team from Zoopla in support of the Prince’s Trust, invites property professionals to display their logos on sponsored ‘pixel plots’ on a dedicated website and has so far raised £27,800.

Zoopla, one of the UK’s most popular property portals, is known for its online innovation and this year also launched the popular Twitter property 100 which ranks professionals and businesses according to their social media proficiency.  Property Pixel is an innovative way for property professionals to support a worthy cause in an unusual and interesting way.

James Pendleton have a firm interest in supporting both local and national causes and run their own charity initiative, LiveToGive, in-house.  Despite supporting their own causes the company is open to further extending their charity programme with initiatives such as Zoopla’s.  CEO Lee James Pendleton explained the company’s affinity with the project:

“When Zoopla contacted me about Property Pixel I was delighted to get involved. The idea is typically innovative and a great way for the whole industry to unite in support of a very worthwhile cause. The Prince’s Trust is a great charity and this initiative is something we are proud to be associated with.

I hope the whole industry gets behind Property Pixel and makes a life changing contribution by supporting this endeavour and ensuring every plot is purchased.”

You can keep track of PropertyPixel’s progress by visiting propertypixel.co.uk and for updates on James Pendleton’s charity initiative visit livetogive.org.uk

Introducing a new video!

As our readers will know, this blog has plenty to say about best Marketing practices when it comes to Estate Agency, with posts on digital marketing and social media, customer service innovations and tips for buyers, purchasers, landlords and tenants.  The reason for this is that as Estate Agents in South West London it’s vital to keep a finger on the marketing pulse, both for our sake and for the sake of our clients.

We’re delighted to say that we think our recently introduced marketing campaign really stands out, combining some of the most exciting and community minded aspects of online property marketing.  ‘JP: We’ve got the key’ is a friendly and informative video explaining to our clients and future clients what makes us the best Estate Agents in South West London.  The video explains the company’s services in an amusing way and the video’s animated style is fresh and fun.

‘Whether you’re a lover of cats, a collector of bags, a don’t know where-r, a don’t know which-er, a keep it in the bed or a keep it in the fridge-r, we’ll find you the key that keeps you chipper’

The video’s theme is the ‘personality’ of the key or key ring: what does your key ring say about you?  Where do you store yours?  What key-related mishaps have you had? These are the questions the video poses.  In doing so James Pendleton is showing an eagerness to find out more about what informs clients’ choices and how their daily lives could be made easier.  The James Pendleton Angel department has further crystallised this company’s intent on providing the best customer service around and the company marketing department has worked with a team of sound and video experts to communicate as effectively as possible a style of service rooted in discretion, diligence and enthusiasm.

The idea of the video is to provide an intriguing snapshot of the work this team of Estate Agents in South West London do, clarifying the Estate Agency process whilst bookmarking the James Pendleton brand in the minds and browsers of the local and property-minded community.  The video has been released in an online capacity only, meaning that it can be watched and shared in the comfort of home or on the screen of a mobile device.

This method of distribution is all about encouraging word of mouth: the video has been shared on the company Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Google + pages.  The video is being shared and discussed on James Pendleton’s thriving Social Media platforms and local residents will receive a direct QR code link to the video through their doors along with a set of charming postcards. This subtle, blanket coverage connects more deeply with people than a prominent billboard or magazine back page can.  Rather than dictating a message into the void James Pendleton are asking for feedback and gently reminding their clients that ‘We Live Here’.

A year of the James Pendleton Angel service

James Pendleton Angel Department

James Pendleton’s Angel Department

The world of Estate Agency has come a long way in the past years.  New marketing innovations and service improvements are reshaping the way people think about property and presenting homebuyers with a wealth of options both before and, in the case of one South West London Estate Agent, after the sale or rental of a property.

For those who value the bespoke home search offered by a good client facing agent, it’s a good idea to keep track of innovations in customer service.  Doing so will go some way to showing which agents are worth sticking with and which are best worth avoiding.

The after sales care service at South West London Estate Agents James Pendleton has been established for just over a year and has already proved indispensable.  In short, the department provides new home owners with a personalised introduction to their property, supplying local area information, welcoming gifts, free key holding service and a friendly and responsive point of contact.

This service offers to homeowners something often overlooked by Estate Agents.  While a thorough and helpful company is a valuable asset to the initial property search, even the most impressive service can fall by the wayside once transactions are completed and bottom lines signed.  This is often the result of nothing more than lack of structure: for most Estate Agencies the level of post-sale contact is left largely up to individual negotiators.

James Pendleton Estate Agents, though, has implemented a structured, well organised post sales care department which keeps in regular contact with those in need of support in their new location.  From organising a visit from a recommended contractor to providing a tasty snack when all the boxes are still packed, the James Pendleton Angel department truly thinks of everything and delivers exemplary customer service at what can be a stressful time.

One of the most useful facets of the Angel Department is a unique key holding service which keeps a spare set of keys in a safe place so that property crises are easily averted.  Open from 9am to 6pm daily, the department can liaise with, recommend and arrange appointments with established trustworthy local contractors, cutting out hours of Google search time for new homeowners.  James Pendleton is known as a thoroughly local South West London Estate Agents and this specialist area knowledge has enabled the production of information packs listing local doctors, schools and amenities.  The Angel department even provides local parking permit forms.

To find out more about this South West London Estate Agent’s unique service and to see how the department can support your move, visit the company website or send your query to Zara at angel@jphomes.co.uk

Property Tips: Presentation is key! How best to display your home

As any homeowner will know there are several points during the sale or rental of a property when your home will inevitably come under the scrutiny of a stream of near-strangers.  One such instance is the appearance of your property in a range of promotional materials.  We’ve put together top advice from James Pendleton Estate Agents’ Clapham South and Balham based in-house photographer Derek Shepherd on how  to make your home stand out in photographs.

Seeing your property displayed in windows, online and in magazines undoubtedly feels a little strange and South West London Estate Agents James Pendleton market property via all these media and more. For some property owners, moving home means breaking away from  a consistent and often sentimentally valuable part of their life, which understandably makes it hard to part with, say, their collection of fridge magnets prior to a photo shoot.   The truth is though that one person’s clutter is another person’s treasure, meaning that it’s vital to put yourself in your tenant or purchasers’ shoes.

London Estate Agents James Pendleton

An example of a great combination of tidiness and homeliness

 

A simple golden rule to remember is that the ideal property to photograph is a perfect blend of cleanliness and homeliness (with the exception of unfurnished rental properties or development investments).  A tidy property will always add appeal, but too clinical and viewers may be put off.

There are a host of tips to follow when it comes to presenting your home and you can uphold as many, or as few, as you like.  Some to remember in particular are:

  • Clear the washing up
  • Put out some fresh flowers
  • Clear away colourful plastic toys
  • Clean the oven door
  • Make sure all light bulbs are working
  • Keep curtains straight
  • Vacuum floors before a shoot-it really does make a difference!

London Estate Agents James Pendleton

For other ideas of property presentation tips take a look at Rightmove’s helpful blog post.

The beauty of working with a photographer employed directly by your Estate Agency is that you’re able to discuss the presentation of your home at every juncture.  An in-house photographer offers greater flexibility, meaning more photographs, better communication and more of a collaborative feel; it’s easy to emphasise a particular part of your property if you’d like to.  For more information on our in house photographer or if you’re looking to sell or let, don’t hesitate to contact South West London Estate Agents James Pendleton today!

 

Website Innovation and Estate Agency

Anyone who has moved home in the last decade will probably be familiar with searching for property online.  Aside from portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, a vital part of the process is checking out Estate Agency websites.  After all, how can you make an assured first step towards finding a property without first understanding the character of the company you’ll be dealing with?

With this in mind, the question arises: what makes an Estate Agency website interesting, engaging and ultimately worth visiting?  We’ve gathered some of the top indicators of a communication-savvy Estate Agency:

1. Striking, engaging design

A site’s design is key to conveying the essence of a brand and a good design should be easy on the eye, memorable and uncluttered, with a focus on guiding you to what you need.  A clear, interesting and engaging layout with crisp colour and multimedia content such as video is bound to keep you engaged for long enough to find your dream home.

2. Quality, diverse content

The second major indicator of excellence on an Estate Agency’s website is the quality of its content.  Take a few minutes to browse the entire site:is the information presented to you well researched?  Does it show a wide area of expertise and are your questions answered before you have to ask them?  Contributions from the whole company, interesting and engaging articles and positive testimonials are all a good sign when it comes to finding the right Estate Agency to sell, rent, let or buy a property.

3. Smooth transitions

A good site should lead you in a logical progression to the pages you need, as quickly as possible.  Furthermore, if a website is very basic or loads very slowly you should question how committed the agency is to offering its clients the best possible level of service.

4. Consistency

It’s worth checking your agent’s website thoroughly for consistency.  A website that is regularly and carefully updated and monitored is an indicator of a thorough, communicative and interested agency.

5. Innovation

Any Estate Agency which puts time and effort into rethinking and improving its services online is likely to do the same across all areas of their business.  What’s more, with the vast majority of people today using Facebook, Twitter and the like, it’s important to look for an Estate Agency with a strong Social Media presence.  Exciting things are afoot in the Social Media property world, and agents showing a good grasp of technology now are safe bets for long term success.  Estate Agencies using Social Media platforms efficiently know how to engage with their audience and provide useful, trustworthy, diverse and interesting content to people looking to buy, rent, let or sell a property. Similar things can be said for agents with an effective mobile app.

 

‘You’re only as good as your website’ is a maxim we at James Pendleton always have in mind.  We put a lot of work into ensuring our website is interesting and easy to use and we would love to hear your feedback on the online service we offer.  If you have any questions or comments about our online service, please don’t hesitate to contact us at socialmedia@jphomes.co.uk