Room sized remnant

Carpet SaleLike any good agent, before I go out on a market appraisal I do my research on the property to see if it is currently on the market or if it has been recently.  Often I am astounded at the quality of the photographs my competitors have taken especially when it comes round to the angle that they have taken the photo from.

One I saw recently was as if they had some sort of carpet fetish, every shot had about 50% of the frame taken up with the floorcoverings which only left the other 50% for the rest of the room.  I’m not saying that you should ignore the flooring, particularly if it’s of a good quality and in keeping with the decor of the property.

I won’t embarass the other agent by revealing who they are but suffice to say if my most most junior staff member had come back to the office having taken those photographs I would have sent them straight back out to re-take them.

Wooden Floor

I’m quite tall so my natural height to take a photo is higher than a lot of people’s so I simply bend down to get the right aspect or use a tripod to get the best shot possible.  It’s not rocket science but it does take time to check the photo’s at the property and re-take any that haven’t come out as well as we may have hoped.

You only get one chance to make a first impression, why would any vendor or landlord be happy with poor photography?

There are lots of good websites with terrible estate agent photo’s featured on them, this is probably the best one as it comes with some hilarious captions:

http://terriblerealestateagentphotos.com

If you spot any horrors that you’d like to share let me know and I’ll add them to this article.

It’s not always as ‘Easy’ as it appears

AirplaneI read a review of a well known brand’s online letting agency offering the other day and it made me laugh.

The reviewer has split the service being offered down into its’ constituent parts and looked at each part individually including comparing the costs.  I won’t go into all the details but some points really stood out:

  • “I have never met a tenant yet who knows how to read a floor plan, or would care about one. In my experience, most buyers don’t understand them either.”
    • I couldn’t disagree more with this comment, most viewers love to see a floorplan and properties with them get 30%+ more views online
  • Inventory – Quite expensive, the main cost is the time for the agent to do this on your behalf. Usually less than an hours job.
    • I would counter the cost of not completing a thorough inventory would more than outweigh the cost of having a professional do one and most will take longer than an hour even with experience
  • An agent won’t care if your prospective tenant looks like a dirty, unkempt mess, they will only care about the money they earn for an hours work.
    • What a ridiculous comment! Agents who value their reputation will only put forward suitable tenants to their landlords even if they are not going to be managing them.
  • Letting boards are a bit pointless to a private landlord.
    • Why would you not want prospective tenants to know your property is available to let?

The most telling part of the review was this:

“It would probably be cheaper and better managed to employ an regular agent.”

There will always be people who prefer to do everything themselves but thankfully most landlords realise that employing a professional to do the job will save them time and hassle.

Invariably a good agent will save a landlord money by getting a higher rent, ensuring compliance with all necessary legislation and by not putting in the wrong tenant in the first place.

Newspapers are dead for property advertising!

Herald ExpressWell obviously they’re not, because you may well be reading this in our Herald Express advert, but if you were to listen to lots of people you would think that it is true.

I will agree that with the growth of the property portals the role of the local newspaper to promote properties for sale has diminished somewhat, but I feel that they have worked hard to re-invent themselves and still prove relevant in the current market.  There are still people who do not look for property on the internet, regardless of their age, some simply prefer the medium of paper.  In fact I have recently cancelled my Kindle subscription and resolved to buy more physical books.  It’s not that I won’t continue to read books on my Kindle, just that I have realised that I take more in when I’m actually thumbing the pages rather than swiping my finger across the screen.

When you consider that amongst those who do choose to use the internet for their property hunt, we receive numerous requests for printed details to be sent in the post every single day, which goes to show that we have to continue to communicate with our customers in whichever media they want to consume it.