Saturday, January 18, 2014

The New Way to Market Your Property



As a truly forward thinking and independent estate agency, David Clark is proud to be the only agent in the area with an innovative online TV channel: www.clarkhomes.tv.
This tool is at the forefront of our service and is the latest and most cutting edge product in property marketing. David Clark TV shows our dedication and commitment to providing the best possible level of customer service. 

This revolutionary marketing tool showcases all of our properties with a high quality virtual tour, and is a method of marketing proven to be 48% more effective than traditional techniques. 
What’s more, you will be able to view these
virtual tours wherever you are and whenever
you want, as they are accessible from a variety of devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. This means that not only will you be able to search for property on the go, but if you are selling your property, you know it will be receiving maximum exposure and coverage. 

“48% more effective than traditional techniques”


Our online presence is reinforced by our own website, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages, while you will be able to share virtual tours across a range of social media platforms. 

On top of our social media presence and our online TV channel, we also give our properties coverage across the major property portals, such as Rightmove and Guildproperty. 
Ensuring that we fully maximise the exposure of our properties, we also provide regular local advertising and national newspaper features through our dedicated PR company who have contacts within The Times and The Telegraph. 

We employ a number of methods to ensure there is no shortage of interest in your property. Our instant email marketing goes out to our client database, who will become aware that your property is on the market. For further exposure, our Fine Homes brand can enhance your marketing, while our centrally located office is easily visible and found.

Thanks to our membership of the Movewithus network and the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, we can guarantee interest in our properties from over 1000 offices around the country, including a presence in London’s Park Lane thanks to the Guild. 

We make no overblown claims about our market share, sales figures or how 
aggressively we market homes, but more than 50% of our business comes from personal recommendation, showing our continued commitment to provide the best possible property service. 

Visit www.clarkhomes.tv to find out why David Clark TV is changing the way people search for property.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

David Clark and Company partner with Auction House

Selling a property by auction is easier than many people think, and the prices that are achieved are usually higher than expected too. We have become the local partner agent for Auction House and feel that their experience and effectiveness in auctioneering coupled with our local knowledge can create a very effective sales platform for certain types of property.
Strong regional and national presence.
Auction House is geared up to sell local property to local, regional and national buyers. We operate over 30 regional auction rooms including one in Central London.
'Local property should always be sold in region by experts who understand auctions and know the area. They will always do a better job and get a higher price. I think that is why Auction House is so successful'
Market Leaders in many areas.
Auction House operates more auction rooms, has more auctioneers and holds more auctions than anyone else in the UK. We are already the most successful, and market leaders in many parts of the country.
'National data shows that Auction House sells more lots and is market leader in several English and Welsh counties including Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Cheshire, Norfolk and Pembrokeshire.'
Selling locally achieves higher prices.
Everyone selling a property wants to achieve the best possible price for it. Evidence shows the prices achieved through professionally run regional auctions is higher than at centralised auctions. Auction House are the acknowledged experts in the field and a logical first choice.
'Property sells for more money closer to home, which is why everyone appoints local estate agents. The same applies to selling by auction – choosing a regional auctioneer makes sense and you will be glad that you did'
Our regional auctioneers know your area and visit your property to provide an onsite appraisal.
Sellers need to be very wary of auctioneers who don't attend and inspect their property before giving advice on Guide Prices and Reserves. Auction House have auctioneers and valuers in your area who can meet you at the property, inspect it thoroughly and give you proper guidance.
'I don't see how anyone can know the value of a property without visiting it, seeing its condition and its surroundings. Not only that but how can they sell it effectively without knowing the opportunities that it offers'
UK's No.1 Residential Auctioneer and Top 5 Commercial Auctioneer Now the largest and most successful auctioneer outside London, with Sales in 2012 of 2,075 lots and a success rate of 80% - well ahead of other regional and national auctioneers.
'Auction House is the only national auctioneer with a network of regional auction rooms and the only company running professional auctions in widespread locations across the country. If you want to sell your property through a local auction room they are the natural first choice'
We are local, well known, trusted and respected in the area.
Our auction rooms are run by experienced and successful local companies. These businesses are already well known and respected in the area. Our auction teams live locally, know the area, have a wealth of knowledge and numerous contacts. You can feel reassured and confident your property is in safe hands.
'Not only do they know the area and the local property market, but Auction House also has an extensive register of active buyers. These are drawn from both their auction activities and their estate agency registers. Auction House sells more auction properties to end users, and local people who improve them for their own occupation, or as a rental investment.'
We are consistently more successful than other regional and national auctioneers.
Auction House outperforms other auctioneers, our 2012 success rate of 80% is well ahead of the national auctions average and the results of most regional auctioneers too.
'Anyone thinking of selling by auction needs to look at success rates. The fact Auction House is amongst the most successful in the country makes them the obvious first choice in your area'
Heavyweight well targeted marketing and open house viewings are part of a proven success formula.
Auction House delivers success using a powerful package of local, regional and national marketing and promotion. We combine our specialist local knowledge with regional promotion and extensive national brand publicity to generate more interest and competitive bidding in our auction rooms. We encourage telephone and proxy bids, and wherever possible website viewing of our auctions.
If you think you may have a property that would benefit from this method of sale or need to achieve a secure sale quickly then please call us initially on 01353 665020 or visit  http://bit.ly/16ZKw5Y


Help to Buy - D C & Co's View!

So what is all the fuss about?
One camp is claiming the creation of a 'House Price Bubble' the other is saying that many would-be home buyers are going to be disappointed by the actual implementation of the scheme by lenders.
I have to say I'm with the latter view. Basically the HTB scheme doesn't put any money in buyers pockets. What it does is for those who have managed to scrape together 5% of the purchase price it places a form of guarantee with lenders for another 15% of the loan. This means that the buyer has to have sufficient income and financial status to qualify for a loan of that amount. The lender is encouraged to lend more with the comfort of the UK Taxpayer underwriting 15% of that loan. It is to be noted that the first banks to confirm they were adopting the scheme were those still part owned by the state. Were they persuaded by government?  Even with this guarantee the % rate charged is above the rate that buyers would be charged if they were actually able to place their own 20% cash deposit.
It is not just the rate charged that will upset the buyers but the very tight lending criteria. To qualify people will still have to have good jobs and substantial incomes. One has to ask if you can only stump up 5% then do you have the right income to qualify for the loan?
If I think back to 1984 when I bought my first house my deposit was about 10% so 90% loan to value mortgages were not unusual then and I don't see why they should be now.
Advice is take a look with a good independent financial adviser but don't get your hopes up that the dream home you promised yourself is within reach now. Generally, the lenders do not want to see mortgage costs exceed 55% of your post tax income but they will factor in potential mortgage rate rises.
Some further reading at the links below:

http://www.helptobuy.org.uk/
http://on.ft.com/19HV3Bd
http://bit.ly/1ekW96L
http://bit.ly/18jM5ss

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

£10k refit competition ??

I have just returned from hospital having had a procedure carried out on my foot/ankle that involves repairing a damaged tendon and realigning my foot by breaking my heel! While waiting to be called down to theatre I sat in my room checking e-mails - as you do when you want to take your mind off things.

There was an e-mail from Colin Clayton of Desk Centre Limited http://www.deskcentre.co.uk talking about a £10,000 office refit and all I had to do was create a blog post suggesting why my office should be the one to receive it! What an opportunity - here I am laid up for two weeks before I can mobilise on crutches and my office certainly would benefit from a revamp in 2013.



Like most surviving, small, independent estate agents we have done this by cutting costs, reducing premises and regrettably letting staff go. Our address used to be 20-22 Market Place but is now 20 Market Place only. We originally moved to No.20 from our first premises in Newnham Street in 1993- my then business partner and I did it on a Friday night with the aid of a borrowed sack barrow! We got some strange looks running along the street with filing cabinets as it must have looked like we'd stolen them!

We ended up with this aluminium shop-fronted delight which we wall papered to dado height and added a paper border to, in an attempt to style it like a living room.

Like most estate agents in the mid 90's we got a rush of blood - possibly to the head but at any rate we decided to expand into what was then the launderette next door.


 Vast amounts of cash later we looked very stylish - and big!

The wall paper went and we used MDF with glued on panels to create a service area in the walls for our computer network cables. The shop front became Oak. All was going well but then my business partner and I did what business partners do and split. We became David Clark and Company still in the same big premises but within 2 years the market and the UK's economy took a turn for the worse and I had to look at a fall back position. We fell back into No.20 alone.

Making the best of a bad job I had some decorating done.  The market has been kinder to us over the last couple of years and the people I let No.22 to have hung on in there!

Staff levels have crept up again but the desks I salvaged were too big so I bought some cheapo smaller ones to get everyone in.


This is how we look today - bit 'quart in a pint pot' outside and in. The pedestals from the big desks with drawers in had to stay for some people to fit all their paperwork in. Mismatch is probably the word.

Estate agency is changing and some are trying the on-line route or moving out of the centre of towns. I'm inclined to take a different line. I want my central Market Place premises to be stunning to look at and send out the right impression to the passing hordes of people. Efficiency and friendliness. They may not be buying or selling today but my office needs to be a subliminal message etched into their brains.

From the outset of the business we've relied on our own interior design skills - no laughter please. I'd now like to let a firm of professionals loose on our not so blank canvas. Whilst life is a little easier we're not rolling in cash and our bigger competitors have upped their game and presence. The whole team would like the lift a re-fit would give.

Here is the current layout:





This is an official entry to Desk Centre’s £10,000 workspace refit competition.




Publications: Guide to Successful Sales and Guide to Lettings

How it works for you...


Having been involved in residential property sales for over 32 years and with a team around me with group experience of over 90 years in the Ely office I felt we could put together these guides that explain how we put this experience to work for you in your sale or letting.

Please download the PDF versions or ask us to send you hard copy.

Sales : guide to succesful sales

Lettings : guide to residential lettings

We are very eager to help with your sale or letting so please call us on 01353 665020

Monday, November 19, 2012

Coming soon...

The iPhone (iOS) and Android powered phones have been around for a while now and 1000's of 'apps' have been downloaded to enable users to go about their daily lives, hobbies etc.  Developers were not slow to target estate agencies and convince them that their own App was a 'must have'.

I have always been resistant to their charms and pleadings as I firmly believed an agent's app was nothing more than egotistical vanity! After all, I would rant, why does anyone want to use a search tool for just my listed properties? Homebuyers are looking for their next home and they really don't care who has it for sale - that's why Rightmove has been so successful.

That was until I was introduced to Paul Fuggle (rhymes with Bugle) www.gobusinessapps.com  . Paul is currently creating me an app that let's me communicate with everyone downloading it, via Push technology. I can reach out to people rather than passively waiting for them to search my website or use the more usual app. 

Definition from Kenneth W. Umbach, Ph.D. Of California State Library

Push technology is a relatively new means for automating the delivery of news and information to computer “desktops” on the Internet and on internal organizational intra- nets. Push methods differ from e-mail in their immediacy--real-time data delivery versus a typically delayed “store and forward” methodology used for e-mail--and in their capacity to provide complex graphics, sound, hyperlinks, and scrolling data that e-mail is not designed to accommodate.

Say you are looking for a 3 bed semi in Ely at £200,000 or less. Record that requirement in the app and as soon as we have one we'll alert you - straight to your phone. It’s not like a text message as you can access all the rich content of a website like photos, video, floorplans etc through the app. But, like a text message, you don't have to read it straightaway. The app user can wait until they have access to a wi-fi network to look at this information. 
The other area that has been concerning me is that more and more people access the web and search online from mobile devices (phones and tablets). If your website is not mobile compatible then the chances are users will get fed up scrolling about their smaller screens to see everything they need to. In addition to the app, when mobile users type in our web address they will automatically be taken to a mobile-friendly version of our site containing all the essential information of the main site.  Rental property won't be left out and there will be documents and information for landlords and tenants.

Mobile searches have grown 400% since 2010

By 2013, more people will use mobiles than PC’s to search online

Local searches account for 40% of mobile search usage, with 70% of these queries resulting in action within 1 
hour 


For tenants we've included the 'Tenant Cam'. Basically you use your phones' camera to photograph what you are having a problem with and send it to us. This enables us to route the appropriate repair person to you with the knowledge of what's needed and should help us get things sorted faster.

If you are a buyer new to the Ely area it may be easy to lose your car in the town's car parks so we've included 'Find my Car'. Get out of the car, allow your built in GPS to locate you, press the button to 'store' this location then off you go. Time to return to the car? Just click on 'Find' and the phones' GPS will take you back to your start point!

We are a little way from launch but be assured we'll 'Push' this info to you as soon as it's ready!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2012 is nearly done, roll on 2013!


We are now past mid way through November 2012 and although the market seems to be holding up remarkably well I suspect we won't get far into December before the season takes the focus of most sellers and buyers in another direction. For those who are going to give up on this year and decide to launch or re-launch their property into the early 2013 market then here a few tips on choosing that all important estate agent:
  • How long have you been in residential property sales? Is it your full-time job? While experience is no guarantee of skill, real estate — like many other professions — is mostly learned on the job.
  • What designations do you hold? Designations such as FNAEA and MRICS, which require that agents take additional, specialized real estate training, are held only by about 25% of estate agents.
  • How many homes did you and your firm sell last year? By asking this question, you’ll get a good idea of how much experience the agent has.
  • How many days did it take you to sell the average home? How did that compare to the overall market? The agent you interview should have these facts on hand, and be able to present market statistics to provide a comparison.
  • How close to the initial asking prices of the homes you sold were the final sale prices? This is one indication of how skilled the agent is at pricing homes and marketing to suitable buyers. Of course, other factors also may be at play, including an exceptionally hot or cool market.
  • What types of specific marketing systems and approaches will you use to sell my home? You don’t want someone who’s going to put a For Sale sign in the yard and hope for the best. Look for someone who has progressive (not aggressive!) and innovative approaches, and knows how to market your property competitively on the Internet. Buyers today want information fast, so it’s important that your agent is responsive.
  • Can you recommend service providers who can help me obtain a mortgage, make home repairs, and help with other things I need done? Because agents are immersed in the industry, they’re wonderful resources as you seek lenders, home improvement companies, builders and other home service providers. Practitioners should generally recommend more than one provider and let you know if they have any special relationship with or receive commission from any of the providers.
  • What’s your business philosophy? While there’s no right answer to this question, the response will help you assess what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.
  • How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction? How frequently? Again, this is not a question with a correct answer, but how you judge the response will reflect your own desires. Do you want updates twice a week or do you prefer not to be bothered unless there’s a hot prospect? Do you prefer phone, e-mail, or a personal visit? Would you like a log-in to a 'vendor portal' to see what is happening?
  • Have a pre-sale home appraisal. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale marketing appraisal. An estate agent will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before viewings begin.
  • Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or loft. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and skirtings to make the house shine.
  • Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that are worn out or will need to be replaced soon, such as your flooring or carpeting? Get estimates on how much it would cost to replace them, even if you don’t plan to do it yourself. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and will be handy when negotiations begin.
  • Find your warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the boiler, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house.
  • Spruce up the kerb appeal. Pretend you’re a buyer and stand outside of your home. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? Are pretty flowers or plants framing the entrance? Is the walkway free from cracks and damage?
  • Call David Clark and Company on 01353 665020 to get the ball rolling! www.clarkhomes.co.uk