Marketing on Twitter

Whilst I am still waiting for some tangible benefit for being on LinkedIn I have done business thanks to Twitter. New clients have found me, I have found homes for clients & I have learned more about the market than I could possibly have done by just reading the papers.

To explore how much further I could push my luck I set up a series of .gif based Tweets going out every hour and result! A new enquiry by 10.00am! Here are a selection of what I posted;

Statistically the last time you bought a house was 7 years ago. I buy 1 a month. Who’s going to do the best deal?

Statistically the last time you bought a house was 7 years ago. I buy 1 a month. Who’s going to do the best deal?

Found a property you’ve fallen in love with? Naturally you’re just the right person to negotiate to buy it!

Found a property you’ve fallen in love with? Naturally you’re just the right person to negotiate to buy it!

It’s not easy to say “no” to an agent when you want a particular house but a #BuyingAgent can remain professional.

It’s not easy to say “no” to an agent when you want a particular house but a #BuyingAgent can remain professional.

You describe the dream, I'll find the home.

You describe the dream, I’ll find the home.

Clever marketing means a #BuyingAgent isn’t taken in by the beautiful front. It’s vital to check for an exposed rear!

Clever marketing means a #BuyingAgent isn’t taken in by the beautiful front. It’s vital to check for an exposed rear!

It’s not just about finding the perfect looking property. A #BuyingAgent can check that the face fits.

It’s not just about finding the perfect looking property. A #BuyingAgent can check that the face fits.

Finding the right home will be a compromise but you should have any arguments with me. Get a #BuyingAgent

Finding the right home will be a compromise but you should have any arguments with me. Get a #BuyingAgent

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Audio

FT Money show

The FT Money Show is one of the most popular of the paper’s regular podcasts. I was kindly invited to participate in this week’s edition following the Queens’ Speech looking specifically the extension of Right to Buy.

Personal finance editor Claer Barrett asks the questions, deputy editor James Pickford provides the gravitas and FT Money editor Lucy Warwick-Ching somehow manages to produce what will doubtless be yet another award-winning podcast.

podcast.ft.com/p/2753

Subscribe to this and future FT Money podcasts via iTunes

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Video

Time to pile your pension into property?

Changes to pension rules come into effect on 6th April 2015 but how do you know what’s right for you? There are options like investing via a ‘crowd-funding’ website for example, buying a property outright or perhaps just paying down your existing mortgage. Many people will find that the costs – not least the tax you may pay when cashing all or part of your pension will outweigh the risks of running your own retirement fund but for some the lure of investing in bricks and mortar may be too much to resist. As a rather naive commentator said on the Today program this morning (1hr 24 min, 46sec), “Over last ten years we’ve (Martin & Cº) have looked at the returns landlords have got, the lowest have been 6% and the highest 13% (per annum?). You’d struggle to find any other asset class that’s given that level of return. 13% even even beats bonds of the ten years“.

If you are thinking of transferring all or some of your pension then you may find my Pocket Agent service helpful. £150 (plus VAT) is a small price to pay for guidance on what you may be considering. As we are often reminded, past performance is not a guide to the future and you may want some reassurance that your instincts when it comes to property are right when considering how you will pay for your retirement.

If you’re confused about the new pensions landscape you may find this a handy 3 minute summary.

 

Suzie Pattison (of sponsor Ravensworth), me & BBC legend John Sargeant
Aside

and the ‘Property Commentator of the Year’ is…

On Monday night the annual Property Press Awards were held in London. The event, sponsored by LSL Property Services and meticulously arranged by the team at Wriglesworth was heaving with the Great & the Good of what would once have been Fleet Street. I was one of a 37 of judges who sifted the wheat from the chaff to come up with worthy winners in the various categories.

To my embarrassment there was a new award in 2015 – the Property Commentator of the Year which was generously thrust into my hands by retired BBC political editor & Strictly survivor, John Sargeant. The competition was stiff so how I ended up at the top of the heap suggests need for a Judicial Enquiry. Pending the outcome my thanks to my fellow judges for their sense of humour! The citation read;

“For this category, judges were looking for personalities who had their fingers on the pulse of the property market, making erudite and informative comment and analysis. […] The Gold Award Winner impressed the judges with the way multimedia commentary was delivered to the public in an intelligent and balanced way which is easily understandable and sometimes entertaining.”.

Suzie Pattison (of sponsor Ravensworth), me & BBC legend John Sargeant

Suzie Pattison (of sponsor Ravensworth), me & BBC legend John Sargeant

The full list of the winners is:

Property Business Journalist of the Year
Winner: Hilary Osborne, The Guardian
Silver: Hannah Brenton, Property Week
Bronze: Oliver Shah, The Sunday Times

International Property Journalist of the Year
Winner: Carol Lewis, The Times: Bricks & Mortar
Silver: Zoe Dare Hall, FT: House & Home; The Sunday Times: Home
Bronze: Nicole Blackmore, The Daily Telegraph; The Sunday Telegraph

Periodical Property Consumer Writer of the Year
Winner: Ruth Bloomfield, The London Magazine/Stylist
Silver: Claire Pilton, Condé Nast
Bronze: Zoe Dare Hall, A Place in the Sun; The London Magazine; Grand Designs

Property Trade Magazine of the Year
Winner: Show House
Silver: Property Week
Bronze: Estates Gazette

National Freelance Writer of the Year
Winner: Donna Ferguson
Silver: Ruth Bloomfield
Bronze: Fred Redwood

Garden Writer of the Year
Winner: Bunny Guinness, The Sunday Telegraph
Silver: Caroline Donald, The Sunday Times
Bronze: Pattie Baron, London Evening Standard: Homes & Property
Bronze: Naomi Slade, The Daily Telegraph; House & Garden

Consumer Mortgage Writer of the Year
Winner: Nicole Blackmore, Sunday Telegraph; The Daily Telegraph
Silver: Donna Ferguson, The Guardian; The Observer
Bronze: Anna Mikhailova, The Sunday Times
Bronze: Simon Read, The Independent

Regional Property Writer of the Year
Winner: Helen Davies, Liverpool Echo
Silver: Gill Oliver, Oxford Mail
Bronze: Deborah Churchill, Move To London

Property Commentator of the Year
Winner: Henry Pryor, Independent commentator
Silver: Yolande Barnes , Savills
Bronze: Roger Bootle, Capital Economics
Bronze: Kate Faulkner, Independent commentator

Property Columnist of the Year
Winner: Helen Davies, The Sunday Times: Home
Silver: Anne Ashworth, The Times: Bricks & Mortar
Bronze: Rupert Bates, Show House

Lifestyle & Interiors Property Writer of the Year
Winner: Emma Wells, The Sunday Times: Home
Silver: Hugh Graham, The Sunday Times: Home
Bronze: Alexandra Goss, The Sunday Times: Home

Scoop of the Year
Winner: Alexandra Goss, The Sunday Times
Silver: David Hatcher, Real Estate Capital
Bronze: Karen Robinson, The Sunday Times: Home

Property Staff Writer of the Year
Winner: Hilary Osborne, The Guardian
Silver: Lee Boyce, Daily Mail
Bronze: Francesca Steele, The Times: Bricks & Mortar
Bronze: Mark Bridge, The Times: Bricks & Mortar

National Newspaper Supplement of the Year
Winner: Anne Ashworth, The Times: Bricks & Mortar
Silver: Janice Morley, London Evening Standard: Homes & Property
Bronze: Helen Davies, The Sunday Times: Home

Lifetime Achievement Award
Winner: Jeremy Gates

Overall Journalist
Winner: Hilary Osborne, The Guardian

The gold award winners with John Sargent, former BBC political correspondent

The gold award winners with John Sargent, former BBC political correspondent

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Aside

Moving the Mother of Parliaments

Speaker John Bercow has suggested that repairs and modernisation to the Houses of Parliament are now urgent and that the cost might run to £3bn. Twice the cost of the replacement of the Twin Towers & six times the total cost for the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly combined.
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Packing MPs off on a gravy-train from St Pancras to Strasburg would obviously be very tempting but in reality, where could we relocate whilst the work went on and how big is the current set up?
The Palace of Westminster extends to eight acres and houses not only the UK’s 650 MP’s but the staff and back up teams that make the Mother of Parliaments work. 1100 rooms, 100 staircases and 4.8km of passageways link the rabbit warren as well as the two principle chambers that make up the House of Commons and House of Lords. There is a lot of ancillary accommodation such as a chapel, the state apartments as well as a sizeable time piece in the shape of Big Ben.
Relocation, even a temporary move would be expensive and time consuming but there are all sorts of possibilities around the UK and even more if you consider the commonwealth. There is part time space available in Strasburg with a ‘gravy train’ from London and all the entertaining facilities a modern legislature could desire!
Whilst he has indicated a desire to come south Alex Salmond could remain north to the border if the UK parliament were to relocate to Edinburgh or to one of a number of current and ex-MoD properties in Scotland.
Stirling Castle attracts nearly 400,000 visitors a year and although like many medieval buildings would require some updating it has a ‘Great Hall’ or ‘Parliament Hall’ build by James IV. As home to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders it is used to the cut & thrust of modern politics although it’s unclear if access for a cosmopolitan 21st Century work force would be that easy from some other parts of the UK.
In Wales castles at Caerphilly or Caernarfon might be a similar struggle but English football was welcomed in 2001g during the redevelopment of Wembley.
Northern Ireland would no doubt welcome the investment of a temporary homes for the UK parliament with space in existing buildings as well as large areas of Belfast Docks looking for redevelopment. Could the area that gave birth to Titanic perhaps build something even more indestructible?
In England the choices become even more practical. The Government has already decided that large parts of the public sector no longer needs to exist within the M25. Salford is (apparently) a sensible destination and there are any number of old MoD properties around the country from ex-nuclear faculties (Like Kelvedon Hatch – RGHQ 5.1) with space and back up services to keep the Government operating during the Cold War. RAF stations at Mildenhall, Alconbury & Molesworth are about to be vacated by the American Airforce and Stansted, the M11 and the A14 make it easily accessible for many shire MP’s as well as London based Sir Humphreys.
Closer still to London the State owns Windsor Castle with over 1000 rooms, drawing rooms and halls which Her Majesty might be prepared to lend for a time. Security, space, access and of course a Royal Chapel would help ensure that along with the architecture MP’s felt at home.
Although faster trains on HS2 won’t be running in time the NEC in Birmingham has 20 halls providing a daunting 200,000 sq meters of space! “Well placed for the commuter” with roads, an airport and trains to all points of the compass it is a viable if unimpressive option.
Finally, the largest privately owned country house – Wentworth Woodhouse near Rotherham with it’s 5 miles of corridors, 365 rooms and 250 acres of grounds include 22 more listed buildings. At 23,000 sqft it’s still on the small side and whilst it needs some work the estimated £42m is a fraction of the £3bn that Speaker John Bercow has said that Westminster requires. Thomas Wentworth, administrator for that old Parliamentarian Charles 1st was executed in 1641 for treason and is buried nearby.
Offers around £7m are being floated but honourable members should beware – of a possible Mansion Tax!