All posts by GeorgeHartshorn

George is Managing Director at Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents. He enjoys writing this weekly blog and hopes that you enjoy reading it!!

When Size Does Count!

“When you want to sell the most valuable and emotional possession you own, you want the sale to be handled by professionals that you both trust and rely on. Every business has a “capacity” before it’s standards are compromised. Every business whether it sells children’s clothes, sandwiches or motor cars will reach a point where the standards to which they originally aspired,  (and hopefully attained!) will be compromised. Unless the stock they have is sold or they employ more staff to facilitate the sale and management of it the employee’s cannot manage the portfolio of property they have promised to sell. At Elizabeth Davenport our sales statistics (please contact the office for the finer details!) show that 84% of our stock sells within 7 weeks with just over 50% sold within 4. This means our “stock” of property is a manageable one. It means we do not have property sitting redundant on the “shelf”.  It means that we are always aware of what property we have for sale, at what price it is marketed and we have the knowledge of which potential buyers we have waiting. The ability to sell and market the property successfully is only possible if you have the correct volume of staff and facilities to do so. Is an agent with 200 properties for sale and 4  full time office staff  more efficient than one with 30 for sale and 3 full time staff? This is where Size Does Count! Possibly not though in the way you might of thought it did!”    By Mark Walmsley.

Relegated To The Bottom Of The Pile

Nowadays, most Estate Agents have “Premier”, “Fine”, “Premium” or “Prestige” versions of their products for their best customers and their best properties.

This immediately begs the question – where does this leave the bulk of their “normal” paying customers. Because where premier assumes the very best, the opposite by default must be worst or poorest. So if you market your property with an agent and don’t qualify for their “Premier” version then by default you and your property have been ranked as second rate.

If your property doesn’t qualify for the “Fine & Happy” or the “Premier & Dandy” treatment then perhaps the implication is that it belongs to the  “Dull & Dreary”, the “Cheap & Shoddy” or perhaps the “Coarse and Cr**py” collection??

At Elizabeth Davenport all of our customers and all of our properties are in the Premier Division. We don’t believe that any of our clients deserve a second rate service and all of our properties are marketed to their full potential. This means they all get the best photography, the best quality brochures, floorplans and marketing that they deserve. This means that not only do all of our clients receive a gold service but it also means that their properties sell quicker and for more money.

So does your property deserve the Elizabeth Davenport experience or is it in the second division? The answer I can assure you is yes, you deserve the ED experience. Because no property deserves to be in the second division.

Only Two Weeks Left!

There’s only two weeks left of our amazing £100 cash offer. We’ ve been overwhelmed by your response so far! Lots of homeowners have been clever enough to take up this great deal by switching estate agent to Elizabeth Davenport.

In case you’ve been visiting Mars for the last few weeks the offer is this: you switch agent and we give you £100 cash up front. Yes, that’s one hundred pounds straight into your pocket.

And the best part of the deal is, we guarantee to sell your property. So that means at the end of the 12 week agency period if we haven’t found you a buyer you can simply walk away with your £100. Its’ the least we can do.

Call our office today on 02476 010105 and arrange for your free appraisal with absolutely no obligation. Our experienced valuer will visit your property and give you honest, professional advice on where your sale is currently going wrong and explain what we can do to help. If you’re happy to go ahead then we give you £100 cash up front and then we  market your property on a sole agency basis for 12 weeks.

But rest assured, we’re confident we’ll arrange a sale long before the end of the 12 weeks. Our average sale time is 7 weeks but over half of the properties we sell go in less than 4 weeks. So don’t miss out and pick up the phone today!

Fending Off The Cowboys

A question we get asked again and again is “What’s so different about Elizabeth Davenport Estate Agents?”

The simple answer is “Excellent Customer Service”. Our clients are the most important people in our business and so we treat them accordingly.

Only last week a prospective customer called me and asked “I don’t see why you will be any different to the rest?” She went on to explain that her property has been on sale for over 6 months with three different estate agents and she was at her wits end. The words she used to describe the other agents included “cowboys” and “insulting”. And these were well established, local, well known independent estate agents she had dealt with. What on earth had they been up to, to create such mistrust and animosity amongst their own clients?

The answer of course is “They Provided Poor Customer Service”. The lady in question had been given poor initial advice and then passed from pillar to post when her property couldn’t be sold. Ultimately she was let down and ignored. (If she is reading this article then I invite her to call our office back as we can definitely help).

In the three and a half years since our Coventry office opened a grand total of just 4 (yes that’s four!) former clients of ours have taken their business elsewhere and not a single one of them had a bad word to say about us. Even though we ultimately didn’t manage to sell those four properties, we still provided a satisfying customer experience and the clients all appreciated that.

So if you want a premium service then call us today on 02476 010105. If on the other hand you prefer “The Dukes of Hazard” then please turn the page…………….

Sell Your House For £100 Cash!

Switch estate agent before the end of July and market your property with Elizabeth Davenport. Then we pay you £100. Yes, that’s not a mis-print, we pay you £100!

“But what’s the catch?” Of course there’s a catch. You will have to sign a 12 week sole agency contract and we will have to try really hard to sell your property. After all, having given you money for nothing we will be highly motivated to find you a buyer.

“What’s the risk?” The risk for you is that your property will be sold in the process! The risk for us is that we might lose £100 cash. But we’re so confident that we can sell your property, it’s a risk that we’re prepared to take.

“I’m still not sure. What do I have to lose?” £100 cash. Call 02476 010105 and take up this no-lose offer.

Offer Expires 31/07/13. See our website for full Ts & Cs.



Who Works for Who Here!?

We’ve just been instructed on a property “To Let” because the Agent didn’t do what the “Landlord” told them.

As a Property Manager I have often faced a question. “Can’t you just tell them to do it!?”

The issue may be about access to the landlord’s rented property. It may be the tenants obligation to keep the grass cut, it could even be that a “dog” has been heard in the house! As it happens the instruction was earned because I explained an agents obligations to a landlord when a previous agent had not.  We have simply made sense of the roles all parties play in a successful relationship.

Your agent is bound by regulations not of their making. It may be the Housing Act 2004, The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 or the Consumer Protection Act 1987. The role they play should be to give advice and the simplest solution to whatever problems faced. You, the Landlord, are our “Client”, the Tenant is our “Customer”. We have a duty of care to the tenant, but we work for you.  So, if you have a request to make of the tenant, or a query or concern and the request is legitimate and legal, the agent should support you because you are “The Client”. If we can help with any Property Management or Lettings issues you may face please contact us and we will be delighted to assist.

By Mark Walmsley

Successful Advice for Investors

 I have just finished talking to a “soon to be” landlord who is in the process of completing on her first property investment. She was excited and a  little nervous.

When I called her following her enquiry, I was the only Estate Agent to call her back. She’s secured a three bedroom family house in Coundon for a price of  £125,000. Nervous? She needn’t be. The average price of a three bedroom house in Coventry is currently £676 pcm. I had valued hers at £675.

Interestingly, she could mistakenly have paid £20,000 more to return no greater a yield. Nervous? Why? This lady has clearly been well advised and her research has proved very successful. With a yield of over 6% she has purchased a property to  suit professional residential tenants in an area that will appeal to them. She has decided what sort of tenant she wants to rent to, what areas will fulfil their requirements and secured a property at a price that works. With the security of our nil excess Rent Guarantee policies, free Legal assistance and our honest and realistic advice, this landlord will certainly harvest the fruits of her efforts and time. Where else would you achieve a yield of 6% or more?…..We look forward to hearing from you……author: Mark Walmsley 18/06/13

An Empty Presentation

Selling an empty property presents it’s own particular unique challenges.

A common scenario is when selling property from a deceased estate. This can be a very difficult time for relatives, faced with the prospect of sifting through personal belongings, clearing old furniture, and trying to prepare their loved ones property to go on to the market.Empty Room

Often the property may be in a poor state of repair and their may be lots of clutter and stored items in attics and garages. Many clients tell me that they simply don’t know where to begin and they have little idea what to leave and what to throw away prior to putting the property on sale.

My advice is to clear as much of the clutter and personal items as possible but to leave basic items of furniture in each room (presuming they are in reasonable condition). Also leaving a few pictures on the wall (as long as they are not personal ones) will help to make the place feel a bit warmer and a bit more homely.

Emptying the home completely can leave it looking cold and barren. This can make it difficult to sell and also makes it exceptionally difficult to photograph. Potential buyers will be more attracted towards a picture of a Lounge with a sofa and a coffee table than they would towards a picture of the same room empty with no sense of purpose and just a couple of blank walls and a door to focus on. Maintaining the garden of an empty property is also an important consideration so it is definitely worth employing a gardener during the sale process.

For further advice on selling an empty home or any other kind of property call us today on 02476 010105.

You Get What You Pay For

Buying the cheapest product available is a poor choice in most given situations. Don’t get me wrong, everyone likes a bargain including me. But if we all just made our buying decisions based on price we’d be buying some pretty shoddy goods. The prospect of living in a cheap prefabricated house, going to work in a Reliant Robin car wearing a Primark suit and a plastic watch from Poundland, eating lentils and rice every mealtime, drinking Tesco Value champagne………………not a very enticing lifestyle is it?

In actual fact when you think about it very few people choose this lifestyle. Most of us aspire to buy expensive goods of a higher quality when we can possibly afford it. Most of us would choose a BMW over a Vauxhall Corsa or stay at the Ritz rather than at a Travelodge if our budget could possibly stretch that far.

So now that we’ve cleared that one up…………….WHY ON EARTH  do some homeowners phone round all of the Estate Agents prior to going on sale and ask what fees will be charged with the sole intention of choosing the cheapest one to sell their most valuable asset?? Are they completely mad? An Estate Agent provides a personalised, professional service and the standard of that service can vary dramatically from one agent to the next. The better the service provided, the higher the price one can expect to achieve for one’s property and in the shortest time-frame.

So if you like your BMW’s then why not give us a ring today. If on the other hand you do all your shopping at Poundland then please save yourself the money on the phone call.

Don’t Sign Your Life Away!

I recently employed a plumber to fit a new heating system into my house. We agreed that he would remove the old system and then fit a new boiler, pipe-work and radiators.

What’s so unusual? Nothing, except……….  the day work was due to start nobody turned up at the house. In fact work didn’t begin for another 2 weeks. When the job did finally begin it quickly became apparent that the plumber had no idea what he was doing and wasn’t up to the job.Cowboy Plumber The pipework leaked, the radiators were fitted at wonky angles and the boiler gave off dangerous fumes. The job dragged on for many weeks and in the end I decided that I needed to sack the plumber and get somebody else in to do a proper job.

But when I phoned the company to tell them I was firing them they told me that I was tied into a six month contract and wasn’t allowed to use the services of another plumber until the six months was up!

In actual fact this is an imaginary scenario but doesn’t it sound ridiculous? But this exact sequence of events happens on a regular basis in the world of property sales. The homeowner realises that they have employed an estate agent that is professionally inadequate but instead of being able to fire them and move on, they are tied into an unfair & lengthy contract.

A good estate agent knows that it’s not necessary to tie his clients into a contract because he is confident he can sell any property quickly and for full market value. And for that very reason if you market your home with Elizabeth Davenport there will be no minimum term contract. Call us today for your free appraisal.