Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Movello Landlords Update

It's been a while since I gave you an update on how we're doing at Movello. The market appears to be picking up and we have seen a large increase in enquiries from both tenants and prospective buyers. Our corporate clients also seem to be dipping their toes back in the water with a number of short led deals going through in recent months. It will be a while before we can safely say the recession is over and many pundits are predicting a double dip recession. However, the banks seem to be recruiting again and we are seeing a steady flow of new applicants coming from the big banks such as HSBC, Citi and Barclays. If you have properties available that you haven't already told us about please give us a call.

There seems to be concensus that sales prices will not be shooting up for the forseable future so if you are thinking of selling you don't need to worry about the thought of selling just as prices start to rise. We seem to be in a fairly unique position where it is equally a good to time to buy. Even though you might not see an increase in the value of any property you buy for a while, you can be fairly sure that you are buying pretty near the bottom. The problem at the moment is stock levels. There is very little good quality property available on the market. Most developers have stopped building and many investors have been reluctant to sell at what they percieve to be the bottom of the market. As I said, there is very little benefit in delaying since prices are unlikely to increase in the medium term.

We have seen some new additions to the Movello team including Michael Evans who has joined us as Lettings Negotiator from Square Mile in Canary Wharf. Michael also has experience at Award winning agent Martin and Co in Kent. Michael is studying for his ARLA exams and is also a keen Triathlete, having competed for Great Britain. We wish Michael well in his new role.

We have also improved the Marketing and Administration side of the business with the addition of Ingrid Kaad to the team. Ingrid's main role is to ensure new properties are booked for professional photography and are presented as professionally as possible on the web. Inrgid also assists our Property Management Department in dealing with enquiries from Movello tenants and landlords.

We were very sad to see Judy Wawrzyk, our star Negotiator, leave to join a rival agent recently, having spent over two years at Movello. However, I have just been told that after a week in her new job she has agreed to come back to Movello. We will be making sure Judy is well looked after when she comes back!

The improvements to our website over recent months are now paying dividends. The addition of a development search on our home page allows you to type the name of your development into the search box to show a list of properties we are marketing in your development. This is a good way to see how your properties compare to others in the same development. We have also added a popular developments section with some additional information on our most popular developments. We are driving traffic to these pages using Google adwords. Due to the quality of our web marketing we recently let a number of apartments to an overseas company without them even viewing the properties. They searched for Docklands properties on Google, found our website, went to the popular developments section and reserved their apartments over the phone.

Other improvements to the website include the addition of Google Street View. Under each property there is either a scrollable 360 degree view of the development or if Street View is not available a standard map showing the location of the property.

The addition of a short let search has also increased the number of short let enquiries we are getting. We have also backed this up with advertising in the City Airport map, Wharf Newspaper, Docklands Property Guide, Canary Wharf Magazine and London Property. I now write a regular editorial piece in the Wharf Newspaper and have been asked to comment on the market for the Guardian and various property magazines.

I appreciate that rents have not held up well over the last year or so, so I hope you haven't been too badly affected by the market. Having spoken to a few of you recently about your mortgages it sounds like some of you negotiated some very good variable rate mortgages during the good times!

Thank you for your business over the years and we hope we can help you rent more of your properties soon.

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