Town Life ; Property
Summerley, Victoria, The Independent (London, England)
THERE SEEMS to be no end to the clever ways in which London estate agents now market themselves. Gone are the days of the plain old A4 property details, bearing one exterior and one interior shot and a list of room measurements. Today, you should expect nothing less than a podcast or video, backed up by a stream of other goodies.
Take Knight Frank, for example. They've just opened a branch near us on Wandsworth Common, where they're up against stiff competition from a handful of long-established, independent local agents. They've been love-bombing local residents with key-rings, Knight Frank A-Zs and even glossy postcards bearing the message "We heart (name of street)". There are only 28 houses in our road, so it must have cost a lot to print a "we heart" for our street, let alone all the other streets in the vicinity.
Douglas and Gordon, meanwhile, have gone for a cinematic approach, with a series of advertisements based on film and television titles. The current one features three rather glamorous D & G negotiators and is called, appropriately, The Persuaders.
A neighbour reports that one London agent is giving away a windscreen de-misting pad. Then there's the techie brigade, such as James Pendleton, with their podcasts, and Foxtons, who are going one better with their vodcasts, which can be downloaded or implanted in your brain or something.
Why all the freebies? Well, there's a chronic shortage of property for sale in Wandsworth where, according to Knight Frank, prices have risen by 325 per cent in the past 10 years. One report said there were 74 buyers chasing every house or flat that comes onto the market in my area, and hardly a week goes by without a note from an agent coming through the letterbox asking if we are considering selling. (Answer: no.)
So would a snazzy advert or a free key-ring persuade me to put my property on the market with one of these companies? I must admit, the first thought that sprang to mind when I saw all these gifts and gizmos was that estate agents are obviously making far too much money …
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Publication information: Article title: Town Life ; Property. Contributors: Summerley, Victoria - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: March 21, 2007. Page number: 5. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.