Where PR leads, the industry follows?

By Lisa Flounders, Director


Among the many diverse discussion points at this week’s Homes UK conference, there was an unmistakeable theme running through the sessions that PHM attended and it is one we’ve seen a number of our clients embrace over the past year or so. Building homes is not about, well, building homes. Instead, it is about building sustainable communities. It is people, not product.


As this focus continues to gain momentum among developers, we’re again reminded of the power of a great narrative and the role of communications in recognising – and staying ahead of – industry trends. The property media has looked for people-led stories for a long time and a humble press release announcing the launch of a showhome or highlighting an impressive specification is no longer enough on its own. High quality product, one speaker at Homes UK noted, shouldn’t be a selling point. Surely, in 2019, it should be a given.


At PHM, we have been working with our clients for some time to go above and beyond a milestone-led approach to media relations. Buyers want to understand how a new home will make them feel, not just where it is or how many bathrooms it has. A great story – people not product, remember – can do exactly that.

Glorious Guildford up for sale

Our CowParade cow Glorious Guildford is back in the UK ready to go to auction this Thursday with some of her bovine buddies after a busy month of globetrotting.


Over the last six weeks, Glorious Guildford has visited a host of wonderful countries including Egypt, Australia and Rome – where she met up with fellow Challengers cows, Roman Cow and Doctor Moo. Our Instagram competition was hugely popular and we are delighted to announce Sian Johns as the winner of the prize draw!


The fun isn’t over yet… we still have the auction to look forward to. It is hoped each cow will raise a beefy sum which will be split between her sponsors’ chosen charity – in our case, the disabled children’s charity Challengers – and the Surrey Hills Trust Fund.


By taking part in the bidding, Glorious Guildford’s new owner can not only take home a piece of art by renowned, award-winning artist, Colette Clegg, but also raise money for a vitally important local charity. If you’re interested in buying Glorious Guildford, or know anyone who might be, please register your bids online here ahead of the auction that takes place at Sandown Park Racecourse on Thursday 20th October at 8:00pm.


For more information about Challengers or Glorious Guildford, please visit our blog page to find out more about the auction and don’t forget to like and share our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn posts.

Regal round-up of properties fit for a queen

Happy 90th Birthday to our longest-reigning monarch! We thought we’d celebrate in our own PHM way by presenting a regal round-up of our clients’ properties. We don’t anticipate Buckingham Palace coming on the market anytime soon, but in the meantime, check out the following luxury lifestyle lodgings.

Oakhill Park in Putney offers mansion-style apartments with an abundance of space and beautifully-landscaped gardens. The new homes have been finished to an immaculate specification, with an elegant and stylish interior design, giving the homes a palatial feel. Prices start from £850,000 for a two-bedroom apartment – call London Realty on 020 3430 6920 to find out more.

For a home that has that ‘royal seal of approval’, May Tree House in Berkshire, on the market with Haslams, has landscaped gardens meticulously designed by award-winning Chelsea Flower Show medallist Matt Keightley. Matt won the prestigious and highly-coveted People’s Choice Award in 2015 for his design of Prince Harry’s garden for his charity, Sentebale, named ‘Hope in Vulnerability’. Call Haslams on 0118 960 1000 to find out more about this beautiful five-bedroom house, on the market for £1,500,000.

For first-time buyers, Affinity Sutton is right on the button

Following the news this week that Londoners will need an annual salary of £106k by 2020 to buy a home in London, the First Time Buyer Home Show this Saturday 15th April could not be more timely.

Gaining a foot on the property ladder in the capital and the South East is becoming increasingly difficult, but the exhibition held at Fairfield Hall in Croydon will serve as a fantastic opportunity to meet and greet housing associations, developers, mortgage advisors and solicitors to find out how to buy your first home in this expensive corner of the UK.

If you’ve already got your free ticket sorted make sure you say hello to our client, Affinity Sutton, on the day. The sales team will be on hand to tell you how buying through shared ownership could really help you afford a home in London or the South East. But if you can’t quite make it tomorrow, than we’ve put together the ‘fantastic four’, developments by Affinity Sutton, which all only require a deposit of under £10k if buying through shared ownership.

Ready for occupation this summer, Nine Elms Point by Affinity Sutton, near Battersea and the Thames, will comprise 52 one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Guide prices are expected to start from £113,750 for a 25% share of a one-bedroom apartment (full market value £455,000). Apartments can be purchased with just a 5% deposit – that’s under £6,000.

Spectrum SE12 offers nine, two-bedroom apartments, featuring quality-fitted kitchens and private patios/balconies designed to suit a modern lifestyle. Prices for the Lewisham homes start from £90,500 for a 25% share (full purchase price £362,500). Buyers will need a 5% deposit of just £4,525 and have a minimum salary of £47,000 if purchasing alone or £51,000 if purchasing jointly.

The Meridian, Lewisham, comprises three, three-bedroom terraced houses featuring quality-fitted kitchens and a private front and rear gardens. Prices for the houses start from £133,750 for a 25% share (full purchase price £535,000). Buyers will need a 5% deposit of just £6,688. They must also have a minimum salary of £68,000 if purchasing alone or £72,000 if purchasing jointly.

The sprawling, eco-friendly Graylingwell Park in Chichester, built in conjunction with Linden Homes and the HCA, offers a selection of refurbished one-bedroom apartments with prices starting from £42,500 for a 25% share (full purchase price from £170,000). Buyers will pay approximately £258 per month in subsidised rent and only need a 5% deposit to buy one of these homes (£2,125).

For more information on any of these homes, contact Affinity Sutton on 0300 100 0303. To get a last-minute ticket to the First Time Buyer Home Show click here.

National Gardening Week: Homes to make you green with envy

It’s National Gardening Week, the country’s biggest celebration of gardening. Our clients’ properties boast a variety of beautiful gardens of all shapes and sizes, from sunken and communal gardens to properties with acres of land, providing the ideal place to relax and entertain friends and family or exercise out in the open. Whatever you’re looking for in a garden, read on to get a glimpse of those that are a cut above.

Considering the theme of this year’s National Gardening Week is ‘get fit in the garden’, if you haven’t yet done so, have a read of our blog on World Health Day, where we show how living at Graylingwell Park – a development by Linden Homes, HCA and Affinity Sutton – can improve your health. Facilities on the development include a communal grow garden, where residents can grow organic fruit and vegetables, in addition to 85 acres of parkland to explore. To arrange a visit to the show homes, contact Linden Homes on 01243 781494. For more information about buying a home through shared ownership, call Affinity Sutton on 0300 100 0303.

Research has shown that living in an urban area with greater amounts of outdoor space leads to high levels of life satisfaction. At Berkeley Homes’ Chiswick Gate development, residents can make the most of beautifully-landscaped gardens, a pedestrianised boulevard and a lush garden square with an orchard, as well as their own private outside space. Meanwhile, at Cedar Place – a collection of six townhouses at Wimbledon Hill Park, also by Berkeley – there is an enviable 19 acres of protected woodland and fields adjoining the development. The sprawling Wimbledon Common isn’t far either – less than a mile away. Call 0203 7258 999 for more information on Chiswick Gate, and 020 8226 2126 for more information on Cedar Place.

Are you part of the 71% who agree a private garden is a property must-have? Every home at Hamilton Place in Oxfordshire is set within its own half-acre of beautiful, landscaped gardens, while May Tree House in Berkshire has landscaped gardens designed by award-winning Chelsea Flower Show medallist, Matt Keightley. Both are on the market with Haslams and you can reach the sales team on 0118 960 1000.

PHM celebrates the success of its inaugural social media training session

Social media has become increasingly widespread and important statistics from last year show that there are over 2.206 billion active social media users, which is a global penetration of 30%.

At PHM, we’ve always made sure that our expert property knowledge keeps up with the evolution of the online world and, as well as providing social media management services to over half of our PR clients, we have just launched our social media training sessions to help our clients become as well-versed as we are in this digital era!

Last week we were at Network Living HQ, where our Social Media Guru, Alex, provided a workshop for the marketing team on how to best utilise Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google, in order to reach customers and help their business grow.

Our social media training courses are tailored to the needs of the business, and include sections on:

  • Understanding your online business objectives
  • Bringing your business to life
  • The importance of monitoring and insights
  • Making direct contact with your customers and expanding your client base.

Research has shown that social media plays almost as big a role in purchasing decisions as does television, proving that successfully tapping into the social media market could have huge benefits for your business. If you’re looking to drive sales and improve your online presence with your very own social media training session, please contact Property House Marketing on 01483 561119 or e-mail danielle@housegroup.co.uk.

World Health Day has us thinking of places to stay happy and healthy

Thursday was World Health Day, an awareness day organised by the World Health Organisation to draw worldwide attention to global health, which has got us thinking about ways in which we can change our own lifestyle choices in order to stay as happy and healthy as possible.

For those of you who might have been doing the same (perhaps you are considering moving to a place that allows you to be more active or you are re-evaluating the way in which you work, and where you work, in order to improve your work/life balance) we thought we’d highlight two of our clients that promote and celebrate good health.

Graylingwell Park in Chichester, by Linden Homes, Affinity Sutton & HCA, is a great example of a development which offers a range of facilities and amenities to keep residents fit and healthy, such as:

  • 85 acres of beautiful parkland to explore – perfect for dog walking, jogging or playing sports
  • ‘The Lodge’ – an on-site cabin, which is host to regular yoga and dance classes
  • A communal grow garden where residents can grow organic fruit & vegetables
  • Dedicated cycle routes to key local areas to promote a healthier lifestyle.

On top of that, Graylingwell Park is one of the largest carbon-neutral developments in the UK, so it also ticks the box for those who also want to live in an environment that’s healthy too.

Graylingwell Park is just under a mile from the city centre and less than ten miles from the alluring South Coast. A diverse range of eco-friendly homes are priced from just £280,000 (available with Help to Buy). To arrange a visit to the show homes, contact Linden Homes on 01243 781494. For more information about buying a home through shared ownership, call Affinity Sutton on 0300 100 0303.

While it may be easy enough to stay healthy at home, staying healthy at work could prove to be a tad trickier.

Fetcham Park, a Grade II* Listed building of serviced offices, keeps employees happy and healthy, through an exciting range of services, such as:

  • Personal training sessions by The Health Quest
  • Yoga lessons by Yaur Yoga
  • Bespoke catering by Two Many Cooks, who will even make your dinner for you to take home
  • Health-conscious furniture, including height-adjustable desks and ergonomic desk chairs.

To find out the other perks of Fetcham Park, read our blog about employee motivation, or call Fetcham Park on 01372 371000.

Sales negotiator at Haslams completes gruelling 125-mile canoe race to raise funds for local charity

We’ve always known that our client, Haslams – a forward-thinking estate agent in Reading – goes the extra mile, but we recently discovered how literal this was when one of the sales team took part in a 125-mile canoe race for charity.

Gareth Hughes, a sales negotiator at Haslams, and his friend Chris Bucksey, a landscape gardener, raised just under £1,000 for ‘Ready, Emmy, Walk’, part of Just4Children, by competing in theDevizes to Westminster International Canoe Race.

The world-renowned endurance event has 77 portages and takes just over 24 hours to complete. Gareth and Chris travelled in a kayak from Devizes, in Wiltshire, to central London, just downstream of Westminster Bridge, opposite the Houses of Parliament.

Gareth explains: “The challenge was certainly gruelling. It was really hard work, but we finished it with a smile, coming in 34th place out of a total of 140 crews. Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported us so far. The great atmosphere and the comradery of the other paddlers, the friends, family and well-wishers that had come out into the cold and wet to support us was amazing. We hope to raise even more for Emmy.”

The money raised is going towards an overall fundraising target of £86,000, so that their friend’s 20-month-old daughter, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia, can receive life-changing surgery – Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) – to help her walk.

Steve Woodford, managing director at Haslams comments: “We’re incredibly proud of Gareth and Chris – they’ve completed a tough challenge and raised vital funds for a family friend in need. Donating towards this worthy cause is the least we could do, we wish the King family all the very best.”

To add to Gareth and Chris’ total, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/chris-bucksey.

To find out more about ‘Ready Emmy Walk’, visit https://www.justgiving.com/readyemmywalk.

Pelican Media showcases new property marketing app at off-plan launch of Landmark Place by Barratt London

A new property marketing app, designed and created by Pelican Media specifically for the iPad Pro, has been showcased for the first time. The app was displayed at a recent off-plan sales launch at Searcys at the top of The Gherkin to a crowd of prospective homebuyers.

The prestigious event was held by Barratt London for its Landmark Place development, which is located on the riverside by the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, and gave Pelican the first opportunity to see its new software in action as Barratt’s sales advisors met with potential buyers.

Tony Nicol, managing director at Pelican Media explains: “Our new app provides all the information sales advisers could possibly need about a new development at their fingertips. There are two major advantages to using our app, which sets us apart from other visual asset providers – firstly, the app is designed and branded to incorporate the project’s identity seamlessly, and secondly, it demonstrates just how intuitive the software is to use. This is just the beginning of our new software and we are very excited to see where it will go in the near future.

“We received a fantastic reaction at the sales launch, from the client, the sales agents – Knight Frank and Savills – and Barratt’s potential customers. Many people commented that they were impressed with the ease of use and the way in which the information was graphically presented.”

Gary Patrick, regional sales director for Barratt London, said: “Pelican Media is ahead of the game with its latest software. Sleek, informative and easy to use, it really does help the selling process as it engages interactively with the potential purchaser – we are delighted with the results.”

For more information about Pelican Media and its marketing solutions, including its specialised app software, please call Fiona Willson on 0845 519 2711 or email fiona.willson@pelican.gb.com.

Mondays shouldn’t be hated – stay motivated!

Yesterday (Thursday 26th February), was National Employee Motivation Day 2016, created to inspire passion and appreciation across the UK’s workforce. With a recent study by Willis Towers Watson showing that health issues have a negative effect on productivity, the need for a stress-free and motivated workforce is more important than ever.

One of our clients, Fetcham Park, offers the perfect remedy for unmotivated employees. The serviced offices, which recently featured in the Surrey Advertiser’s Homes & Property supplement, are a prime example of an office environment focused on motivating its clients and their employees.

Those working at Fetcham Park – a Grade II* listed building in Surrey – benefit from height-adjustable desks, ergonomic furniture, yoga lessons by Yaur Yoga, personalised desk-based stretching and strengthening programmes by The Health Quest, an informal break-out area, and a concierge service which offers car valeting and chauffeuring, and will run personal errands such as booking restaurants, dry cleaning and sourcing birthday gifts. The bespoke health-conscious catering by Two Many Cooks, even provides a healthy dinner to take home at the end of the working day – wiping out some of the stresses of home life too!

Workstations and desks can be rented from £450 pcm. For more information, please visit www.fetchampark.co.uk, contact Fetcham Park on 01372 371000 or email the house manager on victoria.stanton@fetchampark.co.uk.