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Facebook will favour family and friends over business content

– Harriet Bolt, Senior Account Manager at Property House Marketing

It’s been two weeks since Facebook introduced yet another change to its algorithms, and here at PHM we’ve taken the time to understand what the changes could mean for us as marketers. Until now, content from businesses appeared roughly the same number of times as content from friends and family on  the standard Facebook news feed. However, with fake news on the rise and causing scepticism towards business-led posts. Mark Zuckerburg has decided to give the power back to the people, with content from friends and family to appear much more often.

The change is part of Mr Zuckerburg’s new ‘meaningful interaction’ campaign. In his announcement, he said: “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect”.

In essence, if your company posts aren’t engaging, they are not going to appear as often as posts from friends and family which always attract a lot of interaction in the form of likes and comments.

If you think this is a bombshell of an update, fear not. This change is only in relation to organic content (posts which have no advertising spend behind them). It will not affect the algorithms associated with ‘boosted’ content (posts with advertising spend that enable you to target content to a specific audience).

Therefore, we believe the update gives us, and our clients using Facebook for business, three opportunities:

  • Get inspired by the new change, prioritising boosted content but with an emphasis on quality not quantity. If you can really drill down to who your target audience is, you shouldn’t need to spend money boosting your campaign to a wide audience, or setting up multiple campaigns with the same message for the sake of it, which can be costly. Organise one, or a few, well thought-out posts a month which reach your desired audience effectively and prevent you falling into a trap of posting repetitive and expensive content.
  • Limit the number of organic posts you post from a Facebook business page – but don’t stop it completely. Facebook’s changes are a chance to get inspired, and create truly engaging content. Rather than ‘sell sell sell’, why not start a Q&A every week, or post a competition asking for comments as entries?
  • Be more creative in the way you distribute content. If Facebook is prioritising human interaction between users, why not consider new ways to reach a target audience through Facebook and other social media channels, without posting directly through your company page? This is where influencers (individuals that have influence over potential buyers, often with a large fan base/following) come in, who regularly post truly engaging content, mainly in the form of images and videos, reviewing products or showcasing their interaction with a business.

At PHM, we believe using social media as part of a wider PR strategy can only be effective if we’re keeping up to date with the latest changes to utilise its tools effectively, adjusting how content is delivered in order to get the best results.

If you’d like find out more or to know how to get the most of your social media strategy, call us on 01483 561119.

PHM looks back on 2017

2017: The beginning of the end?

By Lisa Flounders, Account Director, Property House Marketing

2017 could well be the year that the property market started to go into reverse – after years of rising house prices, the lack of affordable housing isn’t just affecting those who are struggling to get onto the property ladder, but also those trying to sell their homes in London and the South East as the pool of possible buyers shrinks.

But what of PR? The past 12 months have seen a real shift in the way businesses communicate. Political leaders have been taking social media matters into their own hands, taking responsibility for their own digital marketing as opposed to hiding behind a slick team of experts. Sometimes it works, as the UK election campaign is anything to go by, and sometimes (no need to mention names), the results are highly controversial. The ethics of communications have also been pushed into the spotlight this year as one of the largest and most well-know PR firms in the world found itself in the center of a scandal, perhaps casting doubt on the reputation of an industry that often exists to protect reputations.

However, the need for consistent, strong and transparent communications remains vital. Efficient and effective PR management and guidance plays a dual role – simultaneously sharing the story and considering the risks. Great PR will see your message distributed to your target audiences cautiously but confidently, ensuring that the perception of your product in the minds of your stakeholders is unshakeably positive.

Times may well be a changin’, but PR remains central to a successful communications strategy and will continue to be so, especially if the waters get choppy.

Its been a busy year, for us and for the property industry; we very much look forward to seeing what 2018 will bring but until then, Merry Christmas!

Pearmain Court

No sign of an economic slowdown as Newcourt Residential’s luxury development Pearmain Court sells out in Surrey

While the luxury housing market in London and the South East is slowing, Newcourt Residential has bucked the trend at Pearmain Court – its collection of premium family homes minutes from the village of Claygate in Surrey – where every luxury property, with prices ranging from £2 million to £2.8 million, has now been sold.

Comprising a collection of five luxury bespoke houses, each gated, Pearmain Court reflects the high-quality specification and exceptional attention to detail for which Newcourt is well known.

Anouar Elkhadraoui, Land and Sales Director at Newcourt Residential, comments: “It is clear that the market for high-price homes is slowing in central London, with the fear of Brexit and the onerous stamp duty having a negative effect, and most people expect this to spread across the Home Counties. However, this has not been the case at Pearmain Court where a number of our buyers have chosen to leave London – deciding not to wait and see – and moved to superb, traditionally-styled family homes in Surrey with fast transport links into the city yet the countryside on their doorstep.

“If the house or apartment is the right one, offering classic design and a superior finish, homeowners still want to purchase in the county. This approach has meant that Newcourt Residential has been able to deliver record sales for the first six months of our financial year.”

A number of new homes remain available in Kent and East Sussex with sites in Surrey and Berkshire launching soon.

For buyers looking for a home further east, Wadhurst Place in Wadhurst, East Sussex provides a selection of elegant apartments set in a Grade II listed manor house and 26 newly-built luxury family houses, situated within 18 acres of parkland and offering views across The Weald. Royal Tunbridge Wells is an 18-minute drive from Wadhurst village, while trains to this historic market town take just 9 minutes. Prices at Wadhurst Place start at £475,000.

The Oaks, in the countryside village of Sutton Valence, Kent, provides a selection of exclusive family homes, incorporating eight five-bedroom and one four-bedroom house. The area is renowned for its excellent schools and is a 37-minute drive from the international travel opportunities at Folkestone’s Eurostar terminal. Prices at The Oaks start at £975,000 for a detached, five-bedroom house.

New homes are also available in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, with developments in Guildford and Windsor soon to launch. For more information on Newcourt Residential’s new homes, or to visit a showhome, call 01372 237888 or visit

WhatHouse? Awards

PHM’s clients scoop 12 wins at the WhatHouse? Awards 2017

The WhatHouse? Awards is always a highlight in the property calendar, and for us it was a particularly brilliant way to round off the year, as 12 of the 21 entries we prepared on behalf of our clients scooped a prize at this year’s ceremony. A whopping six of those entries won gold, and Berkeley Group went on to take home Housebuilder of the Year 2017 – the overall prize of the night, picked from that year’s submitted entries.

Our clients won the following prizes at the ceremony:




  • Clissold Quarter by Higgins Homes for Best Starter Homes Scheme
  • Vista by Berkeley Central London for Best Apartment Scheme

As always, it’s been a busy year for PHM writing and designing the WhatHouse? Award entries, and we were absolutely thrilled to celebrate our clients’ success at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday 17 November.

Awards are a brilliant tool for marketing and promotion, offering a respected third-party endorsement as well as the prestige of industry recognition. If you’re considering entering awards next year for a development or project of which you’re particularly proud but not sure where to start, speak to the PHM team today on 01483 561119.


Rotary Christmas Boxes

We’re spreading some Christmas cheer…

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas in the PHM office. Much like last year we wanted to get involved with a worthy cause and spread some festive cheer, which is why we’ve taken part in the Rotary International Shoebox Scheme for the second year running.

Determined to surpass the 25 ‘shoebox’ style boxes we managed to fill last year, the team – along with relatives and friends – signed up for 40 boxes; these are now filled to the brim with toys, treats, clothes and household items ready to be delivered to families across Eastern Europe.

Since the scheme launched in 1994, the Rotary has distributed over one million boxes to people internationally.

The scheme runs all year round, so if you’d like to order your own boxes head to the Rotary website:

Let’s see if we can beat 40 boxes next Christmas!

Are you ready for So Resi?

This week marked the exciting launch of the website for So Resi; the brilliant new brand for shared ownership homes by Thames Valley Housing (TVH).

Having found misconceptions and lack of understanding often prevent people from taking advantage of shared ownership, TVH created So Resi with the aim to improve understanding, change perception and increase awareness of shared ownership and break down the barriers to home ownership.

The new website is designed with ease and functionality in mind, and has a fresh, presentable look to reinforce the clear and concise messaging of the new brand, which gets rid of the confusing jargon and explains shared ownership in clear and understandable terms.

Buying a So Resi property is simple: you start by buying between 25 per cent and 75 per cent of your home. That means your monthly mortgage payments and deposit are smaller than they would be if you bought your home outright. There’s also a monthly So Resi payment for the share of your home that you don’t own. The deposit needed to purchase your share can be as little as five per cent and you’ll have the opportunity to buy more shares over time, increasing your ownership.

Take a look at the new website to find out more about shared ownership, and for a sneak peek at the new So Resi homes coming soon:


Signal failure: the importance of being connected

-Nikki Ackerley, Managing Director at Property House Marketing

I’ve seen a lot said about the positive impact of Crossrail on the prices of homes. I’ve seen even more said about the ongoing failure of train companies to provide a service that isn’t hampered by signal failure. Transport connections have always had an enormous influence on house prices, but it seems that another kind of connection jostling for position of top priority is high speed internet.

The Berkeley Group has recently announced its plans to ensure all of its sizeable new housing developments – which is most of them – are connected with ‘full-fibre’ technology. Customers now expect high-speed broadband to be available from the day they move in, and Berkeley believes buyers are put off purchasing if this isn’t a part of the offer.

The issue goes further, especially in leafy Surrey. I’ve been witness to my daughter-in-law moving into her new home to find that, unless she stands at the end of the road waving her mobile aloft, she can’t send an old-fashioned text message, let alone make a phone call. What’s more, the height of the surrounding tees makes neither Virgin or Sky viable either. However, a decent broadband connection and the use of the right apps for communication and TV streaming now negates the need for a new pylon to remedy this.

It seems that the usual checklist for moving into a new home could do with a refresh. While we’re used to choosing carpets and kitchens, and checking the EPC rating on our new home, perhaps more developers need to follow Berkeley’s lead and consider what’s important to buyers in the digital age.

I had the pleasure of meeting Philip Hammond recently, who reinforced his belief that productivity lies at the root of many of the solutions to better fiscal security; our infrastructure, including broadband connection has a big part to play in this.

While high speed railways are a vital component in the house-buying decision, high speed broadband is becoming the top priority for buyers now.


External CGI of Trinity Walk. Woolwich by Lovell Homes

Terrific townhouses now available at Trinity Walk, Woolwich

A range of contemporary three-bedroom townhouses, located just a mile from the future Crossrail station in Woolwich, is now available for sale at Trinity Walk by Lovell Homes. This milestone follows on from the successful off-plan launch of the apartments earlier this year with over 65% homes in the first two buildings released already sold; many through London Help to Buy.

Trinity Walk is the first phase of a £400 million Trinity Woolwich regeneration scheme being created by development partners Lovell, asra Housing Group and The Royal Borough of Greenwich. Three ageing housing estates are being transformed into a desirable place for city living.

Jonathan Goring, managing director at Lovell Homes, said: “It’s an exciting time to be building new homes in Woolwich. The development is shaping up at such a pace that we’re opening our first showhome later this month which will enable homebuyers to see first-hand the spacious rooms and high specification a home at Trinity Walk will include. Previously, our Virtual Reality (VR) ‘immersive dome’ has been instrumental in helping potential purchasers envision the new homes.

“The technology enables homebuyers the chance to ‘walk’ around the apartments while viewing different specification options, and will continue to do so when the showhome is launched.”

The development comprises one, two and three-bedroom apartments and a collection of three and four-bedroom townhouses, a selection will be wheelchair adapted; all completed to the same high-quality specification.

The ongoing regeneration in Woolwich has already led to the delivery of new green areas, office space and amenities. The arrival of Crossrail in 2018 will provide quicker journeys into the centre of London; with 12 train services an hour, passengers from Woolwich will be able to reach Canary Wharf in eight minutes, Liverpool Street in 14 minutes and Bond Street in just 22 minutes.

Prices start from £650,000 for a three-bedroom townhouse. The one and two-bedroom apartments are priced from £320,000. To experience the in

novative Virtual Reality show apartments, visit Lovell Homes’ sales and marketing suite off Brookhill Road (SE18 6UU), which is open seven days a week from 10am – 5pm. Customers can bring Trinity Walk to life on their mobile or tablet by downloading the Augmented Reality (AR) app on

For all sales enquiries, please call Lovell Homes on 0203 247 4762.



Three reasons why awards are a valuable addition to your marketing strategy…

Awards season is in full swing for the property industry, and for PHM and our clients. We’ve prepared over 1,316 award entries in our time, with 1 in 3 of them going on to win the top prize, but we’re aware that awards need to be about far more than a pat on the back. A tailored awards strategy is a valuable addition to a wider marketing plan – we’ve taken a look at why you should be entering your developments or projects for awards this year.

  1. Third party endorsement

A winning award entry, or even a commendation or shortlist position, can provide the same gravitas as a great piece of editorial – a recognised and respected endorsement of your product by a third party with no vested interest. The power of such an endorsement cannot be underestimated, it is the reason why media relations is such a key part of marketing strategies, showing your customers that people besides yourselves consider your product to be better than the competition.

  1. Industry recognition and awareness

Successful marketing isn’t just about the end buyer, and the same applies to an awards entry. Few of us work in isolation, especially in the property industry, and having the right contacts can make the difference between a good development and a great one. Winning an award, especially on a large-scale platform, shows your future partners why you are a step above the rest. What’s more, the networking opportunity at national competitions provides the chance to rub shoulders with your potential partners.

  1. Brand reinforcement

Of course, the most important component of an award entry is indisputably the development, home or project in question. However, as with all marketing channels, consistency of message and brand reinforcement is paramount. Your award is not just an award, but another tool in your kit with which to promote and market your product.

At PHM, we research, write and design award entries on behalf of our clients for property, building and business awards at a local, national and international level. We can prepare one-off entries or create a long-term strategy for multiple entries, targeting the right categories and competitions at the right time for your project. If awards are something you’d like to consider as part of your marketing strategy, or you are wondering whether your developments or projects are suitable, call the PHM team on 01483 561119 to find out how we can help.


Did you know the average person spends 115 hours just searching for something to watch on Netflix…

PHM was in attendance at the WXG (Web Expo Guildford) conference last week listening to a fantastic line up of inspiring speakers from a wide range of creative and technical companies, discussing the digital age.

Hosts Kyan and Livewire provided a stimulating range of perspectives, covering topics from human behaviour in relation to buying trends to how augmented reality and virtual reality will soon become incorporated as a technological tool into new industries, such as the healthcare industry.

Did you know…

  • The average person checks technological devices 221 times a day, equating to approximately 8.41hrs spent on screens… that’s more time than most people spend sleeping.
  • ‘Cool Dad’ syndrome is the term coined to describe inappropriate terminology used by brands trying to seem ‘cool’ and ‘down with the kids’, which ultimately has the opposite effort as brands are then seen as unauthentic.
  • The average person spends 115hrs (that’s five days a year!) just searching for something to watch on Netflix.
  • Only 11% of people have tried VR technology.

We remain firm ‘Beliebers’ that the importance of ever-evolving technology and of high quality content can’t be underestimated when conveying a message effectively.

If you have a project you need help with or would like to increase your social media presence, please give us a call on 01483 561119 and we can chat about how our services could help to achieve your goals.

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