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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!

Vista, Chelsea Bridge

Plush Party Pads, ideal for entertaining this festive season

With the festive season drawing in, a time synonymous with parties and entertaining, we’ve put together a roundup of homes which all benefit from beautifully designed open-plan living spaces and a range of unique features ideal for entertaining guests.

Host with the most….

West House, South Holmwood

On the market for £2.95m with Grantley

West House is a five bedroom, 5000 sq. ft. home in the secluded Surrey Hills location of South Holmwood, near Dorking. Featuring sublime proportions, this light and airy property was made for entertaining. The kitchen, dining room, drawing room, family room and entrance hall all have underfloor heating, floor to ceiling windows and large terraces, making this home the ideal party pad, plus the separate kitchenette can be used for catering dinner parties. The seller is also willing to pay the stamp duty, saving the buyer thousands.

Shere View House, Shere

On the market for £2.25m with Grantley

This five-bedroom, three-bathroom family home in Shere, Surrey (where classic Christmas film, The Holiday, was filmed) is set within a 0.9 acre plot with stunning views over the adjoining farmland and surrounding hills. Internally, the home comprises a vaulted entrance hall, drawing room, dining room, family room and study- so there’s plenty of room for entertaining guests. The drawing room boasts a cosy energy efficient wood burner which releases heat slowly through its cast iron shell, providing the perfect retreat at the end of the night. Externally, Shere View House benefits from a private gravelled driveway with space for eight cars, a detached ancillary accommodation with mezzanine level, kitchenette and bathroom as well as a detached heritage barn style garage, car port and garden/machinery store with a beautifully landscaped front garden.

Vista, Chelsea Bridge 

Prices for a one-bedroom apartment start from £895,000 and two-bedroom apartments from £1,220,000, developed by Berkeley Homes

Stylish and modern, Vista combines remarkable architecture, cosmopolitan homes and an irresistible London location – close to both the river and the greenery of Battersea Park. All of the apartments deliver private outside space in the form of a glass-fronted balcony, wraparound terrace or winter garden; with many offering beautiful views across Battersea Park or the iconic power station, a perfect backdrop to an evening of entertaining. Residents can burn off those extra calories after a night or two of indulgence in the luxury leisure suite which features a vitality pool, state-of-the-art gym and sauna.

 

If you’re a property developer or an estate agent looking to maximize coverage for your homes in the press and on social media, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help, on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

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:

Gold

Silver

Bronze

  • 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.

Awards

A home on the Downs

New on Property House Marketing’s books this month is this bespoke six-bedroom, four-storey house in Guildford, comprising over 6500 sq. ft., and benefitting from an enviable elevated position just a few yards from the North Downs in Surrey.

Alongside its picturesque views across the Downs and convenient location – just a 21-minute walk to Guildford train station – the sense of space at Northdowns Heights is what sets it apart from the rest. The home’s expansive living areas are designed not just for family living but for entertaining on a large scale too, with floor-to-ceiling glazing opening onto the rear terrace and extending this space in warmer weather.

The hub of the house is undoubtedly the sitting, dining and kitchen space, where each area is clearly defined and the dining and sitting rooms afford extensive views to the front and over the rear garden respectively. From the dining area, doors also open onto a large terrace from which the fabulous view over the Surrey Hills can be enjoyed over a morning coffee. There is also a formal dining room and study.

The leisure and entertaining space doesn’t stop there; on the lower ground floor there is a large gym and shower room as well as a media room that includes a fun bar area.

Externally, the expertise of award-winning landscape architect Kevin Murphy is clearly evident; his imaginative yet intuitive design of the rear garden uses a multi-layer approach, making the most of the space by creating distinctive, separate areas and providing a stunning backdrop for the home.

Northdowns Heights is on the market for £3.5m. For more information, or to arrange an appointment to view the property, please contact Hill Clements (01483 300300) or email info@hillclements.com.

Property House Marketing - Fireworks

3 ways to create fireworks with your PR content

Forget the gunpowder this 5th November, how can you make your press releases and pitches go off with a bang? Here at Property House Marketing, we don’t think that one size fits all, but there are definitely a few tricks (and treats) that continue to boost the success of your content and cut through the myriad of information that hits a journalist’s inbox every day.

Find your hook

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your new build home is, if it doesn’t have a story attached to it, it isn’t news. Think to yourself, why would a national property supplement want to use this particular home over all others? Make it part of the wider agenda to make it relevant. This is especially important in the digital age. Twitter is good for market research – use trending hashtags to be part of the bigger picture and reach a new audience.

Keep it brief

We appreciate there is plenty to say, and it’s great to give some detail. However, think about your own inbox. What catches your attention? It isn’t paragraphs and paragraphs of writing, that’s for sure. A couple of pictures will show off your product, and a list of bullets can provide some quick info, but treat this as your elevator pitch, and keep it brief.

What have you got, what makes it different/interesting/newsworthy, and why would a journalist want to write about it?

No need to shout

Capital letters in the subject line of an email don’t make you stand out, but they can make your beautifully-crafted content look like junk mail. What’s your USP, and what will appeal to the journalist? This should be your introduction. See above.

If you’re looking for someone to prepare you the press content that creates fireworks, give us a call on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

Shere View House - Grantley - Property House Marketing

Autumnal homes for the season

As the nights are drawing in and the cold weather fast approaching, we have picked a couple of our favourite homes perfect for the season, complete with cosy living rooms and fireplaces to smart, energy-efficient features to save on those winter bills.

 

Shere View House, Shere

Currently on the market for £2,250,000 

Shere View House is a five-bedroom, three-bathroom family home set within a 0.9 acre plot with stunning views over the adjoining farmland and surrounding hills. Internally, the home comprises a vaulted entrance hall, drawing room, dining room, family room, study, pantry and boot room. The drawing room features a cosy energy-efficient wood burner, which releases heat slowly through its cast-iron shell. Detached ancillary accommodation is set in the beautifully-landscaped gardens, featuring a mezzanine level, kitchenette and bathroom as well as a detached heritage barn-style garage, car port and garden/machinery store.

 

Northdowns Heights, Guildford 

Currently on the market for £3,500,000

Northdowns Heights is a beautiful four-storey family home of approximately 6,000 sq ft with extensive and truly spectacular views. It is ideally situated on a very popular residential road within walking distance of Guildford’s high street and train station (journey times to London Waterloo from around35 mins) and just a few yards from stunning countryside walks in the Surrey Hills. There is underfloor heating throughout with many hidden energy-efficient features including copper-pipe work and a sophisticated heat-recovery system. The home incorporates impressive entertaining space including a fitness suite, media room and bar on the lower ground floor; a drawing room, large family sitting/dining/kitchen with large bi-fold doors which open onto a large balcony to the front, and garden terrace at the rear.

 

If you’re an estate agent looking to maximize coverage for your homes in press and on social media, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team, to discuss how we can help, on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

Showhouse

An interview with PHM’s founder and MD Nikki Ackerley in this month’s Showhouse

If you happen to pick up a copy of this month’s Showhouse, check out the Supply Chain feature – you’ll spot an interview with our very own MD Nikki Ackerley which takes a look how PHM approaches PR and marketing for its clients, and how Nikki became “one of the best-known names in property PR”.

Nikki explains: “We offer a fully integrated PR approach, which includes digital marketing, social media, events, launches, managing community engagement consultations and exhibitions, copywriting for websites and other marketing collateral.

What sets us apart is that we don’t just churn out press releases – local papers just don’t have space anymore so social media is key in reaching local target markets; for the national press it’s all about relationships and knowing what journalists want and how and what they write about.

We won’t write an award entry without visiting the site, and we’re prepared to say if we don’t think it’s ready or good enough to enter. Equally we won’t write a press release if there isn’t a story.”

If you’d like to discuss how we can use our bespoke approach to meet your PR requirements, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team on 01483 561119.

 

Clever tricks and unexpected treats for Halloween

50% sold in a month: Demand is electric for Lovell’s townhouses in Enfield

The Electric Quarter in Enfield has created a buzz with homebuyers since its launch last month; with 50% already sold, just four, four-bedroom townhouses remain for sale and 14 three-bedroom townhouses are available. Developed by Lovell Homes and situated in an increasingly popular area of North London, these stylish, modern homes represent the last chance for potential homeowners to secure a townhouse at the development.

Prices start from £474,995 and all homes are available to purchase through London Help to Buy, which means buyers need just a five per cent deposit (£23,750) to be able to buy their own home; the Government lends 40 per cent of the home’s value (£189,998) – interest-free for five years – so a mortgage for only the remaining 55 per cent (£261,247) will need to be arranged.

When complete in 2019, The Electric Quarter will also include new community facilities including shops, a library and a nursery, as well as mature landscaping with attractive tree-lined avenues throughout the development.

Simone Dhanjal, regional sales director at Lovell Homes, said: “There has been substantial demand for our new townhouses in Enfield, mainly from first-time buyers as well as those moving up the property ladder; buyers include those previously living in a shared ownership home. London Help to Buy has enabled buyers to purchase a larger home with a smaller deposit, so it’s no surprise that we’ve already sold half the homes in just a month.”

The Eight is the four-bedroom showhome; it features a smart red-brick façade offset by dark grey roof tiles and Juliet balconies to the four upper-level windows. Internally there’s 1,420 sq ft of flexible space arranged over three levels, with floor-to-ceiling heights of a minimum of 2.5 metres. A large dining room spans the full width of the rear ground floor of the house, with French doors which open out to the garden. The open plan space leads into a kitchen, while a cloakroom and additional storage are accessed from the main hallway.

On the first floor is a well-proportioned living room and the master bedroom with an en suite bathroom. Three further bedrooms are on the second floor, together with a shower room. Bike storage and a parking space are located outside the front of the home.

From The Electric Quarter, navigating around town is easy; Ponders End Recreation Ground is 100 metres away, while a good range of restaurants, cafés and other amenities can be found on the high street. Enfield Retail Park, with its many furniture and DIY stores, popular restaurant chains and cinema, is within a mile of the development.

Also nearby is the Southbury Leisure Centre while Kingsmead School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form with academy status respectively. There is a number of good schools in the area, including Enfield County School, a girls’ comprehensive school (two miles away) and Lea Valley High School, Enfield’s first specialist sports college (three miles away).

If venturing into the City, Seven Sisters underground station is 4.5 miles away, providing access to King’s Cross in nine minutes and Oxford Circus in 13 minutes on the Victoria line. For road users, Junction 25 of the M25 is two miles north of the development.

For more information about The Electric Quarter, or to visit the showhome, please call the Lovell Homes marketing suite on 0203 811 3324 or visit their website here.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help your business, please head to our contact page here.

The Joy of Jargon

-By Chiara Lawrance, Account Manager at Property House Marketing

As a relative newbie to the property world, the abundance of industry jargon can seem like a minefield. In my first month here at Property House Marketing, I have come across a number of buzzwords in the media and in conversations with others in the industry. In most cases, these words are just an easy way of explaining very common situations for buyers, sellers and estate agents. Here is a list of my top five favourites so far:

  1. Flipper – Surprisingly, not the dolphin from the 1960s/1990s children’s film. It is a term referring to an investor who will buy a property and then sell it on quickly for a profit. There are two ways of doing this, either the investor will spend time renovating the property, or will leave it as it is and hope the market value increases.
  2. Tyre Kicker – Much to the annoyance of many an estate agent, this is someone who views properties without any intention to buy.
  3. Gazumping – In the current property climate there are often a number of eager potential buyers for one house. Gazumping occurs when a buyer accepts a higher price offer when they have an offer accepted on their property.
  4. Gazanging – A term used when a buyer takes their home off the market and decides to stay put, even though an offer has already been accepted.
  5. Gazundering – This occurs when a buyer reduces their offer just before contracts are exchanged. This leaves the seller in a difficult position and is intended to make them accept the lower offer in order to not prolong the process.

I’m not sure how many more words can follow on the ‘gaz’ theme, but it’ll be interesting to see what new phrases are coined over the next few months/ years. Of course, property isn’t the only industry to use its own jargon, but it certainly has the most intriguing names.

Get in touch with Property House Marketing for PR without the jargon. Call 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk

From virtual to reality: New showhome launch at Trinity Walk, Woolwich

Lovell Homes has launched its first showhome to showcase its superb collection of apartments at Trinity Walk, just a mile from the new Crossrail station in Woolwich. The two-bedroom show apartment gives potential homebuyers the first opportunity to see in person the high specification of the apartments, since their launch off-plan earlier this year.

Before the opening of the showhome, visitors to Trinity Walk’s marketing suite used Virtual Reality (VR) technology to ‘walk’ around a one and two-bedroom apartment and view different specifications options. In addition, Augmented Reality (AR) was created to help buyers visualise the new homes to an even greater extent, as the technology – downloaded as an app – enables the user to view the interiors and exteriors in 3D. Due to its popularity with visitors and recent purchasers, both technologies will remain.

Jonathan Goring, managing director at Lovell, said: “Although we’ve reached a construction milestone with the showhome to view, our VR showhome will continue to be incredibly useful; not only for our homebuyers wanting to visualise the development when its complete but also for our sales team who use it as a selling tool to be able to show the different specification choices and layouts of each apartment.”

The two-bedroom showhome is located in Viotti Heights, the first building to be completed at the development which comprises one, two and three-bedroom apartments. The showhome is typical of the new homes at Trinity Walk, boasting a spacious open-plan layout. The specification in the kitchen is excellent; Symphony kitchens are available in a choice of six finishes while a stainless steel Bosch oven and integrated fridge/freezer, dishwasher and washer/dryer are included as standard.

The living and dining area provides plenty of room for large furniture. This space is complemented by large near floor-to-ceiling windows, which floods the space with light, while a door leads to a balcony which will provide views over the new linear park once complete.

Both double bedrooms are spacious, with the master benefiting from an en suite shower room. A large bathroom is accessed via the generous hallway, which is also where a laundry room is located. This flexible space has also been dressed to include an office desk.

The new homes are part of the exciting £400 million Trinity Woolwich regeneration scheme. Development partners Lovell, PA Housing Group and The Royal Borough of Greenwich are transforming three ageing estates to create a desirable yet affordable place for city living. The project has already been shortlisted for three awards in this year’s National Housing Awards 2017 which includes Best Partnership, Best Marketing Campaign and Best Digital Marketing.

The ongoing regeneration in Woolwich has already seen the delivery of new green areas, office spaces and amenities and the arrival of Crossrail in 2018 will provide quicker journeys into the centre of London. With 12 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 £355000 for a one-bedroom apartment and London Help to Buy is available on all homes priced under £600,000, which means homebuyers will be able to secure a new home at Trinity Walk with just a 5 per cent deposit. The government will lend 40 per cent of the home’s value through a five year interest-free loan, so only a mortgage for the remaining 55 per cent will need to be arranged.

To visit the new showhome and experience the innovative VR show apartments, visit the sales and marketing suite off Sandy Hill Road which is open seven days a week from 10am – 5pm. To bring Trinity Walk to life on your mobile or tablet, download the Augmented Reality (AR) app by visiting www.trinitywalk-woolwich.com.

For all sales enquiries, please call Lovell Homes on 0208 003 9674.

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