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A week with JDG

Monday, We actually love Mondays!


My ducks

Or is that I love Mondays? After all it’s generally may day off! I always intend to have a sleep in on a Monday but for some reason the older I get, the earlier I seem to rise. Maybe it’s these lighter mornings, or maybe it’s the fact that I have ducks that have landed in my garden and are busy quacking away desperate to be fed!

Given the fact it’s the Easter holidays, the offices are a tad short staffed. Vicky the rentals manager is now off and Pete, one of our senior sales negotiators is returning today having had a glorious week off. Pete’s always jammy. I can guarantee you, when he’s off the sun will shine but for me… Right now I’m getting rain! 

It’s rather strange but generally during the Easter break the phones are quieter. Not this Easter, it’s ringing that much I am being told they are struggling to answer it in our 4 ring policy. Not that we are complaining. 10 new valuations booked but more importantly several offers received.

You may be wondering how I know all this. It’s all down to our Vebra web based software which means I can spy, sorry check, or is that I can just be nosey and see what our office is up to from pretty much anywhere I am. Isn’t technology great!

Tuesday. Training. An early start for all.

Poor Mr JDG, he’s left on the shop floor manning both the office and all the phones whilst the rest of us join our Vebra Alto training session. Soon we will officially have the most advanced software system in the country and something none of our competitors will even have the chance of having for the next few months. We really are honoured to be selected to be the training / beater tester partners for a brand new cloud based system. Exciting times. The overview looks great. We ask lots of questions ( ok, maybe that’s I ask lots of questions ) but the excellent outcome is that every member of the team is enthused about it. Phew!

It’s 10.30 am and Mr JDG has coped just fine ( without the need to wear is underpants on the outside ). Of course, he’s just showing off when he lets us all know about the sales he’s just agreed and the extra viewings he booked. Well we are all back. Viewers head out, valuers are on the way and our sales chasers are back on the phones. The office nespresso machine is on.

For me it’s a few phone calls to make, check on the progress of our new website and then out for 5 valuations including a lovely lady moving to Huddersfield, which just happens to be my home town. Instruction gained. Now you may think I had an unfair advantage. Maybe I did!

We gained a couple of more properties. Home staging advice was needed at one property ( I left him with plans to paint his front door and a telephone number of a gardener ) and I hope desperately to gain another instruction on an immaculate 4 bed detached house. It’s beautiful. I know it will sell quick. I am confident I actually have a buyer for it. Wish me luck!

Picture 1

Pinewood Close, One of the sales agreed today

On the sales front 2 offers have come in already from today’s viewings. A ground floor garden flat in a period building in the heart of the city and a bungalow in the Lune Valley. Even better both offers have been accepted.

Anyway, Vicky the rentals manager is still off so I best go and make sure everything is ok and that the landlords are paid they rent on time! Admin to do…

Wednesday. A day of meetings

Wednesday is most probably my worst day of the week. It always seem to be the quieter one. The one which means less appointments so there’s the time to catch up on the paperwork, see reps and sort out problems.

Pulling my hair out at BT

Pulling my hair out at BT

This morning was the BT man. This morning I pulled my hair out. Now I don’t wish to bore you, but this as been on going for over year. In March 2012 my BT bill was roughly what is normally is. By April it had doubled. By May it had trebled. We are now 2013 and we are still trying to sort it out. I’ll be honest, I knew calls were no greater. We actually use email more. I even thought the worse of my team and checked for premium rate numbers. This is the despair they drove me too. But finally having complained for over year they have identified that I have been mistaken for one of the largest corporate companies in the UK. I wish I was! Finally a local BT man has come to see me. I find myself repeating myself for approximately the 30th time but hopefully now I am getting somewhere.Back to business. Gained my first instruction there and then. A really nice 2 bed terrace in Moorlands. should sell no problems. Perfect for the first time buyer or buy to let market. Next two appointments were great diary planning. Two completely unrelated houses, next door to each other. Try going from one to the other with out telling them. Think I managed it!

In the office it’s been a very productive day. Lots of viewings booked. A house we’ve been trying to negotiate a sale on for about 2 weeks has just been agreed ( Don’t you just love bitter divorces ) and we’ve just been to do photos’s on two new properties on our very first co-housing development. I’ll tell all about co-housing later.

Thursday.  Offers, offers, offers and the day it’s good to be bad!

You know it’s a good day when the phone is ringing and offers are being made.  After all selling houses is what it’s all about.  We’ve had several offers come in.  Which all being well can only mean sales ( with a bit of negotiation by Mr JDG of course ).

For me it’s a meeting with our Rightmove Rep.  Time to go through our performance figures ( all great news, but we already knew that ) although Sam does quite rightly point out that when comes to price reductions we are one of the worst agents in the town.  Always one to argue my corner, I point out that if we are selling homes and are accurate pricing, surely it’s good to be bad?  That flummoxes her!  We do agree though to arrange some training with the team.  We like training, even if its only refresher training.

The viewers are out all day and we have a 3 new properties all requiring detail preparation.  Luckily the sun is shining which is always a bonus for us!  Emma unfortunately reports that she is struggling to get in a house.  It’s a newly cut key so we must get that sorted.  We can’t be struggling to get in when we are showing buyers around.

I have 4 valuations.  Two of the clients we have had previous dealings with which always makes life easier.  Lets face it, if they have used us before, they must be happy. Today’s valuations need a bit of home staging advice and I have recommended that two homes do a bit of decorating to help their saleability.  I do like though that a little 2 bed terrace has some lovely window boxes. It really does give the home better kerb appeal. I make a mental note to pinch this idea for other homes.

Example of Nicotine Staining.

I go in another house.  This time it’s empty and the owner has given me a set of keys. I can smell the nicotine before I enter.  The walls which should be white are brown.  The owner has asked me prior…. Should I redecorate?  He thinks his tenants might have smoked.  THINK?  Re-decoration is a must if he wants to maximise his price.  A lesson learnt and one for all landlords.  If you manage the property yourself, please check it or ideally use an Estate Agent!

10 houses sold and it’s still only Friday

Mr JDG is on a roll.  Our mission has been to sell 1 house for every day of the month. We are now ahead of target.  There’s more offers in negotiations and a diary full of viewings booked for today, tomorrow and in to next week.

I’ve had a 4 valuations booked in today.  What a refreshing change.  Clients who have actually stressed they want to sell, who have actually queried my valuation and suggested it should be lower.  Normally I get people wanting more not less! I do have some concerns though that one client is far too low with his own opinion.  All of my comparable’s and our companies own recent house sales suggest it should be higher. He is of sane mind. I guess we shall wait and see what he decides. I can only advice.

Darren, one of our viewers his happy. He’s done 7 viewings and obtained 3 offers. Fantastic conversion rate.  He’s also happy as he’s out the Chinese tonight with friends. It’s eat all you can so he’s made sure he’s had a light lunch.  Typical bloke!

My only problem now is a new tenant who’s rent is overdue and just happens to not be answering the phone.

Saturday’s, the day most people hate working but when you’re in property one of the best days of the week and not just because we get to finish at 4pm!

Saturday’s are generally busier days and have a bit more a buzz about them, even if they do attract a few odd bods!

Take today, I’ve had a client who was so scared about meeting me he had to drop a key off whilst we were closed so I could value is house whilst they were out ( apparently the showing me around process would have been too stressful ) and an older lady who I really think needs help mentally!  After all who decides they want to move to Morecambe after last visiting as a child on holiday?  She wanted a driven tour of the area, advise as to where on the prom she could have her picnic ( the weather is approx 1 degree and raining ) and was miffed that we did not know the bus timetables off hand! On top of that she kept returning!  Talk about testing our patience.  She claims she needs to move Bath to get away from foreign nationals…. As I said, maybe she has “issues”

We’ve also discovered today that we have a regular visitor.  For weeks our bin bags have been gnawed and the treats left out on our mice trap vanishing with no sign of a culprit. Today however Pete heard the pitter patter of tiny feet, John found the chewed bin bag and called me to see. Then on lifting the bin bag the worlds biggest rat ran taking the shortest route to safety over Johns foot and only inches from me!  I moved so fast I could have beaten Hussain Bolt at the 100m.  The hole we have now found has been filled, courtesy of expandable foam although looking at our DIY job there’s more foam over John and the floor than the whole!

Number of houses sold this week

Back to work, despite the odd bods ( we’ve also had a client who wanted to rent a flat. He does not want to pay whilst he’s on holiday, nor does he wish to pay more than £150pcm ) we’ve had a productive day.  The windows have been completely changed over but importantly we have finished the week with 12 property sales.  Well done team JDG even if I say so myself.

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