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The Regulation of Property Agents

In July 2019, the Regulation of Property Agents (RoPA) Working Group submitted a recommendation to Government setting out how letting and estate agents could and should be regulated in the future. Estate agents currently do not need to be licensed or hold a qualification to be able practice in the industry, and so this is a long overdue and welcomed development.

For many years, the property industry has faced widespread criticism over the lack of regulation and subsequent bad practice this can cause; therefore the recommendation will protect consumers and improve the home buying and selling process for all.

The recommendation calls for an independent regulator, licensing for all agents, a new code of practice and mandatory qualifications for all, irrespective of experience. The full report can be found here.

So, when is this happening and how will it affect homeowners, landlords, tenants, and businesses?

Whilst the recommendation by RoPA is still just a proposal at this stage, it is understood that this has already been signed off by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, and it is likely to form the basis of legislation in the near future. Once this legislation is passed, all agents will be given a set time frame to become compliant.

 Qualifications

The recommendation of the working group is that all customer facing agents should be able to demonstrate the knowledge and skills equivalent to a relevant Level 3 qualification, which is equivalent to an A-Level. Company Directors and management staff should achieve a Level 4 qualification. By requiring all staff to hold a qualification, this will bring Property Agents in line with other regulated professions and raise consumer confidence.

A relevant qualification will be required irrespective of discipline or experience, and thus there will be no exemptions. Whilst this may seem unfair or unnecessary in some cases, for example where an agent has been successfully working in the industry for 40+ years, the view of the working party is that it is important that this sets a benchmark for all going forward, and all staff should demonstrate that they are compliant with current legislation.

Many agents who already hold a Level 3 Qualification or higher may be wondering whether this will be compliant under the new regulations. Until the regulator has set the syllabus it is not possible to say for sure, however it is understood that if a candidate holds an OFQUAL regulated qualification at the relevant level, they will have a significant head start.

Whilst the recommendation only applies to agents, there is a firm belief that once this is rolled out, in time it will extend to Landlords too.

In reference to the final report from the ROPA Working Group, David Cox, Chief Executive ARLA Propertymark commented:

These are substantial changes which will require agents to start making preparations now to ensure that they are well placed for when these proposed qualification requirements are introduced. While we anticipate that the need for property qualifications will be phased in, we advise agents to get ahead of the competition and to stand out by adopting the new requirements early. Propertymark can support you and your organisation both with getting qualified and preparing for regulation.”

As a forward thinking and proactive agency, Sheldon Bosley Knight support this call for a regulated industry and we have begun preparations for every member of  staff to become qualified in line with this initiative.  

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How to make 2020 your most sustainable Christmas yet

With Christmas just around the corner, we often get caught up the magic and excitement, with little consideration for the impact that our choices have on the environment. A 2017 study found that Britons dispose of approximately 108 billion rolls of wrapping paper and fill almost 100 million black bags with toys and gifts each year. However, from plant based glitter, to rent-a-tree services, it is now easier than ever to make small changes in your Christmas buying habits and have the most eco-friendly Christmas yet.

Here are 5 simple ways to make your Christmas more sustainable this year.

  1. Sustainable gift wrapping

Making your presents look beautiful under the tree while we ponder as to what’s inside leading up to big day, is one of the best parts of the Christmas. Nevertheless, we can make our presents look beautiful AND be sustainable. More than half of us already re-use last year’s wrapping paper however, many rolls contain non-recyclable elements such as plastic, foil and glitter. Try using brown paper or eco-friendly wrapping paper that can be reused and recycled instead, or why not shred your wrapping paper and use it as protective packaging for future gifts?

If you want to know if your paper can be recycled, just use the scrunch test! Scrunch the paper in your hands into a tight ball and then let it go. If it starts to unfold, it is likely to contain non-recyclable material. If it keeps its shape, it can be recycled!

  1. Rent a tree

Contrary to popular belief, it is actually far more sustainable to buy a real Christmas tree than it is to buy a reusable, artificial alternative. Whilst it is true that several million real trees will be disposed of every year, a recent study concluded that for a fake tree to be more sustainable it would have to be used for at least 20 years.

Why not go one step further and rent a real tree from a British farm? Companies such as bctga.co.uk and growninbritain.org can be used to find a local supplier. Many firms now offer the option to have a tree delivered to your door to decorate and care for over the festive period, they’ll then pick it up and replant it in January.

  1. Re-usable advent calendar

Investing in a wooden advent calendar rather than a disposable shop-bought one each year is not only a quick win for the planet, but it can also be a thoughtful Christmas gift that can be personalised and kept forever.

 

  1. Make sure you use LED lights

Whether you just use fairy lights to decorate the tree or create a luminous winter wonderland, using LED lights instead of traditional fluorescent/incandescent lights is a great way to be more energy efficient this Christmas. The solar Electric Power Company explained that 95% of the energy in LEDs is converted into light and only 5% is subsequently lost as heat. By comparison, fluorescent lights convert just 5% of energy into light with the remaining 95% being wasted as heat. Whilst LED lights can be more expensive than the alternatives, they will last longer and make a better long-term investment.

 

  1. Plan ahead and cut down on food waste

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without having one too many pigs and blankets and immediately regretting it, right? However, a staggering amount of food goes to waste every year as hosts over buy and end up throwing leftovers away. There are great options for reusing leftovers on boxing day; for example, making bubble and squeak, turkey gumbo, or creamy mac and cheese from a leftover cheese board.

Sustainable food buying habits begin much before dinnertime, it is also about where we get our food from. Buying organic food is the best way to ensure that harmful pesticides haven’t been used in the growing process. Moreover, sourcing food from local suppliers and farmers markets is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of your Christmas dinner. There are also small changes you can make if buying from a supermarket, for example choosing loose veg rather than packaged alternatives.

Have you got any more tips to make 2020 the most sustainable Christmas yet? Let us know!

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Timothy Lea & Griffiths Evesham Rebrands to Sheldon Bosley Knight

On August 1st 2020, we officially rebranded our Timothy Lea & Griffiths branch into a Sheldon Bosley Knight estate agency. 

In August two years ago, Sheldon Bosley Knight were delighted to acquire the Evesham based business Timothy Lea & Griffiths (TLG). As the TLG brand had been established in 1991 and was a trusted and respected name in the Evesham community, we decided to retain the branding. However, with our Pershore office opening just a few miles up the road this month and our Evesham staff sporting our branded gilets, our association is clear to see. We decided that it was the right to bring the name, look and feel in line with our other offices. 

From a customer service point of view, nothing is changing – you’ll just see our bright blue Sheldon Bosley Knight shop front on Merstow Green. Our dedicated Sales and Lettings team will continue to provide the same outstanding level of customer service, industry expertise and local knowledge to help you along your property journey. We will continue to work on enhancing our service and retain our hard-earned top position in the town.

Mike Cleary, Director, said: 

     “It’s a really exciting time for Sheldon Bosley Knight and the re-brand of TLG is a natural next step. We are most proud that all staff and customers have stayed with us since the change of ownership. In the last two years, we have continued to invest heavily in our Evesham office, introducing market leading systems to better support our staff so that they may raise and exceed customer expectations. The business has continued to prosper, best demonstrated  in June, when we achieved 97.7% of asking prices for property sales and let almost all of our landlords’ properties. I’m confident that the branch rebrand will cement our number one position in the town.” 

Sheldon Bosley Knight now has seven offices across Warwickshire and Worcestershire, with over 100 years of land and property experience in the area. For further information or to kick start your property journey, call our Evesham branch on 01386 444900 or pop in and see our friendly team! 

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Nik Kyriacou Joins Sheldon Bosley Knight as Business Development Manager

We are delighted to welcome Nik Kyriacou to Sheldon Bosley Knight, in the brand new role of Business Development Manager. Joining us from Reeds Rains in Leamington Spa, Nik has over a decade of experience in local estate agency and will be helping colleagues across all seven of our offices. Nik is one of a number of new hires we’ve made as the business continues to grow and we look forward to Nik’s input in making the Sheldon Bosley Knight even stronger. We asked Nik a few quick fire questions to get to know him:

What skills are you bringing to the business?

A customer-centric approach with a wealth of experience and networks across Warwickshire.

What was your first job in the property industry?

Trainee Sales Negotiator, that was about 13 years ago now.

What attracted you to working in estate agency?

I love the opportunity to meet so many new People, the charm of a property and never doing the same thing every day at work.

What attracted you to joining Sheldon Bosley Knight?

I liked that Sheldon Bosley Knight is a multifaceted company, it’s a fantastic brand and is going in a really exciting direction right now.

Which local restaurant would you recommend?

La Coppola in Leamington.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given about business?

To make sure the customer always leaves happy!

Where in the world would you most like to live and what style of property would you live in?

Cyprus, where I have family roots. I’d live in a huge, modern villa made of glass, right on the beach.

Which celebrity’s house would you most like to view?

Michael Jordon’s.

Welcome to the team, Nik!

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Meet the Team: Amelia, Sales Negotiator

With the opening of our new Pershore branch, we are proud to welcome Amelia Cox to the team as a Sales Negotiator.

What was your first job in the property industry?

I started my career in the property industry just over a year ago as a sales negotiator, having previously worked in hospitality. I was apprehensive about this career change, but I can honestly say that I’ve never looked back! 

What attracted you to working in sales?

I have always loved working in a customer-facing role as I thoroughly enjoy helping clients with their queries, so a sales position suits me perfectly.

Sum up your job in 3 words?

Rewarding, enjoyable, sociable!

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given about estate agency?

Don’t be a pushy sales person!

Where in the world would you most like to live and what style of property would you live in?

I would love to live anywhere that has better weather than the UK! My ideal property would be an older house with a modern twist.

Which celebrity’s house would you most like to view?

Frodo Baggins as I don’t think I would have to duck to go through the doorway!

Which local bar would you recommend?

Anywhere that has a good gin selection.

Which TV shows have you binge watched during lockdown?

Tiger King and Money Heist. I had been learning Spanish throughout lockdown so I tried (failed) to watch Money Heist in Spanish without the English subtitles!

Welcome to the team, Amelia!

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Meet the Team: Amy, Sales Manager

We are delighted to introduce Amy Lewis, Sales Manager for the brand new Sheldon Bosley Knight office in Pershore!

What was your first job in the property industry? 

I began working as a Sales Negotiator about seven years ago, based at an estate agency in the Cotswolds. 

What attracted you to working in sales? 

I was actually approached by my estate agent while I was viewing a house! My partner was being really negative about the property and I was pointing out all the positives and coming up with reasons we should get the house. She thought I would make a great estate agent with my persuasive personality and the next day I had a call from head office asking me to join them!

What have you enjoyed most about your time so far at Sheldon Bosley Knight? 

My first week has been so exciting! I’ve really enjoyed joining such a big team and being surrounded by people with a huge mix of skills to learn from. I’m from Pershore and know a lot of people in the town, so it’s been lovely having so much support from the local community with lots of people popping in to the new office for a chat!

Sum up your job in 3 words? 

Challenging, exciting, personal. 

Which local cafe would you recommend? 

Koffee and Cake in Pershore. It’s an excellent independent coffee shop opposite the Sheldon Bosley Knight office, ran by two lovely girls!

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given about estate agency? 

To care about the client and the reason why they’re moving. As an estate agent you have to remember that people don’t do this every day, moving house is a big life change and it isn’t always a straight forward process. We’re here to help as we have the experience to support the client’s journey.

Where in the world would you most like to live and what style of property would you live in? 

I’d love to live in a big farmhouse in one of the villages around Pershore, I grew up round here and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

Which celebrity’s house would you most like to view? 

Sherlock Holmes! It would be full of mystery and puzzles to solve, with secret rooms and moving bookcases!

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Sheldon Bosley Knight Opens New Estate Agent Office in Pershore

Sheldon Bosley Knight are pleased to announce the opening of our brand new estate agency branch on Pershore High Street! Sales Manager, Amy Lewis, will lead the branch with support from Sales Negotiator, Amelia Cox. Since opening our Evesham branch in mid 2018, we have been keen to further expand Sheldon Bosley Knight across Worcestershire so seized the opportunity when the building became available at the end of June. Pershore marks our seventh location and we are delighted to be able to serve a new community.

Mike Cleary, Director, commented:

     “Welcome to our new colleagues in Pershore, Amy and Amelia. Not only did they put in a stunning shift in their first week with six new instructions, but they’ve also introduced us to what seems like hundreds of past clients – most of whom have turned up with flowers, chocolate and even a blue orchid! I am so pleased they decided to join the Sheldon Bosley Knight team!”

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to our dedicated staff who helped to refit and open the new office in the space of just one weekend! The office will initially begin as a residential sales operation but as we welcome back more staff after lockdown, we plan to introduce our residential lettings presence, showcase our planning/class Q capabilities and expand into the local commercial business.

The new Pershore office is now open for business and Amy and Amelia have a wealth of local market knowledge between them, so please pop in and say hello!

 

Sheldon Bosley Knight

2 High Street

Pershore

Worcestershire, WR10 1BG

Tel: 01386 277277

Email: pershore@sheldonbosleyknight.co.uk

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Lettings Photography Competition

Over the past few months, we’ve been investing in the Sheldon Bosley Knight Lettings team. We’ve purchased a range of new photography equipment and our Lettings staff have been trained in professional property photography. We’re really pleased to now be able to offer an even better service to landlords and have already seen an uptake in website clicks on our newly photographed properties.

To celebrate the new skills our staff have learnt, we held a photography competition for the Lettings team. The entries were all fantastic and their hard work in training has clearly paid off. We’re delighted to announce the winner is Sue Maaz, our Shipston Lettings Manager, who took this stunning photograph of a coach house in Shipston. Sue has been presented with a bottle of champagne to celebrate, well done Sue!

We also awarded a special commendation to Claire Paginton, one of our Lettings Consultants, for this beautiful outdoor shot of Regent Street in Leamington.

 

 

Well done to everyone who entered our competition, we look forward to seeing more fantastic property photos from you in future.

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A Busy June for Residential Sales!

The housing market was put on hold in March as the Coronavirus pandemic put a stop to business as we know it. However, by mid-May the government outlined new plans allowing estate agents’ offices to open, resuming viewings as well as other essential parts of the sales and lettings process.  Whilst we still had a skeletal team working in the background, our agents came back and hit the ground running. Our results from June speak for themselves!

We had over 7000 people visit our website in June with this activity filtering through to all areas of the residential sales process. Following social distancing guidelines and armed with plenty of PPE our agents began handling the pent-up demand from buyers and house sellers registering 629 new customers and booking 497 viewings. Across our six offices, our agents took on 72 new instructions and received 199 offers.

Sara Jordan, Sales Manager of our Kineton office when asked about June said, “Pandemic?! What pandemic! June has been a fantastic month in Kineton with business back to pre-COVID levels.  Vendors and purchasers alike seem to have much more confidence in the market and appear to just want to get on with their lives. Here at the Kineton office we have been busy selling and listing a wide range of properties within Kineton and local villages – long may it continue.”

With a fantastic 59 sales agreed and a whopping £22.4million worth of property sold in total it is clear that business isn’t just booming in Kineton, Millie Gardner our Shipston Office Manager, goes on to say, “We’ve had a very busy month in Shipston across the board really, we’ve seen lots of valuations taking place and offers being received. Despite the pandemic, people want to get moving”.

Of the £22.4million worth of property sold in June by Sheldon Bosley Knight, the average selling price was an amazing £380,154 with 98.3% of asking price achieved across our sales. Andrew James, Associate Director of Leamington said, “We had an excellent sales month with 22 sales agreed and an average sale agreed price of 99%, lots of activity, multiple offers on mid-range family homes 400-500k. People seem to be very positive and keen to sell/buy and not believing the negativity that exists in certain quarters of the media re. prices.”

Property and people are at the heart of our business at Sheldon Bosley Knight and the record month we have had in June despite the pandemic really is a testament to our teams’ commitment to that belief. If you are thinking of selling get in touch with our agents at your local office and book your free market appraisal.

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Commercial Department Sell £4 Milllion Portfolio for Single Client

The Commercial department at Sheldon Bosley Knight have spent the past 18 months working on a significant brief, to sell a 37 commercial units spread over 10 sites, on behalf of one client. We are proud to have completed the final sale earlier this month and have a very happy client!

The team were approached by one of our long standing commercial management clients, Shilpalm, to advise on the disposal of their extensive commercial property assets. Built up over the course of the careers of two well-regarded Birmingham based property industry experts, the portfolio spanned across Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

With tenants ranging from ballet schools to brewers and fast food joints to fabricators, each sale required a detailed knowledge of the buildings, lease structures, tenant strengths and local rental and sales values. An investors/acquisition contact list, built over years, enabled us to approach known charitable and family trusts, pension schemes, local authorities, acquisition surveyors and individuals to dispose of the whole portfolio. This was conducted mainly off market, which was important to the client, and at prices which they were extremely pleased with.

The Shilpalm instruction was lead by our Chartered Surveyor, Richard Connolly, and Associate Director, Mark Treadwell. Richard Connolly commented:

     “I first met the clients some fourteen years ago, when I sold them Willmotts Business Estate site opposite Pershore Train Station.  Over the intervening years, the working relationship we developed has led to numerous agency, then management and finally disposal instructions.  It was a complicated instruction and, though obvious, preparation was key. It has been a pleasure working for Shilpalm, though we are all pleased that we have crossed the finish line.”

Despite the limitations of lockdown, Mark is confident that the industry will continue to thrive, now that coronavirus restrictions have been eased. He added:

     “The commercial market is really picking up again. Our sales are already back up to about 90% of pre-lockdown levels and we’re receiving a high volume of industrial enquiries, so client confidence remains high. With many businesses moving to a more supply and distribution based model, we’re in a really strong position going forward. We’re taking precautions but social distancing is easy when viewing large warehouses, so clients have nothing to worry about.”

If you have any questions or if we can advise on any commercial property matters, contact our Commercial team on 01789 387882. To view Sheldon Bosley Knight’s current range of Commercial properties for sale and let, click here.

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Meet The Team: Sarah, Lettings Consultant

Sheldon Bosley Knight are delighted to welcome a new Lettings Consultant, Sarah Scaysbrook, to our Shipston on Stour team! Sarah has an impressive 15 years of experience letting properties across Warwickshire and we’re excited to see what she brings to the team. We asked a few questions to get to know Sarah:

What was your first job in the property industry?

I was a Lettings Associate for an independent estate agency in Warwickshire and have been working in local estate agency ever since.

What attracted you to working in lettings?

I have worked in the property industry for 15 years now and was initially drawn to the industry as I had a keen interest in art and design, particularly architecture but wanted to apply my skills to something which I deemed practical. Sheldon Bosley Knight has a long standing heritage in Shipston and is held in high regard locally, this was partly what drew me to the company.

What have you enjoyed most about your time so far at Sheldon Bosley Knight?

Since joining the company I have enjoyed meeting the team as everyone has been so welcoming and it has also been lovely working in my home town after years of commuting. I hope to share with the team my knowledge and experiences gleaned from years in the letting industry but in particular my passion for delivering a high standard of service.

Sum up your job in 3 words?

Busy, varied and satisfying!

Which local restaurant would you recommend?

My favourite place to eat and drink is easily the Bower House in the market square, the Bower Sours are divine!

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given about estate agency?

The best industry advice I have ever been given is that you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression and I think of this whenever I meet a new client, it also relates to the success of marketing of a new property.

Where in the world would you most like to live and what style of property would you live in?

If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be St Ives in Cornwall, we would love to build our own house one day and love the Huf Haus style.

Which celebrity’s house would you most like to view?

Being a big fan of Grand Designs, I would love to see inside Kevin Kevin McCloud’s house!

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Sheldon Bosley Knight Appoints David Fisher As Stratford Sales Manager

We are pleased to announce that we have appointed a new Sales Manager for our Stratford-upon-Avon office, David Fisher. As we gradually ease out of lockdown and into the new normal, the property market is picking up speed as the spring market has bottle-necked. Our viewings have already returned to pre-lockdown levels and appraisals are in excess of previous demand. In order to continue providing the best possible service to our clients, we’re expanding our sales team.

David has an impressive ten years of experience working in Stratford estate agency, so brings a wealth of local property knowledge and insight to the team. His previous roles include Branch Manager at Edwards and Local Property Expert at Purple Bricks, covering the Stratford, Redditch and Alcester areas, so we are excited to see what he brings to the role. Our Director, Mike Cleary, said:

     “David has been a very important appointment for Sheldon Bosley Knight. Given his excellent knowledge of the agency market in Stratford and our impending growth, bringing him in was an easy decision and I’m sure it’ll prove to be the right decision. We are delighted to have him on board our fantastic sales team. Welcome to the company, David!”

David responded:

     “I was keen to join Sheldon Bosley Knight because of its strong local reputation and the unique structure of having so many different property specialisms under one roof. I’m looking forward to working with each department to bring a personalised service to clients throughout their property journey.”

David has been quick off the mark, bringing in new business in his first week. Adapting his approach under the COVID-19 restrictions, he first conducted a viewing over Facetime, which lead to an in-person viewing and an offer being made. On the post-lockdown property industry, David commented:

     “The industry certainly needs to adapt to the current climate of uncertainty and I think it’s about taking estate agency back to old school methods. For me, the best sales are agreed off-market and are about making personal connections with clients – proactively keeping in touch at every stage to reassure them.”

While national housing stock remains low in the wake of the coronavirus, demand is high as many buyers have realised during lockdown that their space is no longer working for their family. This means that now is a great opportunity for sellers and many properties are selling above guide prices.

If you’re thinking of selling a property in the Stratford-upon-Avon area, give David Fisher a call on 01789 387887 or email dfisher@sheldonbosleyknight.co.uk.