Our second ‘House to Home Reveal’ and an introduction to Baaa-Bette

We have been at it again – catching up with past clients to see what they have done with the House we helped them buy a few years ago.  This one is a gem.  Kirsti & Al have a perfect mixture of practical and creative abilities between them with a plethora of skills in their armoury from upholstery to animal husbandry to triathlons, photography and the commercial property world.  Come and enjoy this spectacular #HouseToHomeReveal

Rickmansworth Semi-detached home – purchased May 2016

How long did it take you to decide to buy your home?

We loved our old cottage on Ebury Road so it was difficult to find somewhere generally but when we found this property we decided almost straight away. We wanted a project as well as a little more living space.  Did we love it? No, too many features had been taken out. But did it have bags of potential? Yes absolutely! It was a rare opportunity to buy a Victorian refurbishment project in Rickmansworth.

What feature of your home did you love when you first viewed it?

The high ceilings! All I need in a house, the rest can all be changed!

living area b&fAnd what part of your home did you hate when you first viewed it?

Where to start…. The 60s fireplace, the woodchip wallpaper everywhere, the electric 1960s radiators used to heat pretty much the WHOLE house. The fact that nearly all the features were either gone or ruined.

Living room b&fHow easy or tricky was the buying process – time it took to complete, any curve balls?

Yes, tricky… I nearly put my shoes on once to go and have a word. It took a long time for our vendors to make up their minds and when they did they decided at the last minute that they would actually quite like to tie in the house they were buying into the chain, having always maintained that they were chain free! This might have meant further delays which in turn meant that our buyers were in danger of losing their mortgage offer.  Luckily for us Trend & Thomas managed the situation and got the sale through to completion.

How long did it take for you to decide on the renovations you planned?

I had a rough idea of what I wanted straight off but planning it and being able to afford it took a couple of years!

plan chest

Did you live in the house for a while or did you rip it out and do it up before you moved in?

We moved in and renovated upstairs nearly immediately, due to the need for central heating and a functioning bathroom…. We are lucky that the house was big enough for us to move around in whilst works were taking place, allowing us to live upstairs when we then got round to doing the extension downstairs in 2018.

bathroom b&f

Bathroom 1

How challenging were the renovations? Any advice on what to do or not to do?

It was hard but worth it! If you can do the whole thing in one go then do, absolutely it would have been easier for us, but at the same time the fact that we could stay here and move around made it bearable. Being on site was also very useful.

What do you love the most about your refurbished home?

The light, the big open plan space, the high ceilings and of course the period features which have been reinstated.

Staircase

Anything you would do differently now you’ve lived with it a bit?

Having a big open plan space means that all the walls are quite far away, I could have done with a sunken floor socket or two in the middle but then again if I had those I probably would find them an eye sore 😊  That’s an excellent tip Kirsti!

Kitchen b&f

Any more great tips for suppliers and companies you used to refurb and dress your home?

I love a mix of old and new, so good quality new or anything old! Spend time researching as things don’t always have to cost eye watering amounts of money. For example, our outdoor tiles came from Topps Tiles which people are always amazed at as they are so unusual for outdoors.

Exterior b&f

Our windows in the main space are from a company called Fabco in Littlehampton and our beautiful stair runner is from Roger Oates.

staircase b&fI source most of my furniture and fixings myself from markets, reclaim yards, auctions and antique dealers. The Sofa in our Living area is from West Elm, the wall lights are a mixture of Rocket St George and Graham & Green and the TV in the main area is the Samsung Frame TV.  Our roll top bath is from CP Hart but we reclaimed the feet from the old bath that was already here!

Coxandcoxlight

The bamboo pendant in our main living area is from Cox & Cox and the pendant in the Snug is a Mathieu Challieres Voilere from The Conran Shop.  Our kitchen is DeVOL and we have mostly painted the house Farrow and Ball Shaded White except for the Snug which is Inchyra blue.  Our yellow bed is from LoveYourHome and we used the Period House for some radiators.  The lovely round mirror in the bathroom is from Loaf.  The tiles in our main living area are from Porcelanosa.

Who lives here with you?

My husband and our two cats.  – Extra points if you can spot the lovely Lionel and Porridge making three appearances in the photos.

Which room do you use the most – before Lockdown, and after?

We’re always in the main room and then have the snug for a change of scenery!

Favourite tune to listen to in your home?

Now you’re asking! Only one????   Cherchez la Femme by Dr Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band – As many as you like given that calibre!

Favourite meal to enjoy in your home?

All four of us love a nice Fish & Chips from SeaMaster!  – Oo that’s made us put that on our to do list soon!

How has your use of your home changed due to the Coronavirus Lockdown?

Our main open plan space appears to have changed into a plant nursery! They’re all growing big and strong so they can go in our freshly dug vegetable patch.

If you could have one change/improvement to your home to get you through lockdown – what would it be?

My work room is the one room in the house still to be done, somewhere where I can plan interiors and work on my upholstery and furniture projects.

And finally your favourite objet, piece of art or furniture; in your home and why?

My haberdashery cabinet! It’s beautiful, it’s old and it stores everything!! – Yes your haberdashery cabinet is stunning – but also, what about that amazing Sheep? 

Oh yes, the Party Sheep from Rocket St George’s collaboration with Pikes Hotel is a favourite feature –  although in our house she is known as Baaa-bette.

Baaa-Bette

Baaa-bette is beautiful and no longer available we understand – what a find you lucky four (or 5 including Baaa-bette) your home is one of our favourites to come and revisit.  Partly because you have carefully restored the important period features but also because you have given it a personality of it’s own relevant to life today.  Well done Kirsti & Al, doesn’t look like you are moving with Trend & Thomas again anytime soon – Oh no! 

How coronavirus has changed homebuyers priorities in our corner of Hertfordshire

Life has a funny way of showing us what’s important, and the coronavirus pandemic and recent research has shown that homebuyers’ priorities have certainly shifted in our area.  Your home will have been a crucial factor in determining your experience of this crisis; it’s not only been your home, but possibly your place of work, and your playground.  You may have fallen completely in love with your home all over again and decided to give it a makeover whilst you’ve been confined.  Or its flaws may have grown so big in your eyes that they can no longer be ignored and you are screaming inside to find a new home.  But just how has coronavirus changed Rickmansworth & Hertfordshire homebuyers’ priorities?

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Change in the top 5

According to Rightmove, the top five types of property searched for by buyers has changed over the last few months, with houses and bungalows becoming the most sought after.  As early as January, two and three-bedroom flats were included at the top of this list but, when analysed in May, this had changed.   At Trend & Thomas we anticipated that outdoor space could be a big draw for buyers, after gardens have become a sanctuary for many over the last few months.

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Space has always been something that most buyers crave, especially if they have a growing family, so it’s no surprise that searches for homes with gardens had increased by 42% in May from last years’ figures.  We expect the weather has also played a part in increasing our desire for a garden; whether you are looking for a space that is maintenance-free or a landscaped paradise, being able to enjoy the sunshine and relax has been a blessing for our mental wellbeing.

The new workplace

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Not everyone has been able to work from home, but for those who have, many are wishing to make this more permanent, whether it’s a couple of days a week or full-time.  We have already seen the requests for space for a home office in our area increase dramatically, and we expect this to continue to rise in the coming months.  Employers have found that people have been more productive working from home, even with the pressures of home schooling and self-isolation.  As such, businesses are rethinking how they operate in the long run, Twitter recently announced that should an employee wish to continue working from home, they can do so forever!

To meet this most essential need, buyers will be looking for homes that have superfast broadband and strong mobile signal to ensure communications can continue without issue.  Those buyers wanting a home with a home office will be seeking a property with a designated space, whether this is a spare room or a purpose-built or transformed garden building.  Offices in the garden are highly desirable as they give distinct separation from work and home life; not only that, being able to look out over the garden can make you more productive.

If you’re looking to sell your home Rickmansworth, Chorleywood, Croxley Green and the surrounding areas, it’s worth seeing where you can create a private workspace before placing it on the market.  Maybe you have a box room that could be easily presented as a tranquil place to work, or you could already have an office but a quick lick of paint might transform it into the kind of home office a buyer cannot resist.

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Yet to come

At Trend & Thomas we have been frantically busy with people looking to move into and around our area.  You can be assured that the buyers out there are serious, so it’s in your interests to do everything you can to attract to today’s buyers, from enhancing your outside space to offering them a place to work.  If you would like advice on how you could increase the appeal of your home before you place it on the market, please contact a member of our team on 01923 773 616.

Enjoy the gardening today if that’s in your plans!

 

 

Selling in a Post-Lockdown World

christian-stahl-8S96OpxSlvg-unsplashThe restrictions are starting to lift and although it will take a while before things resemble what they were, there are definitely signs of life returning.  If you have any questions concerning the market post-lockdown please send these to us via our Instagram story and we will endeavour to answer as many as possible.  However if you are considering a move have a think about the points below while you might be at home with a little more time on your hands than usual.

Not everyone has had the desire to continue with their plans to move and yet others’ decision to find a new home in our lucky part of Hertfordshire has been a recent one.  But before you race to get your home up there on the big wide web, take some time to consider if it’s ready for sale, and how your home looks from the street should never be neglected.  How can your home’s kerb appeal aid a post-lockdown sale?

Make an impression

We all know first impressions count – you want buyers longing to see what your home has to offer, from the outside in.  With many of us taking to the streets on our daily walks, we may be noticing more about what surrounds us than ever before,

as we are not distracted by the hustle and bustle of life.  Architecture is adored, colours and planting are admired, and presentation envied.  Not all future buyers are actively looking, but that doesn’t mean that if your home makes an impression it won’t be desired and remembered.  Your home will no longer be just one on the street in Rickmansworth, Croxley Green, Chorleywood, that potential buyers pass by without a glance, the right kerb appeal will ensure it stands out and is never ignored again.

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Present to sell

During Lockdown even if you haven’t made the decision to sell yet you may well have had time to declutter, clean and organise your property’s interior.  If you are planning to move you now need to put in the same work sprucing up the outside.  Begin with undertaking any repairs that you have been neglecting and tidy up your plants, shrubs and any lawn areas, so they are looking well cared for.  It’s only natural for paving to start to look tired over time, so grab that power-washer or call in the professionals, as this can make a massive difference.  It may seem obvious but clean all your windows and, if needed, give window sills a fresh coat of paint, as well as touching up any other paint work.

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Focus on the point

The focal point to any home is the front door; from its condition, to its colour, to whether it’s well lit, no detail will go unnoticed.  Colour psychology can also play a part in how buyers perceive the property, so what does your front door say about you and your home?  According to the Pantone Colour Institute, a black front door signifies elegance, power and prestige, whereas white is often chosen by those who prefer a minimalist look due to it being crisp and pristine.  Grey is timeless and less likely to go out of fashion, while a red door commands attention and is more likely to be chosen by individuals who are engaging and dynamic.  Whatever colour you choose, ensure it complements the architectural style of your property.

Red colored front door of a city houseThe devil is in the detail

One frustration for buyers is when a house number is not clearly visible, so if you don’t have one or it’s seen better days, an effective and subtle way to update the front of your home is to add bold numbers that can be clearly seen from the street.  At Trend & Thomas we would also advise that these and any hardware, such as the letter box, handles and knockers, should mirror the style of your home’s interior, as this will give your buyers a taste of what to expect.

Power in planting

Colour creates impact, adds warmth and a bright welcome, whether that’s through flowers bursting from flower beds and window boxes or evergreen shrubs in planters.  No matter what space you have at the front of your property, you can easily transform it with an injection of blooms. You can create a touch of elegance using symmetrical planters on either side of your front door, and aromatic herbs such as lavender and rosemary will provide beautiful scents that will add to your buyers’ viewing experience. purple-and-blue-flowers-1039127

Time is of the essence

Whilst the pace of life is slower, and before the majority of us return to work, don’t miss the opportunity to ensure that your home’s kerb appeal makes a lasting first impression.  Serious buyers are already out there, enquiries have started to rise and we expect this to continue as restrictions are lifted.  Time is of the essence, as your kerb appeal could aid a post-lockdown sale.  If you’d like advice on how to maximise your home’s potential, call us at Trend & Thomas on 01923 773 616 and we can discuss your own personal property and circumstances in better detail.

COVID19 Update for our Clients

Estate agents working from home with childrenWe do hope you are safe and well in these unprecedented times.  We wanted to provide you with an update on how we are currently operating and the guidance specifically available for the property industry.   On the 20th April 2020 the Law Society has collated the current information on Home Moving and Conveyancing to cover essential moves and those contractually binding.  You can find this information here.

Some of our team have been furloughed but rest assured our office is continuing to function as normal with staff now working remotely as per Government guidance for the safety of our team & community.

There should be no interruption to services, but please bear with us if any delays in response occur. Please contact us on the usual number 01923 773 616 and on the emails salesandlettings@trendandthomas.co.uk or neil.guilfoyle@trendandthomas.co.uk. We will be happy to answer any property questions you may have.  We are working hard to stay up to date during the rapidly changing scenario.

Screen Shot 2020-05-07 at 15.27.32During this time our on-line presence is vitally important and we remain on all the mainportals, Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation as well as our own website and all the main Social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, IGTV, Twitter and Vimeo.

Where possible, we have carried out filming or received footage from clients, to create short video tours so we can continue to virtually market properties under the current conditions.  Please contact us should you wish to know more about our Virtual viewings and please visit our IGTV or Vimeo page for these.Penn Place IGTV Title

With regard to viewings, we are happy to organise a real-time Facetime or Zoom walk around where possible, for example where the property is either empty or the client is comfortable to carry out the walk around with the viewer and ourselves linked in.

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Sales Progression – Communication is key and we will work hard to progress your sale from exchange to the handover of keys, liaising with mortgage advisers, conveyancers and solicitors with all the tenacity and attention to detail that you expect from Trend & Thomas.  We will also keep you informed at every stage. It has never been more important to have a good agent working on your behalf to keep your sale on track and with our local expertise we will do just that.  We have had several successful completions  in recent weeks and expect to continue to do so despite these challenging times.

You may well have seen that we are also providing a strong presence on Social Media in a more community focused direction.  In these uncertain times we feel it is important to support our town and locals as best we can.  

We have been doing our best to communicate with you regularly and we will continue to do so.  On a personal note if anyone needs a pint of milk, some eggs, or a prescription picked up then please contact us.  We have helped out a few clients over the past few weeks and as we live in the Town centre it is much easier for us to do.coronavirus advice stay home save lives

Stay safe and well and keep in touch.

Neil Guilfoyle – Director

COVID 19 Update for our Landlords & Tenants

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Dear Landlords &Tenants, 

We do hope you are safe and well in these unprecedented times.  We wanted to provide you with an update on how we are currently operating and the guidance specifically available for Landlords & Tenants. 

Some of our team have been furloughed but rest assured our Rental department is continuing to function as normal with staff now working remotely as per Government guidance for the safety of our team & community.

There should be no interruption to services, but please bear with us if any delays in response are experienced. 

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The past week, being the end and beginning of the new month, are our busiest for receiving tenants’ rents and we have been encouraged to see these coming in as contracted.  However, this may change on a day, week and month by month basis ~ please be assured we will work through any issues on a case by case basis and keep you updated at every step. 

For your reference, the Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force on the 26th March 2020 and this emergency legislation prevents new eviction proceedings from being commenced for a three-month period; from the 27th of March the court service has suspended all ongoing housing possession action for 90 days.  Further information with regard the Government support available for tenants and landlords can be found via this link.

The Government has also published guidance for landlords and tenants who may be affected by current events to explain the measures relating to the Coronavirus Act 2020. This can be found via this link.

Moving boxes

In line with public health guidance which advises that people stay in their current home unless absolutely necessary, the Government has also recently published advice on home moves during the COVID-19 outbreak. Home moves are still possible but if not essential, home buyers and renters should delay moving to a new home while measures are in place to fight coronavirus. More information on this advice is available here.

We are doing our best to keep you informed as TrendThomasAd2advice changes and we are attempting to keep our community supported with our social media as we know how isolating this can all be. Please keep up to date with us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter and please do download our Ricky Town colouring book if it will help you relax during this lockdown.

Ricky Town Colouring Book Download

Please do contact us by phone 01923 773 616 or email to salesandlettings@trendandthomas.co.uk if you have any queries, we will do our best to answer your concerns.  We understand this is a worrying time for everyone and we intend to provide our services in a respectful way to the benefit of all involved.

 

We will follow this update with further more specific information in the next few days.

Stay well

Neil Guilfoyle – Director

TREND & THOMAS ESTATE AGENTS

Declutter for January

declutter.pngHow many of you have thrown out NY resolutions in favour of throwing out your clutter? 5 Top tips to help you along.

With us in and out of houses many times a day, a decluttered space really is a big game changer when it comes to letting or selling your property.

Clearing out some clutter to allow a potential buyer or tenant to insert their own thoughts on how they would feel living in your home really can make a difference to the success of the viewing.
Decluttering doesn’t have to be religious and zealous like some people might profess but it’s a whole lot easier than giving up meat or alcohol for January and just might make you feel refreshed for the new year….and sell or let your home quicker.

Top 5 Marie Kondo tips summarised below….give it a go…we are!

1. TIDY ALL AT ONCE

Set aside at least two days to completely overhaul your home. If you tidy little by little you will be tempted to shift the remaining clutter into those clean areas and chaos will quickly resume. By tidying everything at once, you will be forced to break any messy habits to uphold the cleanliness of your entire home.

2. TIDY BY CATEGORY, NOT BY LOCATION

Sort through all your books at once, even if you have a bookcase in every room, the same applies for clothes and paperwork and so forth. This forces you to consider possessions as part of a collection, and helps determine what is worth keeping and what you should throw out.

3. PUT EFFORT INTO FOLDING CLOTHES

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It might seem like a tiresome chore, but putting more effort into folding clothes can reap long-term rewards. Watch the video tutorial below and learn Marie Kondo’s technique; basically any item of clothing (including underwear) should end up as a compact rectangle. You then stack these little soldiers in neat rows, enabling you to identify individual items of clothing at a glance and pull them out without disrupting everything else.

4. CREATE A STATE OF CHAOS

Do not be afraid to make a big mess before you tidy up again; consider it part of the ‘healing’ process. Pull out absolutely everything and dump it on the floor creating a state of chaos. Sort through each and every item, placing them in either a keep or toss pile. Make sure you actually discard the toss pile before you start rearranging the keep pile – you do not want to be tempted to hold onto anything you originally decided to trash.

5. DISCARD SENTIMENTAL OBJECTS

We have all be gifted something that we hate, but feel obliged to keep it due to sentimental value. It is time to readjust that type of thinking. These items have already served their purpose as a symbol of a fulfilling relationship. Keep hold of that warm gooey feeling but sensitively offload the unwanted gift.

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There’s even a new Netflix show by the Queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo, to help you along…Netflix – Marie Kondo show details

The Guardian also discusses Marie Kondo but amusingly muses, it might spark a domestic row 😉

Guardian article on Kondo & domestic bliss 😉

 

Our Viewing Day Checklist for Sellers & Landlords

Trend & Thomas Viewing Day tips!

Prior to marketing your property we will have chatted to you about the unique elements of your home.  These can become useful selling tips, how friendly (or distant!) the neighbours are, proximity to good schools, red kites in the garden!  Make sure you pass these on to us and we will build our marketing with these in mind.

In order to ensure we work with you to maximise the success of your viewings we have also prepared for you a thorough checklist of things you can do prior to a viewing. Speak to us about anything you would like explained further and always ask us if there is something we can do to make the process easier, we accompany all viewings unless otherwise arranged.  Viewings are our forte!

Our Viewing Day checklist for Sellers & Landlords:

  • A quick tidy up including a vacuum and sweep is a good start
  • Tidy your entrance and water any pots you have to make things looked cared for
  • Remove any post or flyersPerfectly made bed
  • Consider opening a window to air your home out, let us know and we will ensure we have shut these afterwards
  • Make the beds.  You’d be surprised how many people forget this!
  • Have the dog taken out for a walk or left with a Dog walkingfriend. Let us know about any cats – if they can be outside for the viewing even better but at least if we are aware of where they might be we can ensure we move quickly past them.
  • Clear all dishes and clutter from the kitchen and put out fresh clean tea towels
  • A clean oven is always a good idea prior to Fresh Towelsviewings as people often open the oven
  • Empty all your bins and bring in any street bins and recycling
  • Ensure wet towels are in the wash and put out fresh folded towels in the bathroom
  • In the winter months ensure the heating is on well before the viewing and definitely light the fire if you have one. In the hotter months ensure we are able to open windows should your home need fresh air.
  • Box up any clutter that has accumulated and pop it in your car if nowhere else!
  • Leave any necessary keys out for us in a pre-arranged spot – window, back door, garage and loft keys etc
  • Kitchen lightingTurn all your house lights on and remember any under bench kitchen lighting, porch lights & garden lighting – we will do this on arrival even during the day but great if you have beaten us to it.
  • Consider Home Staging if you really want a huge impact – chat this through with us in more detail
  • If you have a parking space conFlowerssider moving your car so viewers can park in your space – this will make their experience more enjoyable and put them in a good mood to view your property
  • A fresh vase of flowers does wonders as does lighting a scented candle, it might sound a bit cliché but fresh coffee really does smell great and can often mask any recent food smells.

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Is your Property Management carried out by a Letting Agent LOCAL TO YOUR PROPERTY?

Recently we have found that we are one of the only Letting Agents locally who actually manage our Rental properties right here from our office in Rickmansworth.

Other agents either outsource their management completely or have a centralised Property Management office based in a completely different county!

We wanted to explain why local Property Management is so important to you and your property investment.

  • We know in detail the types of tenants our area & your style of property attracts & can target these tenants specifically & quickly.Lost agents
  • We know all the styles & types of properties our area houses and can advise and inform based on this detailed property expertise.  We’ve properties we’ve managed for over a decade on our books – that’s some pedigree don’t you think!
  • We know the area expertly and can advise you on relevant local information, current letting trends, & expected rental values, therefore gaining you the best return for your investment quickly.
  • Call centre asking 'where?'We go the extra distance for our Landlords & properties because we are right here on hand, available for you to come and have a chat with or accompany you to your property. We are not in a call centre on the other side of the country oblivious to the variables of your property & unable to visit it or meet with you.
  • We know the transport links, commuting details & local area amenities such as leisure facilities,  local schools & child/elderly care options, so we can inform & attract the best tenants for your property.Where's Rickmansworth?
  • We have excellent long term relationships with local contractors so we can react to your property needs quickly, with the best person for the job giving minimal disruption to your tenants & ultimately your property & investment.
  • Our responses are obviously quicker than an agent who has outsourced their property management because we are right here beside your property investment & can visit within minutes of any emergency.
  • We do regular property inspections by an experienced independent LOCAL inventory clerk.
  • We are immediately available to advise you on your  investment prospects should you decide to sell or  even purchase a  further rental property.
  • We do not outsource our Property Management, we only trust our own expert team to manage your property investment & tenants, to us this is the only approach that works.

Is your Property Manager local to your property?  Need to rethink your Letting Agent?

Call and we’ll be happy to pop around for a chat anytime , at your convenience, ….because we are local & easily available…. important isn’t it! 

Phone Trend & Thomas Lettings on 01923 713 680 or Email lettings@trendandthomas.co.uk

Trend & Thomas asks, Is OnTheMarket.com InTheMarket?

You may have heard the rumble of activity amidst the online property portals open to Estate Agents recently and we wanted to give you our summary of the situation and how it will affect our clients and marketing plans.

Last Monday saw the arrival of a new online portal called OntheMarket.com

This poZoopla logortal does a very similar job to the existing market leaders Rightmove and Zoopla with one very large difference – this portal is owned and operated by a consortium of Estate Agents. Emerging quite simply because Agents were tired of the duopoly of the big players causing mounting fees and very little in return. The fees were increasing, functionality was not improving and Agents felt duped that they were losing control of their marketing choices.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 21.35.47For this reason the concept behind OntheMarket.com was excellent. An advertising and marketing choice created by Agents, for Agents with hugely reduced fees in comparison to the existing portals & potentially providing much needed competition to the market with the hope it would reduce the stronghold of Rightmove and Zoopla.

All admirable goals and we support the concept wholeheartedly. Trend & Thomas not being shy of a little competition to the market…with 6 Estate Agents in the High Street it’s not a game for the faint-hearted! However, in order to shake things up, OnTheMarket.com had one very serious condition – in order to join, benefit from hugely reduced fees and gain shares in the burgeoning company – you had to drop one of the other main portals – Rightmove or Zoopla.

The arrival of OnTheMarket.com has been a long term process and we have been watching the development of the portal over the past 12 months along with the reactions of Rightmove and Zoopla, other Agents, the press and most importantly, the public.

OnTheMarket.com launched last Monday and we have watched the week with interest.

Our findings after week one:

  • OnTheMarket logoNot enough budget to provide TV Advertising to match the competition
  • Not enough budget to ensure market leading functionality
  • Not enough diversity of properties listed to make it the go to portal for buyers, tenants.

So after a year of research and debate Trend & Thomas would like to announce our 2015 advertising and marketing decision – we will be staying with Rightmove & Zoopla.

Despite the great shake up OnTheMarket.com can give the industry and the attractive reduction in fees, we have come to the decision that the best interests of our clients are foremost and the giants of Rightmove and Zoopla have much bigger budgets, better current functionality, more exposure to the public and more back end support to fix issues and develop future technology.

While we herald the success of OnTheMarket.com we don’t feel it will currently give our clients & their properties the best advertising and marketing exposure. For the time being it will actually reduce the number of people being exposed to their property. From our research in this first week of OnTheMarket.com there is over 80% more online activity via Rightmove alone in our local area, than there is via OnTheMarket.com

We will continue to monitor developments and report any updates and news to you, but for now we are staying with the market leaders for the sole benefit of our clients.

OnTheMarket is not currently InOurMarket – but you can help us with our research by answering our poll:

Moving your Furry Friends without Fuss!

Retrievers & suitcases

Dogs are packed!

Looking to move home soon and worried about how your furry family members are going to manage?  We’ve a few pets of our own amidst the team at Trend & Thomas and a few clients facing this predicament soon so we thought we’d put together some helpful tips & suggestions.

Battersea Dogs’ & Cats’ Home carried out a survey of over 1,100 pet owners & nearly half admitted that their biggest concern about moving house was how their pets would react – that’s more than double the number of people who were worried about forgetting their new keys!

Although we do everything we can to minimise any moving stress it is well known moving house can be tough and this extends to your pets too.  Try our suggestions for keeping your pooches & purry ones chilled:

KItten in boxPRE – MOVE

  • Create a little ritual or routine for your pets in the days or even weeks before Moving Day that you can continue after the move.  Playing, brushing, walks at regular times pre and post move will make them more at ease with the change.
  • Don’t wash your pets bedding, blankets or toys before the move – let them absorb as much of the pet comforting smells as possible for making the new place smell the same.
  • Your pet will undoubtedly pick up on the sense that things are changing and they may worry they are not included.  Reassurance & attention is important pre-move.
  • If your pet is comfortable at a family or friend’s place letting them stay there while the move is taking place could reduce anxiety.  Kennels or catteries for a few days are an option you might want to consider too.

Moving Day

  • Clear one of your rooms early & use this to keep your pet in for the entire moving day.  Put in all their toys and bedding along with food and water.  Lock the windows & doors and put a huge sign on the door so no one let’s them escape.  Cats are particularly good at realising something is up and decamping to a hiding spot only they know about.  Not what you need when the new owners/tenants are walking up the front steps!
  • Don’t feed your pet for three hours before leaving the house (but provide plenty of water) – minimises unpleasant travel accidents!
  • Plan the travelling in advance.  Travel crates can be hired from Vets and if it’s a long trip, plan Hound in moving van stops for dogs to stretch their legs, relieve themselves and have a drink.  Cat’s too if it’s a terribly long trip.
  • Vets may offer sedation for Dogs if you are really concerned – Cats don’t do well on sedation but chat to the professionals if you are overly concerned.
  • Once at your new home – get your pets settled in a quiet secured room quickly.  Have their bedding, toys, food and water installed before they arrive and give them some time to settle in and sniff around.
  • Small regular meals for the first week will give you more contact with your pet.
  • Don’t leave them alone for too long on the first few days.  They will need reassurance and comfort and get that routine kicking in asap.   Same time for feeding, play session if they are up to it, brushing, petting etc.
  • Territory is big for Dogs & particularly Cats.  They may urinate to mark their territory – try not to be too hard on them initially as frustrating as it is. Make sure you’ve packed one of the biological pet scent neutralisers!  Keep familiar smelling items nearby and provide chews for Dogs so they don’t start on the furniture!
  • You can help cats by gently rubbing a soft cotton cloth around your cats face to pick up their personal scent from their glands and rub this over furniture at the cat’s height in the new home. Repeating this daily can help to build up the scent making them feel more secure. Don’t worry – human noses can’t smell it!

Getting outside again

  • Dogs will need to be taken outside from Day 1 but preferably on their lead and definitely only ever supervised.  Take them for a short walk locally and return them to their food bowls and bed with lots of attention and reassurance.  Ensure your new garden is securely enclosed early in your moving process.
  • Cat at windowCats should be kept indoors at the new place for at least two weeks according to the Blue Cross.  Letting them bond with their new home and learn new scents and geography.  When it’s time to let them outside again, the Blue Cross suggests withholding food for 12 hours so the cat doesn’t stray far and is watching for signs of feeding.  It’s useful to have taught your cat a feeding signal – tapping their bowl or rattling the food bag work a treat!
  • Take the cat out for a short period, let them explore a little then call them indoors for feeding, repeat this each day with longer periods and further exploration until they seem at ease with the new surroundings.
  • Worth investing in one of the ID collars (that snaps open under stress) with name address and contact number – in case they do get lost.
  • If your pets are micro-chipped, ensure the Company that holds your data has been informed of your new address.
  • If you have moved near to your old home pets can return to old haunts particularly cats. Ensure no one at your old address encourages them & ask new owners & old neighbours to make sure they do not feed your pets!
  • Commercial preparations are worth a shot, Felliway, anxiety drops etc – but check with your Vet.
  • And remember to register with a new local Vet if you are new to the area.

Vets near Rickmansworth, Chorleywood, Croxley Green & Watford

Chess Vet www.chessveterinary.co.uk

Medivet Croxley Green www.medivet.co.uk

Park Veterinary Centre www.parkveterinary.co.uk

Moving home is an exciting process for humans but it takes us a while to master the new locks, find light switches in the dark and remember the loo is on the left in the middle of the night! Pets have similar issues and just need a little time to settle in and feel at home again – but like you, they will!

Cat & Dog sleeping

Home Sweet Home at last!