Posted by & filed under Industry News, Opinion.

I think it is clear to see that we are in a tougher market than we have seen for many years, with the effects of the Brexit vote and also the General election it has made the role of an estate agent much harder than it has been for many years and in terms of the calibre of agents, the bar has been raised substantially.

The days of “All you had to do is answer a phone first and you would have a deal” are long gone, it is now a case of educating your buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants on the market, advising them on the current market conditions, the processes and what the likely outcome is for them.

I am seeing a lot of very experienced agents leaving the industry that they love, due to work life balance and in some cases their concerns about earning potential in this tougher market. It is a shame to see so many of my peers leaving, another thing I have noticed is the shift from experienced professionals moving to online agencies.

As a recruiter on a daily basis I, just like many property professionals, see the constant battles on Linkedin between online agents and the more traditional agencies. I have noticed that now many of the smaller independents and the larger corporate agencies who previously used to Linkedin to battle with each other now reserve their usage of Linkedin to join forces and battle with the online agencies.

To me, it has raised a few questions:
Is traditional estate agency is becoming a thing of the past?
Is the new flashy hybrid online agency going to become our future?
Which model will come out on top?
Is there a place in the market for both traditional estate agency and also online agency?
Is the model so different? Surely it is just paying the fees upfront yet still working with estate agents who were trained in the traditional way?

In terms of revolutionising estate agency, the objective is still the same, a property is listed by a professional and then sold or let, the majority of online agents seem to be agents who cut their teeth so to speak in traditional agency but then moved over to online, taking years of experience with them.

Many business analysts from outside of the industry have likened the evolution of estate agency to; Blockbuster and Netflix or the black cab to Uber, 10 years ago who would have thought that in 2017 the world’s largest taxi firm would own no taxis and the world’s largest accommodation providers Airbnb would own no property.

The online agents that I have spoken to, all seem very happy with their choices and put this down to having flexibility in their work life balance and not being constricted to a structured diary, in their words they are able to make more money, working better hours and providing a greater level of service to each client.

Many of the traditional agents question the service that is provided by online agents and the processes that make them different, so paying fees upfront, whether the property is sold or not, which they say questions the motivations of the agent, they are also questioning the way that the fees are presented and also the service that customers receive.

However, looking at reviews for both online and traditional agency, I see common themes in customer complaints, it seems to be clarity, service and the age old, over promising and under delivering, could this be the answer?
Surely both models can exist harmoniously if they operate with integrity, clarity, provide outstanding service and do not under deliver, look at First Direct they are an online bank, who operate perfectly well within a market full of physical branches.

What are your thoughts?


Posted by & filed under Opinion.

A report was released by Sheffield Hallam University on August the 1st that currently one third of private Landlords are cutting back on leasing to under 35’s due to the younger generation who are currently in unstable employment, universal credit or students. A separate piece of research by Housing Hand which shows the rising rents, household debt and poor credit is also making it harder for young people to secure accommodation. As a Property Recruiter which target market is largely focused on the younger generation with a massive proportion of roles being Graduate positions – this report did not only concern me, but the way houses are being used as assets rather than a home to people – morally worries me.

I understand to an extent the flip side, Landlords need to cover their backs and of course, they do not want a situation of rent arrears. My mother is a landlord so I can empathise with the latter – it can put the Landlord under huge financial pressure. RLA suggested instead of Landlords increasing their rents to make it unfordable, they are covering the ‘risks factors’. Which to some, may make sense.

Stating that the Property Market has been rocked in the past 18 months would be a huge understatement. Working in Property Recruitment for the past 5 years I have never seen more uncertainty– but is it this deleterious thinking that is adding to the negative effect. The Independent has recommended talks with the government to cover this decline (79%) of Landlords leasing to under 35s is needed ASAP – without action the younger generation will find it harder and harder to access any accommodation.

Alex Huntley, Head of Operations from Simple Landlords Insurance has suggested ways to overcome this with Landlords – interviewing tenants in person? Guarantors? Regular inspections of the property? Payment plans with tenants? Sheraz Dar chief exec of Credit Ladder suggests landlords should not be basing their decisions on gut feeling and pointed out that many young people can be better than the older are at organizing their finances.

So, what is the solution? I would say – is this effect on Landlords reverting back to the strict Buy to Let costs (I have discussed in previous blogs Is the Sales Market Doomed?) which are then translating to the negative impact on the Landlords thinking of who they would like to lease to? Something needs to be adjusted quickly – before Properties are not just a home or safe haven for people anymore, but just used an asset.

I would be keen to hear thoughts and opinions?

Posted by & filed under Opinion.

Why I love Estate Agency Property in South London.

Ever since moving to London I have lived and worked in South London, I have become one of those people who shudder at the thought of “crossing the river”.
South London is a fantastic part of London to work in, especially for Estate Agency, the average house price over the years has risen dramatically. Looking at past figures, the average house price in the borough of Greenwich has risen by 480% from £47,655 to £382,874, the borough of Wandsworth has risen by 556% from £114,179 to £624,212 and the borough of Lambeth 639% from £47,059 to £538,477.

With 1 in 3 people renting their homes, there is a great mix of diversity and culture, it certainly is a vibrant place to be.

There are also the huge developments that are changing the face of South London making it increasingly desirable.

In South West London we have the Battersea Power Station development, which is sure to be outstanding once completed. Battersea Power Station looks like it is going to be one of the latest hangouts with their 6-week festival really starting to take shape. Over the course of summer, they are bringing us not only bars and restaurants but also dance classes, music, the arts and for you comedy lovers out there, there will also be previews of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

For all of the Love Island fans who are about to start morning the loss of Love Island, it’s not over yet. Iain Sterling, the voice of Love Island will be performing his material prior to the Fringe Festival alongside Matt Richardson.

There is not just Battersea Power Station, there are many other sites popping up, it almost seems like they are appearing out of nowhere. These sites are really transforming the look and feel of South London, they are bringing in lots of new homes, jobs and increasing the spend in South London and making it even more desirable.

Aside from the new developments, we also have exciting roof bars, pop up and cafes in South too. With the ever popular Neverland which has opened its doors in Fulham, with its fantastic location and its beach theme, this is going to be a hit all summer! Let’s not forget that the much loved Brixton Beach is back, also in Brixton there is the Prince of Wales and Franks Café in Peckham, the latter two among others have been voted London’s best rooftop bars for the summer. We saw the Ivy Café spreading their ivy across South London too, with the Ivy Café Wimbledon Village opening its doors last year and the Ivy Café Richmond following suit this year, which again is great for building the profile and the economy of South London.

The properties in South London are vast and varied making it such an exciting place to be, with more people relocating here for work and more home movers, whether you are buying for yourself or as a form of income, it is a great place to invest those funds.

Looking at past data, just in Battersea alone, I find it astonishing looking at Latchmere Road for example, in 1996 flats were selling for roughly £100,000 and now some of them are selling for upwards of £700,000. Also in Prince of Wales Drive, in Overstrand Mansions, in 1995 you could have paid just over £200,000 for a flat whereas now you are looking at just under £2,000,000, which really is phenomenal, most of us are probably wishing we invested in those flats!

One of the other things that I love the most about South London is the property professionals, they are so knowledgeable and passionate about their area.

They can talk in depth about the market, they can share stories about the history of the area and also the amenities. Over the past few years I have seen the standard of the professionals working in the industry increase and the bar has risen significantly. The people that you are dealing with now are experts in their field, they ensure that they are armed with facts, figures and knowledge so that they can do the best by their clients.

Here at Cherry Pick People I have the pleasure of speaking to many of you on a daily basis, hearing about your successes also sharing stories from my time in the South London property market.
I am always keen to meet new faces within the sector and to help and assist where I can, so if you are thinking of a move, know someone who is or would just like to connect, please do get in touch.

Posted by & filed under Industry News.

The past year of the London Property Sales Market has been very interesting, something I have constantly kept track of. I have worked within the Property Recruitment industry for almost 5 years and this past year has been particularly different to previous years!

In my last blog, So Happy My Offer Has Been Accepted! But Oh Wait, The Dreaded Stamp Duty… I discussed the effect the increased Stamp Duty was having on first-time buyers and the London property market and whether it was even an issue for the most affluent?

Is everyone moving from Zone 1? Is it a boycott of Prime Central London!? PCL has been a location desired by many, I personally have always aspired to live in areas such as Kensington, Notting Hill, and Chelsea – if I could afford to move to the beautiful South Kensington or calm Little Venice I definitely would. But has that Hot Spot changed for potential buyers? Is it now the purchasers that are filtering from the Centre to what was known before as the ‘dreaded’ Zones 3-6. The Evening Standard has stated the largest drop in property prices has been in the Central Boroughs such as Camden (down 16.4%) and Hammersmith & Fulham (down 11.6%). The borough with the most increased growth has been Hackney with an increase of 15.6% and Bromley (even further out I know) has had a rise of 11.6%.

Data firm LonRes have also stated the number of houses over £1m sold in 2016 were down 21% year on year. City A.M reported London’s house growth is level with Portsmouth… Hometrack has stated prices in PCL are just becoming unaffordable, in Chelsea house prices have fallen by 10%. Savills concurred that the prices of PCL have fallen by 6.9% compared with last year (which was 4.9%). However, the real estate firm has said within the collapse of Sales (Brexit and increased Stamp Duty) the asking prices of properties have had to reflect this. Is this all doom and gloom? It was predicted that the fall in PCL would be 9% – so it is actually less than anticipated.

(Source from Knight Frank)

Even though Savills have reported lower prices, Persimmon has stated a rise in revenue (their average selling price was up by 4%) as the availability of mortgages have helped to boost prices!

More and more buyers are now buying New Homes which seems to be a strong choice for buyers.  New Homes are competitive with mortgage offers and therefore makes the purchase very affordable (I recently bought a new home myself!). The FTSE 100 in January showed the builder was the best performer with share up by 5%.

Richard Donnell of LonRes has shared that house prices in London are 85% higher than they were in 2009!!! – so it is not surprising the pace has decreased. Helen Cahill of City A.M has said the slump in the prices are at the top end due to Stamp Duty on homes worth more than £1m and has meant that some homes have slashed their prices by 30% – it is all to do with affordability. Are buyers simply not able to physically pay the price for PCL?

But will it all be over soon?        

Or will it be a case of Zone 1 buyers fleeing to the likes of Bromley? Or the up and coming Hackney? As the Sales Market changes so do consumers.

Posted by & filed under Blog, Jobs, Opinion, Uncategorised.

As an administrator, have you ever felt unappreciated in your job? Do you feel like you are the least important person in your office?

If I had a pound every time an administrator tells me this, I’d be a very rich woman.

Here are 5 reasons why your administrator is amazing:

  • They are your right-hand man. Anything you ask them to do, they do it. Without complaining and with a smile on their face and even if they have a list of 20 other things to do, they never say no! (even though they really want to sometimes)
  • They are always one step ahead. Everything is done a couple of hours before you have even got round to asking them to do it.
  • Every office needs a mum right? They keep everyone in check when you are not there. They see every romance blossom. They go through every break up with you. They always offer the best advice and a shoulder to cry on. They keep you calm and help you see reason.
  • Not only are they the office administrator, they are a doctor, counsellor, teacher, IT specialist, all round superhero, pretty much everything you can think of.
  • Lastly and most importantly they save you time! Something we could all do with a lot more of. A good administrator means you spend more time focusing on managing the team, making sales, meeting clients, winning new business whatever it is you need to do to run a successful office.

One of the biggest challenges I come up against in my job as a Property Recruitment Consultant is hearing from clients that they do not want to pay recruiters for administrators as they are not ‘fee earners’.

Yes, negotiators are ‘fee earners’, they bring in the money and are at the forefront of the business. But please do not forget about your administrator. They are the backbone of the office and keep things running like clockwork. Appreciate the work they do for you, pay them well, keep them happy.

Administrators salaries have risen drastically since I started specialising in Business support here at Cherry Pick People. To find out if you are being paid the right salary or are paying your staff the correct wage please take a look at our salary survey.

If you would like to have a confidential chat about the next step in your career please contact me today on 0203587 7689 or

Posted by & filed under Advice, Blog, Jobs, Uncategorised.

Why being in the wrong job is like being in a bad relationship!

So a while ago I wrote a blog about how going for an interview is a little like going on a first date (Why a failed first interview is like a failed first date!!), and the more I think about it the more I believe the similarities to be true. I also believe that being at work is very much like being in a relationship… There’s the honeymoon period, the break ups and the make ups!… And there’s always that one colleague you would like to suffocate while they’re sleeping like you would your partner!

So how does being at work relate to being in a relationship, I hear you ask?…


The honeymoon period and making it last!

It’s great when you’re starting off in a relationship and things are very much rose tinted! Very much like starting a new job; you’re full of enthusiasm and getting to work early, getting involved and giving it 110%. But that day comes when you wake up (maybe next to your partner) and question the past three months and whether you have done the right thing! The trick here is thinking about the reasons why you took the job in the first place, giving yourself some space from work by perhaps booking a holiday and ensuring you have a good work-life balance.


Working through the good times and the bad

Like any relationship, there will be good times and bad times, but we tend to forget about the good times a lot quicker than we do the bad times… However being successful at work requires you to learn from both the good and the bad; why did things work out the way they did and could they still be improved? However, with the bad times can always be a time to learn but also reflect on why we took the job in the first place and the “honeymoon period”.


Taking it to the next level

Just like going from base to base (you know what I mean) you don’t want to be in a stagnant career. A lot of the time employees will wait for an appraisal or a review to voice their opinions or their desire to progress their career. As you would make a move in a relationship, there’s nothing stopping you from speaking to your seniors inside or outside of work and expressing your ambition to move up the ranks


Trying not to kill your colleagues (or partner)

Do you ever look at your partner while their sleeping, think how peaceful and great they look, but also at the same time how easy it would be to get a pillow and cover their face? I get that from time to time with my colleagues too! In a relationship either one of you can end up on the sofa for the night or give each other the silent treatment until one of you breaks the silence. The same goes with your colleagues, take some time out, have a chat about things, kiss and make up (if you’re into that sort of thing)


Staying faithful

Not that I’m condoning cheating! But there are bad days in our careers where we may think the grass may be greener on the other side. Change in role? Pay rise or better work-life balance? Before making the move to another company or entertaining a call, what measures have you taken to iron out any issues which you have with your current company?

With the debaucherous work Christmas party soon approaching are you going to remain faithful or do you want to explore how green the grass is? If it is the latter get in touch with us!

So there you have it, my overview on work and relationships.