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I caught the tail end of a discussion on Twitter the other day, a few people were debating the term ‘blog’ and whether or not many ‘blog’s were in fact just extended web pages... i.e more business than personal.

This got me thinking about the blogs I read and why I like them.  Many of them I do find appealing because of the personal element and the fact that many of the bloggers lead such interesting lives … or so they would have us believe 😉 

A daily update of my life would involve Boys, school runs, our Dog, currently a family of hedgehogs, washing, ironing, the task of deciding what to prepare for supper every night, trying to encourage regular showers and the daily struggle to find sports kits, uniforms…. socks 😦

And I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read about that!

Obviously in between ‘family stuff’, I try to fit in as much Property Marketing and Styling work as possible but, and here’s the awkward thing; many of my clients prefer to remain secret, at least until their homes have hit Rightmove or in a few cases until they have a firm offer on the table.

Some of the properties and owners I meet are fascinating.  They have character, history, clutter, weirdness, tidyness, problems, celebrations – enough stories actually to fill a book nevermind a blog! However, they are first and foremost people I work for and hopefully will work with again..

What I’ve done in the past is to try and write or find articles for people with an interest in Selling or Letting property with perhaps a bit of interior design on the side.

Perhaps the way to go is to write about the sourcing and ‘doing’ – leaving out the actual property details until the deed has been done.

Hmmm, business or personal?  The jury is still out ….

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Spring Clean!

So you’ve decided to put the house on the market – (or you may even be considering letting) you’ve thought about which Agents you’ll get to value and you are itching to get the For Sale sign up.  BUT WAIT… Want to know what the number one turn-off is that could scupper a decent valuation and a quick sale?…..

GRIME!

You know what I mean – you’ve seen it yourself when you’ve been viewing properties.  And probably rushed out with lots of excuses as soon as you could…

  • Grease in the kitchen, up the tiles, over the cooker.
  • Sticky carpets that cling to your shoe and look as though they’re 30 years old and….. smell accordingly.
  • Dirty bathroom tiles with other peoples ‘skin and hair’ clinging to them, ugh… dare you lift the toilet seat?
  • Overflowing cat litter trays!
  • Sticky handprints on the wall.
  • Flithy windows you can’t see in (or out) of.
  • Dark, dusty corners and cobwebs hanging from the light fitting.

You want people to relax when they are viewing your property, imagine themselves living in it – not feel desperate to leave in case they catch something or rush home to jump in the shower!  Unless your house IS a show home (and there are some people out there), would it receive a gold star of approval when viewed through the critical eyes of a viewer? – think about it.  Would you really want your agent to have to apologise for the ‘state’ of your home everytime they conducted a viewing?

As time becomes a scarce resource for many, it’s easy to let dust and grime build up. When was the last time you wiped down your skirting boards or cleaned around your light switches? (Please don’t come and look at mine!)

That’s why having a thorough clean BEFORE your Estate Agent and your first viewers arrive is SO important.  You might already have a cleaner, but they’re just ‘keeping on top’ of the dusting and vacuuming.

What you really need is a whole weekend devoted to Spring Cleaning tackling the cobwebs, removing grease from inside and outside of those cupboards and freshening up the bathroom.

Wiping down the paintwork can be as effective as redecorating but without the mess!

Better still, why not employ a team to deep clean your property whilst you’re at work and come back to what looks like a new home?

You’ll be impressed and so will your potential buyers!

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.

A couple of years ago, a colleague and I were approached to put together a package for styling newly refurbished student houses.  The Landlords had come to realise that upping the presentation of their properties scored major points with their target market.  Their houses stood out from the others available to rent and, enabled them to achieve a faster Let and demand higher fees.

We worked in 3 or 4 university cities on probably about 35-40 houses.  Whilst each area had major differences, all the properties we styled were very similar.  By viewing the company’s previous rentals we had a good idea of the look they wanted and by viewing competitors accommodation, in the same location, we also got a good idea of what they didn’t want!

Involved from (almost) the beginning, when walls were coming down and extensions were being built, the colour schemes, along with kitchens, bathrooms, appliances and flooring had already been chosen.  Our task, was to complete the furnishing of the student houses with furniture, artwork, accessories etc and successfully style them, within a very limited budget.

We worked with suppliers we knew and trusted to provide the bulk of the furniture; beds, sofas and blinds but our buying skills were tested to the limit as we tracked down decorative items and hunted out bargains.  Budgets only became available when the houses where nearing completion and often with less than a fortnight’s notice!

The hours were long, the work was stressful, the deadlines were tight.  More often than not we’d turn up with cars and vans packed to the gunnels only to find builders ‘finishing off’ and paint-work still drying.  Once I turned up on site at 6am to find a house full of snoozing carpet fitters (who’d worked late into the night) sleeping off their celebratory hangovers.  The end result though, more than made up for the inconvenience … well that and being able to indulge my passion for shopping with someone else’s money… even if I was on a bargain hunt.  Seeing the total transformation from grotty terrace to stylish student pad always made the job worthwhile.

Of course just improving the property presentation doesn’t necessarily guarantee a Let; good marketing, a proactive agent and creating a buzz, definitely helps too.  Once we’d installed, styled, itemized and taken marketing shots for the first house in each area, an Open day was held.  Nicely furnished, well equipped, clean and contemporary our houses were not only a hit with the students but the parents too!  Mums and Dads noticeably perked up when they walked through the front door – yes there was a premium to pay, more than 20% in some cases – but they’d rather their son or daughter live there than the dirty net-curtain clad property next door.

Our ’employers’ had researched their market, called in the professionals and offered something different.

Their houses were  cleaner, brighter and more stylish than many others on the Letting agents books –

They soon had something else too…. a ‘waiting list‘ of eager tenants!

If you need advice on styling, selling or buying property and would like to discuss working with me … my main website can be found at www.propertystylingcompany.co.uk. Contact can be made through this wordpress site, by email or by calling 07789 488446.

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