2019 has been a particularly hard year for all industries, especially what it comes to the big B word – Brexit! The Owner of Keystones Property, Scott Jay, reflects back on the year and shares his thoughts on how despite the tough times in the UK, Keystones Property are thriving, growing and exceeding at maintaining the top position as the number one estate agents in Collier Row!
Rounding up 2019: What has happened to Brexit and the property market?
It has been a few years since I have done an end of year review, so I thought it was about time that I put pen to paper and give everybody the run down with what is happening at Keystones!
Brexit has been stubborn – like a huge dark cloud that will not go away. Just like the notorious bad weather in England, the cold seems to last forever; it has been nearly four years since the original vote to leave happened and it looks as though we are turning a corner, with a new season approaching; Spring.
We have banned the “B Word” in the office – anyone that mentions Brexit has to put £1 into the Charity Box. We made this decision back in October 2018 when the negativity started to make its way into the office. It has to be cut early and at source. We were better than this and light always shines brighter when there is darkness around, so we had to make ourselves stand out and this is what we have done in 2019.
Any Letting and Estate Agent in Romford can make themselves look good when the market is good, you don’t need to do much apart from answer the phone and book viewings in, but it takes a different level of quality to separate the men from the boys or girls from the women once the going gets tough.
Honestly, I could not be prouder of the team in 2019, the mindset, positivity and growth has been immense. We are the number one estate agent in Collier Row which was a goal we put down at the start of 2019 – and we have smashed it!
As the great Jim Rohn said, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.”
Has Brexit affected the property market?
Of course, the hysteria of Brexit has made a difference to the mood of the people. There is so much uncertainty being portrayed in the media along with the doom and gloom that sells papers, it will in turn have a detrimental effect on the financial markets and property. London has been hit the worst, but the outskirts have also felt the ripple effects of this. The biggest issue over the last few years is the fact that things stagnated, markets barely moved due to the fear and uncertainty that our politicians created.
What is for the future of the property market after Brexit?
Property prices have decreased marginally compared to 2015/2016, however, I believe they will come back over the next year. On your average a three bedroom house in Collier Row being £350,000-£375,000 has decreased by about £25,000-£30,000, therefore, you are looking at the market decreasing by less than 10% which is not a lot in the grand scheme of things that are going on.
I do believe that we have been living in a slightly artificial market for the best part of 10 years. The market should be a lot worse than it is, however, there is still a huge demand from buyers and not a lot on the market for sale compared to the previous 30 years. This is keeping the prices up and demand there, buyers simply do not have much to choose from anymore. The reason for the low volume of properties coming onto the market are due to the selling and buying costs nowadays.
The costs you will have fork out are astronomical compared to thirty years ago. The cost of Stamp Duty, agency fees, solicitors, mortgage fees and removals are more expensive than simply putting on a rear extension or a loft conversion. People only afford to move now if they need to, not because they ‘fancy it.’ Need to be meaning divorce, growing family, death, etc…
In conclusion, the market has not been that bad and has held up in uncertain times, we have had a strong level of activity throughout 2019, but I do believe it will grow a lot stronger in 2020/2021 as the general mood and confidence grows off the back of Brexit. However, I don’t anticipate prices rising rapidly, this will not really change over the next year, but will progressively start to grow 10% as per usual year on year. So this is my prediction; progressive growth.
If you need any advice, we conduct free valuations in Romford and specialise in Residential Sales, Lettings and Property Management so please give us a call on 01708 909 100 or pop into see us for a coffee at 13 Clockhouse Lane, Collier Row, RM5 3PH.
What has changed at Keystones?
Consistent and dedicated team
We have made massive changes in 2019, the staff base we have is consistent, which is important for growth and when communicating with our growing client base, especially for our Landlords. We have implemented new software systems and invested in the back end of the company which keeps the engine running smoothly. The organisation inside the company is brilliant, and I believe that we have the systems and processes in place that are unrivalled compared to a lot of other companies out there.
Investment in the latest property systems
We have invested in a system called PropertyFile; as a landlord you can access your financial statements, maintenance jobs, inspections and rent demands from a click of a button. As a vendor or buyer, you can access your list of viewings, property details, offers, re-schedule viewings, send messages to the team and a whole lot more! Off the back of the tenant fee ban, I don’t think there are many letting agents in Romford and around Essex investing which I believe sets us apart from our competition.
Our interim inspection reports are being taken and typed up from a software system which is recognised by Deposit Protection Schemes, which keeps us compliant and up to date with all legislation in our industry.
Charity work in the local community
We have been actively diving into Charity Work, we believe that the local community has helped us to become successful in our local area, therefore, we want to help and give back to the local community.
Every two weeks we work and help the local Collier Row Foodbank at the Church of the Ascension in Collier Row. We send two members of staff fortnightly on a Friday to help with the lifting, carrying and sorting of the food that goes to the homeless. I personally believe it is important to teach our staff community spirit, good ethics and how fortunate they are in life.
We have also been supporting a local Romford Charity called Mitchell’s Miracles; a Neuroblastoma Charity which we have chosen to partner with. Neuroblastoma is a form of Cancer that mainly affects children and this charity we partner with supports local children and families that are suffering from this tragic illness.
We are extremely proud to say that we donate as an office regularly and managed to raise £350.00 on the Collier Row Community Evening on Friday 6th December this year. We had Elsa from Frozen in the Office, a Charity Raffle and Guess the Teddy Bear prizes with the whole team involved, it was a fantastic night which coincided with the children mixing in with the local community and meeting Santa Claus for a present. A great event for the whole community put on by the Collier Row Community Group and supported by many local businesses and families. We were really proud of the community that night. We had the honour of being a stamping station for the children.
A big THANK YOU from everyone here at Keystones Property
It has been a great year for Keystones, we would like to thank all of our clients who have supported us in 2019, without you we are nothing. I would personally like to thank my team who have worked really hard this year and I am really positive about going into 2020.
Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Owner of Keystones Property