The Alex Goldstein Property Show (Part 3)

October 2018

Featuring global heavyweights in the accountancy and personal services sector PwC (Price Waterhouse Cooper) discussing offshore funding, tax planning andtax avoidance.

Plus Sharon Wright – a specialist joiner using a wood product which has a 60 year guarantee and paint system with up to 15 years!

In addition we discuss the ONLY question you need to ask your estate agent before you instruct them.

So much to cram in, plus the Alex Goldstein top tips!

The Alex Goldstein Property Show (Part 3)

Full transcript below:

Alex: Welcome again to the Alex Goldstein Property Show. I’m Alex Goldstein of Alex Goldstein Property Consultants Harrogate and this is the fast-paced property show, giving you industry expert insight into the world of property, estate agency and the related business sectors within it. Insider tips, tricks and know-how all jam packed into the show, so you can make the best-informed decision when it comes to buying and selling your home whether you’re a first-time buyer, up-sizer, downsizer, experienced property developer, have a portfolio empire or just simply have an interest in the local and national property market then this is the show for you. I will be speaking with and getting industry expert advice from some of the most successful property related businesses and professionals that Yorkshire and indeed the UK has to offer ranging from regional Chartered Surveyors all the way through to some of the UK’s most well renowned multinational firms. We’re available for podcast download on the first of every month so make sure you sign up to Alex Goldstein and the Stray FM social media accounts to get an early reminder of this and to get great property tips whenever you need. In this months show we will be getting the inside track from global heavyweight giants in the accountancy and personal services sector PwC, Price Waterhouse Cooper, where we have Chris Etherington, a senior manager on their private client team in Leeds here talking through the hot topics of the day in the financial sector, such as offshore funding, tax planning and all the news in the press about tax avoidance currently. We will also be getting to grips with how to stay at the forefront of an agent’s mind when they’re selling your home as part of our property hospital section. Plus, we are putting Sharon Wright from DH Wright Joinery in the hot seat to get clarity on why a wood product she uses has a 60-year guarantee, you did hear that correctly. We of curse also have the Alex Goldstein top tips. So much to cram in so let’s get straight into the property news.

This month we’re discussing the current government intervention in the property market. Now, let’s face it, it doesn’t matter whether it’s our sugar intake the cars we drive or consumption of fruit each day, the government surely has our best interests at heart. After all a 3% stamp duty surcharge for second-home and additional property purchases and a further tax on what’s deemed to be the well-off can only be a good thing right. The government are just trying to help first-time buyers get on the property ladder. Seems fair doesn’t it, in addition to the above taxation, it’s tougher buy-to-let lending criteria now, curtailing of mortgage interest relief plus capital gains tax or CGT has effectively seen an 8% increase as residential property sales are excluded from the recent overall reduction in the tax. So, what is the governments problem and why are they doing this? In simple terms they feel that property investors have a competitive advantage over the first-time buyer and they are targeting the same types of properties. The government wants greater home ownership and to create a more stable economy so that if times ever got tough again with we’re well sheltered from the storm. Sounds sensible so far and by putting off some investors with higher upfront costs it will mean that the first-time buyers can get on the ladder. However, there are actually greater issues at hand here and let me explain. The government have effectively put the brakes on by-to-let investors. This has choked up the supply of rental properties. So of course, if there’s a shortage of supply, tenants demand is going to increase. When this happens the amount of rent payable each month is going to go up. So, if you’re a tenant and you rent has gone up how are you going to afford to pay for your first home? Don’t worry the government say, here is that new lifetime ISA and an increase on the annual ISA limit. However, to my mind this doesn’t solve the issue as if I’m a tenant how can I still afford to put money aside each month into my brad new fancy ISA if my rent has gone up. I argue we are still left with the same issue of people trying to get on the property ladder because saving for deposits and tougher lending criteria means that it remains an uphill struggle. Time will of course tell on this, but I hope the government have got their watchful eye on what I see as a brewing issue.

It’s great here to have Chris Etherington rom Price Waterhouse Cooper in Leeds. Chris getting straight to the heart of it, I know everyone’s really heard of PwC and Price Waterhouse and it’s one of those massive UK names but what underneath it all do you actually do?

Chris: Thanks for inviting me on Alex. So yeah PwC, I mean it’s one of those words that you see bandied around in the press for being you know just a large accountancy firm. We work with huge global conglomerates and things like that and it’s actually like you say is it’s a bit impenetrable as to what do we actually do. So, in terms of getting down to the nuts and bolts of it we’re essentially problem solvers. I mean we do a whole variety of things, I can list you know a whole different load of services that we do so you know, I do tax advice, we do legal advice, we do investment advice, we do deals, we help people buy and sell companies, we do the boring stuff like the accountancy, colleagues in accountancy won’t thank me for saying that but you know that is what we’re known for but we do so much more. You know we help people get debt funding, a whole host.

Alex: So, sort of numbers and a bit beyond?

Chris: Absolutely yeah, obviously numbers based but we’re not all just mathematicians.

Alex: Yes, a possible common misconception is the types of clients that you help, and I know you’ve mentioned that you do help some of the UK’s best names out there. But just give people a feel because obviously you’ve got those people, but I picked up that there is actually a bit of a slant and a change.

Chris: Well I tell you what I do, I just work with individuals and most people will be surprised to hear that probably. I’ve spent the last decade of my life sitting at the same desk helping clients of all shapes and sizes if you like. So, I’ve got clients who are guys in their bedroom with an internet business, to 98-year-old Granny’s. So, you know there’s all sorts and its not just your high net worth Russian oligarchs or what you think it might be.

Alex: Yeah, a common misconception, it’s great to clear that one up. And what about companies on that on the company side because again you’re often seen to be acting for some of the big guys out there but that be said at the moment you’re quite interested as a company in the SME’s of this world.

Chris: I mean if you just took what we call it private business and what that basically means is working with individuals, typically owners of managed businesses and privately-owned businesses and if you took that out of PwC in itself that would probably be the fifth largest accountancy firm in the country, just that bit of PwC, I mean we do a lot. If you look at how many FTSE 100 companies are there in Yorkshire, there’s some but there’s not a huge amount so over two thirds of what we do is working with entrepreneurs and their businesses and that’s not just huge ones it’s tech start ups to very large privately-owned businesses and everything in between.

Alex: If you are a small medium sized business, why would you look to PwC’s rather than say an accountancy firm down the street. What is the difference, what are you actually getting?

Chris: At the end of the day I mean you’ve got the benefit of having somebody that is focused on the SME market, but has the benefit of having a global firm behind them so we can help you from day one as you grow and invest out time, quite happy to invest time to start with in certain businesses you know, so I’ve got a lot of guys who are tech start-ups and there’s not a huge amount I’m going to be doing for them but I just spend time with them on a day-to-day basis and help them, grow with them and in the future there might be an opportunity for me to help them with something.

Alex: And I suppose from what you previously said it’s the fact that you’ve got all these different departments and sub-divisions and all different types.

Chris: Yeah, say someone is trying to export to a European country for example and they’ve never done it before, well we’ve got offices all over the world. I can pick up the phone to somebody and find someone over there that can help them.

Alex: They’re getting the PwC network that you can’t obviously get from your high street guy and you are the one stop sort of financial spreadsheet shop so to speak.

Chris: Yeah, that’s why I said basically we’re problem solvers. So if you have a problem with your business, generally I can find an expert, because it’s such a big firm there’s usually somebody who does everything you know, I’ve had a little niche expert, I mean I’ve been in the firm for a decade, I still don’t know what we do, there’s so much there yeah but usually if you pick up the phone there’s somebody I can turn to with something.

Alex: And just talk us through because it’s very much a hit topic at the moment, this whole sort of tax avoidance. You’ve obviously got all the Panama papers, you’ve got David Cameron who’s supposedly been caught out according to some of the papers, Emma Watson the actress, she again bought it through the Panama company. What’s the viewpoint on this because again I think it’s very much a misconception when people sort of talk about taxation, the different structures, talk us through what is legal, what is illegal, what’s the grey area?

Chris: Yeah, it’s a hot potato, bit of a minefield to go through and it obviously sells papers which is why it’s been all over the press for the last five or so years. Before then I think the tax world was very different. Broadly the important point to know is tax evasion, that’s the really bad thing, that’s illegal, now tax avoidance that’s legal. So, one is a criminal matter, if you’re doing tax evasion, there’s still plenty of people out there doing that, and if you look at what budgets and things set when the Chancellor stands up with his little red box and so on he says how much I’m going to recover from tax evasion, as there’s plenty of people out there doing that.

Alex: And that’s effectively money laundering which is the illegal bit.

Chris: Yeah it can include money laundering, it can get people not paying their tax, basically defrauding the government.

Alex: And the difference flipping over to the….

Chris: I mean obviously we don’t do any of that.

Alex: Obviously.

Chris: Tax avoidance is a much broader term. So, and again that is bandied around, and it is becoming more of a dirty word in itself. It comes down to confusion, as you mentioned, it’s how do people understand what is genuinely just financial planning and what is avoidance and if you look at what the law says, you know case law basically going back donkey’s years which goes along the lines of and I probably paraphrase badly that somebody is entitled to arrange their affairs in a way that helps minimise their tax exposure. That’s perfectly legitimate. But if parliament didn’t intend this to happen are you manipulating the rules? Are you finding a loophole and exploiting it? That’s tax avoidance in their view and they don’t like it for obvious reasons, it’s not what they want you know. Whereas they are obviously happy with financial planning. I mean tax avoidance is so broad you could say that investing in a ISA you know in a sense is, you are arranging your circumstances to pay less tax because there is a you know government sponsored tax relief there, you can invest in a wrapper like that.

Alex: So effectively its your role to take and do the tax advice and take your client and their pot of money no matter what it is and take it up to the line that is set out effectively by HMRC but you don’t cross it because the as you said you’re getting into serious nitty gritty territory and you’re bound to be caught out and that’s where if you like the daily mails of this world and the media have picked up on it and arguably twisted the facts slightly?

Chris: Ultimately it comes down to there are thousands of pages of legislation now you know it’s impossible for the layman on the street, you know Jimmy an ordinary citizen to understand really what the tax rules are, they’re so complex now. You know when I started you had a couple of books and it’s now twelve. It’s impossible, I can’t read all of that, you have to have you know specialists in each individual field and some of just doing stuff like a tax return for people was impossible because there’s absolutely no way you can self-assess without some help. So, a lot of what we do is actually try and help people understand what the rules are.

Alex: It brings us on I suppose nicely in terms of again another term that’s sort of bandied around predominately by the media in terms of offshore funds, whereby you sort of say well I’ve got my pot of money and it’s held in the Channel Islands or it’s over in the British Virgin Islands and all of that and again it’s tarnished with a similar sort of brush. Are those sort of setups legal? Illegal? What are the advantages? What are the disadvantages? I mean again it’s a term possibly misunderstood but where we we’re at the moment in terms of legislation what’s possible?

Chris: Yeah so I mean like you say there’s a lot of attention on things like Panama, before then there was non-dom’s, that came up in the election campaigns and stuff, and a lot of these terms are thrown out into the press and it’s all no non-dom’s are bad, Panama’s obviously bad, offshore structure that’s awful, you know and the trouble is a lot of people aren’t interested in the detail, I love tax, a lot of people don’t, I’m fairly unique, I chose to do this, most people fall into the profession. Unless you get really into the detail and that’s not going to sell papers is it if you’re going to get really into the detail of it, so it is quite easy to get things misconstrued. I mean just turning to the Panama situation and David Cameron, so he invested in essentially shares in an offshore vehicle set up by his father. I don’t know all the details, I haven’t look at it that much in all the specifics, but broadly it was an entity which paid UK tax, it was distributing its income each year and David Cameron would have to declare that on his tax return. So that is the same as you investing in a blue-chip company on the stock exchange as anybody else would, you do that in a ISA or whatever you like. If it’s paying the same amount of UK tax as it would be in a UK entity, then what’s the problem but people see offshore and tax evasion and tax avoidance and group it all. You just read the headline don’t you. There are things to be uncovered and it’s perfectly legitimate for people to look at Panama and things like that and see if there is, you know I’m sure there will be untoward things that are in there to be uncovered, you know it’s 11 million documents I think, it’s going to take somebody with a fine tooth comb to go through it all I think.
Alex: Well time will tell on that one time will tell. Bring it back round, in terms of property investment again the sort of the buzzwords is sort of how you structure it for tax efficiency, capital gains, inheritance tax, company structures, how do you actually sort of structure purchases nowadays because obviously there’s so many sort of obstacles, are there sensible ways, obviously above board as we’ve said that you can actually structure that purchase? What should one actually look out for as a property investor?

Chris: Ok, ok ultimately, it’s a bit fob you off a little bit. It really comes down to your personal circumstances. There’s not a one set of rules, this is the right thing for a property investor to do you know, one person’s situation may be completely different to another person’s. You might have someone who is married and in a property partnership say, you might have somebody that’s just doing it by themselves, you have to take all of that into account. I mean if your married you might think about things like who’s earning more so you know a lot of the changes at high level are, some of the bigger ones that we announced were around for stretching the amounts of relief you can get on your mortgage payments so that’s going to be restricted to basic rent, so you know 20% relief eventually essentially, whereas in the past you would have got 40% or If you’re an additional rate tax payer, if you’re lucky enough to be one, 45% relief. You know so that’s a big dip in terms of how much, it’s coming phased in so over the next couple of years you will come 75%, 50%, 25%, I won’t throw numbers around but in those circumstances you might look well okay fine if my wife isn’t earning anything well maybe she should own some of the properties if we’re going to acquire some more, maybe she should do it rather than me. The issues with stamp duty and tax are interesting. I mean you’ve got obviously this new 3% surcharge, from the people I’ve spoken to it’s just not necessarily something that will change the behaviour but they’re looking at, it’s more a case of it’s an extra cost that we’re going to have to incur it’s like a business expense you know it’s just something that we have to take into account when we’re setting our rents and so on to try and get the right sort of profit in the long term. So unfortunately, I think whilst the idea is to disincentive I guess the landlord and buy-to-let market, I suspect it will just be passed on to the tenants in due course.

Alex: That’s my fear but again we will see because it’s very early days. Talk us through Chris, because I know a lot of people are banding around ideas of if we’re looking to buy property we’ll put it in a limited company structure and there’s sort of limited liability partnerships and all of that. If one is looking to acquire properties what are the things you actually need to think through in the structures as well.

Chris: Well I mean you’ve got to think about what’s commercial first and what’s good for you. I mean there are benefits to being in a company there are benefits of being in a partnership, like limited protections one but you know there’s also things like who’s going to lend money to me. I mean it’s easy to obtain finance when you’re an individual through buy-to-let mortgages, it might start to get harder but it’s my understanding is it’s harder to do it through a company than it is. The tax things to think about are well yeah there are some tax changes. Not all of those tax changes apply to the companies, particularly mortgage interest one is a big one. So, there’s a distinction there that if you can get lending through a company and actually some people are actually so worse off that after these tax changes come through, in earnest once they’ve been phased in, yeah you could end up making a loss after you know the tax cost. So that in itself could mean that basically there’s no point being in business, so what you going to do about it? And one of the considerations might be well can I incorporate, well that might be one route you’ve got to think about what the other implications are, the stamp duty land tax issues and so on. Like I said before you what you got to do is look at your individual circumstances and then decide which structure is best from the outset.

Alex: Yeah and take some pretty specialist advice as well, again the great thing about PwC is just so many different departments and areas of expertise so you’ve just got to declare everything from your personal circumstances and really, I think hand it over to you guys for you to navigate through.

Chris: Obviously, I’d be happy to do that, the key thing is taking that sort of advice earlier on rather than later. It’s much easier to plan for the future than it is trying to unravel something from the past.

Alex: Yeah no quite. And I mean it’s been really insightful, thank you very much indeed for your time. If anyone’s got any sort of questions or queries or both I suppose from a personal perspective and also the company side and tax structures that we’ve run through, what is the best way for people to reach you?

Chris: So yeah you can give me a call, my direct telephone number is 0113 2894895 or normal routes you can reach us through the website

Alex: That’s fantastic, really appreciate your time Chris, thank you very much indeed.

Chris: Thank you very much.

Alex: In the property hospital I get to answer your property problems.

Linda Alex, I’m on the market with an estate agent at the moment and things are ticking along but how can I continue to get the best out of them and ensure that they’re always pushing my property?

Alex: Linda, great question. One of the best things you can actually do is get the front of house team or the office-based staff to view your home. The more staff that have seen it, the more they’re going to remember it and they’re then going to mention it to the buyers out there. The other thing is, I think you need to stay in touch with your agent but do keep it brief each time. Remember agents are sales people and they’re often short of time, so having a 30-minute telephone call is just going to clog them up and let’s face it, I would much rather they were using that 30 minutes on the phone selling your property. So, really keep it short and sweet with the communication, that’s the key. Again, on that point, remember estate agency is of course, it’s a people business, so therefore be nice as I know you would be, but people always go out of their way to help anyone that’s great to get on with and keep a solid personable rapport with the agent. Really, ultimate tip and rick here, stay front of mind with your agent, go and buy them some cake and seriously I do mean that, pop buy the bakers, get them a selection of cakes in a box and drop by the office and to say that you were thinking of them. So, when they’re eating them, and the other office staff are asking were these cakes come from, they’re discussing you and your home, and again in other words you are front of their minds and you’re being a great client and therefore they will continue to go above and beyond for you. I really hope this helps.

Voiceover: The Property Hot Seat

Sharon: Sharon Wright

Voiceover: Business?

Sharon: David H Wright Joinery

Voiceover: Time in property?

Sharon: I’ve been in the business for 28 years.

Alex: Just sort of talking all of this through, I know people possibly have this misconception of what joinery actually is and as soon as you mention a specialist, what is it that you actually do and offer?

Sharon: Right well as a bespoke joinery manufacturer we manufacture all types of products windows, doors, orangeries, conservatories. We work on heritage work, all types of different woods.

Alex: I dare say being a specialist you get involved with a lot of sort of older properties, listed properties, is that something that you sort of go into and what are the sort of details that you need to sort of secure off on it?

Sharon: Absolutely when a property is in a conservation area or indeed it is a listed building yeah then the attention to detail we have to be very careful what we’re actually putting in to that building. We have to improve it sympathetically with our windows so the attention to detail is paramount, we have to ensure that we get all the mouldings correct, that we’re using the correct timbers, we’ve got to pay special attention to the paint finishes, the colours that are really important.

Alex: I guess it just goes into the sort of the legal side of things, if you get it wrong, you and the owner are liable, and you’ve got the council and authorities to answer to is the bottom line.

Sharon: Absolutely, it can be a very expensive mistake.

Alex: What are the considerations that you need to do when making applications to the local authority if you wanted to change any windows, doors, maybe a conservatory or orangery, what do you actually need to think through as an owner and indeed yourself as a business?

Sharon: We have to be very careful because the local authority want to preserve the heritage of the building and also with conservation areas they want to preserve the area to make sure that its maintained, it’s kept beautiful and all the buildings are sympathetic to the area so we have to make sure that one the windows are copied exactly as they were before, so it doesn’t have to be a 1700 property, doesn’t have to be a Georgian property or a Victorian property. It might be that it’s a 1920s or 1930s property.

Alex: Just in the conservation areas you mentioned.

Sharon: Absolutely.

Alex: You’ve still got to tread carefully, I mean what happens for example, there’s some fantastic properties that have stained glass and its again they’re incredibly difficult to A – get right and copy nowadays, is there a way you can get round that from your perspective?

Sharon: Absolutely, so the glazing is very important as well. Say you’ve got a property that’s got beautiful stained glass windows in and the client still want to have the double glazed units then what we can do is we can encompass that into the double glazed unit so we send them away to a very very clever man in Leeds that repairs the original stained glass and then encapsulate that into a double glazed unit so you’ve got the benefit of a very very modern window in a traditional style.

Alex: You’ve got the best of everything.

Sharon: Best of all worlds yeah absolutely yes.

Alex: I know you have talked about the difference of timber types and I think this is a really interesting subject. Just tell everyone the wood types and the differences that you work with because again some of it is quite surprising I think.

Sharon: Well you’ve got to be really really careful when you’re looking at buying a window, whether that’s for a new build or we’re looking at heritage type buildings. There’s a lot of soft wood products out there which are ok, but when you’re wanting to have a beautiful window done then you want to have the best wood you can have.

Alex: Yeah, and people often sort of throw around the term oak, but I guess there’s oak and there’s oak, what are the differences?

Sharon: Absolutely, well you have European oak and American oak. Both really really great timbers but you wouldn’t want to be using American Oak outside because it’s just not capable of our weathers to use outside. So, it’s great to use that timber American oak but on inside products such as staircase, internal doors that sort of products but as far as any external work then you really have to use European Oak.

Alex: Talk me through because I felt that this was absolutely fantastic, this is a fairly new product that’s out there sort of accoya, talk everyone through this as I know I’ve been saying to everyone look at this a 60 year, a six-zero-year guarantee which I think is quite something. Just talk everyone through exactly what that is and why there is that guarantee in place.

Sharon: I’m so excited about this product, it really really is a great product. What happens it’s a soft wood timber, accoya is not a tree, it’s a soft wood which is farm grown in New Zealand and what they do is they take all the you know DNA, take all the DNA out of the timber and it goes through a process which enables that timber then to be very very stable. So, you can cut a piece of timber, measure it before you put it in some water, put it in water, leave it for six-months Alex and take it back out and it won’t have swollen, it won’t have moved it won’t have done anything, so it’s a great stable timber.

Alex: It’s actually wood, it’s not anything objective or strange, it’s just the way they’ve treated it?

Sharon: Absolutely, it’s a fantastic product so we use it for doors, for bi-folding doors it’s absolutely great because we can get the tolerances really down to a fine line. It’s great for sliding sash windows because what we do we also use a product called tri-accoya which is also great, which is made of all the sweepings of the accoya into a MDF board so that’s great for when we do orangeries or conservatories, it’s great for the big timber posts that we use, we use that instead of big timber posts and we know we’re not going to get any swelling or movement so it really is a fantastic fantastic product.

Alex: Doesn’t rot, doesn’t move, doesn’t split, doesn’t do anything apart from when you’ve cut it to size, it just completely stays in place and let me check I’ve got this right it really is 60, six-zero years guarantee.

Sharon: Absolutely.

Alex: I don’t know any other product probably in the world that has that sort of guarantee that is something quite special, and then over the top of it, I know we’ve sort of chatted in the past about the paint that you can also then incorporate, not necessarily on the top of accoya but the other products that you use. Talk everyone through that.

Sharon: Ok, well we work with a company called Technos and that company provide a micro-porous paint system. Now just explain a little more in details than that, that is a water-based system, which will actually moves with the timber so if for instance looking at sepelia hard wood then you get up to a 10-yewar lifespan on a sepelia hard wood, with soft wood you get up to a 10-year lifespan with that, but with accoya you get up to a 15-year lifespan on your paint system.

Alex: And that is just on the paint itself, not for the woods just on the paint?

Sharon: Yeah.

Alex: Again, that is quite a combination, so again if you’re doing anything specialist that’s going to take a bit of a hit so to speak I think that is really the product to go for. I know again everyone sort of talks about UPVC windows and sort of timber windows and bare in mind the products on the timber side that your using. What are the advantages as you would see it in terms of putting in timber windows over UPVC?

Sharon: If you are doing a project, firstly if it’s in a conservation area or a listed building you’re not allowed to use UPVC and you can really get caught out by spending money and then having to put new windows in again so be very very careful with that, that’s the first thing. Also, the attention to detail, with a plastic window you can’t get the really very nice mouldings on the windows themselves. Also, with a wooden window, they’re endorsed by the WWF and Greenpeace so they’re much more environmentally friendly, of course if we put them into landfill they don’t really know, so for the environmentalists that is very important.

Alex: And I suppose the design element as well from your perspective because I think you’ve got a fleet of people behind the scenes so if you want any design under the sun, pretty much it’s all possible.

Sharon: Absolutely and what we’ve got to take into consideration as well is that the people that are trained by us are apprentice trained really from school, and they’re craftspeople, so the windows that we’re manufacturing, are really really difficult to make and so attention to detail is paramount and with a plastic window really anybody can make.

Alex: And what’s the training? What’s the length of year out of interest? Sort of a craftsmen, how many years?

Sharon: So, we’re talking about seven years.

Alex: As long as that.

Sharon: We’re talking a long time.

Alex: Well it’s been fascinating to talk to you and some really interesting products to use and I’m sure you’ll have some great interest on that. And what are the best ways for people to get hold of you?

Sharon: You can give me a call, the best number to get me on is 01977 681832 or the website is

Alex: Sharon, great to see you thank you very much indeed.

Sharon: Thank you for having me Alex.

Alex: This month we ask ourselves what is the only question you need to ask the manager of your state agency office when they’re looking to sell your property. That is what is their experience in estate agency. Now, let me explain, for example I had a case a couple of years back and completely out of the area a homeowner rang me, and they were struggling to sell their property. Area was great, great property, right price, I just personally couldn’t understand why it hadn’t sold and something wasn’t right. Cue a meeting with the estate agent who also was the manager of that office. Excellent sales person, full of enthusiasm, couldn’t fault him, however once I’d actually cut through all of that and asked his experience in the sector, his response was that he used to work for Cirque De Soleil, the circus people in their marketing team. He was literally a clown. He fancied having a goat estate agency and bought himself a franchise and whilst he could buy a franchise opportunity and he really was an excellent sales person, he could not buy hands on experience, and this was why the sale in this instance had faltered. And as the manager leading his team, if there was an issue, were to have the foresight to see a problem cropping up on the horizon he was instantly out of his depth therefore so was the rest of his team. Whilst this new twist to estate agency is a great thing they need to be backed up by a leader with experience and some of the most powerful agents have the young negotiator who’s enthusiastic, full of energy, it’s then backed up and tempered by the manager and these guys have the years of experience and the know-how. Together the combined skills can be a very formidable force when selling your home. However, no experience at the top can only lead to issues down the line. Remember time and experience in any job can only be earnt and never bought.

That’s all from the Alex Goldstein Property Show. More details, tips, tricks and industry expert advice can be found on the website and of course all my social media channels. Alternatively drop me a line on The next episode is out on 1 July so make sure you tune in for that. Until next time.

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