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Matthew Payne
Matthew Payne
Business & Property Consultant
515  Profile Views

About Me

Business and property consultant offering strategic consultancy services and executive coaching to property businesses and property people looking for guidance and support to fulfil their potential, become more compliant, commercial, effective and profitable.

Get in touch at aficionadoproperty.com or on 07970 773 847.

my expertise in the industry

I worked in the independent and corporate property world for 25 years, working my way up from trainee estate agent to Managing Director of a multi-million-pound estate agency in London delivering record profits in the years that followed. Working closely with my teams, clients and customers in sales, lettings, property management, land and new homes afforded me an intimate 360 degree understanding of a transactional residential property business and the people it served.

Matthew's Recent Activity

Matthew Payne
Everyone's views are understandably influenced by the RM rate they are paying and whether they feel that is good value or not. A cooperative approach is the only way to tackle these price rises for independents anytime soon, which is effectively all the corporates have done. 600 branches, 800 branches carry a lot of negotiating muscle and they use it. RM won’t care about losing a handful of smaller agents who protest, and if anything, that adds fuel to the fire as they hike their prices even more the following year to those that are left to compensate. Rightmove has created this monster but not because of expense alone, but due to a very inconsistent and perverse charging model applied very differently to small independent and large corporate agents along with the fear factor its historic dominance has allowed them to create, that it is a necessity in your businesses if you want to succeed. A 1 branch independent agent is paying as much as 11 times more per branch than the biggest agents after they have had their corporate discount applied which they can also fix for 3 years, so the largest agents can choose to invest the saving in other marketing campaigns that generate them better quality leads from elsewhere, hence they are never critical of what it costs. (I know what they charged me as an independent and then when we became part of a corporate) Further, the rates quoted to the smallest agencies are so inconsistent, some might think RM is charging whatever they think they can get away with, as the fear with the smaller agents as with newspaper advertising 15 years ago, is RM is something they cannot manage without, and will destroy their business if they don’t have it. The more fear RM smell at each review meeting, the more expensive it gets. Ever wondered why they don't have a rate card and always want to agree new terms in a meeting? So, food for thought when you consider whether it’s worth the risk to leave… Firstly, the world isn't dependent on any portals property or otherwise anymore or has a loyalty to any particular app or website and clearly Zoopla has woken up to that. Apple, Google and others have made it so easy for us not to need to. The high tech has moved on monumentally in the last 5 years let alone the last 19. Google is only 2 years older than RM but look at how much it does now, how advanced it has become. When I look for property or anything for that matter I use Google, Siri if I’m out and about, not any particular portal and I get to see all of what I am looking for wherever it is listed, whatever website, and more people are doing the same. I used to go on particular sites, but search engine reliability has improved so much, and it is so much quicker. It’s a similar challenge for Amazon, I used to go there as my default, but I now trust Google to send me to the right places, give me the best choices, and I don’t shop on Amazon half as much as I used to, because in fact it’s not the cheapest place or has the best products all the time as they like RM would have you believe. Secondly, independently, if you are developing your own customer capture and engagement strategy at a local level in your communities and more broadly digitally with search engines always in mind, you can service the public to a large extent yourselves anyway, now that some (not all) of the Proptech that is out there has been road tested, improved and works. A combination of these means you will be able get in front of customers without dependence on RM, and perhaps that is what a lot of commentators here are finding. If you are already on Zoopla or OTM your properties will be easily found out there and on your own site, and a minimum £3000 a month saving for a small agency gives them a lot of options to do other things. Thirdly, consider the digital generations. My teenage kids don't use PCs anymore or type unless forced to, that's not even a cultural necessity for young people now to search for stuff they want to find, it’s all voice driven, Siri & Google Home. They don't know any different, they look at me with my laptop, typing away, sending emails manually, using the telephone like I'm some dinosaur. They run their lives front to back digitally through Google, Snapchat, Insta and YouTube. That’s it. No text messages, no browsers, no apps, no phone calls, no emails, no print media. They are your customers in about 5 years’ time, some older ones already are, are you ready for them? I note that most agents don’t have Insta or Snapchat accounts, some are not yet even on Facebook, or they are but never post anything, so maybe not. Soon will be the glasses with a heads-up virtual display in front of your eyes walking down the street, it’s not long. Apps have become passe already, who uses them, websites are mobile optimised, I’ve deleted most of mine? Thought tech is already here in the new F35, that’s next. Think Tony Stark, you will think or request 3 bed houses in Doncaster and they will appear in front of you in the middle of your kitchen for you to pull apart like virtual lego, and it’s not that far fetched. Google will take the lead role no doubt as always. RM was invented at a time when us 40 somethings were young and even we don’t use it anymore like we used to. Unless they have a secret masterplan, a revolutionary game changer about to be announced then they barely have no place in the lives of Gen Y and no chance whatsoever with Gen Z, they simply don’t communicate or operate digitally in a way that RM needs or expects them to. Should precious marketing resources be better spent elsewhere in context of value and relevance?

From: Matthew Payne 13 November 2019 22:23 PM

Matthew Payne
It needs resolving but adding another layer of bureaucracy to an already painfully slow process is not the solution. Buyer and vendor behaviour are a symptom of a broken system, not the system has become broken by their behaviour. Think of the practicalities of this proposal that would affect normal everyday people. A buyer can’t be expected to commit blindly to a transaction for 19 weeks, on the back of a handshake, with the vendor providing them with very little detail about what they are buying, hence they do their due diligence. In the 90s, things happened a lot quicker, a search took 2 weeks at most, an expedited search 48 hours, you could get a freehold deal over the line in 4 weeks. Unless you get the vendor to provide full disclosure, a survey in advance, to sign an affidavit that there have been no material omissions then there is still so much to establish, especially on leaseholds, hence subject to contract, subject to survey. Likewise, a vendor cannot be expected to make the same commitments for different reasons for 19 weeks, to a buyer who drags their heels. Does a buyer need to demonstrate their financial capabilities in the same way? Do you then need to go all the way down or up a chain to do the same thing? Then there is other mitigation, in a third of a year, a lot of life stuff can go on, people lose their jobs, get promoted, get pregnant, become ill, there could be many innocent and legitimate reasons why buyers and vendors could no longer honour their commitments. In the real world away from affluent parts of London where buyers and sellers no doubt keep £1000 in loose change in the centre arm console of their Bentleys, £1000 is a huge sum of money to jeopardise on a system that needs fundamental reform. Why should the average UK buyer spending less than £250,000 and saving sometimes for years to pull their deposit together, be told they have to put down a £1000 deposit that they will lose if they don’t proceed, which more often than not is not simply because they have changed their minds, hardly ever in fact. It’s title defects, survey results, down valuations, collapsed chains, search results, neighbours, personal challenges meaning they can no longer buy (or sell) at all because it has taken so long. The list is endless and one you can’t legislate for. If you do allow a huge list people will just declare that reason anyway, nothing will change. If you deny any mitigation list at all, you will punish people for things beyond their control. People will quickly work it out and the market will grind to a halt from the bottom up, people won’t move. It feels like a cottage industry is being created again like HIPs just to make some cash, not solve a problem. The wagons are circling, I note there are already a few companies popping up ready to go with these agreements. The focus should be on getting all stakeholders together lenders, lawyers, councils, agents, HMG and establishing how it can be done as quickly as it was 20 years ago, not force people to accept the current broken system because it’s quick and easy.

From: Matthew Payne 22 October 2019 12:08 PM

Matthew Payne
Like with anything the government has introduced in the recent past it has to be properly stress tested, something they havent done with many pieces of legislation in the PRS which has had a negative fallout on tenants as many predicted for example. We have seen a similar attempt at this in the past with HIPs that failed spectacularly. Any beta testing should very much include whether it would further reduce transaction numbers which is a real possiblilty. I put together 1000s of deals over years gone by, with persuasion, one off viewings, local VIP work, spotaneity many of which would not have happened if I had been asking people for £1000 up front and where they may not get it back. One of the biggest challenges is always how a fall through is determined. Reasons can be manipluated by buyers and vendors, and then there are countless other mitigations, loss of employment, divorce, bereavement, promotions at work, illness that may influence why a buyer or vendor does not proceed. Defining fault/blame fairly seems like an impossible task especially as one comment has already suggested. How do you determine what is a bad survey result for example? Is there such a thing as a clean survey on a Victorian property, they have all got a bit of damp or loose roof slates. Some buyers pull out over such things, others will use them as excuses to pull out if they have seen a better property. I can't see how there can a workable template, there are too many variables, but if you make it too black and white, ie pull out or dont pull out, then tranasction numbers will plummet.

From: Matthew Payne 21 October 2019 10:07 AM

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