V and I went out for a stroll between Guildford and Godalming yesterday. On the way I shot a small video.
Having been a tough end to the last and start of this and motivated by the thought of positive, I would like to make my pledge for 2010.
Thank you. Regards N
It's Christmas Eve! We hope that you are now beginning to unplug and relax and are getting around to spending quality time with family and friends.
Christmas is always a time for reflection and also the chance to look forward to another New Year, and starting afresh with renewed energy and purpose.
Yesterday, we recorded our Christmas message VideoBlog where we share our thoughts on the past property year, and look forward with enthusiasm to 2010.
One of the highlights of our year has been the success of our Property Tribes forum, which we launched in May. It now has just shy of 700 members, and our recent Google analytics revealed that we had 9,000 hits on the forum during the month of November, and that it grew by 23%. This is purely down to the high quality content, which is constantly up-dating, and therefore always engaging and relevant! To that end, we would like to thank the many Tribal Members who have contributed to the forum. It is down to you that it is such a great success! We hope that Property Tribes will continue to be a great resource for the property community and a place for like-minded and committed Landlords/investors to gather on-line and share opinion, experience, news, and contacts.
Looking forwards to 2010, we have decided to move out of our home office and move into rented premises. We feel we need to do this in order to take ourselves to the next level and become more efficient. It also has much to do with reclaiming our home space as "home" rather than business, and, after three years of working from home, this feels like a very positive move for us. It will also ensure that we are no longer tempted to sit in our dressing gowns all day! :)
We have taken an office in the Surrey Research Park in Guildford.
One of our reasons for choosing this location was due to its excellent conferencing and meeting facilities. We will be taking full advantage of these in 2010 with a comprehensive schedule of property and social media networking and educational events. Early in the New Year, we will be issuing a year long programme of events, our first networking get-together being scheduled for Monday 18th January, so put that date in your diary now! We will be inviting a variety of speakers to come and share valuable insights into property, social media, and business development to help you keep ahead of the curve in 2010.
Speaking of "speaking", we were thrilled to learn recently that Nick has been asked to be a key-note speaker at the LikeMinds Conference 2010, taking place in Exeter on the 26th February. Nick will have the honour sharing the stage with one of our social media heroes, Chris Brogan. We hope to see many of you at this amazing event where many of the world's top social media exponents gather to share insights and knowledge.
As we will be discussing at LikeMinds, 2010 will undoubtedly see businesses taking social media far more seriously. Traditional marketing as we know it is in terminal decline and your business must change ... or die. We believe that those who provide valuable content, and "earn" people's attention will be the success stories of the next twelve months. There is an amazing opportunity for all of us to harness the power of the web and become known, liked, and followed for what we do. As a by-product, this will lead to trust and increased business transactions.
2010 is the year to build your network which will provide you with both financial and emotional wealth for the future. Our mantra: Content is King, Collaboration is Queen, and Community is where they reign supreme!
We take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us over the past twelve months. We wish everyone a merry and peaceful Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. We hope that you connect with that magical ambience of this special time, and feel the wonder, awe, and sense of anticipation that is always brings.
We look forward to supporting you in making 2010 your best year yet!
Vanessa and Nick
We are entering the era of the individual and the networked economy. In order for you and your business to stand out from the crowd, you need to be a leader.
In a tribal society, the Elders are the most respected and committed members of the community, the leaders, the sharers of wisdom, and the people to turn to for support and advice.
Following the amazing news that Property Tribes has grown 180% in the last three months (Alexa stats), we’re introducing two new levels of membership to help grow the forum and provide enhanced benefits for our members.
“Tribal Elders” and “Tribal Elders PowWow” are our two new levels of paid membership for those of you who want to lead the property community and signal your commitment to property, networking, and raising the visibility of your businesses through on and off-line networking.
Tribal Elders Yearly Membership Programme:
For an annual subscription of £60, you will access the following benefits:
BUY NOW £60
Tribal Elders Yearly Membership Programme PLUS Pow Wow:
BUY NOW £400
Sample Video screenshot of Vanessa interviewing Tome Evans @thebookwright These programmes represent excellent value for money to give you access to very affordable networking and other benefits that will enhance your visibility in our network. They are designed to help you grow your business and brand on-line in a supportive, open, and collaborative community which has been built over the past five years on trust and ethical practices.
By aligning yourself with other like-minded people, you can use the momentum of the group to move yourself and your business forwards.
Whilst the normal Property Tribes membership remains free, by joining one of our paid programmes, you are making a commitment to yourself to become a leader in the property community. The programmes are for serious and committed people only who see the benefit of joining the “inner circle” of our community and benefitting from enhanced visibility and credibility in our network.
On a beautiful sunny Spring morning, it's the perfect time to start thinking of Summer holidays!
What comes to mind when you think of the British seaside? Candy floss, crazy golf and ballroom dancing? Cream teas, milkshakes, and fish and chips? Sandcastles, buckets and spades, and paddling? Not to mention the miles of beautiful and unspoiled coast of this island nation - from sweeping sandy beaches to craggy cliffs. Wherever you are in England, you are never more than 73 miles from the sea! It's ingrained in our genetic make-up and culture!
The British seaside is a fairly recent invention. The classic chalet-and-pier towns grew up during the 19th century, when it finally occurred to someone that it might be nice to let workers in industrial towns go on holiday. Their late flowering was in the 1950s and 60s, before the advent of cheap travel abroad. In recent times, it's true to say that some of their grandeur has faded. But it could be that the current economic down-turn is just what is needed to breathe new life back into our coastal resorts.
In December 2007, we saw what was happening in the property market and wider economic climate, and we decided to diversify our portfolio to hedge and spread risk. We started researching a U.K. holiday let that had the potential to achieve year round occupancy. After much due diligence, and a weekend stay in the area, we purchased our first holiday let property "SeaBreeze" at Camber Sands, East Sussex in April 2008. With a buy-to-let property you have pure investment potential. However, imagine having the added benefits thrown into the equation of being able to buy your retirement home now, at today's prices, and have it funded by someone else as well as having your own holiday home at a very low personal cost and with generous tax advantages too (if your property is furnished). A high occupancy holiday let also produces significant net cash flow, makes perfect sense in the current economic climate, and enjoys many financial and other benefits that traditional buy-to-lets don't.
Here are our Top Ten reasons to invest in holiday lets this year:
1. Renaissance in the great British seaside holiday, led by magazines like "Coast" and TV programmes like "A Place By The Sea" and BBC's "Coast". There is a significant regeneration of traditional seaside towns going on around the U.K. The seaside resort of Blackpool is set to undergo a £220m transformation with new hotels, shops and restaurants planned. Meanwhile the "Sea Change" government-backed initiative led by CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) aims to regenerate seafront resorts across the country through a range of cultural, heritage and public space projects, with the aim of boosting local tourism and contributing to wider economic development. Dover and Torbay are two of the towns set to receive £4m grants. The fire-ravaged Grand Pier pavilion in Weston-super-Mare is set to be replaced with a futuristic £30 million development that will open in Summer 2010.
2. The credit crunch is forcing families to holiday at home. Research from the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) has revealed that twice as many Britons are planning to spend their holidays in the UK this year compared with last as a result of the economic downturn. The price-comparison website, travelsupermarket.com, also reports a 50 per cent increase in inquiries about UK self-catering holidays, and the property-finding agency, County Homesearch says that rentals for holiday cottages have jumped by 30 per cent this January, compared with 12 months ago.
3. The strength of the Euro and U.S. dollar, plus increased costs of flights and airport taxes, makes a holiday abroad approx. significantly more expensive. By the same token, it also makes a holiday in the U.K. a very attractive proposition for tourists!
4. A new report by Halifax has revealed that Coastal areas are proving to be the most popular destinations for internal migration across England and Wales. According to the Bank, the attraction of living by the sea is proven by the fact that of the 20 local authorities (LAs) seeing the biggest increases in net internal migration between 1997 and 2007, 80 per cent are coastal areas. This suggests that whilst city living still proves popular, many only stay for a limited number of years. Birmingham recorded both the highest internal inflow (315,600) of people and the highest outflow of people (403,600) between 1997 and 2007. The rise in people who are office nomads, self-employed, free-lancers, consultants, web workers, just knowledge workers in general, has led to changes in the ways people work. The nature of their work means they can work from wherever they want and coastal living has many lifestyle benefits. (N.B. We believe that properties that offer space are going to be a big commodity in the future, as many people will be working from home and will want a home office. This again is why houses are always preferable to flats).
5. Pontins recently announced a £50m regeneration programme for their holiday sites across the U.K. They will also be creating 2000 new jobs. With the credit crunch biting, it's compelling information to know that Pontins believe in investing in U.K. holidays. With investment comes growth, so up-graded Pontins sites will contribute to the local micro economy and bring increased traffic to the area.
6. Coastal properties benefit from "coastal appreciation". According to the Halifax, the average property price in 24 seaside towns was at least 20% higher than the county average last year, and these towns are expected to remain largely unaffected by the credit crunch. The Halifax study also found that over the longer term there were 18 coastal towns that saw increases in price of over 100% between 2002 and 2007. This is because buyers of seaside properties in the UK tend to be older and wealthier than others so do not need to borrow large amounts of money to fund the purchase. The net inward migration and increasing popularity of coastal towns will also support house price stability.
7. There are some attractive tax benefits to owning a U.K. holiday let.
With UK holiday lettings, you can realise a tax advantage if you make a
loss on your earnings from the property, and when you sell the property:
If you make a loss
Any loss can be offset against your other income, not just the property income, reducing your overall tax bill. Or you can carry the loss forward and offset it against future letting profits.
When you sell the property
You may be able to take advantage of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reliefs, such as 'business asset roll-over relief'. For example, if you reinvest within three years in another UK holiday letting property or certain other assets costing the same as or more than you got for the property you have sold, you may be able to defer payment of CGT until you dispose of those new assets. You may also pay less CGT when you sell a property you have used for UK holiday letting, compared with other residential let property. This is because a UK holiday letting property is treated as a business asset for the purposes of 'taper relief', so the more favourable rates of 'business-asset taper relief' may apply to any capital gain you make on the sale. The amount by which the gain is reduced by taper relief will depend on how long you have owned the property and how long you have used it for qualifying holiday letting.
To understand the rules fully, and find out about other reliefs you may qualify for, ask your professional adviser or Tax Office about CGT reliefs on the sale of UK holiday lettings property.
8. In a recent survey, 52% of holiday makers said that the number one priority for their choice of holiday was to be close to a beach. If you have a coastal holiday let, close to a beach, you can be assured of well above average occupancy in the coming years*. However, also check for problems of flooding and coastal erosion before purchasing a beach-side property.
9. There are lifestyle benefits to owning a holiday let. These can be considerable, as the feeling of knowing you have a home away from home to visit when you please is a very comforting emotion to have. If you enjoy your home comforts even when on holiday, owning a second home is a very positive lifestyle option and can increase your enjoyment of regular holidays when you take them. You can take a break when you like, and no need to plan! Not only that, but you can open your second home up to family and friends if they need it and for many it becomes a regular occasion to have large social gatherings there. Even having a holiday home as a weekend getaway can be fun as you can switch off completely from your working week and enjoy the relaxation of knowing you're having fun and making some money through rental cash-flow when the property is "working". Many people have cash in the bank that is not earning them any interest. A holiday let property purchase can give them a return on their money, an investment, and add a new dimension to their lifestyle!
10. The advent of social media makes marketing to a global market easier than ever before. We use Twitter, Facebook, ecademy, and related forums to create visibility and awareness of our property in the market place - and it works. High quality holiday lets benefit from repeat business and referrals, so you only need to get a couple of seasons under your belt, and then marketing engine will start to run itself!
Successful implementation of "social media" is the interaction between people on the web using technology as a conduit.
One of the best tools at your disposal for this is video.
Video is an extremely powerful marketing tool to spread your message globally. It can be used in many different scenarios to:
Engage your customers (more than the written word)
Connect with them at a deeper level
Create interest in your products and services
Make you stand out from the crowd
Gain credibility in your field of expertise
Personalise and give personality to your marketing messages
Help build your personal brand on-line.
Some instances where we have used video very successfully ourselves:
Intro video to our ecademy profile
Video “postcards” on particular subjects
Video “breaking news” bursts Embedded into email broadcasts/newletters
Personal intro message on our website
Video press release (which can be distributed via various platforms).
Part of our social media campaigns
Very often, the same video can be used on a number of different platforms to increase visibility, awareness, and give more personal and engaging content to your marketing efforts, which in turn helps build your personal brand on-line.
People are choosing how they receive information, and the long sales letter with red writing, capitals, and highlighted text is becoming defunct. What can be more powerful than people actually being able to see you speaking? They connect with you on a much deeper level through observing your appearance, the way you speak, your body language, the value you give through your presentation and the way you present your opportunity. A video with a high production value can give you instant credibility and speaks volumes about you as a professional in your chosen field of expertise. You can share your passion easily and naturally through a video message.
However, a lot of people shy away from using video because they believe it is expensive, complicated, or they don’t understand how to produce a good quality video.
Introducing Video Burst: the cost-effective and easy way to create a quality video message for your business.
Being from a TV background, (Vanessa as a Producer/Director and Nick as a BBC trained cameraman), we recognised the importance of creating a quality video. Posting a “home movie” style video on YouTube simply doesn’t cut it in our book.
The idea was inspired from when we had the privilege of working with Madonna. A few years ago, Vanessa was asked to produce and direct a “Video Junket” for the launch of Madonna’s new children’s book. This involved Vanessa setting up and directing a camera to record interviews with Madonna by international journalists. Each journalist used the same camera set up and was allocated a half hour slot to interview Madonna. This was an efficient and cost-effective way for everyone to get time with Madonna and it also allowed Madonna’s management to ensure the quality of the pictures and sound that were being recorded. They were in essence managing her “TV brand” and great emphasis was placed on the lighting to ensure that Madonna looked her best.
This is the same format we will be adopting for our “Video Burst” recordings.
We invite you to book a slot to record your video message, whatever you choose that to be.
You will have ten minutes “media coaching” beforehand with Vanessa to help you present your video to the best possible standard. Vanessa was a TV Presenter for eight years on MTV, and also a media coach for such artists as Ricky Martin and Dido, and she will share her tips with you gleaned from that experience to help you present your video to the best of your ability.
You will then have camera time with Nick to record your video message. This will be filmed in HD and widescreen with professional quality lighting and audio.
Following the recording of your “Video Burst”, you will be emailed a file of your video and an embed code, to embed it into websites, blogs etc.
All you need to do is book your “Video Burst”, then your time slot, prepare your message, and then turn up on the day to record it.
The cost for a 5 minute Video Burst is ONLY £99.00 ex VAT.
You will end up with a video that is shot in HD widescreen using professional lighting and wireless sound.
You can book more than one slot if you want to record additional messages. For instance, you could record a series of video blogs to broadcast.
The benefits of using our “Video Burst” are:
You use our professional equipment.
You get to record a broadcast quality video at an inexpensive price.
You end up with a video that you can use again and again.
Our next "Video Burst" recording day is Friday 27th March at the Holiday Inn, Guildford, Click here for a MAP
Book your “Video Burst” now! ONLY £99.00 ex VAT On purchase you will receive an e-book on what to do next, and how to use your video effectively.
With the incredible news that 15% of all internet traffic globally is now attributed to social media, we have decided to broaden the scope of our property networking event this Sunday (15th March) to cover this amazing phenomenon that did not even exist three years ago.
Barack Obama was one of the first high profile people to harness the power of social media, and it helped him into the White House! On that basis, what could it do for you and your (property) business?
Nick will be giving an informal presentation on why normal methods of marketing are quickly becoming defunct, and why social media is a key strategy in spreading your message. He will be talking about blogging, micro blogging, creating contacts and turning them into a network, farming data, and using web tools to do this. Nick will be explaining in simple terms how you can use social media to create on-line visibility, awareness, and trust and a long "tail" of content that in effect establishes your personal brand on-line. We are now in the age of Google and Google never forgets, so you have an opportunity to start now to harness the power of social media to your benefit.
If you are new to the idea of social media, Nick's talk will make the perfect introduction for you to start thinking how you might utilise it.
We also have Paul Henley of Acorn Property Surveyors as our special guest to answer any questions you may have about how valuers are valuing property in the current challenging marketing conditions. He will also be giving his views on the future of the U.K. property market.
Our networking event is very different to most other property networking events. We run it like a "melting pot", with everyone contributing opinions, asking questions, putting up a problem to be solved, or putting forward a discussion topic. Some of the issues we have covered in the past include current financing and mortgage products, trends in the U.K. market, how people are addressing change in their property business, multi-lets, holiday lets, HMO's and much more.
We have built the reputation of our event on a non-sales agenda and we endeavour to always give real and authentic value to make it worth your while giving up part of your Sunday!
This is genuine 100% networking and people have time to network properly, as well as contributing to the forum format.
So you have nothing to lose and quite a bit to gain, especially as it is free to attend.
Date: Sunday 15th March 2009
Venue: Holiday Inn, Egerton Road, Guildford
Time: 10.30 to 14.30. Please arrive any time after 10.00 a.m. for registration and early bird networking.
Parking: Ample and free
Click the above video to be taken to the BBC site.
Sir Richard Branson has said the recession will provide "massive" opportunities for entrepreneurs.
The businessman is in Davos to encourage companies to give money to charity, despite the downturn.
He told the BBC's business editor, Robert Peston, that there was money to be made amid the gloom.