Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Happy New Year - this is the one!
Sunday, 28 December 2014
Books for Christmas - plenty of reading
Monday, 22 December 2014
Sleep patterns all over the place
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Changes are afoot with my employer (again)
Monday, 15 December 2014
Are blogs worth anything other than getting my thoughts down?
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
Ray, the walking estate agent
Inspiration comes in many forms
Sunday, 7 December 2014
How I'd have dealt with the changes in stamp duty this week
Saturday, 6 December 2014
I'm felling like the Bruce Willis character from Sixth Sense
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Photography stalls as the light fails
Saturday, 29 November 2014
My weekend internet page reading
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Ambition is infectious
Ambition is infectious. The sight of it imbues others with extra confidence. That is the Moeen Ali effect.
His cricket tangibly uplifts England. When he's involved - batting or bowling - the players have an extra spring in their step; their efforts are loaded with expectation; opponents visibly wilt. But natural talent is not enough. England need to play smarter cricket too. That's what this one-day international tour of Sri Lanka is about.
This section taken from the BBC website about the England cricketer Moeen Ali sums up how I want to go about my business. I want to be able to be this infectious ambition.
Picture 2 estate agents. One that works for an employer, clocks off at five, gets paid at the end of every month whether they sell your home or not. The other works for them self, can be contacted in the phone from 8am to 8pm, only earns if they sell your home. Which wpuld you choose?
If you could add to this an enthusiasm for their work, an understanding of marketing beyond a traditional estate agent and beng a professional photographer.
Plus they are someone who can convey all of this when sat in your home at the time of market appraisal.
Hopefully, it's a no-brainier, because that estate agent is me!
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
I need to enjoy family time without thinking of all the tasks I have to complete
Monday, 24 November 2014
Is any reading good reading?
Friday, 21 November 2014
Professional interest and personal panic
Tuesday, 18 November 2014
A head cold takes over my day, hopefully not my week
Monday, 17 November 2014
Inspiration to finish off my home office
Thursday, 13 November 2014
Is my degree a boost or a drain to my aspirations?
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Starting a business on my own is more and more appealing to me
Monday, 10 November 2014
My organisation steps up a gear to ensure I'm productive
Saturday, 8 November 2014
Downtime helps the mind focus
Tuesday, 4 November 2014
Photographs from my time away
Monday, 3 November 2014
Tomorrow is key time for the next steps in my start up
Sunday, 2 November 2014
245 days to go returns from holiday
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Options for my home office
I've started my home garage, changing it from this-
and now, today I've got to this point-
Whilst spending my day painting the walls and floor with a weatherproof sealant, I have been thinking about what the next steps will be in converting this space into an office that will allow me to work in quiet and comfort, whatever the weather conditions outside. First consideration has been to waterproof the walls and floor, as the UK winter (and often the other seasons) can have a big impact on the security and safety of this potential workspace. It has flooded more than once, through the walls from the outside garden flower beds, so I have accentuated the beds and put in more plants to soak up any excess water. Next step is to make the office a place where I can work and be inspired to market properties as well as I can.
Leave it as it is
Least cost and time/effort
Has the effect of a New York loft
Will be more expensive to heat, as there is no insulation
Another coat of white paint
Low cost and effort again
A blank canvas to add pictures and effects to inspire
Doesn’t solve the heat and insulation problem
Lining the walls with an insulating material
Will help to keep long-term heating costs down
Cheapest option that involves further action
Major concerns over building regulations
Brings fire safety issues in to play
Time and money to source the right materials at the right cost
Line the walls and then plaster/board over and decorate
Will look like a conventional office
Will be more insulated and save on heating costs
Expense starts to grow
Sourcing materials is even more costly and time consuming than above
Pay a builder to convert officially
Will add value to my home
Will be official and legitimate
High cost solution to what may be a temporary problem
Will accentuate my desire to permanently work from home, rather than eventually build up the business to an office base.
I am genuinely undecided about the best way forward, as I want this to be a low-cost solution to a problem, for the time period that I am working from home, and I also want it to be weather-proof, comfortable, safe and inspiring.
Decision time will be my next full day off work, 2 weeks from now.
Thursday, 23 October 2014
Some of my inspirations
I love the music of Hootie and the Blowfish, and their lead singer Darius Rucker. They can be found all over You Tube, but they also have a jukebox on their website-
I also love the music of Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers and David Gray.
I love all types of art and have been to many art museums in cities all over the World. My favourite artist is Mark Rothko. I don't get into the whole modern art debate, I just like his paintings-
I think that originality and creativity runs through the likes I have for all of these things, and I hope that shows in my work. How about you?
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Poetry to be creative?
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Enthusiasm sometimes gets the better of me
Monday, 20 October 2014
A big week lies ahead
Saturday, 18 October 2014
I've just been to a talk on the future of social housing
Notes from a talk about the future of social housing
house prices,estate agents,housing crisis,Housing,Social housing,right to buy
Friday, 17 October 2014
Making time for everything needs planning
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
My brush with The Apprentice
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
Social media as a platform to reach other like-minded professionals
Monday, 13 October 2014
Facing my fears
Thursday, 9 October 2014
Everything I think I need to sort out before opening
Here goes (in no particular order)-
- A new computer or laptop. My current one is fine for family use but I need a separate workstation with more memory.
- A dedicated telephone line for the business. Either an extra landline at home or a dedicated mobile phone and number.
- Sorting out the 2nd garage at the rear of the house that I will convert into an office space.
- Furniture for this home office, including a desk, lockable filing cabinets, chairs and stationery. I have an old dining room table, dining chairs, an office chair, a sideboard, a wardrobe, a chest of drawers and some other smaller pieces of furniture in the garage already, so some of these will be re-used or upcycled.
- A cashflow forecast and business plan for the first year of trading.
- I need a website designed and built. The design and content are still to be decided, and will take the form of a complete blog of it's own.
- I need to source a provider of for sale boards, design what my boards will look like and have them produced.
- I need to get a grip on what advertising I will use, how it will look, where it will appear, etc. This is a massive subject and will be it's own blog subject in the future.
- I'm looking at links to the local community to run alongside my advertising and other marketing. I'm thinking about links to a local school, a local sports club and some other community projects. I will provide them with support and financial help, maybe with a twist.
- I will need a solicitor for 2 reasons. Firstly for advice for setting up my business as a legal entitiy, then a reliable referral point for any conveyancing business that I come across.
- An accountant, for the setting up of the business as well. I will need advice regarding how to set up the business, whether a sole tradership, a partnership or a limited company will best serve my needs.
- I will need to open a business bank account, with online access, but also a local branch for paying in any rent money taken in cash or by cheque.
- A final decision on whether I open with sales and lettings. If I have lettings as well then I will need contacts for the management of the properties, such as electricians, plumbers, glaziers and central heating engineers.
- I will be looking into the availability of business grants in my area to help with the set-up costs. As I type this, I have now put this to the top of my mental list.
- I have an idea about becoming a "hybrid" of online and offline state agents by using the window of a High Street business to display my properties and contact details. I'll need to look into this and start to speak to local businesses about the possibility of this.
- I will need to register with the ombudsman service for estate agency, look at membership of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and, if relevant, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)
- I will need to look at contacting, and forging a working relationship with a local mortgage adviser that will be able to assist my clients with their financial needs.
- Likewise with a local surveyor, especially for clients that are buying without arranging finance.
- I have spoken to several companies in the past that supply a software tool for managing an estate agency. A sort of client and property database, with the ability to upload properties to portals, match clients with properties, email property details to clients and other daily functions.
- On that note, I will need to look at which property portals I am considering and from there, look at costs and fit this into my marketing plan.
- I will need to look at several levels of insurance - any changes to my car insurance, any changes to my home insurance from having a business operate from home and any business insurance I need for operating in clients homes.
- I will most probably set up a charitable foundation where any fundraising will go. I also intend to donate a percentage of my profits to this charitable foundation. In the early stages of my thought process, I want some of this money to go to a local charity and some to go to a charity related to housing, maybe Shelter.
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
I'm having a good day!
Monday, 6 October 2014
Keeping up the spirits takes things to look forward to
Sunday, 5 October 2014
Last photos from week 2 of my photography course - slow shutter speed
The second photo is of a roundabout, with the same technique, slow shutter speed and a narrow aperture (to balance out the amount of light getting in) and this is of a roundabout. I'm not 100% happy with this - I could have done with a more elevated position and a busier time of day, but the movement of the car lights and the traffic lights is still evident-
As I said, this is all for this week, hopefully I'll learn some new techniques next week and I can move forward from there to develop my own style.