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The Negotiator Conference 2017: stats, facts and anecdotes from the first morning

From high profile politicians to the founders of disruptive startups, The Negotiator Conference’s speakers are covering the full breadth of talking points facing the property industry in 2017 and beyond.

Here are some of the most notable stats, facts and anecdotes from the day so far.

If you’re at the Negotiator Conference right now (31st October 2017), head over to the entrance of the Wellington Ballroom to get exclusive perks and free access to PropertyBOX, the world’s first floor plan and photo enhancing app.

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Stamp Duty: how does it break down?  

Richard O’Donnell, Research and Insight Director of Hometrack, kicked off the day with a comprehensive breakdown of Hometrack and ZPG’s extensive research into the industry.

All SDLA receipts were not created equal, as we well know. In fact, 17% of homes paying over 3% in stamp duty account for 42% of the receipts across 57 local authorities.

 

Buyers: Who’s who?

In 2017, 7% of sales were buy-to-lets with a mortgage and 20% were investors and cash buyers. The remainder were split almost evenly between First Time Buyers with a mortgage (36%), and home owners with a mortgage (37%); though Hometrack predicts a surge in First Time Buyers in 2018 (outside London).

Gearing your marketing efforts more towards First Time Buyers, who will almost invariably be millennials, is crucial for estate agents in 2018. Find out more about how to market property to millennials here.

 

Lettings in London: a ripening market?

As the number of First Time Buyers in London is falling (though rising elsewhere), there is ample opportunity in the lettings market. Competition is tough, though: there are now 27,000 letting agents in the UK; which is up from 14,000 ten years ago.

 

Letting Fees Ban: the impetus for improving customer service

Perry Power, of Power Bespoke, says “We’re in a service industry. If we don’t think service is important, we’re in the wrong industry.” With the Letting Fees Ban on the horizon, speakers on all panels are focusing on how agents can provide the best customer service.

The clock is ticking, albeit slowly: David Cox, CEO of ARLA¦ Propertymark predicts the Ban to come into play in April 2019.

Speaking separately, Richard White, co-founder of Goodlord says “PropTech is an overall movement towards a more customer-centric business model. Ultimately, that’s the way to create a successful product.”

 

Local knowledge: the differentiator

“The one thing you can’t replace is local knowledge,” says John Hards, ex-MD of Countrywide Residential Lettings and now at AskJohnHards. When the panel discussion turned to the lively debate of how online agents and high street agents occupy a similar (but crucially different) space, Hards hailed local market knowledge as the way high street agents can retain their edge.

 

Advances in PropTech should not be underestimated

James Morris-Manuel, Sales Director EMEA of Matterport (whom we interviewed here), opened the panel discussion on PropTech with a quote from Bill Gates. “We always overestimate the amount of change that will occur in two years; and underestimate the change that will come in ten”.

He continued: “In the past two years, we’ve seen a tectonic shift in business appetites to adopt new tech.” Adding to this, Justin Webb from BBC One’s Breakfast News says: “PropTech allows people to do the job that’s done at the moment; just better.”

 

Driverless cars, and their impact on the property market

Steve Hyde, MD of Push (a Google partner), reminded the audience that we need to connect the dots to predict the market of tomorrow.

Electric cars are a stone’s throw from automatic cars; and with the advent of the driverless vehicle (which Uber is rumoured to introduce in 2019), commutes will become loved, not loathed.

Living further away from the office will no longer be as major a concern, as house hunters can envision themselves working on the way to the office – if they’re still working in an office at all.


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