The bedroom tax has been in place for several weeks now and here at dezrez we started to wonder, how has it affected estate agents?
The stickler with this reform is that it will cut the amount of benefit that people can get if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home. So this means that certain individuals living in council or a housing association home may have less money overall, will estate agents that deal with these customers get a harder time when asking for rent?
It would seem that in some cases yes, where money is tight and individuals rely heavily on their benefits, this cut itself may have a larger impact than first intended, individuals may begin to fall further behind on payments than they already were and estate agents may suffer for it.
In the grand scheme of things, how many people have had their benefits cut because of this? The proposal that came into place on the 1st of April has affected 660,000 tenants- 31% of claimants in the social sector.
Understanding your customers is important, therefore, here is a list of individuals who may be affected because of this reform:
All claimants who are deemed to have at least one spare bedroom will be affected. This includes:
- Separated parents who share the care of their children and who may have been allocated an extra bedroom to reflect this. Benefit rules mean that there must be a designated ‘main carer’ for children (who receives the extra benefit)
- Couples who use their ‘spare’ bedroom when recovering from an illness or operation
- Parents whose children visit but are not part of the household
- Disabled people including people living in adapted or specially designed properties.
If you’d like to read more then you can do so here.
So how has the bedroom tax affected you? Please provide feedback in the comments section below.
Original infographic from Propertywide
For in excess of a decade, dezrez has been providing a complete estate agency software suite to the property market and is now one of the most established and used systems.
To complement this, dezrez have released New Homes functionality with is perfect for those firms involved in dealing with; new developments, re-selling or renting properties in existing blocks or developments or specialising in areas such as retirement care.
Units can be grouped together, searched and filtered by type, size or price. Find stock that is in planning, available or already sold/let. The system dynamically allows you to see current availability and out of how many. You can also create regional zone maps which simplify matching on your website.
Dezrez enables you to create a generic overview of the development, upload brochures and write ups, whilst still retaining individual information about each unit. It is all property portal compatible too!
This upgrade is free to existing dezrez users and we would be delighted to demonstrate it to potential new clients. Contact email@example.com for more information.
We recently blogged that we’d had a photo-shoot and gave you a sneak peak of a few of the accessories that we were planning on using!
We now have a selection of the finished pieces and thought we’d show you. A great chance to see our friendly faces, enjoy!
We’re also in the process of re-designing our website, paying special attention to our about us section, making it much more impressive, personal and lively.
Look at yourself through someone else’s eyes.
One of the tasks for the team at dezrez this month was to take a critical look at our website and see what we liked, didn’t like and what needs a spruce up! We now have a healthy work list! It’s our shop front after all. New clients visit our site and make a judgement about us based on what they see. Over time we have made changes and modified things on the site. It is healthy to periodically try and imagine myself as an agent visiting dezrez.com. Can I get the info I need? Does the system WOW me? Does this look like a company I can trust and I want to do business with?
The nature of agency has changed and the way agents interact with customers has been transformed. The estate agent’s shop front is now their website with most agents getting most of their business from the web or web portals. How many clients have never visited you at your office? Clients judge you on your site and form an opinion about you. Quite often they do this without speaking to you. We see a range of different sites from high to low quality across our client base. Which category are you in?
Why not visit your site but take on the persona of a client? What do you like? What do you dislike? Is it intuitive? Is it easy to use? Does it match the expectations of the clients you are targeting? Is it Rolls Royce or Robin Reliant? It doesn’t matter if its Robin Reliant if that’s your target? Does your visit draw you to any conclusions or assumptions? Is it clear what the client (think about buyers and sellers) should do next when they land? Try to be open minded and self-critical. Finally, ask your friends to do the same and I’m sure you’ll be interested in the results.
If you want an honest and frank opinion on your site or are thinking of making some changes, give us a call and take some advice from us or get some great examples of websites we think are on the money!
DezrezPM has been released! And the feedback we’ve had is great. Have you seen the software? If not click here to book a demo!
Over the last few weeks we have picked up the pace of bug fixing, changes and requirements ensuring that all bases are covered- working closely with our alpha users and early adopters to iron out any issues in the software before the ultimate release.
Our product has been in the making for years and has now been released and letting agents have begun to use the product, these are our early adopters and alpha users who’ve helped us add the final touches and changes to our property management software.
Our controlled release of dezrezPM is to ensure that we’re releasing a product that we’re completely happy with, why release a piece of software with chinks in the armour? We want our first impression to be a lasting one. If you haven’t seen the software yet then give us a call! Register your interest here and one of our team will give you a call and arrange a demo at a time to best suit you.
So what have you got to look forward to? Here’s a run-down of all the features, benefits and areas of the software, a flavour of our software and something to get your teeth into. We’re super excited to hear what you think about it!
- It integrates with dezrez! DezrezPM will be purchased as a fully integrated package with dezrez
- Completely Online
- Simple but not simplistic UI (user interface)- to put it simply, everything is in one place without being cumbersome.
- Full PM solution covering:
- Property Management
- Invoice and billing
So what is dezrezPM useful for (just a few great things that dezrezPM can do)
- Managing contractors, jobs and invoicing
- Ensuring that tenants are paying rent on time
- Full maintenance management
- Inspections & inventories
- Pre tenancy checks (custom)- your own checklist to hand
- Manage rents & payments to landlords
- Reminders-Gas safety checks, rent arrears, insurance, inspections
- Custom Dashboard creations to suit multiple job positions- from backend to front of house.
- Bank reconciliation- financial checks on cash flows against the real financial position of the agency.
So what are you waiting for? Give us a call and see what dezrezPM can do for you
What’s your position within dezrez?
Head of Account Management & Product Manager
New Year’s Resolutions?
To get back into running and to enter a half marathon in 2014
How long have you been with dezrez for?
7 years and 8 months
A short background about yourself
Born and bred in Swansea, I have done my fair share of travelling over the years and now settled back in the home land. In fact I have been at dezrez since 2005 when I started as a software trainer. After working my way up the ladder I now head up the Account Management team. Alongside this I am the Product Manager for the dezrezPM product. Before working at dezrez I worked as a software trainer at Swansea University and prior to that (before my IT days) I dabbled in my degree subject Geology! After graduating I managed to get a placement working as a junior Geologist in the central Australian desert in a Gold Mine which was an experience of a life time. However, sieving gold was not a long term job aspiration for me and after 18 months travelling I returned home to study a Masters in IT – the rest is history.
Outside of work, I have a couple of hobbies and interests, running is a passion I pick up and drop depending on the weather! I am an artist at heart and paint canvases and design wedding stationary in my spare time. I enjoy Monday night Zumba classes and walking my 1 year old chocolate lab cross husky (I think you could say she is a Labsky or Huskador) Ruby at 6am sets me up for the working day.
Funniest moment in dezrez
Accidentally locking the car keys in the boot of the works car (on the M25) on the way to visit a customer
2012 – Skyfall
All time – Point Break
What sports teams do you support?
Brought up in a male dominated family, I have been moulded into a Swansea City and Chelsea supporter. Obviously I am behind Wales when it comes to Rugby but my favourite spectator sport is tennis so love Wimbledon week!
What CDs do you keep in your car, favourite music/ bands/ artists
Learn to speak French CDs 1 to 12. I am trying to become a little more converse with my French family
Cauliflower cheese with bacon sprinkles every time!
Most embarrassing moment
Probably being overtaken in the London Marathon by a group of locals dressed up as giant daffodils who were all at least 20 years older (and fitter) than me!
Running the London Marathon 2008
What dezrez product would you recommend and why? Including additional features and add ons
I’ll go with ‘Chatter’. This is a social messenger tool that has been released with dezrezPM that allows users communicate across their offices. We have a blog post about it: http://www.dezrezblog.com/2012/10/making-software-social/
BriefYourMarket.com knows that estate agents are always looking for the next trend that will help market their business better by getting their messages/offers out there.
Though it’s easy to get carried away by it all and overlook the basics. So if you are new to direct mail or your previous campaigns haven’t been as successful as you would of liked, consider these four best practices to improve your results:
1. Don’t Forget the P.S.
Research suggests 90% of recipients read the P.S. first (Source: Siegfried Vogele’s well-known Handbook of Direct Mail), more times than not this is all they will read. Experience supports this long-standing view, and why it features as our number one. Think of it as a summary, to reinforce your call to action and tell your audience why they should act upon your offer. A well put P.S. always improves the response rates. Always.
2. Make the best of the Call to Action.
It’s imperative that your offer stands out. It should be clear, simple and concise. Offer multiple ways your audience to respond, be it a phone number, text, website or email address.
Clean design that feature well-defined areas for the offer headline and call to action are basics in creating a piece of direct mail. Busy or garish designs can standout, but they kill response rates. If your audience doesn’t know where to look first, its a safe bet it won’t be where you want them to.
4. Bullet-Proof the Copy.
Everyone scans direct mail to see if it is relevant to them, so to make it even easier for them and incorporate bullet points to highlight the key benefits or unique selling proposition (USP) of your offer. It’s worth remembering it’s all about readability.
For more information on direct mail and our direct mail service, which can give you access to over 43 million data records, simply call BriefYourMarket.com on 08450 26 79 79 or click the button below for one of our advisors to contact you to talk more.
P.S. We thought we’d see whose eyes wandered down here first!
I am pleased to announce http://www.outlet4property.com as our website of the month for April.
Outlet has a distinguished home page, with an eye capturing featured image and property.
With an array of tabs and information to choose from this website is easy to navigate identifying the important areas for different visitors to the site. With the option of a keyword search bar, general search integrating buying and renting along with a free valuation option to capture those visitors with an easily recognisable ‘call to action’.
I especially like how they’ve integrated and embraced social media into their business as an additional way to market themselves. Recognising the important of this and embracing it demonstrates that they are a forward thinking and innovative agency.
The saying, people buy from people is important to consider for estate agents as they operate very locally and in geographic regions. Outlet’s ‘Our Story’ section is detailed and really adds personality and character to their organisation. whether it’s simply personal profiles or further information about their eco-friendliness this section helps differentiate themselves from competitors.
Congratulations to Outlet!
Our Top 10 Estate Agents For April
All of these estate agents have achieved this status by consistently using 80-100% of the entire dezrez system. We can monitor your usage of dezrez from our specially designed software, making it possible for us to tailor training specifically for your estate agency. We can also offer you advice on how to improve efficiency in your estate agency.