How To Make This Election Season A Profitable One.

With just over two months until the UK votes in a new government, it is a time of great uncertainty in the property market.

In this short article we look at how you can position your agency and your clients to benefit from that uncertainty in the short and in the longer term.

Background

While the months before a General Election are seen as a ‘period of instability’, this year things are even more unpredictable than usual.

This election is the first time since 1945 that Britain has gone to the polls with a coalition government in power. With disaffected voters and an increasingly fractured political spectrum all bets are off and this can create opportunities for canny agents and their well-advised clients.

The Problem

The inability for investors, homeowners and aspiring homeowners to predict which party is going to be in power after May has had a sobering effect on the sales market. Despite historically low interest rates, the market is starting to stagnate and prices are creeping down, as buyers and investors adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach.

Mansion tax is also looming large, as Ed Miliband promises to hit houses worth more than £2 million with a tariff just for the privilege. Homeowners in London, where even some two-bed semis are easily worth over above this amount, are jangling their house keys nervously.

In addition, despite current planning laws acting as a major obstacle all of the major parties have pledged to build more homes and to boost supply.

In short, it’s an anxious time for the property market.

The Opportunity

While people are holding fire on buying houses, agents that tailor their marketing messages to resonate with the current market sentiment will be best placed to take advantage of revenue opportunities.
Key Point

In times of change your customer relationship manager (CRM) system has increased value.

Make sure that the information in your CRM system is up-to-date, complete and sufficiently detailed to allow you to act swiftly and accurately target your marketing messages.

Demand Side

First identify any prospective purchasers who have indicated that they will hold fire on making a decision until after May.

If they are owner occupiers highlight the shortage of stock as an opportunity to maximise their returns from sale and pair that communication with details of rental properties on your books that would meet their needs in the short term.

If they are renters make sure you keep up to date with any tenancy renewal plans so that when the market frees up you are in prime position to match them with an increase in stock.

Supply Side

With impending changes to short term let rules in London (bringing them in line with the rest of the UK) consider whether any of your landlords with tenancies expiring before the election may be able to extract a premium for a 3 month tenancy.

For landlords across the UK who may be re-considering the size and composition of their portfolio, your local knowledge is your USP.

Content marketing to highlight local trends (eg a new school, transportation hub or s shift in the make-up of your high street) will be a boon to existing and prospective landlords. It will also mean that you are front of mind when they have any follow up questions or the need for professional services.

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