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FEBRUARY 2010
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www.opp.org.uk
Agent Q&A : Stuart Law, Assetz
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27
INDUSTR
Y
PEOPLE
Joy of sales
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Stuart has seen a fl urry activity in France (main image) where buyers
with money have decided its the time to buy, seeing particular success with ski
leaseback projects like Tigne, Val Claret (inset) which comes with a guaranteed net
yield of 4.35% over 9 years
We had buyers who couldn’t or wouldn’t complete and
DESTINA
developers that didn’t really want to sue. Where others took
the fees and ran, we decided to stay and work with everyone
to re-adjust prices and close sales.
TION
for. When we talk about demand we time is right.
mean activity, not wishful thinking. A return to buying for use means the
Most others can only rely on the data time may fi nally be right for fractional.
reported after the event. In fact, we’ve secured 100% mortgage
We also understand that data can fi nance from a high street bank for
be skewed. We never trusted data quality fractional product and we and
in Bulgaria, for example, because a our agents will start advertising it this
hard sales don’t work because of savvy ever seen an Assetz ad. How farmhouse on for €5k selling for €10k year.
BUSINESS
buyers. Hard sellers had the ability has this been achieved? sold because it was still so cheap, but
to drive sales but customer service PR, pure and simple. People say it’s hard that 100% uplift meant that, overall, What are your ambitions for
was poor so they’ve alienated today’s to measure PR but we’ve almost never Bulgaria could claim average growth Assetz this year, and how do
professional buyers and also lost their advertised and never bought any lists, of 36% even though Bansko hadn’t you hope to achieve them?
pipeline. so we know how eff ective it can be. moved for years. Our strategy is to become a master
We stripped down our sales engine Our press coverage has risen futher and The point should also be made that agent and promoter for high quality
and rebuilt it with some new parts. dramatically over the last two months, some observers have an agenda. Some international developers, to bring more
We now have a joined up platform and I’ve been quoted in the FT every respected forecasters are renters who agents on board and to work with the
that allows us to track every stage few days, because there are fewer have never owned a property, so they banks and developers in key markets to
from lead generation to purchase and credible commentators in the markets want to talk the market down. Others source 80-100% fi nance. High quality
DE
completion, and we’ve plugged any these days. believe in the stock market and are organisations clustering together is the VEL
gaps where buyers might fall through. anti-property because they see it as solution for the next decade.
OPER
It’s cost us a fortune to realign our You were recently identifi ed speculative and ‘spivvy’. But when has
business to the much tougher current by The Sunday Times as the a property asset ever hit zero value? If you were given £1million
market. We had buyers who couldn’t or most accurate UK house price And there’s always a yield. You certainly to spend on property, how
wouldn’t complete and developers that forecaster of 2009? How have can’t say that about stocks and shares. would you spend it?
didn’t really want to sue. Where others you been able to achieve Yield is everything when it comes to I would probably consider three
took the fees and ran, we decided to this accuracy, and why do underpinning values, and that’s always options: paying a million off the
stay and work with everyone to re- you think other respected been behind the Assetz strategy. mortgages on my portfolio to
adjust prices and close sales. It took observers were less accurate? accelerate my plan of being mortgage
M
a year. We invested by keeping a full We are fortunate to be right in the What was the most free and having yielding properties that ARKE
customer service team and expect to middle of the real market, not just a interesting piece of data you I can use; mortgaging to buy a decent
multiply the investment by 20 times, distant observer. We see the whites of gleaned recently? sized London place, but not to let; or
TING
because we are still here and we have the eyes of buyers and the colour of That normal buyers are returning to mortgaging to buy a very large villa
loyal clients. their money every day and it gives us the market. We’ve seen clients buying near St Tropez, second line and set back
an unfair advantage. We don’t really non-discounted, quality, well-located on a hill. My portfolio is cash positive so
Assetz has built a high profi le do forecasts, we comment on what property in France because they can I would probably go for the villa in the
in the UK but I don’t think I’ve people are actually writing cheques aff ord it and they have decided that the South of France.
FEB10_OPP_MAG.indd 27 28/01/2010 15:20
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