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How 360 Video is Widening the View for Estate Agents
360 images are also now fully emerged into mainstream, with social sites such as Facebook making it easy to upload. How does a 360 photo help an estate agency? - In more ways than you think…
We first played with the art of 360 degree videos way back at the beginning of last year with our successful projects at Tibbenham House. With such beautiful, spacious properties, we thought this was an ideal place to test our brand new technology.
360-degree photography enables our properties to be initially seen as if you were standing within the place itself. Obviously, there are limitations with this technology, such as not getting an idea of the noise, or a general feel for the area. However, this technology gives potential tenants the best first look possible, rather than simply having to attend viewings that match on basic paper criteria.
360 degree images have yet another advantage over still photography, as you not only do you see the room from one angle alone, but it also gives the potential tenant a better feel of the size of the room – we all know that a still picture can be deceiving!
Our next stage was to use this 360 technology for our office! We had a Google approved street view photographer come in and take pictures of our beautiful modern office. This means that not only can our customers find us easier, but know what they are in for when they stop by for a coffee!
We feature this on our contact page too! (https://www.weareabode.co.uk/contact-us)
Here at Abode we love this technology and refused to stop there. We now have the capabilities to compose a whole 360 tour of our properties. This means not only will you get a feel for every room individually, but also the layout of the property becomes more clear. You are able to virtually walk through the property, using arrows to go from room to room as you please, seeing every angle of the place. Take a look... http://weareabode.net/WaysideCottages.html
The reason we have introduced this fantastic technology to our agency is because it benefits all three parties involved: the customer, the homeowner, and the agency: Here's why...
- As a customer, you will only be attending viewings that genuinely match what you are looking for. By providing a clearer picture of what the property is really like, it mentally prepares you for what you are actually going to see when you do attend a viewing. Essentially it removes the awkward fake interest you are obliged to display when you arrive at a property that is everything you hate!
- This awkwardness does go both ways. When you have taken the time to show someone around and you can instantly tell it is going to be a waste of time, but you continue regardless, it’s not the best 5 minutes of your life. By enabling the potential tenant a better view of the property initially, not only does it save your time, as you no longer have to show round as many disinterested people, but it also allows the potential tenant to think of genuine questions to ask you about the parts of the property they have interest in. Of course it means less viewings too!
- The main benefit of this modern technology for an agency is simply that it sources genuine interest. If a potential customer has already got a good idea of the property before registering an interest, the likelihood is that they are more genuinely interested in taking the place than someone who has only seen a few still images. By presenting a true and honest view of the property to the customer audience, it stops an agency’s time from being wasted. (Let’s face it, nobody can afford wasted time these days!)
Static images alone will not be stood for, as the future looks through 360 and the virtual world!
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A Successful Christmas Jumper Day!
On Friday, all of us here at Abode took part in Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day – (This also included our little Ruby!) We managed to raise a total of £200 for the charity! Thank you to everyone that donated to this fantastic cause. As promised, here are some of the pictures of us in our Christmas jumpers…
Our favourite Snapchat filter the reindeer!
Three little Abode reindeers!
We might have gotten a little carried away with the filters...
She enjoyed her antlers we promise... (Well eating them anyway)
Ruby having cuddles with her favourite friend!
We even managed to get Steve to join in with the Christmas filters!
Thank you from all of us at Abode and Merry Christmas!
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Harsh Brexit and The Autumn Statement
It’s fair to say it has been a turbulent time for the property industry of late. With reports of the property ladder being harder to step onto than ever and the introduction of new legislation, what can we expect going forward? Has the Chancellor helped renters in the long-term with his changes, and will Theresa May and tough Brexit talks mean further trouble is ahead?
The Autumn Statement recently made by Chancellor Philip Hammond has sent an already unpredictable property market into even more uncertainty. Here is what we know so far about the governments planned changes to the sector.
The Autumn Statement (Main Points):
- There is a new tax allowance for property and trading income of £1,000 for both.
- Property Tax – Rural rate relief will be doubled to 100% from April 1st 2017.
- Letting agent fees will be banned.
- Housing Infrastructure Fund of £2.3 billion by 2020-21.
- The NPIF will bring an additional £1.4 billion to start building 40,000 homes by 2020-21.
So how will these changes make an impact on the property market? Well the immediate effects have been obvious. As news broke on the morning of Chancellor Hammond’s statement that letting fees would be banned, shares in some of the country’s biggest estate agencies began to plummet. Early hours trading saw Foxtons’ shares drop 13%, with Countrywide dropping 7% also.
The share prices have since then recovered to less dramatic drops, however the ban on letting fees, in place ‘as soon as possible’, is still causing turbulence for the market. The debate has been focused on whether or not in the long-term renters will actually save money, or whether the fact that the cost will more than likely be passed to the landlords will in turn see rent prices rise.
A lack of affordable housing is another key debate in the property market at the moment. With reports recently emerging that current wages are not matching up to the growing price of property. In a recent Guardian article, London house prices are set against earnings at a ratio of 14.2, with average house prices increasing by a staggering 86% since 2009. Both Oxford and Cambridge are not far behind with Oxford increasing by 72% and Cambridge rising 84%.
With statistics such as these, even the government was forced to react within the Autumn Statement, pledging to increase the amount of affordable housing also the number of homes actually being built to help with the shortage. Some argue however that the government will fail to reach its existing targets when it comes to building new homes. The charity Shelter warned that the government will fail at its commitment to build an extra million homes by 2020 with an expected shortfall of 250,000. The reason given was largely down to the UK’s decision to leave the EU. With Article 50 likely to be triggered early next year, is affordable housing simply not enough of a priority for government?
Brexit in itself has caused uncertainty for the property sector. It has been widely reported that the sector is slowing over concerns of a harsh Brexit as the talks begin. The Financial Times reported that house prices in the UK are set to accelerate from 6% in 2015 to 6.9% in 2016, before then slowing to 2.6% in 2017. This will of course mean that house prices are expected to fall in 2017.
Another important factor of a hard Brexit, is how a tighter immigration policy could impact the UK’s construction sector. Currently, the CEBR, (Centre for Economics and Business Research), report that EU workers make up 9% of the construction sector, with the figure rising in London to a staggering 1 in 3. With the government already short of its target figure of new houses, a hard Brexit is likely to only make this target even more unreachable.
With less of the houses being built that this property sector desperately needs, and affordable ones at that, turbulence is likely to continue. This shortage will continue to push up prices, with Rightmove predicting that house prices in 2017 will continue rising by 2%. With property prices rising and speculation that rent prices could also be set for a sharp rise due to fees being banned, being priced out of property ownership and increased borrowing looks evermore likely.
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Our Support for Save the Children
Every year at Abode, we like to get involved with a different worthwhile cause. This year has been yet another successful year for us and we want to give something back. Last year we worked with a local well known cause called The Norwich Soup Movement. We ended up feeding over 60 hungry people in need.
Our Abode team all rolled up our sleeves, making the biggest beef brisket chilli any of us had ever seen! Not only this, but we managed to organise seven delicious cakes to give those most vulnerable at this time of year as an extra sweet treat. We had many kind donations from local businesses, not only money and cakes but big cooking pans too!
So, this year we have chosen a charity which helps to support the most vulnerable children in some of the most remote parts of the world. Not only will the money we raise help to provide children with the vital essentials they need to survive, but it also pays for education. This education is vital to help break the cycle of abuse and disease which plagues so many.
Christmas Jumper Day is on Friday 16th December and we will all be in our most ridiculous, tacky seasonal outfits in order to raise as much money as possible. Pictures will be posted – including from Mr Scrooge himself, our director Steven Barker! (We are think of getting him antlers to wear!)
To help support this fantastic cause with us, please text ‘TEAMABODELTD’ to 70050 to give just £2, or visit our fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/abodechristmasjumper and give anything you can spare. We hope you all look forward to seeing the pictures!
Keep up to date with our progress by visiting our website, www.weareabode.co.uk, where we will be posting our final total on Monday 19th December.
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Our Top Picks of Norfolk’s Christmas Calendar!
Norwich Ice Rink - From Friday 16th December to Sunday 8th January (every day except Christmas Day) – 10am – 9pm.
Visit the EDP Ice Rink in Castle Mall Gardens, returning for its second year. The event is being sponsored by Norwich Theatre Royal’s Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime. It’s a great way for all the family to join in the festive cheer together and includes the return of the snowman bouncy castle! Opening with a show from professional figure skaters, the city centre rink will host 6 incredible performances. This is free to attend and takes place on Saturday 17th December.
Image Source: Norwich Ice Rink Official Facebook Page.
Tickets: Adult £12, Child (4 – 16yrs) £8, Concession £8 (students and OAPs with photo ID only), Family £32 (2 adults & 2 children) and the snowman bouncy castle costs £2.50 for a 20-minute session. To book your tickets and for more information, visit their website: http://icerinknorwich.co.uk/
Candlelight Tours at Holkham Hall - Every Wednesday to Friday from Wednesday 30th November to Friday 16th December – 4pm – 8pm, starting every 15 minutes.
Embark on a magical tour of some of the grandest rooms at Holkham Hall. Candles light your way as you see the rooms in all their seasonal splendour, listening to some of the most intriguing stories about Holkham’s history. Included in this experience is a glass of prosecco or soft drink with a mince pie in the Courtyard Café!
Tickets: Adult £16, Child £10 (5-16yrs). The tour is recommended for age 10 and over. To book your place on the tour, and for other festive events at Holkham Hall, visit their website: http://www.holkham.co.uk/events/christmas-at-holkham/candlelight-tours
Ghost Walks Christmas Special – Monday 12th December to Friday 16th December and from Monday 19thDecember to Thursday 22nd December. They start at 7.30pm and last approximately 2 hours.
These historic tours of the Norwich cobbled streets will feature Christmas themed ghost tales from the entire country. This wintery walkabout includes a warming glass of mulled wine, (or a soft drink), and a yummy mince pie at the classic Adam and Eve pub! One last thing about this event – dogs are welcome! We are excited to take Ruby!
Image Source: http://www.ghostwalksnorwich.co.uk/9.html
Tickets: All tickets £9. There is no need to book, just turn up at the above time at the Adam and Eve pub. For more information, visit the website: http://www.ghostwalksnorwich.co.uk/
Cathedral Christmas Choir – Friday 9th December, from 7.30pm to 9pm.
Does your Christmas season feel incomplete without some carol music? Well there really is nowhere more magical to see some of your favourite carols performed than at the Norwich Cathedral itself. The Norwich Cathedral Choir will be serving a feast of Christmas music, both sacred and secular, with the chance for you as the audience to sing along!
Tickets: The tickets range in 3 band. Band A, nearest to the stage are £18 each, Band B are £16 each, and Band C, aisles seats, are £12 each. To book your seat and for more information, visit the website: http://www.cathedral.org.uk/whats-on/events/detail/2016/12/09/default-calendar/christmas-with-norwich-cathedral-choir
The Lock in Christmas Carol at Norwich Playhouse –Saturday 10th December, 7.30pm until 10.30pm.
Bought to Norwich Playhouse by The Demon Barbers and The Breaking Tradition Dance Company, this is half gig, half dance show, half panto performance! With BBC Award winning musicians and dancers giving you the very best seasonal live music, you will be transported into a world in which Christmas is in danger of being ruined by a new nightclub and some insightful souls try to save it. This Christmas play is definitely not one to miss!
Tickets: Adult £16.50, Child £14.50, Concession £14.50. For more details and to book your seats, please visit their website: http://www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk/whats-on/detail/the-lock-in-christmas-carol
Coca-Cola Truck – Friday 9th December at The Forum, Norwich.
This is fast becoming one of the most iconic Christmas build up events, as the iconic red truck travels the country bringing Christmas joy – (and of course Coca-Cola!) Visit and take pictures with this seasonal icon as it lights up and also help yourself to a free 150ml can of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke or Coke Zero!
This event is completely free!