BUMPER NEW YEAR PREVIEW EDITION 2021 SPORTS PREVIEW A LOOK AHEAD TO THE SPORTS ACTION THIS YEAR
SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS THE TOP SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECH TRENDS FOR 2021
TRY SOMETHING NEW GO WILD THIS YEAR AND CHALLENGE YOURSELF
BRAND NEW BEDROOM THE HOTTEST BEDROOM DIY TRENDS THIS YEAR
CONTENTS COVER STORY
Bedroom DIY and Decorating Ideas Check out the hot, new trends for 2021
13 16 20
Jobs for the Home Let us help you get your house in order for the new year Our latest instructions Take a look at a selection of our latest properties on the market About us Get to know our team a little better and see why we are your agent of choice
Burns Night Learn about how we celebrate the poet Robert Burns
Hottest New Books Here we take a look at the books have got us excited this year
New Movie Releases Check out these 2021 cinema releases
Social Media and Technology What is changing in the world of Technology and how will it change the way we work
Recipe: Homemade Bread Get stuck in to cooking with some homemade baking
2021 Sports Preview Catch up with the upcoming sporting events for 2021
WELCOME TO THE JANUARY ISSUE!
appy New Year!!! We hope you
picks for movies, books, and sporting
all had a lovely festive season,
events as well as a great list of jobs to
and to get your year off to the
help you get on top of the house ready
best possible start we have a treat for
you this month… Inside the home, we have some Yes, okay, so 2020 didn’t exactly turn
fantastic ideas for your bedroom
out as we all expected, but it’s a new
incorporating some of the hottest DIY
year… a whole 12 months to try
trends we have found for 2021! And for
something new, to learn new things,
all you budding Instagrammers, we
to move and grow. And you won’t be
have a great guide on what we expect
disaappointed with our bumper 2021
to see on social media in the coming
Feeling a bit adventurous? Check out
The shortest day has passed, and after
our feature on new things to try in
the darkness, look forward to the
2021! We have you covered with some
lighter evenings, brighter mornings,
excellent ideas for this year. However, if
and above all, keep safe and look after
you feel like a history lesson, then on
pages 4&5 learn all about Burns Night. Then, we have our bumper 2021 preview for you! Check out our top
Jonathan Wheatley Editor
It’s a new year and time to try something new. But just how daring will you be?
ucket lists have an air of morbid finality, a list of ‘must-do’ ambitions before that date with destiny. However, a schedule of mind-expanding, physically demanding experiences might be the ideal psychological boost required as we try to shake off the lethargy and restrictions of a pretty miserable 2020. Rock climbing? Go for it. Run a marathon? Why not? Bungee jumping… well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Although you know what they say, to dare is to do. You can ease your way into 2021 by learning chess. The success of the compulsive TV mini-series The Queen’s Gambit has made this most unremarkable and nerdy game of strategy suddenly sexy, and there has been a surge in sales of boards and pieces as fans of the Netflix drama get to grips with the intricacies of the board game. It could be one of the most mentallychallenging things you will do this year – aside from trying to assemble flat-pack furniture or fill in a tax return – and is oddly addictive.
DON’T JUST SIT THERE,
DO SOMETHING! Television is a rich source of ideas for broadening your horizons – the rise in home bakers since the Great British Bake Off launched is testament to that – and another small-screen favourite, Strictly Come Dancing, has long been responsible for injecting a little Latin into new year resolutions, particularly regarding the salsa which is both super sporty and
Many leisure centres have their own customised indoor rock walls for anyone wanting to learn the ropes
extremely social. Classes and schools have been springing up everywhere from village halls to leisure centres and should be popular for those looking to keep fit, break into a bit of a sweat or shrug off the monotony of lockdown by mixing with real, not virtual, people. And there are videos on YouTube just to let you know what you can expect. If you fancy the idea of taking more faster steps, then see how you go with the Couch to 5k programme, an NHS-backed scheme described as a running plan for absolute beginners. Obviously, the intention is to get to 5k but once the running bug bites why not aim a little bit higher and book yourself in for a 10k, half or even a full marathon in 2022.
Much has been made of open-water swimming in recent years, probably sparked by the sight of highly-tuned athletes taking the plunge into a lake at the start of a triathlon. And there really is nothing better than being at one with nature at venues such as the Highgate and Kenwood Ponds in north London, which are open year-round while elsewhere in the capital the likes of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, Hampstead Pond, and Parliament Hill fields are only open during the summer. Admittedly, it hasn’t got the appeal of a dip in a cenote in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula but, in these travel restricted times, it’s better than nothing.
indoor climbs, you can take the plunge with snorkelling or diving sessions, indoor skydiving or take the zip wire and high ropes challenge. Individually, there are other indoor skydiving centres in Manchester, Milton Keynes, Basingstoke, Bristol and Bedford – will it inspire you to do the real thing? – while there are several zip wire parks dotted throughout the country, although if you want a one-off mega-thrill, try Zip World’s Velocity 2 at Bethesda in North Wales, reputedly the fastest in the world (100mph-plus) and the longest in Europe (1,555 metres).
Similarly, rock climbing has a touch of the exotic about it but you don’t have to travel to distant lands to learn or expand your skills-base. Many leisure centres have their own customised indoor rock walls for anyone wanting to learn the ropes while Fairlop Country Park in Barkingside has a boulder park where nine individual concrete constructions have been created to test climbers of all standards and abilities. Of course, if you fancy an adrenalinfuelled experience but want to sample a range of activities, get your name down for the Big Five experience at the Bear Grylls Adventure park in Marston Green, Birmingham. As well as some tricky
Alternatively, if there’s nothing there to get your heart pumping, surf the internet. Surf. Surfing. Now there’s a thought …
THE BELOVED ANNUAL TRADITION January doesn’t stop there. Burns Night, as you perhaps already know, is celebrated in the name of the great poet, Robert Burns, every January.
Robert Burns is a national icon and beloved Scottish hero, but do you know why?
But who is this Robert Burns, and why is he celebrated more prominently over other influential poets? What are the traditions, you might also ask, of Burns Night? Prepare to be enlightened with words of wisdom and wonder, to show you just why Robert Burns is hailed every year as one of the greatest, most important poets ever to have graced Scotland. What is Burns Night and how is it celebrated?
Burns is perhaps best known for his poem come song ‘Auld Lang Syne’
Poetry is far from dead, and so is Scottish tradition, especially when it comes to this poet who forever changed nations’, ways of thinking. Once the magical Christmas dust has settled, and the New Year’s celebratory confetti has finally fallen to rest,
Burns Night – or more specifically a Burns Supper – is celebrated every year on the birth date of the great Scottish poet, 25th January. Occasionally also called Robert Burns Day, Burns Night can sometimes occur on any other night of the year, but typically the celebrations are held
on or around the 25th January. The strict traditions of Burns Night consist of toasts, recitals of a Burn’s poem, ‘Address To A Haggis’, followed by someone cutting into and serving a haggis with turnips and potatoes, and everyone washing it down with some warming Scotch whiskey. But who exactly was Robert Burns and why is he celebrated? Robert Burns (or better known as Rabbie Burns to the Scots) was a Scottish poet and lyricist and is generally regarded as the national poet of Scotland. He famously wrote much of his work in the Scottish language, although his work in modern times has been translated into English for the purpose of accessibility by a wider, more mainstream audience. Burns is especially admired for his particularly blunt political and civil commentary, and became, after his death, a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism. But he is also widely
recognized as a pioneer of the Romantic Movement in poetry, writing in the same era as other founding Romantic poets. In fact, Burns influenced the likes of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Percy Bysshe Shelley greatly. In the early twentieth century, Burns had a particularly strong influence on writer Hugh MacDiarmid. Burns was born on 25th January 1759, near Ayr, in Alloway, and was the eldest of seven children. His father, a farmer, had built the house Robert was born in, and this house is now officially the Burns Cottage Museum. The Burns’ lived here until Easter 1766 when a seven-year-old Robert Burns moved with his family to a 70-acre farm, Mount Oliphant. He began writing in approximately 1784 when he was around 25 years old. He was only an occasional poet at this early stage, more often turning his hand to verse in which he would express his emotions of love and friendship, but also amusement and his ironic
contemplation of the social scene. He started gaining recognition as a poet, however, approximately a couple of years later, and his life thus soon became rich with wine, women and song, gaining wider fame all over Scotland. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the celebration of his work became almost a national charismatic cult and has since held prominent influence over his fellow Scots and Scottish literature itself. In 2009 in a TV vote on who is the greatest ever Scot, the public voted for Robert Burns. Burns is perhaps best known for his poem come song ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which is often sung at Hogmanay (the last day of the year). Other poems and songs of Burns that remain well known across the world today include ‘A Red, Red Rose’, ‘A Man’s a Man for A’ That’, ‘To a Louse’, ‘To a Mouse’, ‘The Battle of Sherramuir’, ‘Tam-o’-shanter’, and ‘Ae Fond Kiss.’
TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS YEAR! 2021 promises to be a literary gold mine. Here we take a look at the books have got us excited this year
020 brought us some fantastic books. Whether it was a non-fiction autobiography such as Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, or the prequel to the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or something more political such as A Promised Land, the memoirs of Barack Obama, we were never short of great reads throughout. And this year promises even more.
THE CHARMED WIFE BY OLGA GRUSHIN Here is a wildly inventive and thoroughly modern retelling of Cinderella, and what happens after she marries Prince Charming. Spoiler, he’s not so charming after all! This book, Grushin’s fourth novel, promises to be a genre-bending and darkly comic affair. Release date: January 12th
A BRIGHT RAY OF DARKNESS BY ETHAN HAWKE Ethan Hawke isn’t just an Oscar-nominated actor and screenwriter. This is his fifth book in which a 32-yearold thespian’s private life is not so private when he is besieged by journalists at every turn. It is about his possible path to personal and professional redemption and portrays the perils and pratfalls of celebrity perfectly. Release date: February 2nd
APATHY BY JONATHAN WHEATLEY Up and coming, British horror writer, Jonathan Wheatley, returns to finish off his Westford Chronicles trilogy. The first two books, The Priory and Vermin were both in the Top 5 British Horror books on Amazon during the summer and the epic conclusion to the gothic, time-travel, creature-feature trilogy promises to be bigger and better.
Release date: April 27th
YOU LOVE ME BY CAROLINE KEPNESY Your favourite murderer, Joe from the ‘You’ Netflix series, isn’t quite finished with his story. In this third book the TV series is based on, Joe ditches city life for a simple existence in the Pacific Northwest. There, of course, he gets a job at a library and meets a woman. You know the rest by now. Release date: April 2021
ON YOUR MARKS… A
COVID-permitting, 2021 should be an outstanding year of sport
fter the famine, comes the feast. The COVID-19 pandemic shredded the global sporting calendar in 2020 with major events simply binned or shunted back to this year which would normally have been fallow, a breathing space between the big competitions.
And if you can’t get enough of track and field heroics, the Paralympians will take centre stage from August 24th to September 5th – also in Japan – while the postponed Invictus Games will be held in the Netherlands from May 29th to June 5th.
So, although fingers still remain firmly crossed, 2021 should be something of a sporting bonanza.
The other major casualty from last year was football’s European Championship, for the first time spread across 12 countries instead of one host nation. It is scheduled to start on June 11th with the Group A pipe-opener Italy v Turkey in Rome and finish with the final at Wembley on July 11th.
The cherry on an adrenalin-charged cake remains the summer Olympic Games, slated to run from July 23rd to August 8th in Tokyo. It is quite simply the greatest show on Earth, a glittering showpiece commanding eye-watering figures for advertising and commercial rights, played out before a worldwide television audience of billions. This year there will be no Usain Bolt, the charismatic Jamaican sprinter whose name became synonymous with world records and gold medals. He retired in 2017 leaving the Olympic throne vacant for a suitable successor … and that could be Team GB’s swimming superstar Adam Peaty.
Wales and Switzerland complete that group – they play on June 12th in Baku – while England’s Group D campaign starts on June 13th at Wembley against Croatia, who beat them in extra time in the World Cup semi-final in 2018.
So, although fingers still remain firmly crossed, 2021 should be something of a sporting bonanza.
Much is expected of the 26 year-old 50 and 100metre breaststroke ace, who is the Olympic champion at the latter – the first Briton to strike gold in the pool for 24 years. He is also an eight-time world champion, a 12-time European champion and has broken world records 13 times, and was the first man to swim under 26sec for the 50m breaststroke and both 58 and 57sec for the longer distance. Put simply, he is the one to beat and if he is not a household name now, he will be by the middle of August.
It doesn’t get any easier for Gary Southgate’s team. Scotland await on June 18th - a Friday night appetiser for a long weekend in London for the Tartan Army - before they finish against the Czech Republic four days later.
Golf’s Ryder Cup was also COVID-affected and had to be rescheduled (it’s now at the wonderfully-named Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in late September) while elsewhere other events, hopefully, return to their normal slots: Rugby’s 6Nations running from February 6th to March 20th; the Cheltenham Festival (March 16th-19th), World Snooker Championship (April 17th-May 3rd) and Wimbledon (June 28th-July 11th). In fact, the only event which is not in its normal place is the Boat Race. Oxford and Cambridge Universities will now lock oars on the Great Ouse at Ely in April instead of the Thames because of structural problems at Hammersmith Bridge.
AND DECORATING IDEAS
It’s the New Year, which means new beginnings. Now is the perfect time for a change of scenery within your own four walls. So if you fancy giving your bedroom a makeover, but are stuck on ideas, here are a few ways to transform your own personal space.
PICK A TONE
An idea that’s rather simple, but makes a statement, is ensuring that your bedroom has a specific tone throughout. You can do this by making your colours marry. For example, if your bedsheets, or headboard are a certain colour, then choose to pair your walls accordingly through wallpaper or paint. And go a step further, and pick suitable bedroom furniture, like a bedside table, or a lamp. If you go for a brighter tone, then this keeps the space bright, whilst maintaining a sense of sophistication. If you’d prefer to select darker tones, then you can really add a feeling of warmth to your room. And this doesn’t mean making every colour exactly the same. By avoiding selecting the same colour for every aspect of your bedroom, this can help you to avoid feeling boxed in.
If you fancy a real change from the norm, then make your bedroom a statement space. One way to accomplish this is to go minimalist. Paint all your walls and doors white, and then contrast this with warm colours for the bedding. Also consider your lighting. Design-forward lighting can really help to add some class to proceedings, whilst keeping a homely atmosphere. And
with regards to furniture, why not go slightly quirky? Treat yourself to a frameless mirror or a metallic coffee table to really drive home the contemporary motif.
MAKE IT COSY
As we enter the coldest months of the year, perhaps it’s best to customise your living spaces accordingly. For starters, think about textures. If you want to add actual warmth to your room, add some cozy throws and fluffy blankets to your bed and really embrace the added layers. And don’t stop there. Complete your winter retreat and add an area rug. By having access to soft materials both in and out of bed, this creates a practical warmth, whilst also adding to the visible textures of the room. If you’ve already opted for these snug additions to your bedroom, perhaps think of the curtains. If you’re considering getting some new ones, then linen curtains add a sense of relaxation, whilst velvet ones really emphasises the luxuriousness of a space. And as for the length, why not splash out on long hanging curtains and allow them to puddle on the floor. This really creates a feeling of privacy to your bedroom in these cold months.
If you’re on a tighter budget after Christmas then there is no reason why you still can’t give your room as effective a shake-up. Sometimes, all that’s needed to decorate a bedroom is to re-arrange furniture. For example, items like dining room or kitchen chairs can also function as a bedside table or as a useful seat beside the bed. So don’t be afraid to move it into your bedroom, re-paint it to match the colour scheme, and allow the room to look completely different. Or if your bedroom is seeming cluttered, then utilise cheap storage options. Your bedroom should feel relaxed and spacious, so opt for fabric storage bins and nesting baskets to keep everything tidy, whilst simultaneously adding some modernity to your space.
It may sound almost too simple to mention, but rearranging your bedroom, and even other rooms in your home, can go a long way to transforming them. For instance, if the dimensions of the room permit, re-positioning your bed can make all the difference to adding a feeling of newness to your room. If you can manage to move your bed away from the walls, then you can use that new-found space to create a cosy reading area. If you have paintings, or other pieces of artwork scattered around your home, then why not move them into the bedroom? This can add a sense of flair to a wall without
having to get involved with paint or wallpaper. And finally, if you’re in the mood to brighten your room up, why not add some plants? Without impacting a budget too heavily, bringing some flora into your living space can add some much-needed colour, as well as substantial aromas.
Is your bedroom due an upgrade? Check out the hot, new trends for 2021
YOUR There’s nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread, and it’s not as tricky as you think either…
SOFT OR CRUSTY ROLLS Ingredients 500g strong white flour 20g caster sugar 10g salt 1 x 7g sachet fast-action yeast 330g milk at room temperature Method In a large bowl, or electric mixer, weight the flour and caster sugar together. Then rub the salt into one side of the bowl and the dried yeast into the other. Don’t let the salt and yeast touch as it can stop the dough from rising. Add the milk to the dry ingredients and mix together until it forms a dough. Cover your bowl with a damp towel and rest in a warm place. If your house is cold, stick it in the oven at 25C with a bowl of boiling water underneath. Once noticeable increased in size, around 45 minutes, kneed the dough. You can do this on a floured surface or by folding the dough in the bowl for five minutes. Cover again and rest in a warm place for another hour or until doubled in size.
OWN BREAD B
aking your own bread is not only healthier for you, but it is a hobby you can really get stuck into. There is nothing better than seeing your dough rise and then finally breaking through the crispy crust to get at the soft, warm bread inside. Here are some simple recipes for you to try at home…
Once risen, scrape the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a sausage shape. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and then shape the dough into balls. The trick to a nice round ball is to put flour in one hand and put the dough on a surface without flour. Then cup your hand like your carrying water, turn it upside down over the dough and make big circular movements with the dough. Once you have 8 balls, rest for a final hour somewhere warm until they have doubled in size and are nearly touching. 30 minutes before you’re going to bake, preheat your oven to 210C for fan-assisted ovens or 230C for non-fan ovens for soft rolls, or 180C fan-assisted oven, 200C for crusty rolls. Bake for 10-15 minutes for soft rolls. Don’t worry if they look brown or feel crisp when they come out, they’ll soften up. And for crusty rolls, slash the top of the roll with a serrated knife before baking for 20-25 minutes.
Baker’s Tip: Add toppings like Sesame seeds or poppy seeds, or even rice flour and sesame oil to create Tiger Bread.
For the poolish: 500g strong white flour 20g caster sugar 10g salt 1 x 7g sachet fast-action yeast 330g milk at room temperature For the dough 300g plain white flour 200g strong white flour 12g salt 200g white sourdough starter (a bubbling mix of strong white flour and water. To make simply add 50g flour with 50ml of water every day for five days in a jar – warning it gets messy and bubbly) All the poolish 250ml tepid water
Method The day before you make your dough, combine the poolish ingredients in a bowl and cover loosely with cling film. The next day rub together both flours, yeast and salt, keeping the yeast and salt separate. Add the sourdough starter, poolish and tepid water and combine into a wet dough. Turn the dough out on to a work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball, trying to use as little flour as possible, and return to the bowl. Let the dough rest overnight in the fridge. Once rested, it’s shaping time. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Roll the baguettes out into sausage shapes. Don’t worry if they look thin, they will rise again. Transfer each baguette to a well-floured baking tray and rest again for 1-1 ½ hour at room temperature. Preheat your over to 220C fan oven, 240C non-fan. Once rested, score your bread with a serrated knife. You want to make thin slices across the top like you’re peeling a potato. If your serrated knife doesn’t work, try a Stanley blade. Turn the temperature in the oven down to 190C fan or 210C non-fan and bake for 30-40 minutes.
Baker’s Tip: Cook your baguettes for ¼ of the time to par-bake. You will then be able to freeze the baguettes for up to 11 weeks. When you want to use them again, just pop them back in your oven for the remaining time.
Images for illustrative purposes only
NEW MOVIE 2021
RELEASES T he pandemic prevented the usual array of blockbuster movies f rom being released in 2020. But as the world of cinema resumes, in this new year, here are a few films you should get excited about.
THE KING’S MAN - FEBRUARY 2021
Fans of the Kingsman series will be keen to catch its third instalment, which is a prequel, centering around the formation of the Kingsman spy agency. However, as this movie is set in the early 20th century, we can expect a completely different cast from the one which excited fans during the first two chapters. The cast is set be starstudded, starring Ralph Feinnes (Schindler’s List), and will also include household names such as Gemma Arteton (St. Trinians), and Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill). Once more, the film was meant to be released in the autumn of 2020, but is now expected to be in cinemas in February.
EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE FEBRUARY 2021
One for the musical fans to go wild for is this feel-good musical drama, based on the stage musical of the same name. The film stars Max Harwood as the inspirational lead character, who overcomes bullies and prejudice, to step into the spotlight, and express himself. The movie was originally scheduled to be released in October 2020, but is now due to be released in February.
It promises to be a bumper year of cinema this year
SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY - JULY 2021
Twenty-five years after the original family favourite, there is going to be a new Space Jam. Like the first one, the live-action will star a basketball legend, this time LeBron James. And for the first time since 2003, the Looney Tunes characters will appear on the big screen, joining James in an attempt to rescue his son. After the 1996 original became a cult classic, this is certainly not one you want to miss.
A QUIET PLACE PART II - APRIL 2021
This tense horror, which is a sequel to the hugely-successful A Quiet Place, will be released in the early part of this year. With the plot following on from the end of the first movie, we again arrive in a world where silence is the only way to survive. Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) will star, and will be joined by Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders). John Krasinski, who starred alongside Blunt, and directed the first instalment, will be directing this one too.
he decorations are down, the tree has gone leaving only a trail of pine needles as a reminder of what was there before. But while you’re on your hands and knees trying to extricate the fiddly remnants embedded in the carpet, have a quick look at the skirting boards: were they really that dusty when you put the tree up?
And where did that cobweb come from? Obviously decking the hall and garlanding the fireplace have prevented you from doing the housework for a while, so as the house is looking a bit bare, with some items of furniture out of position, now could be a good time to have an early spring clean and freshen up, making your home clean, comfortable and clutter-free as you prepare to face the new year. So, if you’re feeling brave there’s no better place to start than clearing out the loft because, after all, you’re already there putting the decorations away.
how on Earth you are going to get your new cardi in there? Be ruthless: yes, we’re all guilty of hoarding but if you don’t wear that top you bought five years ago, let it go to the charity shop. It’s not going to come back into fashion, regardless of what you think. If there’s a bright day, make it brighter by cleaning the windows. Not just the glass, but the sills and, in particular, the frames, checking for mould around seals which could ultimately hamper the effectiveness of double glazing. And don’t forget the blinds. Or the radiators,
where dust can congregate on the pipework and all those hard to reach places. And so to the kitchen, to clean shelves, rid the cupboards of all those tins and packets that are past their ‘use by’ dates … and to tackle the oven, which has probably seen a lot of action in the last month and could use a deep clean and refresh. Outside, there is not much that can be done. Continually check gutters for blockages caused by trapped leaves – any build-up of water in a freezing spell could prove costly – and make sure paths are kept clean and moss-free: they can become extra slippery with a frost on them.
But, if you can’t face that just yet, start at ground level wiping down the skirting boards and laying masking tape to clean the edges of the carpet that are starting to look a little bit grimy. And as you’ve got the vacuum out, get under the sofa and chairs as well as all those neglected areas such as underneath the bed and the mattresses. While in the bedroom, dare to open the wardrobe and consider
NEW SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY TRENDS TO ANTICIPATE IN 2021 Last year we saw the rise of Zoom and the importance of Facetime to families and friends, but what should we expect this year in tech?
hether it’s much-needed socialising time with one’s family and friends or simply playing video games, the nation has been spending an unprecedented amount of time online recently. Social media has experienced another massive boom this year, as have Facetime and Zoom video chats. 3.6 billion people in the world are now connected to social media in some way. That’s just shy of half of the entire world’s population. So social media has never been
so important. It’s a valuable tool businesses all around the world will be using more to promote themselves and engage with their customers, not to mention firms which will be looking to resurrect, or start-up from scratch entirely. Therefore it’s vitally important one understands how things will likely be changing on social media in the New Year – whether it’s different marketing techniques or new and innovative ways of reaching out to audiences across the globe, the climate is definitely changing.
TOP CHANGES AND NEW TRENDS TO EXPECT IN SOCIAL MEDIA.
3.6 billion people in the world are now connected to social media
The rise of video on social media. Previously social media was great for pictures and words, however, now, as expected, video is taking a stronger position in the market, especially with YouTube and for estate agents, virtual video tours and valuations.
SEO-driven organic Instagram visibility. Instagrammers are here to stay, and in November it was announced that Insta would be more search-friendly for its millions of users. This will make hashtags even more important for your marketing as well as keywords in your posts.
Reels on Instagram. In 2016 when Stories on Insta were first released there was a massive drop-off in feed engagement and similarly, when Reels were first introduced, the engagement with Stories dropped off. Now is the time to embrace short-form video going into 2021.
Humanize brands. Smart businesses will understand the importance of being transparent and authentic moving forward. People connect with people, so expect more faces to personify brands as opposed to just a logo without a human face to accompany it.
Similar to the point above, on YouTube expect personality over content. For those of us who watch YouTube videos, having a trustworthy face as the front of your brand will reap the benefits this year.
ZOOM Amongst all the great technology we've been able to rely on throughout the past year, Zoom is by far the one that has had the most positive effect. With working from home becoming compulsory for many nations around the world, the globe zoomed in on one particular video communications software, which has proven to be a fundamental aid to our lives. April saw Zoom peak at over 300 million daily meeting participants, which was a staggering increase from the ten million in December 2019. Its "annualised meeting minutes" jumped 20-fold, from 100 billion at the end of January to over two trillion in April. For the quarter ending 30th April 2020, Zoom reported total revenue of $328.2 million, a 169 per cent increase from the same period last year. More and more companies are reportedly going to make working from home a more normal concept, with Zoom expected to play an intrinsic part in many of our working lives going forward. Whether you are quizzing with family and
friends or working from home, Zoom will surely be the first name on everyone's lips again this yearâ€Ś
THE ONLINE PROPERTY WORLD This year, the property market has experienced record-breaking months and a considerable boom. Estate agents have taken advantage of social media with the most successful agents utilising Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for not just marketing properties, but for being a hub of local support for the community. With technology such as 3D virtual video tours, Zoom and smartphones, agents have been able to conduct virtual valuations and viewings which have led to more sales.
Zoom is by far the one that has had the most positive effect. With working from home becoming compulsory for many nations around the world,
Expect virtual video tours, valuations and even viewings to be at the forefront again in 2021, as with people busier than ever, it is a great way to showcase the properties on offer and build a relationship with the local community.
Court Lane, Stevington £1,200,000 The property was constructed in 2008 providing high quality and versatile accommodation including a home office with bespoke fitted furniture, a TV lounge and the large triple aspect sitting room with outlooks over the garden. There is also the impressive kitchen/dining/family room which features a wide range of hand built oak units with granite work tops, an attractive “Optimyst” fire place and access to the stylish double glazed garden room with twin sets of bi-fold doors to the garden. On the first floor there are four double bedrooms including the main bedroom suite with a dressing room, en suite shower room and balcony, bedroom two with an en suite shower room and bedroom three with a Juliet balcony. Further accommodation includes the four piece family bathroom with under floor heating, the ground floor cloakroom and a utility room. •
4 Double Bedrooms
Under Floor Heating
4 Reception Rooms
Integrated Sound System
Oak Staircase and Doors
Spacious Kitchen/ Dining /Family Room
Hardwood Double Glazing
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Beverley Crescent, Bedford £595,000 A well presented and extended four bedroom Edwardian semi-detached house, situated on this very pleasant and highly regarded Crescent approximately ½ a mile from the train station and town centre. The property has been refurbished to include replacement double glazed sash windows and gas radiator heating whilst retaining the character features of the period. From the reception hall, with the original mosaic flooring, there is an attractive bay fronted sitting room with a log burner, a separate dual aspect family room with access to the garden, a refitted cloakroom and a 30’5’ x 12’4’ extended and comprehensively re fitted kitchen with granite worktops, an island unit, integrated appliances, underfloor heating and bi-folding doors to the rear. •
* Spacious reception hall
* 4 Bedrooms
* 4 Piece bathroom
* Sitting room with log burner
* 90’ x 30’ Rear garden
* Family room
* Refitted kitchen/dining room
Kimble Drive, Bedford £225,000
The accommodation includes an entrance hall, a lounge with an open way to the dining room, a separate kitchen in need of upgrading, two double bedrooms, a good sized single and a first floor bathroom. Outside there is an open plan front garden, a fully enclosed rear garden with gravelled beds and a patio seating area and there is vehicular access to the rear leading to the off road parking bay and single garage. •
2 Reception Rooms
Gas Radiator Heating
No Upward Chain
Markham Rise, Bedford £285,000
The property features a spacious and welcoming entrance hall with a cloakroom, a separate lounge with connecting doors to the 19`11 kitchen/diner which is comprehensively fitted in contemporary style units and includes a built in oven and hob and integrated fridge freezer. On the first floor there is the good sized main bedroom with fitted wardrobes and an en suite shower room, a further double bedroom, a single bedroom and the three piece family bathroom. •
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Brett Drive, Bromham £525,000
A four bedroom double fronted detached house well presented throughout and pleasantly located at the end of this no through road with open outlooks to the front situated in this highly regarded village approximately 3.5 miles from the town centre.
* 4 Double bedrooms
* Fitted study furniture
* Fitted wardrobes to bedrooms 1 & 2
* 17’8 x 11’7 Sitting room
High Street, Souldrop £240,000
This Grade II listed mid-terraced property offers bright and spacious accommodation featuring a good sized lounge with a log burner, a pine fitted kitchen diner, 2 double bedrooms and a first floor bathroom. Externally there is a delightful cottage-style front garden and an open-plan lawned rear courtyard garden with a useful brick-built outbuilding. In addition a shared footpath and driveway provide access to the lovely 55 ft long rear garden which backs on to paddocks and is laid to lawn with well stocked and colourful borders and has a hardstanding providing off-road parking or space to erect a garage or outbuilding if required. •
Character Duke Of Bedford cottage
First floor Bathroom
Meet our team Mark Brightwell MANAGING DIRECTOR
Director Mark Brightwell has worked in estate agency since 1985 and founded Taylor Brightwell in 1995. Mark has been at the forefront of the company and directed the business through the highs and lows of the property market. He has a great depth of knowledge and experience and has created a strong and independent team to support him in delivering a trusted and professional service in Bedford and the surrounding areas.
Steve Birchall SALES MANAGER
Steve joined the team in 2010 and has worked in Estate Agency for over 35 years for both independent and corporate companies bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience with him. Born and bred in Bedford he is well known and widely respected.
Claire has over 20 years experience here in Bedfordshire. Having worked all aspects of estate agency including new homes and land. She brings a wealth of local knowledge to the team and prides herself on excellent customer service.
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PROPERTY CONSULTANT Fiona has over 25 years of expertise in the property market. She has built a reputation for excellent customer service, dynamic sales ability and a thorough approach. Her local knowledge is invaluable.
WEEKEND SALES NEGOTIATOR
Caroline has worked for Taylor Brightwell for over 10 years and is great with customers. She is an important member of the team arranging and conducting viewings and dealing with all enquiries.
Emma Domagala ADMINISTRATOR
Emma joined Taylor Brightwell in 2019. She is integral to the day to day running of the office and our social media accounts.
Here’s what our
Mr Thompson SELLER AND BUYER
When Steve Birchall came to do the valuation we were impressed with his manner and his professionalism, so my wife and I decided we’ll forget everybody else, we’ll go with Taylor Brightwell and we’re very pleased that we did in the end. They really treat you as an individual and they really look after you from start to finish and when our property was coming towards the contract exchange date, Steve was on the ball and helped us out tremendously, so we appreciate all the staff have done from Taylor Brightwell.
Mrs Brightman BUYER
Steve was absolutely amazing, we met him from day one, when we viewed the property and all the way through he was totally on the ball, all of the paper work was done straight away and I knew if there was an issue and I rang Steve, he would be on the case and that he would deal with things and even if he couldn’t quite get an answer on one day, he would ring and tell me that so we were just totally kept informed with everything that was going on.
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SELLER AND BUYER We chose Taylor Brightwell because they had the property that we were interested in and they were able to market ours successfully aswell.
Mrs Jones SELLER
Iâ€™d definitely recommend Taylor Brightwell, I have already done so to various members of our circle of friends and also family members and if it came to us selling our house we would definitely be going to them as they provided a very good service and we would be looking at them if we were purchasing in this area aswell. I have no hesitation in recommending them.
SELLER AND BUYER
No hesitation in recommending Taylor Brightwell to family or friends who are looking to sell their property within the Bedford area. The Bedford area seems to be their area of expertise so I have no problem in recommending them.
Present your house for sale by de-cluttering... Maximise your home’s potential and create spacious rooms enticing potential buyers – simply by de-cluttering!
De-cluttering allows you to… maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important
f you are looking to sell your house, or have had your home on the market for a while now, then you probably want to get the maximum sale price in the quickest time. There are a few things you can’t control – but the one thing that is in your control, is the look and feel of the interior and exterior. While it’s worth spending time fixing and cleaning your house before potential buyers come and view, it’s also important to de-clutter. This creates spacious rooms and also allows you to decrease and organise your personal items before you move yourself. Of course it’s understandable that you don’t to want spend money, time and energy on a home you are about to leave, however, a lot of people are looking for a house in which they can move straight into. Maintaining your property might
even save you thousands of pounds; it could even reduce added expenses of living in your home whilst waiting for a sale. And it might even help avoid possible reductions in the asking price. The main reason in which people move house tends to be because they lack space in their current home. They want a home that is spacious and in which they can grow into. If a potential viewer comes to your home and sees that there is lack of space, then this will turn them away. De-cluttering allows you to remove any unnecessary items in an untidy or overcrowded place. It will help maximise your space, emotionally prepare you to move, and will allow you to focus your buyers on what is important.
So where should you start? You need to create a great first impression and focus on the rooms themselves. You will notice that the first things you see in each room are personal items. Where possible you want to create the look of a lifestyle that the potential buyer want.
paper work. Get yourself organised! Don’t just throw it all away, but file it and go through it thoroughly. This will also make it easier when you move. You also want to focus on little things like DVDs, books and trinkets. These items may have some small value so sell them
many personal effects can be distracting to buyers. They want to see a house in which they can make their own memories rather than seeing yours. Again, personal items can be stored away. Remember that this is only a temporary way of living and hopefully it won’t be for long! If you find you are keeping more things than you
Where possible you want to create the look of a lifestyle that the potential buyers want This usually has a ‘show home’ feel, rather than a ‘lived in’ feel. Minimising your things is the quickest way to do this: you want to ensure that potential buyers can do simple things, like, open any doors easily, ensuring that there are no obstacles. So, what do we mean by clutter? There are two types: genuine clutter, and items that you want to keep but don’t work for the sale of your property. Genuine Clutter: You need to go through the space and sort out each item, categorising them into things you want to keep and things you want to get rid of. You may even find that you have collected a cupboard full of
or donate them to charity. Get rid of any old shoes and coats that are lying about in your porch or hallway. You might want to hide away the coats and shoes you do currently wear. Store them in your wardrobe, while you have viewings. Items that you want to keep but don’t work for the sale of your property: You may want to consider putting some items in storage while you sell your home. Sometimes items are too large or even too small for some spaces and can make the room look odd. If you want to keep these particular items, then store them until you move into your new home. De-personalising can also be a great way to de-clutter. Too
are throwing out, then think about whether or not it’s in the right room or do you even need it now? As previously mentioned, you can attempt to sell some of the things you have acquired over the years. Use sites like eBay, Gumtree and social networking sites to try and sell items. You may want to even hold a house sale for the remaining items that you can’t sell. Failing that, why not donate to charity. The end goal is still the same and it’s important to help potential buyers envision your house as theirs. So remember, de-cluttering will make your home more spacious and entice potential buyers!
Top Tips! If you are throwing away paperwork, shred anything that is confidential
De-clutter before agents come and take photos of your property. This will help attract more potential viewers online and get that first good impression
Don’t spend too long on certain items and don’t get distracted. Keep yourself motivated and race against the clock!
Make it fun! Play some music or watch TV while you de-clutter
Your step-by-step guide to the conveyancing process
nce a sale has been agreed and is in the hands of your solicitor, it will go through the following stages. Sometimes additional work will be needed – for example, if the property is leasehold or is yet to be registered with the Land Registry. It is also important for buyers to discuss the availability of their deposit with their solicitor early in the transaction, and we strongly recommend that you contact your solicitor regularly so that they can keep you fully up-to-date with the progress and the latest timescales.
Seller’s solicitor’s steps
• Obtain a copy of the Title Deeds (or office copies if the title is registered) • Obtain a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (if applicable) • The seller(s) will return a completed Property Information Form and a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form to the solicitors • Copies of the above documents, plus a draft contract – this is known as an ‘Information Pack’ – will be sent to the buyer’s solicitor • Answer the buyer’s solicitor’s additional enquiries (for example, specific questions about fixtures and fittings) and obtain copies of any planning consent documents • Agree the contract and arrange for the sellers to sign it in readiness of the exchange (below) • All parties agree completion dates and the contracts are exchanged
Between exchange and completion
• Obtain redemption figures from the mortgage lender and reply to requisitions on title • Approve the transfer and arrange for the seller(s) and buyer(s) to sign • Receive the agent’s fee account and seek the seller’s consent to settle this out of completion funds
This is the date the ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer, and it follows the successful transfer of funds. It’s the date that the whole process works towards.
• Receive completion funds and (only when this has been completed) instruct Taylor Brightwell to release the keys to buyers. Redeem mortgage and forward the financial statement. Forward any surplus funds (unless these are being used to fund an onward purchase). Ensure all outstanding bills are paid • Forward transfer documents and deeds to the buyer’s solicitors • Forward evidence of ‘discharge of mortgage’ to the buyer’s solicitors
Buyer’s solicitor’s steps
• Obtain the Information Pack, including a copy of the EPC (if applicable) from the sellers’ solicitor and raise any additional queries • Initiate any specialist searches (for example: a coal search). Submit local, environmental and water searches and a chancel check. This takes about 10 working days in total, and enquiries are then usually raised from the results • Approve the contract when all enquiries are satisfactory and complete. (At this stage, a mortgage transfer deed will need to be signed and witnessed) • Receive a mortgage offer and instructions from the lender and deal with any conditions set out by them. Make sure that life cover and buildings insurance is being arranged • Request the deposit, report back to the buyer, and arrange for the contract to be signed. Place buildings insurance and life cover in force • All parties agree completion dates and the contracts are exchanged
Between exchange and completion
• Raise ‘requisitions on title’ and prepare the draft transfer deed • Report on title to mortgage lender and obtain funds for completion, including Stamp Duty (if appropriate) • Prepare accounts, obtain signature to mortgage deed and undertake final Land Registry and Land Charges searches
This is the date the ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer, and it follows the successful transfer of funds. It’s the date that the whole process works towards.
• Forward to the seller’s solicitors the balance of funds − it is only then that they can authorise the release of the keys. Receive from the seller’s solicitors, the transfer document deeds • Stamp the Transfer Deed, register the buyer’s ownership with the Land Registry and forward the deeds to the lender or client (where appropriate)
Contract - The agreement that sets out the main terms that have been agreed − for example: price, address, names, etc. Two copies are drawn up, and each party signs one in readiness for the exchange of contracts. Deposit - The part of the purchase price (usually 10%) which the buyer pays on exchange of contracts. Exchange of contracts - The swapping of signed contracts by the solicitors (together with the buyer’s deposit). After this, the contract is binding. Energy Performance Certificate - This contains information on energy use, energy performance, carbon dioxide emissions, and fuel bills. Land Registry - The Government department that records who owns what land, and under what conditions. Local Authority Search - A list of questions that are specific to the property and intended, for example, to discover if there have been any planning applications on the property, if the road to the house is maintained by the council, etc. Mortgage Redemption Figure - The amount required to repay the outstanding capital/ interest of a mortgage. Property information form/fixtures, fittings and contents form - Standard forms about the property that the seller answers for their solicitor (for example: what will be left behind, details of guarantees, etc.) Title Deeds - Legal documents that prove ownership of land/ buildings, and the terms on which they are owned. Transfer of Title - The document that passes the ownership from the seller to the buyer. Stamp Duty for buy to let investors and second home owners An additional tax, paid by the buyer purchasing an additional property that is not their main residence. It includes buy to let landlords and those buying second homes and holiday homes. The higher rates will be 3 percentage points above the current rates of duty shown below. Requisition on title - An enquiry relating to the completion arrangements. Seller’s Pack - This comprises a Property Information Form, a Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form, a copy of the title deeds and the draft contract. Stamp Duty - A tax paid by the buyer purchasing their main residence. It is calculated on the percentage rate applicable to each portion of the sale price. • 0% Up to £125,000 • 0% Up to £300,000 if purchased by a First Time Buyer* • 2% On the share from £125,001 up to £250,000 • 5% On the share from £250,001 up to £925,000 • 10% On the share from £925,001 up to £1,500,000 • 12% On the share £1,500,001 and over NB The new 3% rate does not apply to any transactions below £40,000
Moving house? From meter readings to removal companies, there’s so much to remember when moving house. Here’s our checklist of what to do and when
irst of all, congratulations on your new home! The excitement has probably now kicked in but moving home can also be one of the most stressful and emotionally draining things you can do. However, careful organisation and planning can help decrease the stress and anxiety of moving. This comprehensive and essential checklist will help you do just that.
Eight weeks – Research
Ideally, you want to start packing away any non-essential items as early as possible. This includes any items stored away in the loft, garage and shed. If you are not using it, pack it. Looking into your new area is also important, try to do this around eight weeks before you move. You might need to think about transferring your children to different schools and ordering new uniforms too. At this point, ensure you are also documenting all your important information away: that includes contact details, dates, contracts and information regarding your solicitor.
Six weeks – Removal companies or do it yourself?
Now would be the perfect time to decide on a local removal company. Or if you don’t have too much to move, you may want to do it yourself. You could even look into different van hire companies. At this point you’ve probably started packing away some bits, but if there is anything you decide not to take, then look into selling these items or donating them to charity. This will also give you an idea on the volume of items you have to move.
Four weeks – Notify utility companies
This would be a good time for you to notify utility companies and inform them about your move to switch over. This includes gas and electricity, council tax, internet, phone rental and TV. You should also consider changing any car insurance, tax, memberships, phone contracts and inform your bank about the move. Now’s the time to also arrange a date to have your new house cleaned before you move in, and start ordering any new furnishings for your new property. Start packing away more items, that being, out of season clothes, books, dvd’s and even bulky items, like TV’s that aren’t used often.
The buyers of our homes receive their very own property website to share via
Checklist Eight weeks
Pack non-essential items
Research your new area (transfer schools and order new uniform) Keep all important documents
Decide on a local removal company Clear out any unwanted items Keep packing
Notify utility companies
It will be worth packing a night bag each to help everyone settle in, which means you won’t have to rummage through everything to find your toothbrush!
Start preparation for your new house Keep packing
Finalise all details
Organise pet and child care Cancel local services Keep packing
Two weeks – Confirm all details
Confirm your move with your removal company or van hire, estate agents and schools. If possible, try to organise someone to look after your pets and children for the day of your move, as this can also be a stressful time for them too. If your removal company doesn’t disassemble any furniture or sort out the un-plumbing for the washing machine, then now would be the ideal time to organise these. Remember to also cancel any local services you receive: this could be window cleaners, gardeners and newspaper deliveries. You should now also think about re-registering to vote and getting your post re-directed after your moving date. Continue packing away more furnishings, kitchen appliances and crockery that you won’t be using for the next couple of weeks.
24 hours – Final check and walk round
You now have only 24 hours before you move, so double check that everything is packed away and ready for transit. It will be worth packing a night bag each to help everyone settle in, which means you won’t have to rummage through everything to find your toothbrush! You may want to create an inventory of your boxes and furniture to help you keep track of what you have and to help you ensure it doesn’t go missing.
Today is the day! You need to be ready for when your removal company comes. Ensure that you let them know if there are any fragile boxes that need extra care when handling. If you’re moving yourself, then pack up your car or van and work out how many trips it may take. Before you leave, also take note of your final meter readings and send these off to your provider. Don’t forget to leave your keys for the new owners!
You have arrived at your new home!
Give your removal company instructions of which boxes go in which rooms and make sure you are happy with everything that has arrived. Ensure you check for any damage before the movers leave. Read your new utility meters and send your readings of to your supplier. Taking photos of them will also ensure you have the correct reading if you need them again in the future. Unpack your essentials such as bed linen and clean towels. Don’t worry about the rest, it isn’t going anywhere! Order a takeaway, have a cup of tea and enjoy your first night with your family. Right, so now you’re all moved in, it’s time to settle down, unpack and enjoy your new place. Remember, planning is essential to ensure your move runs stress free.
social media with its address and personal message!
Check every room and ensure everything is packed Pack a night bag so everything is to hand Collect your new keys
Make sure your phone is fully charged so you can get in touch with the estate agents or removal company
Prepare for the arrival of the removal company and give them directions/your contact details Ensure everything is ready to move Record meter readings
Give removal company instructions of what goes where Check for any damage before they leave
Read your new utility meters and send them off to your supplier Check if the previous owners have left anything behind Unpack essentials
Order a takeaway and sit back and relax!
Exclusively at Taylor Brightwell Giving you peace of mind every time Our innovative approach to marketing, together with our unrivalled customer care, makes us the right choice to market your property and guide you through your move
When you choose to market your property with Taylor Brightwell, you can be confident that weâ€™ll ensure that everything goes smoothly. Whether selling or buying, relax and know that we have your property in safe hands.
Selling your property A leading independent agent covering Bedford, the name Taylor Brightwell is synonymous with trust, excellence an integrity. With decades of experience, specialising in all aspects of residential property, our friendly, enthusiastic and professional service ensures that our clients continually return to sell and buy through us. We also recognise the importance of marketing, so your property will be advertised on the major online property portals, our website and social media sites, as well as traditional placement in our window display.
Exclusively to us in our area, your property will receive its very own FREE microsite showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and a property brochure. Sharing your personalised website across the social networks widens the audience for your property, to find the right buyer and increasing the chances of a quicker sale. Our qualified database of home buyers will be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. Quite simply we endeavour to sell your home for the best price, in the shortest possible time, providing you an outstanding service, with a personal and friendly approach.
As part of what makes us unique at Taylor Brightwell we offer a free monthly magazine featuring properties and up to date market news. Call us today to receive our monthly magazine by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to hearing from you.
The power of social media Your property will also receive its very own FREE property website showcasing a property video, OFSTED reports, and property brochures; something that we are proud to say is exclusive to Taylor Brightwell in our area. In addition, our qualified database clients will also be notified of your property coming to market on their dedicated search websites where they can book viewings and offer feedback. Book your
ATION today FREE VALU
By sharing your personalised websites with family and friends across the social networks you will be widening the audience to find the right buyer or tenant for your property, increasing the chances of a quicker sale.
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When you choose to market your property with Taylor Brightwell, you can be confident that we’ll ensure that everything goes smoothly
Print marketing: Property brochure, photography, floorplans and newspapers COMMON MARKETING
Tech gimic (Drones, 360 tours)
Want to find out more about our range of exclusive services? Then please feel free to pop in or give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Video microsite on our website
Rightmove featured property advertising* Feature in our monthly magazine
UNIQUE with Taylor Brightwell
Comparables of houses SOLD and price guides
ds Share with frien ing Request a view Local schools
ACTIVATE RECEIVE YOUR VERY OWN
Portals and websites
Feature on our Facebook and Twitter
All our applicants receive your property on their own search for a home website
NEW YEAR. NEW HOME. NEW YOU. Make this New Year great! Weâ€™re constantly evolving with new and innovative marketing to help get you moving in the New Year, including your very own personalised website for your property.
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