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
Jobs for the Home Let us help you get your house in order for the new year
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.
THE MORTGAGE SHOP
01843 600 666 firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Process Was Smooth and Stress-Free” “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you and your team for all you have done for myself and Clair whilst selling and buying our houses. The service you provided whilst selling our house to organising the mortgage and insurance for our new house has been first-class. We have been kept well-informed at every stage of the process and keeping all of this under 1 roof has meant the process was smooth and stress-free! Please congratulate and thank your team for their hard work and professionalism. which has been much appreciated. Many thanks.”
Glenn Leach Gary Fairhall started our sister company, The Mortgage Shop (Kent) Ltd, in Broadstairs in 1996 with his then business partner, Mike Friend. They opened TMS Estate Agents in 2009. The Mortgage Shop is now completely independent from TMS Estate Agents and isn’t linked to a particular lender, so the service is tailored to clients’ exact needs, instead of those of the mortgage companies.
A Comprehensive Service Their full ‘housing package’ involves arranging: • Competitive quotes from solicitors • Buildings and Contents Insurance • Income Protection • Life and Critical Illness Solutions With many financial options available that the average estate agent will not recommend, they can arrange finance on buy-to-let and unencumbered properties, meaning you can move house without the need to sell. They treat you as an individual and not a number.
TMS Estate Agents and TMS The Mortgage Shop continue to have a close working relationship supporting each other’s clients to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction. Gary has a very successful team of mortgage advisors who provide an outstanding service – Matt Watson, Mike Friend, Tammy Palmer - and they are ably assisted by the highly experienced admin team of Heidi Mallon, Andrea Studden and Henry Tucker who has recently passed his exams and is well on his way to becoming a fully qualified Mortgage Advisor. Call them now on 01843 600666 and find out what The Mortgage Shop can do for you!
“There Is Always a Solution… Together We Will Find it”
Gary Fairhall Company Director
Disclaimer: The Mortgage Shop (Kent) Limited is an Appointed Representative of the PRIMIS Mortgage Network, which is a trading name of Personal Touch Financial Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Sales, lettings and holiday lets are not regulated by the FCA. Registered Address: Sutherland House, 6 Nelson Place, Broadstairs. CT10 1HQ Registered in England No: 03783582
Heidi Mallon Andrea Studden Henry Tucker www.themortgageshop.co.uk
TMS Supports Local charity
TMS Estate Agents have proudly supported Age UK Thanet for several years. On receipt of our first donation to them, their Chief Officer wrote to us to say:
Their service can help with a variety of issues including: •
Understanding allowances and benefits
Help with completing claim forms
“Age UK Thanet Limited provides • Housing and community care issues vital services to older people in our community The service is provided “My team will never put you enabling independence at their Community Hub under pressure to make a decision and social interaction. in Margate from Monday to to sell and we will make sure With regular support from Thursday. you get all the support you need. local companies such You are free to start the process Opening hours are from as TMS Estate Agents it and change your mind without 9.00am - 4.30pm. enables us to continue a sense of obligation or hidden fees. Our free advice will be tailored our much valued work.” At TMS Estate Agents we promise all our clients, especially the vulnerable and disabled, a free valuation which is fair & honest. Age UK Thanet provides confidential information and advice on a wide range of issues for people aged over 50, their families and carers.
to suit your needs as we want you to feel 100% comfortable so you do not have to worry.” Vicki Andrews, Managing Director
The centre has an open door policy, so please feel free to visit them at: Age UK Thanet, Randolph House, Zion Place, Margate, Kent CT9 1RP.
Please feel free to call on: 01843 223881
SALES HOLIDAY LETS
Don’t just take our word for it...
Mr Rawles - Landlord
The reason I chose TMS is because they made me feel comfortable. If you phoned up and the person you were dealing with wasn’t available, the next one was up to speed and knew exactly what the deal was.
Mr & Mrs Fearn - Seller
We chose TMS to market the home because they gave us an honest opinion of how much it was worth. We would not hesitate to use TMS again because they were so good.
Mr Howarth - Seller
I think TMS are very different to other estate agents. They’re family run and they do care for your property and they will do the best for the client.
Ms Hicks - Buyer & Seller
I couldn’t have wished for a better estate agent, they’ve helped me every step of the way, talked me through if I ever had a problem and reassured me. If I was to ever move again, I would definitely use TMS to promote my property.
Mr Whelan - Landlord & Seller
They’re the sort of company that give estate agents a good name. They’re a very ethical and considerate company, and employ good staff. I’d definitely recommend TMS to both business people and to family and friends.
MrPayne - Seller
I liked the family-friendly service that TMS offered compared to the high-pressured sales of other agents.
Mr Hughes-Jones - Seller
Whether you’re buying, selling, or renting - there’s professionalism in all aspects with every single person in the office.
Your property, our passion
SALES HOLIDAY LETS
TMS joins online portal to offer more secure, faster sales TMS Estate Agents has joined forces with Under The Hammer to offer customers a unique online platform to buy and sell properties online, making the process quicker and more secure. Through Under The Hammer, we will now be able to host properties through online traditional auctions and through a private treaty sales service called “Secure Now”, which allows buyers to purchase a property for a fixed price instantly.
Both solutions provide an excellent opportunity to sell quickly and securely, while ensuring that you get the best value for your property. The portal works with hundreds of agents across the country, and we’re delighted to bring its advantages to Thanet and beyond. Here are four reasons why you should buy and sell with online auctions or Secure Now:
1. Get the right price
3. Secure transactions
With the platform being online, it allows you to buy and sell properties from anywhere in the world, whenever you are able.
All transactions are secured by an exchange of contracts at the fall of the hammer at auction, or by payment of an exclusivity deposit for Secure Now purchases, meaning that there is no gazumping nor dropping-out, as both sides are obliged to complete transactions.
This opens up properties to more people, meaning that private sales are made quicker, and auction properties have a better potential to achieve and go beyond their guide price.
4. Fixed timescales for exchange & completion
2. Sell for free That’s right, there are no seller’s fees when you choose to sell through the Secure Now method.
For auctioned properties sold in the portal, properties exchange on the same day and complete within 56 days to allow time for buyers to secure finance.
Online auction sales are also very competitively priced, meaning that you are able to maximise the potential of your property’s value.
Secure Now purchases exchange in 28 days and complete 28 days after that.
Interested in finding out more about our new online auction and Secure Now services? Call us today on 01843 866055 for more information. We’re open 7 days a week!
still moving THE MARKET IS
Baby, itâ€™s cold outside, but weâ€™re still helping people move. Let us take the strain so you can concentrate on enjoying those special moments.
01843 866055 | email@example.com | tmsestateagents.com