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Day in the Life of Doug Parks, Propertynest’s Elmbridge Franchisee

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It may have not been the ideal time to launch, but with the support of the Propertynest franchise team plus some hard work, I’ve made it happen and have been successful in a short time.

As a relatively new business, the bulk of my time is spent promoting the Propertynest estate agent brand in my territory which includes Weybridge, Cobham, Esher and surrounding villages. This includes writing letters to sellers whose homes are already on the market but may be struggling to sell, or networking at local business groups. Promotion on social media is also key.

My day starts after I’ve dropped my son at school. I work from home, so my first task is usually undertaken in my home office using software called Sprift which is supplied as part of the Propertynest franchise opportunity. The system enables me to see any new properties which have come onto the market, any which have been withdrawn or any price changes which may indicate a vendor maybe receptive to a new marketing approach for their property. I am then able to target them to introduce my estate agency services.

The properties I market are listed on the major portals: Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation. Around 90% of leads come through Rightmove and access to listing properties is included in the Propertynest franchise agreement. Listing on all the key portals means my clients have the best chance of their property being seen by interested buyers.

Part of my day is usually spent with potential buyers viewing the properties which I am selling. I will also be talking to vendors, ensuring they are up to speed with developments in the process of selling their home.

In my role as a self-employed estate agent, it is important to be motivated! I need to be proactive to secure new clients and this means direct contact to introduce the services I can offer as a Propertynest agent. Our USPs are that we offer a highly personalised service. From initial enquiry through to completion, clients work with me so they can rest assured every detail is taken care of, and they can always contact me with any questions at any time. This contrasts with some of the more ‘traditional’ high street agents where once a home is listed to sell, other staff in the agency get involved in the transaction and this can lead to lack of continuity for clients.

I will become involved in all aspects for the sale. For example, I’m constantly liaising with solicitors and attending photoshoots, working with photographers to ensure floorplans and images properly illustrate the property’s highlights.

I also advise vendors on how best to present their homes. Often, I need to be candid without offending! People can get used to living with tiles that need regrouting or taps that really should be shining. Curb appeal is also important as the first sight of a house always makes a strong and lasting impression. I recently needed to request a Christmas tree was taken down before photos were taken, as a property marketed in mid-January still showing Christmas decorations would be really off-putting. These little details can make a big difference when it comes to first impressions.

There is a seasonal element to selling properties. It can vary how many properties I have on my books at any one time, but spring and early summer tends to be busier, while August and December are quieter months. It is important to work proactive marketing campaigns around those times.

In 2022, I took on a self-employed associate who is enabling us to expand into Yateley. I meet with Mark every fortnight to catch up. He’s an experienced agent so he’s able to run his own operation, so we just touch base to ensure everything is on track.

I’m excited for 2023. There will be challenges, but whatever turn the economy takes, people will still need to move home. People will grow their families and need more space; some will get divorced and sadly, some will pass away. It’s the circle of life and this ebb and flow will continue to fuel the need for people to sell and buy properties. I will continue to support my clients whatever their life changes, to ensure their property transaction is as smooth as possible.

After a day’s work, I’m usually found checking the stock markets or watching football on TV. I really enjoyed the World Cup, although felt England could have achieved more! I’m also a golf fan and a resolution for this year is to see if I can get back into playing, perhaps finding time to mix a little golf with business?

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