In keeping with my Scottish and Northern friends, (trust me, I was up there during the festive season and it is b^&*dy freezing), I introduced the first-footing tradition (or a variant of) to many households in balmier climes i.e. Cwmbran. Gaelic tradition has it that the first footer should be male (that’s me), tall (that’s also me) and dark-haired (that was sort of me in the last century). The first person to set foot across the door after the stroke of midnight in the first hour of the new year is the bringer of good fortune to the household for the following twelve months. Whilst at Cheshire and Co we are always keen to accommodate clients’ needs and the public are invariably dazzled by my debonair charm, I don’t think that many would have been enthused with good will to see the Chesh prancing across their doorstep in the wee small hours of the 1 January waving the latest Rightmove report. However, a willingness to meet with them in the subsequent days and discuss their options and plans as regards their property or their next (or possibly first) step in the property market, has already been productive for all parties as 2015 remains in its infancy.
Resolutions made and vowed to be kept with the earnestness that only ever evolves from the haze of too much alcohol have I note already been shattered spectacularly by many with some involvement in the housing market. Journalistic hysteria on one of two themes, ‘boom’ or ‘doom’, made an early appearance as the Halifax produced a report that states that first time buyers are back with a vengeance-not dissimilar to another New Year list that said that flares would again be all the rage this summer with the fashionistas. This obviously chose to ignore the last-but-one media utterance that said that any first time buyer who happened to be under 49 or over 51 and needed a mortgage (as is the wont of most first time buyers), had about as much chance as my sporting a Kevin Keegan perm circa 1979 by mid-April.
My fellow agents are not exempt from a refusal to break long-established bad habits. Telling prospective vendors that they have to employ a town centre agent-because (think of some reason other than that they are beside McDonalds/Ladbrokes/Ann Summers) and that they need to sign up with ‘Give us your money and we’ll stripe you & Co’ because they have thirty people ready to view the property that very afternoon, have already had a strong showing in the first week of the new year. Call me old-fashioned (I know, most of you do), but old fashioned service and professionalism will beat gimmicks any day.
But one should always remember that when one thinks that they have seen it all, they haven’t. In my thirty year career involving property, armed conflict, select but notable TV appearances and the role as stunt double for James Bond in his budgie smugglers, I thought that there was little-if anything-that would surprise me. “The fool does think he is wise” William Shakespeare As You Like It Well said, Bill. This week we had a young lady booked in for a rental viewing who said that she would bring her mother. Very sensible looking for sage advice we thought. At the viewing, the daughter, who was about 20, turned up with her mother, who was about 35 and her grandmother who was about 50. They clearly got lucky in the genetic lottery. What rather floored me, was that both daughter and mother were pregnant. Speaking of genes, I rather struggled not to ask if it was the same father and whether the child(ren) would have twelve fingers. Only up the valleys, or if you are Jade Jagger.