Knockers. The word is used in many forms generating much amusement dependent upon its context. Cue a very young Jim Dale examining a very undressed Barbara Windsor to much oohing, aahing and knowing winks from the gathered Carry On cast. We all love them. Oeuvres of the Carry On franchise that is…what did you think that I was talking about? The lexicon of the property world has gained a new addition in recent weeks with the launch of the property app Knocker; that has been referred to in some quarters as “property porn”. I would love to have been at the marketing meeting when the name was decided upon-and its Hugh Hefner-esque tag-line. I wonder whether the ‘burn your bra’ brigade were suitably aggrieved, whether they were actually present, or whether-if present-they kept their inner Germaine Greer under wraps so as not to jeopardise their pay cheque? I digress. The new app will tell you via your GPS exactly what properties are on the market in the area where you are currently walking/standing/driving and will show you pictures of the interior and a floor plan of the selected properties. Then, if suitably intrigued, you may walk up to the front door of the property, knock on it (the app doesn’t mention door bells) and be invited in to have a look around. I have a couple of issues with this. The app does not use Rightmove or OnTheMarket, its property portal of choice is Zoopla. Well that is nul points for starters. As agents across the country have been leaving Zoopla quicker than the surviving Labour MPs went about disassociating themselves from anything Miliband, I would hazard that the selection will be limited. It will also be approximately 6 months out of date; a Zoopla trademark. In theory, the premise that if you are area specific, have an exact location that you can drive/walk to and can see immediately what houses are available and then quite literally stand outside the property whilst ‘virtually’ having a look around the interior is a good one. I think. Alternatively, you could just use a property portal from wherever you have an internet connection and type the postcode of your choice into the search facility. As people do anyway. One of the ‘benefits’ of the app is championed as being the ability to stand outside the property and then ring the agent to arrange a viewing. If the said agent is unavailable or a viewing cannot be arranged, the opportunity is there to channel an Avon Lady tendency and go up to the front door to introduce yourself. Mmm. There are still a few sellers who would simply open the door and say come on in, but aside from any security issue, they would have no idea whether the interested parties were in a position to buy the property. The “porn’ analogy is not a bad one actually. Just as someone watches an ‘art-house’ film because in real life they know they would never get a look-in with the pneumatically enhanced Svetlana-they can only dream-so a prospective purchaser can pretend that they could afford the 6-bedroom house with cinema and tennis court. Standing outside the front door only adds to the experience. Meanwhile, back to reality.
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