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Business News: Open House
Stuart Foster launches Open House Brighton & Hove – the local agent with national exposure
For many years the world of estate agency was very traditional, office based, suited, booted and, it has to be said, rather formal. And so it went, year in, year out, until one day, someone invented the internet. It was a slow burn in the world of property to start, but within a short time agents started to pick up on the potential that the world wide web could offer. Initially as a means of keeping in touch, but soon after that in promotion, marketing and getting to the widest possible market.
It didn’t take long, either, for a new kind of property person to come along. These were the internet adventurers, people who saw the massive opportunity and jumped on it – but often with no previous experience of the property industry and how it really worked. They saw a chance to get rich quick, or so they thought. Sadly they forgot one very vital element – personal service. No matter how cheaply they offered their services they could not match those of the more traditional agents, who by this time were seeing the shortcomings of the internet and were able to mould the way it worked around the service and experience that they knew people wanted.
In simple terms, a lot of internet based agencies started too soon, before the concept was thought through, and as a result a lot of them crashed and burned. Lessons were learned pretty fast back then. Traditional agents got wise to the technology and today the internet plays a massive part in the industry of buying and selling property. So much so, that the high street office is no longer essential.
According to Rightmove, 85% of home buyers initially search online, whereas only 5% go into a high street estate agent.
Open House Estate Agents offer a fresh approach to selling and letting. Using modern technology to advertise on more major portals, Open House gets your property seen by as many potential buyers as possible. By reducing the unnecessary overheads of running an expensive high street office, Open House are able to sell your property at a fraction of the cost. The new local branch, Open House Brighton and Hove, are offering a 0.5% fee until at least the end of the year. An alternate option is an upfront fee of £500 plus VAT. Website only fees start at £375 plus VAT. We also arrange EPCs, floor plans and professional photography. See pg 51.
Brighton and Hove’s personal agent is Stuart Foster. Stuart has great local area knowledge and over 25 years local estate agency experience, in both corporate and mid-upper market independent agencies. For him, the most important aspect of the brand is being a local agent but at the same time his clients benefit from having national exposure: “As we all know, Brighton and Hove has a massive appeal and attracts many new residents from across the UK, and in particular from areas easily commutable. National exposure for a vendor in our city is invaluable.”
So how does Open House work? “People can either call or email me direct or simply go to the website. The lines are open 24/7 so you will never miss a potential buyer. After the initial contact, I arrange the valuation appointment and deal with all subsequent viewings. Being the personal agent, both buyers and sellers will only deal with me; no office staff to navigate through.”
For Stuart, it is an exciting time: “I am looking forward to launching this modern approach to house selling. Whilst much of the Open House concept is internet based, for me the heart of the business will be that of a personal service and being able to achieve the best possible price as quickly as possible for a fairer price. Right now I am really focused on the sales market, but I will also be offering a tenant finding service for £125 plus VAT.”
Stuart is based in Hove in an office he shares with an experienced team of chartered surveyors and mortgage valuers; very useful people when it comes to accurate and realistic valuations.
Open house is a franchise and has a network of 51 branches across the UK, with local branches in Eastbourne and Worthing. Across the UK, Open House is growing, and that success seems to be founded on the simple idea of getting the best deals for both vendors and buyers and for the best price.
Tel : 01273 830987
Mob: 07960 525374
£365,000 with a new 99-year lease.A rare find! A ground floor apartment with a good size westerly rear garden. This two bedroom property can be found in one of Hove’s sought after residential locations, Bigwood Avenue between Old Shoreham Road and Wilbury Crescent, which puts it within easy reach of Hove Station for commuters. It offers extremely spacious accommodation and has no chain.
I am delighted to be offering for sale, priced at £285,000 with a new lease, this two bedroom apartment in Central Hove as one of my first instructions, particularly as I believe interest will be very high and the future owner is going to be delighted with their purchase. Best of all, there is no chain.
In the heart of the Brunswick Town Conservation area and offering a chance to live the cultured Hove lifestyle, with bustling restaurants, bars and coffee shops close by. This superbly presented two bedroom top (3rd) floor apartment retains some character and charm. The kitchen has integrated appliances and the bathroom includes a jacuzzi bath and separate quadrant shower.
No chain, new carpets and fresh decor throughout, so you can move straight in and enjoy the oblique views down to Brunswick Square and the sea beyond.
I am pleased to be marketing this lovely Chalet bungalow as it will appeal to families. Located in Patcham and close to local schools and within minutes of the A23/A27 roads. There are three bedrooms, two bathrooms and off road parking for a couple of vehicles. The property is offered with no chain. £369,950 Freehold.
“People choose Open House Estate Agents as we provide a tailored service from start to finish that cannot be matched, at a price that can’t be beaten anywhere else! We are there for our clients 24/7 to answer any query they may have, and also for the buyers, so we never miss a potential lead.”
Luke Austen, Director Open House Worthing
“My clients are loving the high quality personal service and feedback that they receive, and the fact that they get to deal with me on a one-to-one basis and don’t have to go through lots of other staff members first. They like the low fee, high quality service, the out of hours service and the care and attention to detail that we offer.”
Richard Brook Open House Eastbourne
“Open House On-line estate and letting agents is very excited to welcome our newest agent, Stuart Foster, who will be providing a personal service in Brighton and Hove.
Open House is one of the UK’s largest on-line estate agencies network, and our agents offer vendors and landlords a personal service to make the transaction of selling or renting a property a stress free process. Our personal service promise means you will deal with the same agent from instruction to completion, dealing with a friendly and professional person.
We feel Stuart has a wealth of agency experience and will be very successful with his Open House Brighton and Hove business. Welcome on board, Stuart.”
Kelly Marsland, Business Development Manager Open House