Daryn Brewer is the managing director of Brewers – The Lettings Agency. He has converted old public lavatories based off the main road in Drayton, into his letting and property management business’ new contemporary office space.
In this blog, exclusive to The News’ Property supplement, Daryn shares his views from The Old Loos on what’s currently catching his eye in the world of property.
‘I’ve been tickled this week by all the controversy in the property press around ‘boards’ Yes! Boards! Who would have thought that good old-fashioned estate or letting agents marketing boards would bear the brunt of a barrage of bad press?
‘The key reason that these one- metre squared defenceless wooden lollypops have been getting stick (excuse the pun) it seems is that people are simply bored with seeing boards.
‘ It’s been reported that residents are frustrated that, as a rule, they remain up for too long. People also think there are too many of them.
‘ Some people complain they are no more than “graffiti” in the urban landscape, and that they ruin people’s views and even block sunlight!
‘Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see boards still standing yonks after a property has been sold or let. They can be a bit shabby and weather-beaten. Some agents, who I shall not name, clearly have a policy to leave them up until they fall down.
‘Some councils have banned the use of signs completely and I’m aware of some agents who have received “strong” reminders to take them down in a much more timely manner.
‘There have been calls in some press to “ban the boards” across the board in Britain, with immediate effect.
‘I’m not ashamed to admit that I am rather partial to a board. It’s not just because I want to see my own boards in every front garden in Hampshire.
‘I love the diversity of boards we see in our area. The colours, shapes, sizes, images and messaging make for a vivid urban landscape-especially in the more built-up echelons of our local area.
‘I see them as a sign of a healthy, buoyant market where people have choice and options of where to choose to live and with whom they wish to trust the buying/selling/rental of their property.
‘It’s worth remembering that boards are not just advertising the agent, but the property itself.
‘Some people would argue that in these days of the internet, the advertising board is redundant, people can search online and not have to trawl round streets to look for vacant properties. But it’s also a fact that not everyone has regular access to the internet or a smartphone, and believe it or not, many people still do want to drive around areas they like hoping to spot boards outside properties.
‘In the main, people don’t tend to move very far. In fact, a lot of our tenants tell us they didn’t actually have any plans to move, but end up doing so because they spotted a board in their local area and impulsively inquired.
‘Boards are also an extremely inexpensive marketing tool, especially when compared to magazine advertising or subscriptions to the top property portals. That’s good for landlords and renters.
‘Banning boards might have an adverse affect as it would narrow down the array of advertising tools available to those marketing their properties.
‘Banning boards would make property harder to appeal to renters, and potentially cause agents fees to increase – neither of which would be warmly welcomed by the market or the agent.’