iMoves in to Brockley

Upgrade your Brockley growth forecasts, the Tea Factory has finally found a tenant for its biggest unit. And of course, it's an estate agent:

The leading indicator of an area being on-the-up is the number of 20-something female joggers who can be seen on its streets: Joggers are aspirational types, which means they probably have the money and inclination to spend locally. That they're female means the area feels reasonably safe. That they are 20-something means they are probably too old to be students and too young to have a family - in which case, they not just in the area because they settled for whatever was available - they've made an active choice to be here.

The number of 20-something female joggers in Brockley and New Cross has exploded in recent years.

The lagging indicator is the number of estate agents kicking around. And iMove is one of a resurgent army of flat-floggers in the area.

68 comments:

Joggeur said...

Hmm, that may be the case in Brockley, but personally I hardly see any joggers in New Cross. We do, however, have loads of estate agents.

terrencetrentderby said...

FFS a chicken shop would have been more interesting. What a boring outcome.

I'm off to buy some kit to grow tomatoes in my loft.

The Wickham Man said...

Fantastic! More parasites on the bloated, Brockley, community body! No wonder we're all being given our two month eviction notices, I guess the money people can get by selling their former rental properties, or indeed doubling the rent is just to good to pass up 0_o

manwithaplan78 said...

In forest hill four of the biggest properties around the high street are estate agents which could have been put to use by new businesses - go figure?!

Finders Fee and Admin said...

Hilly fields also now has large groups of yummy mummies going through their fitness exercises. I first saw that sort of thing going on up Hampstead and thought 'how North London'. Yet lo! A few years on and a housing bubble later they are here in Brockley. The mums and the joggers validate the charm of the area, which has seen a lot of bad social issues in the past.


However, I am hearing a lot of stories about landlords cashing in and evicting tenants in order to hike the rent. Letters from estate agents saying they have corporate clients waiting to rent your property. The rents have gone up tremendously and it is forcing residents out of the area.


I'm afraid, our quiet corner of South London has been 'discovered'.

Headhunter said...

Interesting that female 20 something joggers are the latest indicator of an area on the u... I remember a few years ago it was all about looking for skips in the street. As for estate agents, there aren't many around Brockley, I can only think of 1 near the station so 1 more won't make much difference...

Anon said...

@Nick you don't half talk absolute twaddle. But it cheers my day up no end ;)

Jo said...

Maybe the sunshine and the impulse to try working off the chicken or bingo wings for the summer hols is upon us. But aspirational and spending local is possibly stretching the Lycra a bit. Do remember to warm up properly before you exercise.

Gio said...

Who wrote this cack?

maisie_moo said...

Yes, we got a letter from Foxtons yesterday (5 copies, actually!) about corporate clients "urgently seeking properties" in the conservation area. Fine up to a point but it would be sad if we ended up with the kind of transient population that you get in more affluent parts of London, where neighbours don't bother to get to know each other or put roots down in the community, because what's the point when you'll be moving on in a year or two. Hopefully we have a way to go before that happens, though.

Anon said...

I saw what I thought were two old ladies catching a bus, that means we're awash with OAP's and there spending outside of Brockley. OMG ;)

Brockley Nick said...

Let me put it more crudely. Joggers tend to be people who are ambitious, career-minded people. That means money. And they look after themselves in part because they like to socialise, and that means spending locally. Not in all cases of course, but economics is about patterns.

AliAfro said...

Acorn, Roccodells Bryan and Keegan, Cannon Kallar, Sebastian Roche, KFH are all SE4, but as you say, the shops right next to the station aren't yet overcome.... Betting shops vs estate agents - FIGHT!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Pavilion, Desimanns (if they're still in business, always seems closed), Saxton, Homes2u (or whatever the one in Ladywell is called), Lilypad and presumably a few others that are out there.

Headhunter said...

Yes there are a lot in "Greater" Brockley, I was thinking Brockley in the purest sense of the word as in right near the station and preferably east side/conservation area (darling)

Headhunter said...

Someone was telling that despite appearances it's actually quite a tough time for estate agents at the moment as there literally isn't that much supply coming to the market. Yes there are literally billions of people looking to buy so as soon as an estate agent secures a property to sell, it can offload it pretty quickly but supply is limited and estate agents compete hard to secure your sale. Rentals must hold things up I suppose...

alan titchmarsh said...

Now do be careful, it could go horribly wrong. The Albertines fire should be a lesson to loft growers everywhere.

Brockley Nick said...

Foxton's stock market valuation suggests otherwise...

Tim said...

Foxtons are based at the high end of the market, where activity is high. And stock market valuations are very often wrong.

An estate agent's revenue is obviously linked to overall prices (which are up) and transaction volumes (which are up a bit), as well as competition (up, I'd guess).

I think a big story over the next decade could be the disintermediation of traditional estate agents by new technology and solutions. There are a number of well funded new online companies that allow you to sell the place yourself - arrange photos, appointments etc. The guy who set up Poundland runs one of the companies. There are others run by equally serious businessmen.

I think this is a good thing. I don't see why I should pay them thousands of pounds for doing very litt.e

Guest said...

Remember when threads on here were all about Brockley now just seems to be a shop window for property sales or rental or planning permission,gets a bit boring really after a while.

Brockley Nick said...

It's a new business opening in Brockley. That is exactly the sort of story that we have always run.

floggit and scarper said...

Well, the BBC are doing their best to rehabilitate the image of Estate Agents.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b040rm8y/under-offer-estate-agents-on-the-job-episode-1



I quite like the way they have done this, looking at very different ends of the market and the personalities this business attracts. Does this look like a business that could be replaced by a website?

freethinker85 said...

This is why every community should have one estate agent: an estate agent social enterprise that puts all its profits after salaries and running costs into funding community infrastructure and development. You can read about the idea here: http://freethinker85.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/urban-patchwork-an-estate-agent-social-enterprise-building-community-where-you-live/ and here: http://freethinker85.wordpress.com/urban-patchwork-an-estate-agent-social-enterprise-for-south-east-london/

AliAfro said...

Perhaps BC should introduce the Hilly Fields Parkrun attendance housing bubble index. :-). I predict a direct correlation between 5k run attendance and open day viewing numbers.

Brockley Nick said...

Are you proposing Urban Patchwork as a hypothetical, or are you actually trying to launch it as a new business?


And are you saying that all other estate agents should be banned, so that there is no competition for this model?

Ed said...

As I was reading this I saw a 20-something female jogger run past my window in Lewisham Park. 11.49am. Just in case anyone is keeping a log.

Brockley Nick said...

I rest my case.

Monkeyboy said...

Some things...

Any enterprise could pay a lower wage and plough the profits into the local community

You would need to find people who would be happy to do that or accept a higher wage at a traditional estate agent.

The biggest issue, if you are selling then you are trapped in the madness. You have to extract the maximum selling price to buy somewhere else. There may be some people who would sell for less for altruistic reasons but very few - basically if you are wealthy enough. If you are happy to sell to the highest bidder then you need to convince your customers (the seller, not the buyer) that you are able to get the highest price with the lowest fees. So not so different to any other estate agent?

Tim said...

I don't really get it either. How is this different from any business deciding to donate profits to "the community"?

There aren't many of them around and there's a reason for them. The profit motive makes people work harder/better etc and win the business.



If I'm selling my property I'll use the channel which I think makes me the most money (Hint: It's not a non profit). If I separately wish to donate money to charity or the community, I will do.

Brockley Banker said...

Freethinker, maybe you should open an estate agent, work for pennies and donate any profit you make to the community. Lets see how long the business lasts and more importantly how long you can afford to live in your imaginary wonderland.

Anon said...

What case? Twaddle again. Did you check here employment and marital status or her BMI? Maybe she's taken up the couch to 5k.

Anon said...

I think she is doing.

Brockley Banker said...

Haha, I just checked the link she posted! Probably should have done that before posting.... Oh well good luck, hope she can make it work.

Tim said...

I don't really understand what message you're trying to convey.

Pedant said...

"there are *literally* billions of people looking to buy" - come on, we're all better than that

Headhunter said...

Sorry.... There are allegedly billions of people looking to buy. It has been suggested that there are billions of people looking to buy... Better?

Headhunter said...

The old Hugh never talked about cock... What happened?

Anon said...

It's not really demographics, it Nick's assertion.
There is no real research, quantitative or qualitative to base his opinion on... Mintel... anyone ;)

PS. I definitely think some ones tongue is in between someone's cheeks ;)

Anon said...

Plenty of Bull too.

Brockley Nick said...

Mintel, schmintel - I'm right and you know it.

freethinker85 said...

No, of course they shouldn't be banned. I hope to help set one up to serve central SE London & then set up a facilitation org to help communities establish them successfully.

freethinker85 said...

I used to work for an estate agent and I know the huge profits that are made. People would still get paid a good wage for their hard work but instead of profits beyond that going to share holders or the owners, they would be pumped directly into community infrastructure and development. I see it as a sensible way to ensure some community benefit from land value appreciation. It is also an opportunity to reform the sector and provide a more trusted, transparent service. I've had a lot of good feedback from people who think this is a good model that could really help communities as a whole, as well as provide a better service to customers. Take the time to read both the articles I linked to properly and I think you will see that there is merit in the idea. This is a way to stop complaining about the 7 estate agents on Brockley high street and to do something positive about it.

freethinker85 said...

I know a manager of an established chain estate agent in London who earned 250k last year, and their pay is only made up of a small percentage of the profits. There is plenty of money in estate agency to ensure employees get paid a good wage and are rewarded for their hard work, as well as pumping all profits, beyond salaries and running costs, into affordable housing, community infrastructure and development. Having worked in an estate agent, I also believe this is an opportunity to reform the sector and provide a more transparent and trusted service, and to encourage staff to work together (translating into better customer service) through a collective commission structure. I don't see the reason for everyone's negativity on here. It is a viable idea worth trying - I believe in the social impact it could potentially have, and enough money would be generated to pay people a good wage too.

freethinker85 said...

It could also be asked why you should get thousands of pounds in land value appreciation for doing very little. An estate agent social enterprise would ensure that you get a good service in selling your property, and using that fee, after salaries and running costs, to fund affordable housing, community infrastructure and development.


I worked at an estate agent in London last year, and estate agents do actually work incredibly hard. It's really long hours, people are often quite difficult and it's hard to stay pro-active instead of re-active because of the sheer amount of enquiries coming in. Estate agents in London, particularly on the sales side, are doing incredibly well at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it all a bit irrelevant anyway? Estate Agents are ultimately going to be crushed by the internet. Everybody looking for property goes to the big aggregation sites - ultimately there will be no physical estate agents premises, it will all transfer online and a lot of the processes will all go online. They are a middle man waiting to be killed off...

Anon said...

lol ;) the day in much sunnier now.

Brockley Nick said...

Ah, I misunderstood, when you said "This is why every community should have one estate agent:" I thought you were saying 'only' one.


I think a major issue you will have is that estate agents rely on sellers. Sellers have a property which usually represents the most significant asset they will ever own. They will be relying on it to help pay for their retirement or to propel them up the property ladder. That means that in 99% of cases they are going to want to deal with the estate agent that they think is going to maximise the value they get.


Rightly or wrongly (I suspect rightly) they are going to be believe that the estate agent that is motivated by profit and heavily incentivises their sales team is going to deliver the best result. They are going to be reluctant to trust that a business being run on egalitarian principles is going to get the best sale price. And they won't give a monkey's about where the profits go. It's not like a cafe or a shop, where people are going to indulge their better instincts. When it comes to the crunch, sellers want to maximise the value of their property, and that trumps all else.

Anon said...

Alas defecation... the price of gentrification.

We can only surmise, it must have come from a 20-something female Jogger...

Body conscious to a fault, owns a reasonably expensive Heston Juicer, likes tidiness and shiny things, has high hopes and aspirations so buys the all middle class posh statement Brabantia bin.
An expensive object that will never really get used... but collect battle scar dents from impromptu dinner parties, thrown by the local supper club.
Maybe the odd apple core and high-end cat food pouches, from fru fru the stray kitten she's taken in, there will be no food waste at all, as she'll stick religiously to her juice only diet.

Without the physical strength to tare and dispose of the boxes properly, she is left only one alternative, dump them on the street and thus become someone else's problem.


"It couldn't possibly be a mans rubbish... because a man would tare through those boxes like a primal beast, to then satisfyingly squash them into the communal bins and take much pride in doing so."

- According to the property developer Shylock Homes of Quid pro quo.

Also a man owning a juicer, is like a man owning a hair dryer... ;)

Anon said...

The price of gentrification photo

Headhunter said...

Well it makes a change from the usual mattresses, MFI/flat pack wardrobes and chests of drawers etc dumped in the street... Oh and of course tyres.... BTW I'm male and I own a juicer...

Hugh said...

Anything that feeds the house price bubble is ok with me. Let's be straight about our priorities. Mine are: (1) me, (2) anything necessary or incidental to (1). Does Brockley have room for old-fashioned capitalists? It was built by them.

Headhunter said...

Have you still got that Specialized?

Anon said...

Smoothie ;)

Hugh said...

S-Works. Well life is for living.

Headhunter said...

S Works....! You've gone up in the world

Hugh said...

You still working at the airport?

Brockley Nick said...

Not that I don't welcome our west London brothers and sisters on this site, but didn't you sod off to Ealing in search of a better life?

Hugh said...

I did? Nick dear, real estate portfolio management takes one all over the place.

NAT said...

I am indebted to you for your renewed interest in our lowly Burgh.

terrencetrentderby said...

Only move to Ealing if you like Polish people.



Andrea said...

It's actually amazed me that the whole estate agent process has not yet been replaced with an automated online system without any costs to the seller or buyer. I've been talking about this for years (probably like many others, I presume) but because I don't have the entrepreneurial spirit, I've never got round to pushing the idea on. Good luck to anyone who does it!

Headhunter said...

The airport?! I never worked at the airport....

Nic said...

Nick, does this post have sexist overtones. I am a female 20 something jogging born and bred resident of Brockley. Young women keeping fit and healthy is not a factor for judging an areas 'on-the-up'ness.

Brockley Nick said...

In what way?

Anon said...

I'm delighted to be called a yummy mummy! It's ok though, don't panic, I've lived here for 8 years, I'm not a new comer - does that mean I can use the park?!

freethinker85 said...

We will offer a far better and more professional and transparent service than other estate agents, offering clear transparent fees, rather than negotiating on a case by case basis. Our staff will be motivated by a collective commission structure to reward hard work, as well by raising money for community development. We will be motivated to get best price possible for clients, so we can pump this money into community infrastructure and development, which will probably help to increase the value of their home.

Brockley Nick said...

"We will offer a far better and more professional and transparent service than other estate agents,"


OK, if you say so.


"offering clear transparent fees, rather than negotiating on a case by case basis."


So you will never be tempted to drop your rates to win business? Even in the early days? Is transparency so important to sellers? They can shop around for the best rate pretty easily.


"Our staff will be motivated by a collective commission structure to reward hard work,"


I think rewarding collective performance, rather than individual sales is often the best model - but how do you hang on to your best people if they can get bigger financial rewards elsewhere? And if you lose your best people, how can you convince customers that you will offer a better service?


"as well by raising money for community development."


A nice bit of CSR. Many estate agents will do things to endear themselves to the local community - sponsoring the Brockley Max. I assume you envisage it will be a lot more money - as I said before, I struggle to imagine many clients caring about that, when deciding who to go with. Perhaps I have too dim a view of the seller's psyche.


"We will be motivated to get best price possible for clients, so we can pump this money into community infrastructure and development,"


This seems to be the essence of it. You believe you can run an altruistic estate agency, full of people motivated by the greater good. In a fiercely competitive industry, where the customer is motivated by price and staff are easily poached, that seems like a tricky thing to pull off.


"which will probably help to increase the value of their home."



Firstly, it will be years before you generate profits of any significance, to invest in street trees, etc. Secondly, by the time someone decides to sell, the improvement work will have already been done and they have no incentive to sell through you, because the "profits" you make from the sale will be put into future works, which will not make any difference to their house price.


Anyway, good luck proving cynics like me wrong...

Westsider said...

So are you still in Brockley then Hugh? Or just moonlighting on this site?

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