Hunters move fast to hit record year, while enjoying powerful property PR

by Raymond Notarangelo

Sunday, January 9th, 2005

Innovative estate agency celebrates record figures with more PR success

Property PR photo of Matthew Gray of PSM Law Group

HUNTERS, the leading estate agency, has underlined the continued strength of the Scottish property market by announcing record sales figures for 2004.

The company, which has property shops in Edinburgh, Fife and Falkirk, sold almost £110million worth of properties over the past 12 months, up nearly £30 million on 2003.

Nearly 700 properties were sold during 2004, a 24 per cent increase on the 2003 figures, scorching suggestions that the property market had slumped in the last 12 months.

Wilson Hunter, senior partner at Hunters, part of The PSM Law Group, said the figures were significant across two key areas.

He said: “As a company, these figures are stunning and clearly position Hunters now as one of Scotland’s leading estate agencies.  But on a more general level, they illustrate that despite unfounded talk in some quarters of an impending crash, the market remained healthy throughout the year with plenty to look forward to in 2005.”

The year-end figures show that Hunters’ Edinburgh office in Morningside Road sold 403 properties worth a total of £77,529,831 – that compares with 348 (up 16 per cent) and £60,989,699 (up 25 per cent) in 2004.  The average house sale in 2004 was £189,838.

At Hunters’ Fife property shop in Bonnar Street, Dunfermline, 268 properties were sold, worth a total of £30,717,913 – that compares to 206 (up 12.6 per cent) and £18,617,663 in 2004 (up 65 per cent).  The average house sale in 2004 was £121,967.

Property PR photos of estate agency team with Hutners-psm in FalkirkHunters only opened its new Falkirk office in West Bridge Street in October, but still recorded 16 sales worth a total of £1.4m – some 30 per cent ahead of expectations.

Mr Hunter said: “The significant progress made over the year vindicates our approach to estate agency services. Over the years it has often been the case that property departments attached to legal firms have been looked upon simply as a means of generating conveyancing work. We take an entirely different view at Hunters. Whilst Hunters remains very much a part of The PSM Law Group, we are seeking to run it as a separate business. It must be capable of standing on its own two feet and the vast majority of our estate agency staff have come to us with an estate agency background – they are trained in the art of selling.

“You cannot ignore the impact of having the right team in place to market your house. It is no longer a case of simply putting your property into the ESPC and waiting for the purchaser to turn up. At Hunters we are now seeing the value of having in place an up-to-date property matching register and a team of highly skilled and knowledgeable negotiators.  Our aim is to find the buyer – not wait for the buyer to find us.

“We are finding that the discerning property owner now appreciates that the cheapest service is not necessarily the best when it comes to selling your house. First impressions are very important and that includes the quality of your Schedule of Sales particulars. At Hunters we are able to offer a wide range of styles and we are always amazed at the number of new clients who arrive on our doorstep having viewed one of our sale properties, who didn’t fall in love with the property but fell in love with our Sales Particulars!”

Mr Hunter added that the recent Bank of Scotland House Price Index, which showed rising house prices in areas such as Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy, Dalkeith and Bathgate, demonstrated that buyers are increasingly looking outside Edinburgh to secure more property for their money.

He said: “This developing trend highlights the need to engage estate

agents such as Hunters, who have knowledge and expertise not only in Edinburgh, but also the surrounding areas.  We can provide superb marketing skills to sell your property in Edinburgh, but also offer expert advice and a whole range of property choice should you decide that a move outside the city is right for you.”

Hunters enjoyed a buoyant end to the year – fuelled by their advice to clients to show realism when buying and selling – and have started 2005 already on a high.

Mr Hunter added: “We had a surge of new properties which hit the market in the first week of January and early signs show that properties are selling for prices in excess of clients’ expectations.  We have always said that while it was fine to sound a note of caution when the market was experiencing a slowdown, all that was really needed was a healthy dose of common sense to understand that the huge profits achieved in recent years were unlikely to happen and people are now being more realistic in their expectations.”

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Raymond Notarangelo

Raymond Notarangelo, co-founded Scottish PR agency, Holyrood PR after spotting a gap for colourful and innovative public relations in Edinburgh. He now leads a team providing media relations, social media, video, photography, brand newsrooms, crisis communication and media relations.

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