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The consistently inconsistent property market
5:17pm Monday 23rd January 2012
There was a time, not so long ago, when businesses could actually plan for the year and take into account any seasonal adjustments. It was extremely useful for an employer to assess when it was easier for staff to take holidays, and when they could allow more staff to be off simultaneously. It also helped with planning for the times when extra staff were needed.
That consistency in seasonal trends has certainly vanished in estate agency, and the more business people I talk to, the more I discover that this is an almost universal issue for all industries.
4 years ago, we’d have been prepared as soon as January started, but in recent years, January has become something of a damp squib. With all the general economic disillusionment towards the end of last year, I was fully expecting that trend to continue but I’m delighted that January 2012 has been incredibly busy for us.
In the last 5 years, every time I think we might have turned the corner for the better, the market promptly flatlines again. Take August as another example. It was another period that was notoriously slow in years gone by, but recently we seen no discernable difference between August and the months either side of it.
The result of this consistent inconsistency is that business owners rarely feel secure and are generally always looking over their shoulder for the next metaphorical ‘kidney punch’ to slow them down. Maybe it’s no bad thing. It does mean you have to stay alert and look to be constantly improving. Complacency simply can’t set in or sharper competitors will gain ground. I bet businesses generally now run much tighter ships than they did a few years ago, which can only benefit the consumer. It would be nice to just to be able to relax now and again though...
Imagine Estate and Letting Agents
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