Let’s Slow Down (or why we take 21 days to put your home on the market)

Let’s Slow Down (or why we take 21 days to put your home on the market) blogpost by AshdownJones estate agents in the Lakes and Dales

Once you have decided to put your home on the market, many estate agents will endeavour to get your home onto Rightmove as soon as possible – perhaps even the same day you instruct them. After all, if they have their camera with them, then why not?

If you believe in the value of craftsmanship, (as we do) you’ll no doubt appreciate things that take a little longer (or a lot longer) to be brought into being. Just as fine wines, Scotch whiskey, and Michelangelo’s ceiling were not created in a day, one of our beautiful, bespoke brochures takes time, care and lots of love to create.

Every element of our brochures is crafted using the very best expertise we have found. Our attention to detail and obsession for perfection over every page means that it may take three weeks, four weeks, or longer, to lovingly bring your home to market. There are no shortcuts. This is the very best bespoke marketing you will ever see of your home. And it’s worth the wait.

Let us take you through each of the elements of our unique bespoke marketing, and how they all fit together to make the work of art that is one of our magazine-style home brochures.
Lifestyle photography – to paraphrase a well-known high street brand: “these aren’t just images; they are AshdownJones images”.  Some estate agents may invest in a quality camera; some may even use a professional photographer. But our images are really on another level.

Look at how on one image, you can see every feature of a beautiful sitting room, whilst still be able to see the view in crisp and clear detail. That takes a wealth of experience and a deep well of technical know-how. See too how another image highlights flickering candles around a gently bubbling bath. That requires insight and an understanding of the lifestyle a buyer aspires to.

Twilight imagery – we love twilight at AshdownJones; it’s such a warm, welcoming sight to see a home with the lamps lit, the sky behind quietly darkening. It takes a delicate and patient photographer to capture that perfect ‘golden hour’ moment when the house and sky are in perfect harmony, one complementing the other. The result is an image that shows your home in a way no daylight photograph can.

When a buyer is scrolling down the Rightmove feed, discounting house after house, our twilight images can stop them in their tracks, and click to learn more about your home. That’s the power a truly exceptional twilight image can have.

Aerial photographs – these make a powerful trio when coupled with lifestyle and twilight imagery. Using the latest drone technology, our photographer takes his time, and controls the drone perfectly until he finds just the right angle of your home; the one that shows its position perfectly. How a house fits into its surroundings can often only be portrayed from above. A bird’s eye view can show the size and shape of your home, the proportions of your garden, and its proximity to fields, lakes, villages; whatever it is that makes the unique position of your home so perfect.

And then there’s the perfect blend of these two photographic styles: the aerial twilight. What could be better than to show off how your home looks at its most welcoming, and from the air?

Home styling – some homes need a little assistance to show off their very best assets and features. We don’t want to fundamentally change the character of a house, or we’d be losing its very essence – the essence someone may fall in love with, just as the current owners did originally.

But we know not everyone has a ready supply of the accessories that can add that polish to a room for the photos. We love plain bedding, pale cushions and sumptuous throws. So we bring these items with us on your photoshoot. Plus lots of little accessories that we can use if we need them.

We even bring a bouquet of flowers (and leave them for our client, of course), so they don’t have to remember to buy them for the shoot.

We know that sometimes our lovely clients get a little nervous before a photoshoot, so if we explain exactly what is going to happen, and reassure them that the styling will be taken care of by experienced experts, they can relax, and enjoy the experience. And when they see the final results, they are inevitably blown away by how amazing their home can look.

Poetic descriptions – your home deserves to be described in the best way. With the right words. Words that are evocative, beautiful and compelling.

The property industry is not usually known for its literary eloquence; estate agents prefer to use words that are based in fact, not emotion. They like to describe the practical elements of the house like ‘detached’ and ‘gas centrally heated’. They use phrases never otherwise encountered: ‘dual aspect’, ‘briefly comprises’ and ‘viewing highly recommended’.

When a house is described in dull words and phrases, it sounds dull. The reader doesn’t get excited. They don’t feel compelled to view, or even to read to the end.

The right words can turn on a light for a buyer. It can lift the home off the page, or screen, and call ‘view me’ in a voice that seduces and beguiles.

A house is not just bricks and mortar to the buyer, nor to the seller. It’s a home; a family; a dream.  It’s full of memories for the seller, and hopes for the buyer.

Here’s how a previous agent described the outdoor space at a property we’ve recently sold:

“There is private parking and a lovely sunny garden area and sunken south facing patio.” 

Whereas we described it like this:

“The garden is a treasure-trove of seating areas, sunken patios, hidden paths and bespoke planters, cleverly arranged to create a true haven for birds, butterflies and of course, you. Watch the sun set over the far-reaching views as the sausages sizzle on the barbeque and you share a bottle of wine next to the chiminea with friends.”

Because we know the worth of a word, we don’t try to write a description of your house ourselves; instead, we use a professional copywriter. And where does she get her information from? You, the owner. We’ve found the very best portrayals of the lifestyle your home can offer, come from you. After all, you know it better than anyone. So our writer will spend time talking to you about your home, and what it offers a buyer. She will ask you about walks from the house, the best pub for a Sunday pint, and what your home is like at Christmas. You can tell her all the things you, your friends and your family love most about it, and she will weave your tales into her magical prose. The result is a narrative that will capture a buyer’s imagination, and compel them to come to see your home for themselves.

Visual branding – because every home we market is unique, we decided to showcase this uniqueness by creating its very own visual brand. To do this, we take inspiration from the house name, its location, its style, colours the owner loves, even brands they like. These ideas go into a big idea pot and together with our talented designers, we create some draft designs to show you. A bit of back and forth then ensues, until we have a visual brand you – and your buyers – can fall in love with.

This visual representation of your home can then be skillfully threaded through the brochures and even the for sale board, so that a buyer feels strongly they are buying so much more than simply bricks and mortar. They are buying something truly unique, presented to them in the most special way possible.

Magazine brochure– once we have the most perfect images and visual brand of your home, it’s time for our talented designers to get to work, designing a brochure worthy of your home. Together with our client, we decide what size and shape of brochure will suit your home, how many pages it will have, where the key features will be highlighted, and the overall style of the pages.

You see, every one of our brochures is crafted especially for a particular home. The attention to detail harmonises with a deep understanding of what it means to live in your home, resulting in a breathtakingly beautiful brochure that is so special, you’ll want to keep it forever.

Bespoke for sale board – if you haven’t yet seen one of our unique for sale boards, you’re in for a treat. Because our boards feature something very special; the home they are selling. After all, we’ve never understood why estate agents choose to use their for sale boards to sell themselves, and not the house they are advertising. Instead, we choose to showcase your home, so that every passer-by can see from your board what they may not be able to see from the road; how your home looks at twilight, for example, or from above, or even what a special kitchen it has.

Better than mediocre is not exceptional.

When a conventional estate agent tells you that they are better than the rest, they may be right. But is better enough? Better could just mean professional photography instead of amateur, or suggesting you clean your windows before a viewing.

We believe that our industry needs a serious shake-up. No more complacency, reactivity and same-old. No more ‘let’s just stick it on Rightmove and see what happens’. We reject the bland and the boring, and we want you to, too.

Instead, we bring excitement, originality and imagination to marketing your home. Obsessed as we are with the detail that brings a home to life in print, and fascinated by the intricacies of online marketing, we know first-hand how extraordinary marketing can capture the attention of a perfect buyer, and seduce them to fall in love with your home.  Just as you did.

So let’s have a chat. You’ll find us on email at phil@ashdownjones.co.uk and sam@ashdownjones.co.uk, or just a phone call away, on 015394 88811. We’d absolutely love to hear from you.

Sam and Phil

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