Leading South Wales estate agency earns national recognition

Dawsons is celebrating after winning a national estate agents award for outstanding customer service.

Their Mumbles office has been singled out from 1,500 estate agents to be named UK estate agent of the week by Rateragent.

The two staff members who were singled out for outstanding customer service were lettings negotiators Rhodri Francis-Hopkins and Sammantha James.

“This great recognition once again reaffirms the level of customer service and client satisfaction we strive to achieve,” said Ricky Purdy, Director of Lettings at Dawsons.

“Our customers have taken time out of their busy days to acknowledge the service, the branch they have dealt with and importantly the individual staff members.

“We really do appreciate this. Its great to see our consistency of service levels is meeting the high expectations of our clients.

“This UK agent of the week together with other recent accolades is very much what we aim to replicate during the remainder of this year and the start of 2016.”

Rateragent is Tripadvisor equivalent for estate agents for the UK. It is based on the quality of service and positive reviews received from both landlords and tenants.

“I am really please to have received the recognition, and that our landlords and tenants are taking time to post reviews. We have a great group at our office, and the awards are a result of our team effort,” said Sammantha.

Rhodri added: “It was a great surprise receiving the award. It really wasn’t expected, but it is something I am very proud of.”

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Chris Hope, Dawsons Senior Director

To buy or rent – the great debate that rumbles on

It is one of life’s great debates that often dominate our lives year on year: is it better to buy your own home or rent someone else’s?

The simple answer is: there is not right or wrong decision, but financial trends – a stable or unstable economy – will often dictate that decision.

Here Chris Hope, Senior Partner at Dawsons Estate Agents, weighs up the pros and cons of the buy or rent conundrum.

“People are always asking what is the best course of action when it comes to buying or renting,” said Chris.

“Of course personal circumstances will always dictate and every four or so years the buy/rent debate shifts one way or the other.

“To be perfectly honest at the moment it is probably a 50/50 scenario when looking at a decision to buy or rent.”

Just to put into context Chris gives an example of a three-bedroom terrace in the Morriston area of Swansea.

At around £100,000 to buy that would give you a £385 per month on a typical 25-year mortgage with a 10/15% deposit. That would compare to £500 rent per month.

“So looking at the averages there is not a great deal of difference when you take in consideration the buyer’s initial outlay with a deposit,” reflected Chris.

“Looking at it historically – 20 years ago those that rented were those who couldn’t afford to buy.

“But whereas there has been a social status element with owning your own home it’s nowadays become a lifestyle choice. Renting is now socially acceptable, and to put that into perspective in our Marina Office we only have one or two lettings properties at any one time. The demand is that great.

“Renting now gives young professionals flexibility. The fact the house needs painting or decorating is not longer and issue. You can just move!

“The culture has definitely changed – renting is a socially accepted way of living. Renting has given people freedom and gives you flexibility and latitude, especially when a career may take you around the country.”

But where rent gives you flexibility and no real ties buying is seen more and more as an investment. For instance fairly recent figures from Santander Bank indicated that ‘lifetime renters’ who never manage to climb on to the property ladder are likely to hand over around £300,000 to private landlords during their lives.

“But rental does look attractive especially when you look at people who have bought at the wrong time have been caught in a negative equity situation – that brings it’s stresses and strains,” added Chris.

“Despite that, compared to other countries such as USA and Germany we are still largely a nation of homeowners. Some people see an investment in a property is an extra pension at a time when pensions cannot be relied on to fulfil financial needs in retirement.

“There is still an advantage on buying a property because of the basic economics of what it costs to buy compared to cost of rent.

Having a mortgage-free environment is a comfort blanket.”

To put that into perspective a recent survey from HSBC talked of a growing divide between property ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’.

Analysing that the generation of owners who bought in the early 1980s tended to become mortgage-free at 56. Recent buyers – average age 29 – are expected to be mortgage-free at 60, whereas young people who say they do not expect to be able to buy until age 35 are likely to be approaching 68 before they own a home outright.

In conclusion Chris says: “There is no right and wrong to be honest – but it changes its balance determined by financial stability.”

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Estate agents’ duo celebrate special accreditation

Corey Ashford and Jaki Staddon from Dawsons are celebrating after becoming accredited Relocation Agent (RAN) specialists.

The accreditation was awarded by RAN and is achieved by completing a comprehensive online training programme.

Corey is based in Dawsons’ Marina Office while Jaki works out of the Gorseinon office.

RAN, a national network of relocation agents of which Dawsons is a member, introduced the training programme to ensure each of their members provides the very highest customer service to those relocating around the UK.

“We take staff development very seriously and Corey and Jaki’s Relocation Network accreditation is a great example of what can be achieved when staff are supported properly to improve their skill set,” said Dawsons Senior Partner Chris Hope.

“Of course, having a Relocation Agent specialist in a team is also great for our relocating customers.”

Jaki said: “I am proud to be part of Dawsons who are the RAN selected agent aiding clients who move out of our area and reassuring them that the agents we refer them to are of the same high standard as ourselves.

“We expect to provide trust and quality of service and along with other elite agents across the country, we aim to provide a special service to ease the transition of clients relocating.”

Corey said: “Involving our clients with other RAN agents across the country makes the transaction progress a lot smoother as we can keep a close link with the other agents involved in the chain.

“Being an Accredited Relocation Specialist gives me a great starting point, which no other local agents can offer, for my future development within the company.”

Richard Tucker, RAN’s Managing Director, says it is important to have reputable local RAN agents such as Dawsons.

“Selected by us as the best independent estate agent to represent the Network in the Swansea area spanning as far as Llanelli, Dawsons have proved themselves as the area’s local expert,” said RAN’s Managing Director Richard Tucker.

“So with the addition of an in-house Relocation Network specialist, they have gone one step further to provide relocating buyers and sellers with the very best customer service.”

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