Blackadders – first solicitor/estate agent firm to launch iPhone Property App in Scotland

In the last few years estate agents and conveyancers have been challenged to provide the best possible service at the best possible price. To step up to this challenge we have embraced the use of the latest technologies and techniques available. In 2009 we launched our new website and property system, complete with a client interaction area. This secure login area allows our clients to track the progress of their property sale at a time that is convenient for them. When anything significant happens, such as a viewer booking an appointment, the system automatically sends an update to the client and it is recorded in the system. Any comments we receive back from that viewer are posted on to the system. The client can either choose to receive a feedback call from us or they can login to the system and check for updates at a time that suits them. The system also allows prospective buyers to enter their property criteria and as soon we have a property match it will send out the property details to that prospective buyer automatically.

Our commitment to be at the cutting edge of the legal and property sectors means that we are always looking at new innovations to maintain that position. Following the positive feedback we received after the launch of our website and our commendation award at the DADI (Drum Awards for Digital Industries), it seemed like a natural progression to design an App that would allow those looking for a new home to search our entire portfolio of property for sale and allow our clients to access the client interaction area while on the move.

Although the Scottish property market is showing small signs of improvement we still need to ensure that our clients’ properties are seen by as many people as possible. We hope that by giving people access to our property portfolio through many different sources and allowing clients to access information at the touch of a screen, it will speed up the sale of property and improve the market further.

The key consideration when we were designing the iPhone App was to ensure that the interface was simple to use and that there was synergy between the App, our property system and our website.  We worked with local digital firm Avian on the project for several months and have produced an iPhone App that not only looks fantastic but is user-friendly and has some great functionality. The Blackadders App allows you to search by location, property type and price; view full property details with images, descriptions, floor plans and maps; book a viewing and even submit a Note of Interest. In a tough economic climate we believe it’s important that we stay ahead of the game and continue to develop and use the technologies that are out there to try to make the process of buying and selling a home less complicated and less stressful.

Let us know what you think – download the FREE Blackadders iPhone App from the iPhone App Store.  Search for ‘Blackadders’ to download.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services

House sales in January below December levels

The RICS have issued their January review indicating that a lack of buyer demand and low levels of supply got the housing market off to a poor start this year.  The RICS report indicates that agreed sales continue to drop while weakness in market activity was at its lowest point since June 2009.  A RICS spokesperson has indicated that “uncertainty over the prospects for employment, alongside the shortage of mortgage finance, particularly for first time buyers, continues to way heavily on transaction levels.”

Although the RICS survey is a small snapshot it is taken into account by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee at its monthly meetings to set interest rates.

This report certainly accords with my view and indicates the need for Government intervention and also shows the importance of an innovative and sales driven solicitor estate agent.  I will continue to keep you updated in respect of future figures and analysis.

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services

UK house prices fell 1.3% in December

Although I am against the sensationalist aspects relating to house price surveys (the most recent conducted by the Halifax) I was interested to note that they expect limited movement in house prices during 2011 as interest rates are likely to remain low for some time.  They also pinpointed a reluctance to sell from some homeowners, this halting a decline in prices.

I do agree with this sentiment and am firmly of the view that house prices will remain stable during the course of 2011. However, I don’t think it will be any easier to sell your property and would therefore emphasize the importance of getting an experienced solicitor estate agency to sell your property.  On the other hand, I don’t think that there will be many bargains around and again when purchasing, speak to a property specialist to ensure that you are buying a property for the best possible price that you can.

2011 will be a very interesting year for the housing market!

Lindsay Darroch
Head of Property Services