1. How have the services provided by Recoco changed to fit client needs since you founded Recoco?
Client expectations are more demanding every year. Where guidance was previously the key demand a full concierge service is expected. Despite full, freely available information via the internet people are now time poor and acclimatised to a service industry where outsourcing is common place. Recoco has evolved to provide a bespoke service tailored to individual needs. It goes far beyond just identifying and negotiating the actual purchase of a house extending to providing detailed knowledge of every aspect of the locality.

2. How important is it for your staff to have specialist knowledge in different regions, and markets across the UK?
When instructing Recoco clients buy into our agents’ local knowledge, contacts and experience. This has unmeasurable value to time poor clients buying from out of the area. This knowledge and people skills are key to our success.

3. How have clients responded to fluctuation in the London property market due to political factors?
Political uncertainty has had a greater effect on the London property market than the rural market. Insecurity has led to economic uncertainty and lack of confidence, creating a disproportionate number of properties for sale to the number of motivated buyers. Both vendors and purchasers are sitting on fences expecting a redress in values that, in my opinion, is unlikely to happen for some time.

4. Having acted for clients for over 40 years, what knowledge should your clients know before acquiring property in London?
Whether in London or any region or provincial city clients must first assess their own priorities -life style needs, work and school access and whether the purchase is a long term buy or a stepping stone on the property ladder. These factors will dictate where best to buy in the budget. It is important to be socially comfortable so better to buy a lesser property in a socially acceptable area than a larger one where there is little compatibility with local society. Local infrastructure and transport links are a major consideration in today’s busy lives.

5. What are some of the difficulties which clients face in making large property purchases in different locations?
Local knowledge is vital as well as contacts for business, domestic and personal needs. Understanding variations in value, travel implications etc. It is easy to drift from a designated search area by being attracted by advertised property elsewhere. Every purchase is a compromise but location for an individual’s needs shouldn’t be one.

6. How have you advised clients with the rise in stamp duty and the effects on client buying decisions, and property finance lending?
At the level of the market Recoco acts it is a question of finding the right property. Generally it is a case of swallowing one’s pride and paying a tax over which an individual has no control. Waiting for the uncertainty of current climates to change is a state of mind. It may be a long time coming. If a client can afford to buy the house they want my advice is don’t put life on hold. You don’t get second chances.

Nigel Bishop Q & A