Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Office Has Turned Red!

You would have been forgiven for thinking that St Valentine's Day had come early looking at our window a few week's ago in Foxhall Road. Although, we love Valentine's Day of course, we were actually supporting the British Heart Foundation charity, who were encouraging everyone to wear red for Friday 6th February and raise money. Charity causes continue to raise strong feelings amongst our staff, who every year, take part in raising money for several different causes and charities.

We decided to start on Wednesday 4th due to some staff not working normally on Friday 6th and had a myriad of red ties, tops, shoes, nails, shirts and skirts appear for those three days! Not to mention lovely cakes for sale, after all what charity event would be held without cakes, especially as we have several keen cake makers amongst the staff !

Of course amongst all the frivolity and fun, we remember why we are all taking part: the British Heart Foundation have been raising money for the past 50 years to promote research and information about heart conditions and the adults and children who are living with them. We have been very pleased to support them and have raised a total of £165 !

There are several staff signed up for more charity events throughout this year, so if you look out for our next blogs, we'll be updating you with their events and details as to how you too can get involved to help support these very worthwhile causes !

For more information on our charity fundraising please contact us:-

Jonathan Waters Estate Agents

Your one stop shop for all your property needs in Ipswich and the surrounding Suffolk villages!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

For a Christmas full of sparkle choose Jonathan Waters Estate Agents

Jonathan Waters Estate Agents are planning to end their highly successful 21st anniversary year in style and are offering vendors a triple special deal to help raise money for charity.

For anybody who puts their property on the market with the company before the 21st December 2013 we are offering:

  1.  21% off our standard commission fees
  2.  £21.00 donated by Jonathan Waters to a charity of your choice
  3.  Energy Performance Certificates £21.00 plus VAT

With three new highly experienced additions to the salesteam at Jonathan Waters the company is going from strength to strength and they are scheduled to smash their sales targets for November.

Already the 21st anniversary year has been the company’s best ever, even without all the additional business that we will do between now and the end of the year.

The company is anticipating high demand for this triple special deal offer so contact any of our four offices to book an appointment for one of our highly experienced valuation staff to visit your home and discuss a forthcoming marketing plan.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New appointments at Jonathan Waters Estate Agents

As part of its big expansion programme Jonathan Waters Estate Agents have taken on four new, high profile members of staff, adding an additional 57 years of local estate agency experience to its already highly competent and successful team.

Furthermore, an existing member of staff has been promoted to oversee and run a brand new office in the town.

Jonathan and his team sorted through nearly 300 applications for the 4 positions following a large recruitment advert in the job vacancies section of the EADT and Evening Star.

The quality of the applications was high and had we had the positions, several more staff could have been taken on but we were in the fortunate position of being able to pick the very cream of the crop.

CharmaineSayer will run the company’s Martlesham office and comes with over eight years experience.  She has lived and worked in Ipswich all her life and joined the industry after a long spell in travel agency.

“We have had big success before with people coming to us from the travel agency industry” explained Jonathan Waters, Managing Director.  “The two industries have a number of resemblances and it’s a natural step that somebody who is very good in one will be successful in another.”

Charmaine has worked in both the sales and lettings side of estate agency, both from the Ipswich town centre area and local office sin Kesgrave and Martelsham so was therefore the ideal candidate to expand operations from our Martlesham office in the IP5 area.  The expansion of the Martlesham Heath office will also see the company spreading into the towns of both Woodbridge and Felixstowe for both sales and rentals.

Charmaine is passionate about property and providing high levels of customer service and has a cheery personality and up-beat outlook on life.

Charmaine Sayer

JohnKnighton, can you believe, started in estate agency in 1969 when Managing Director, Jonathan Waters, hadn’t even started primary school.

John has remained in the industry ever since and therefore boasts a staggering 45 years experience in estate agency, making him one of the most experienced estate agents in the area.

John compliments our existing team and will run the company’s new prestigious Silver Collection department for properties at the more expensive end of the market from £350,000 plus.

John has worked predominantly in this higher end market and for the last fifteen years has run the Select and Country Homes division of a major corporate, national estate agent.

He will therefore be bringing to the company the extensive, specialist knowledge and the different set of skills needed when marketing executive and country homes.

John bears a striking resemblance to former England fast bowler Bob Willis and stands at 6’4 tall.

“A find like John only comes along once in a blue moon” said Jonathan Waters.  “We are delighted to have been able to attract such a high calibre and experienced addition to our sales team”.

John Knighton

AlisonMcKenzie started her life in estate agency one month before Jonathan Waters, working in different regions of the same corporate estate agency.  When Jonathan received Alison’s c.v. and application, the name rang an immediate bell.

Back in 1988, Alison beat Jonathan to the highly prestigious and sought after Negotiator of the Year Award in their first year of the business.

Even more of a coincidence, Alison now sits opposite Anne Houghton who was a manager at the self same company and had started a few months before.

Alison has joined the incredibly busy sales progressing team which looks after the sale of a property from the time it is agreed to moving in day, looking after the needs of both sellers and buyers and co-ordinating everyone involved in the transaction such as solicitors, mortgage brokers, banks, building societies, surveyors etc.

Her arrival has added a massive chunk of additional experience to what was already a highly experienced and very effective team.

Alison McKenzie

Jonathan Waters was delighted to also welcome back recently Sharon Newman who had worked for the company prior to the property downturn in 2008.

Sharon can boast a very rare mixture of experience as she has been both a sales negotiator and a fully qualified mortgage consultant whilst working at Jonathan Waters in the past.

This enables Sharon to look at every transaction from both a sales side and a mortgage side, bringing essential additional skills to the team which reaps benefits for the team and is a huge advantage on many occasions.

“Sharon is an incredibly determined individual and once she gets her teeth stuck into something she doesn’t let go until a sale is agreed, leaving no stone unturned and looking at all the possible options available to the situation.  In the current market, having a negotiator on the team with that attitude and those skill sets is worth it’s weight on gold” reported a very happy Jonathan.

Sharon is also an expert at the slightly tricky area which many other negotiators in the industry shy away from.  That is having a heart to heart chat with sellers of any properties that aren’t selling and being quite straight with them on the reasons the property isn’t selling and discussing all possible avenues to increase the saleability of the home.  In situations like this, most sellers really appreciate Sharon’s direct and down to earth approach to the problem.

Sharon Newman

The new office at Jonathan Waters Estate Agents, which opened this month, has seen a promotion within the company of Andrew Blewitt to become Manager of the branch.

The office is focussing on people buying, selling and renting properties in north west Ipswich and all the towns and villages to the north and west of the town including Claydon, Needham Market and Hadleigh.

Anyone who has bought or sold a property in the Ipswich area may well have come across Andrew before as he has worked in estate agency in the town for more years than he cares to remember.

Andrew has been with Jonathan Waters Estate Agents for some time now and the passion, expertise and knowledge that Andrew has demonstrated for the north west side of the town made him the ideal candidate when a vacant office came up in Norwich Road as he also lives in the area as well.

A keen sportsman and a lifelong fan of both Ipswich Town and bizarrely Hartlepool United, Andrew was delighted with the opportunity that the new branch represents, it is the company’s fourth office in the Ipswich area.

Andrew’s attention to customer detail and his old school style of estate agency goes down very well with clients and customers.

Andrew Blewitt

Kesgrave ranked in report as one of the top places to live

A recent report showed that Kesgrave has been ranked among the top twenty places to live across the whole of England and Wales.

Out of 2,400 areas, the town was placed 19th.  Indicators such as educational attainment, crime figures and property prices were used in a Family Friendly Hotspots report which gave a rating of 70 for Kesgrave’s average key stage 4 score, which was almost double the UK average of 43.

A further attraction for house buyers considering moving to the area was that the average cost of a two bedroom house was £25,000 below the average national price for a property of that type.  In Kesgrave, that figure came out at £150,336.

Jonathan Waters, Managing Director of Jonathan Waters Estate Agents Ltd., which has two offices covering the Kesgrave area, backed up the report’s findings.

“Both my daughters went to Kesgrave High School and I can certainly vouch for what a nice school it is.  I always found teachers and staff to be very approachable, friendly and very good at their jobs.”

“We have always had a high demand for properties in the Kesgrave area and it’s an area that I would live in personally without any thoughts whatsoever.”

“One of the reasons we opened our IP5 office two years ago was to further benefit the needs of people buying or selling in the Kesgrave and Grange Farm areas.”

“If anybody is wanting to buy or sell a property in that area, please contact our IP5 office on 01473 620222 where my colleague, Charmaine Sayer will be more than happy to help you.”

Charmaine Sayer

Location, Location, Location - or not as the case may be?

The most organised purchaser I have ever met once produced a list of 56 things that they wanted in their new property.  The list was sorted into an order of priority, number one being something that was essential, that they absolutely wouldn’t compromise on under any circumstances.  Number 56 on the list was something that would be nice in a perfect world.

I worked with this buyer for a number of weeks in his search for a suitable property, eliminating a number of properties purely from looking from the outside and viewing the shortlist.

The property he finally purchased only ticked 30 of the 56 original boxes.  Even more surprising was that the property that he finally chose did not fit two of his top five most essential requirements.  How can this be?  It’s because the perfect house doesn’t exist, and nearly every purchase involves a compromise somewhere along the way.

One of my long term fascinations within the estate agency industry and where I believe the real skill in the job lies in working with a purchaser throughout the whole of the buying process.

I have never been 100% sure why sales staff in estate agency offices are called sales negotiators.  The actual negotiating part can be the shortest part of the process.  Far  more time is spent by the sales staff working with buyers and helping them both solve their house moving problems and fulfil their goals.

A person’s search for a property is dynamic – it’s changing all the time.  Depending on timescale it could change every week, every month, every day or even every hour.  We had a recent purchaser who was visiting Ipswich for one whole day with the sole target of going home in the evening of having secured the purchase of a property.  They viewed a selection of eight homes and even as early as lunchtime had changed their requirements considerably in terms of what they would and wouldn’t compromise on.

Regardless of the timescale involved and the length of the viewing process, sometimes the final compromise is on the very thing that at first was their most important essential – location.

To investigate this theory further, at Jonathan Waters Estate Agents, we once undertook some research.  We matched a number of people who had purchased and moved into their new property with us against the requirements that they had told us they were looking for on their initial contact with the company.

In over 60% of cases the final purchased property differed considerably in either location or type and size from what they originally told us they were looking for and, in some cases, both.  One couple said they were only looking for an older Victorian character property in the Christchurch Park area and ended up buying a modern home through us on Grange Farm.

I remember my first ever week in estate agency over 25 years ago going on a training course.  Here a very wise and experienced estate agent said “Jonathan, there’s only two things you have to find out from a person who is looking to buy a property.  What is there real motivation and why?”. 

I’ve enjoyed spending time with people and finding this out ever since and have helped thousands of buyers find their dream home, with a few compromises along the way.

At  Jonathan Waters Estate Agents one way we find out more about the real reasons why people are looking for a certain requirement is to accompany a vast majority of our viewings.  This has so many benefits and even if the purchaser hates the house that you are showing them round, neither party has wasted their time.  From the prospective purchasers point of view they have eliminated a property that they previously considered might be suitable.  From our point of view we have spent more time with the viewers in the  process of looking round a property to discover more and more about their motivations and what they’re really looking for.  Much more than anyone could achieve sat in front of a desk in an office.

The owners of a property that’s for sale will always know more than us estate agents about the property – after all, they have lived in it.  Generally, however, we can sell it to potential purchasers better.  Nowhere is this more applicable than with the sale of more expensive properties.

I am currently searching for a property myself.  At the end of the day, everyone buying a home to live in will generally and ultimately end up buying with their heart rather than their head and make some compromises along the way – I know I definitely will.

So if you are thinking of buying your next home why not come and tell us about your list of essential requirements and see if we can help.  Call us on 01473 215576 or visit us at our office at 35 Buttermarket in Ipswich town centre.

The speed of the decision to buy

It is said that no two houses are exactly the same.  Well in my opinion no two buyers are exactly the same either.

It has long since intrigued me on the many different ways that viewers and buyers go about the process of buying a house.

Some people view lots and lots of homes before making the decision. Others buy the first one that they see.

Some buyers make a decision there and then to buy the house. Others will come back days or even weeks later to talk about making an offer.

Sometimes the length of time the negotiation process takes is few hours, sometimes days or even weeks.

It is not unknown for viewers to have made an offer and come back months later to review that offer either making the same offer again or a higher one or even a lower depending on whether the market has been going up or down in the interim period.

Sometimes people will go back for second and even third viewings before making a decision to buy.  I think the personal record  we have experienced here at Jonathan Waters Estate Agents is somebody making an offer after the fifth viewing on a property. Others will shortlist properties and second view those on the shortlist. It is all down to personal preference.

It is understandable for viewers to want to go back for a second view with perhaps a builder or an architect or tradesman to get specialist advice on the costs of work that the viewers plan to have once they have completed on the purchase if the property requires work or there are planning permission or building regulation issues.

Other buyers have a survey before making an offer on a property that may have structural problems or other problems relating to its condition.

At the other end of the scale some buyers will make a decision to purchase there and then and never see the property again until completion day when they move in.  A visit between exchange and completion by buyers to measure up for carpets, curtains, appliances etc is quite common.  One thing is of interest though that in nearly 26 years of showing prospective purchasers round homes I have never once yet had a situation where someone who offered without seeing a property actually went through and exchanged and completed on that property.

All these variables is what makes estate agency, in my opinion, the most interesting job in the world.  Often people, and quite sensibly, will look at the property from the outside at the stage of the initial enquiry to gage whether it is in the right position for them and looking at the surrounding areas.  Sometimes I have also seen people agree only half heartedly to view a property only to find that once they get there and get through the front door they absolutely fall in love with it.  On many occasions I have seen people purchasing properties that they would never have otherwise considered viewing.

This brings me on to the point of where one of the real skills in estate agency lies.  One of the ways we continue to be so successful at Jonathan Waters Estate Agents is to use highly experienced staff with extensive local knowledge.  Between our three offices our staff have over 300 years combined estate agency experience. One of the key factors is our staff knowing details about the property for sale and equally important the circumstances and selling motivations of the vendors.

I am currently looking to purchase a property myself and have been amazed at the number of calls I have made to estate agents where the person who answers the phone hasn’t seen the property, nor do they know any information about the circumstances of the sale.  Both these factors are absolutely vital if a sale is to be agreed and proceed to completion successfully.

The art of matching the right buyers with the right motivation and the right ability to buy with the right properties and the matching motivations of the sellers is probably the single biggest difference that an estate agency sales negotiator can bring to the whole of the house buying and selling process.

However things are starting to change.  When I purchased my first property as a raw first time buyer over 25 years ago we viewed in the evening. As we knocked on the door a previous young couple were coming out having just viewed the property, and another couple were waiting on the doorstep to have the property in case we decided not to buy it ourselves.  We had no choice but to offer full price there and then.

That was in the boom of the Spring of 1988 which I have talked about extensively in blogs on the Jonathan Waters website.

The market clearly isn’t back to that level of activity yet but it has certainly warmed up considerably as 2013 has progressed.  The second phase of the Help To Buy Scheme launched last week will certainly add to the increased level of activity.

A good example of where the market is right now is an Open Day that we undertook in Beech Grove, just off Cliff Lane in south east Ipswich on Saturday.

My extensively experienced colleague Andrew Blewitt took 35 sets of details to the open day in what I thought was a somewhat over the top optimistic gesture.  In fact both Andrew and myself were wrong.  He contacted me only half way through the two-hour open day slot to say he had already run out of sales particulars and in total we had over 50 viewers in two hours.

Needless to say no one had any time to talk about second viewings there. 

There is no doubt that sensible priced property in sought after locations with a vendor who is serious about selling are creating a good deal of interest at the current time.

Jonathan Waters is the Managing Director of Jonathan Waters Estate Agents with three offices in the Ipswich area.  The company opens their fourth office in early November.

Jonathan has written numerous articles on many aspects of estate agency which have appeared in newspapers, magazines and has appeared on radio and television as a property expert.  To get the absolute latest on the market and general property news follow us on Twitter, Facebook or visit any of our offices detailed below

625 Foxhall Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP3 8ND   01473 721133
35 Buttermarket, Ipswich, Suffolk IP1 1BH   01473 281188
Bristol Court, Betts Avenue, Martlesham Heath Business Park, Martlesham IP5 3RY   01473 620222

Thursday, October 3, 2013

September 2013 - our best ever sales month!

Jonathan Waters, managing director of Jonathan Waters Estate Agents was delighted to announce outstanding sales success during September.

"The September sales figures are in and the month didn't disappoint and ended in a flourish with over 60 sales agreed - our best ever sales month!" said Jonathan.

"The new additions to the sales team are proving incredibly effective too. I thought I had a strong team before but have now discovered that they are better than I ever realised!"

"However,  not one of the sales landed in our lap, all required hard work to achieve.  This is where the skill of an experienced sales team proved a massive advantage over our competitors."

"Looking at the numbers of valuations and new properties being taken on at present, it leads me to the assumption that October will be just as busy and successful!"

"It was great to treat the team to lots of goodies at the breakfast meeting this morning!"

"It's been the best ever month in lettings too and interviews are going really well for the planned expansion to our lettings team".

625 Foxhall Road
01473 721133

35 Buttermarket
01473 281188

Unit M Bristol Court
Betts Avenue
Marltesham Heath Business Park
01473 620222

or visit