My World: June 2021…
This is part of a series of articles where our contributors describe how they think things will look a year from now.
When I was asked if I would contribute a piece to the Property Chronicle, I started thinking about how I would approach the request and share pearls of wisdom from my near fifty years in the residential property industry. Then I thought – No, b*llocks, no-one is interested in ancient history or wistful looks back at bygone eras when technology was a Roneo Gestetner printing machine and a key and lamp telephone system so I thought I would simply share with you some of my thoughts and diary entries as we live through lockdown.
For those of you that don’t know me from my Twitter account (
Like everyone, the Coronavirus has hit hard and I have had to make a number of adjustments to my business in order to survive. Having lived through a number of recessions and peaks and troughs in the market, I feel I am well placed to cope. Oh, being a multi-millionaire undoubtedly helps. It does however seem that many of our well known (but perhaps not well loved brands) have found this more difficult, particularly in terms of maintaining integrity and decency.
My diary entries reflect:
9.3.20 – Refused to shake hands with a really awkward potential buyer who has been mucking our client and us around for weeks. He asked “Are you not shaking hands because you are worried about Coronavirus?” No I replied, simply because you are a t*sser!
19.3.20 – Breaking News: Gerald Ratner to become CEO at Countywide and oversee communication strategy!
20.3.20 – These are unique times but the poor strategic thinking and lousy communication by the portals will accelerate an exodus. Time to start a local newspaper again?
21.3.20 – Spicer Haart cull lots of jobs and offices under the premise that it is due to covid-19. Prudent and decisive management or opportunistic taking advantage of the times to do what they would have had to do anyway> Flies in face of Government efforts to preserve jobs.
22.3.20 – Jon Cooke of E-Prop lays into Paul Smith of Spicer Haart over his actions on laying off staff and closing branches. Love the line – “WE have all been subjected to Mr Smith’s regular blogs telling us how to run our businesses” Nice one, looks like the ego hasn’t just landed but crashed!
Like others I have had to furlough some of my staff.
29.3.20 – Will be furloughing nearly all of my front line office teams from 1st April. Unfortunate choice of day but hopefully I can get them all back to full employment in the future – well except that tw*t in lettings.
1.4.20 – Tearful meeting with the lovely Veronika today when I had to inform her she was being furloughed. She told me she’d never seen a grown man cry before.
Easter was soon upon us and my diary reflected. By the following week I was taking stock and planning ahead.