Online agents are just a “property version of Ebay with a helpline”

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Online agents are just a “property version of Ebay with a helpline” previous nextAgencies & PeopleOnline agents are just a “property version of Ebay with a helpline”Comment comes from boss of London mews house specialists Lurot Brand in newspaper opinion piece.Nigel lewis13th June 20170685 Views Leading London agent Lurot brand general manager James Robinson (pictured, right) has launched a scathing attack on the UK’s online agents describing them as a “property version of ebay with a helpline”.In a head-on clash with online agents, Robinson says in an opinion piece in London’s City AM newspaper that too many vendors don’t realise that, although they are saving money on agent fees, an agent’s expertise and experience can help save them the “tens or even hundreds of thousands” lost by not having a negotiator on their side.“This may sound far-fetched, but every estate agent has listened to dinner party boasts of the tens of thousands of pounds a guest has cleverly saved on estate agent fees this way,” he says.Robinson goes on to say that because agents do the job of selling houses every day, they know only too well how important it is to have someone in the middle during negotiations.“We also know that estate agents have databases of the best buyers relying on agents, rather than portals, to notify them of properties coming to the market in specific locations,” he says.“Also, there’s greater accountability; if you get it badly wrong, you can’t exactly sue yourself.”Online agentsRobinson also says vendors who sell homes through online-only agents are like someone who represents themselves in court, whom US President Abraham Lincoln once described as having a “fool for a client” – i.e. themselves.“Online agents will always be attractive to people who think cheap is best. But, unless you want to become one of Lincoln’s fools, employing a good estate agent to represent you will always be the best way to sell your property for the best price,” he says. Luton Brand James Robinson June 13, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img

FCA finally begins distribution of cash recouped from land banking scams

first_imgThe Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has concluded liquidating the assets of three notorious land banking scams and is seeking to locate the remainder of the 820 investors who poured £32.8 million into the schemes between 2005 and 2010.Seven years after its predecessor the FSA wound up the three schemes, £2.5 million has now been recouped and is available to be returned to investors.The schemes are Countrywide Land Holdings Ltd, Regional Land and Consolidated Lane, all of which were owned via a Panamanian-registered company, Paradigm. They sold parcels of land across the UK without planning permission to investors for relatively small amounts of money.Huge profitsInvestors were told they would make huge profits when planning permission was gained for the land and later sold to ‘corporate buyers’.“In reality there was no intention to seek planning permission or help purchasers sell their land and the plots were in locations unlikely to ever gain planning permission, such as areas of outstanding natural beauty,” the FSA said as it wound up the operations.Two people were connected to the scams; James Maynard and Stephen Watkins. After the FSA decision in 2012 Maynard left the UK and is believed to have been living in Northern Cyprus ever since.“We will work to resolve this matter and return funds to eligible investors as soon as is possible but we need to demonstrate to the Court that we have taken reasonable steps to identify everyone affected,” says the FCA’s Mark Steward (left)The assets of a  fourth but less notorious scam called Plateau operated by Wasim Minhas has also had its assets liquidated and some funds are being returned to investors. February 26, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » Crime » FCA finally begins distribution of cash recouped from land banking scams previous nextFCA finally begins distribution of cash recouped from land banking scamsSeven years after they were wound-up, just £2.5 million of the £32.5 million poured into the schemes is now to be returned.Nigel Lewis26th February 20190917 Viewslast_img

Wadham sexual consent workshops made compulsory

first_imgWadham College has made its freshers’ week ‘Sexual Health and Consent’ workshops compulsory this year. The classes have previously run for a number of years but on an optional basis.The classes are led and organised by OUSU-trained student facilitators, and have been taking place in the college for some years, but up until now, this has only been on an optional basis.The hour-long workshops talked small groups of first year students through a number of issues including sexual violence, assault and rape. The majority of the sessions were spent running through scenarios in a university setting in which consent was either dubious, withdrawn or absent.The move to make the workshops compulsory has, for some, been controversial. One third-year engineer expressed concerns that the workshop seemed “patronising and ultimately pointless”. She said, “Everybody knows what consent means.”Other students were more positive about the classes though; one fourth-year physicist said, “It makes complete sense to make them compulsory because the people who are going to need them are the people who wouldn’t originally go out of their way to go.”Wadham student facilitator Lucy Delaney acknowledged that there may be some controversy over the matter, telling Cherwell, “There were concerns that if made compulsory no one would go anyway, and certain people may see it as mundane or silly or ‘not for them’ or even too authoritarian.”This is not the first time such events have been run in the University; other colleges have run similar workshops, including Corpus Christi, Christ Church and St Anthony’s. Pembroke is to host a discussion group about some of the messages conveyed in Robin Thicke’s somewhat controversial pop song ‘Blurred Lines’. Delaney was also involved with the running of the non-compulsory sexual consent workshops running at St Anne’s College. Concerning these she told Cherwell, “There were obviously fewer people, and the ones who did show up were more clued up and enthusiastic. Yet despite there being the drawback of it not being compulsory, I still felt this was a valuable session — even those enthusiastic about the topic were still shocked by the statistics.”This was the first year that St Anne’s ran the workshops, and freshers who attended received a free STACS (St Anne’s Coffee Shop) voucher. Camille Fenton, the JCR Women’s Officer at St Anne’s and third year mathematician told Cherwell, “We do hope to increase attendance next year, along with training more facilitators to run the workshops. We’d certainly consider making them compulsory in the future, as the feedback was so positive and it seems to have worked very well at other colleges.”Delaney nevertheless did acknowledge that it was difficult to judge the impact of the sessions. She said, “What I do know is that ‘grey areas’ were dispelled. I would hope people are at least more aware of what happens and aware of their actions.“Around 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and 80,000 women raped each year in the UK. When people understand that rape and assault are not just anomalies, we can treat it as a serious, widespread problem.”Sarah Pine, the OUSU Vice President (Women), provided training for the sessions. She said that she supports Wadham’s initiative in making the workshops compulsory telling Cherwell, “I would encourage lots of colleges to make these sessions compulsory in the future. Sexual violence is such a widespread problem that is under-acknowledged in the university as a whole.”The Sexual Health and Consent workshop is not the only compulsory talk held in Wadham’s Freshers Week; students were also expected to attend an informal hour and a half discussion about ‘Welfare @ Wadham’, and a talk held by Wadham students about ‘life and work in Oxford as scholars and students’, amongst others.last_img

Pansy care

first_imgPansies are a great winter flower. We plant and enjoy them in the fall, which gives them a good opportunity to get established, or as I like to say, “make themselves at home.” During the winter, they get frozen, thaw and grow again. It’s nice to see them poking their happy faces out from under a dusting of snow or encased in a clear coat of ice (as long as it’s short-term ice). It takes very cold weather to kill pansies once they’re established; however, they may start to look run down and have fewer blooms. Tiny blooms?The other day, I noticed the blooms on my pansies are about half the size now of what they were around a month ago. How can we perk them up?Once flowers die, remove them. Flowers that remain can produce seedpods. To produce seeds, the plant uses a lot of energy that could instead be used for making more flowers. Pinch or cut off all seedpods and dead flowers every week or two.Winter rains leach fertilizers. And this winter we’ve had our share of rain and then some. Fertilize beds with liquid fertilizers every two weeks. Pull weeds that may be using fertilizer, and mulch beds with pine straw.Too much water will cause root rotCloudy, wet weather can also spoil the flower show. Pansies need moisture, but too much of it will rot the roots. Plant pansies on raised beds, if possible. Build them up by adding soil and compost until beds are 6 to 8 inches taller than the surrounding soil. Raised beds drain better, are less waterlogged and warm more quickly in the spring. Pansies planted on raised beds are also easier to see.Remember, pansies do best if planted between Oct. 15 and Nov. 1. They can be planted before and after these dates, but may not do as well. If planted too early, they grow for too long and are more susceptible to cold later. Late planted pansies do not get established enough before cold weather and may never do well.To grow pansies in containers, just be sure your pots or boxes have adequate drainage holes. As the days get warmer, pansies will get leggy and the colors less vibrant. You can chose to remove them at that point, or wait until they completely succumb to the summer heat. Try replacing them with some Wave petunias for a burst of color that can take on the heat.For more information on pansies or other garden plants, see the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension publication website at

Keyes to lead Citizens Bank in Vermont

first_imgJAMES KEYES PROMOTED TO PRESIDENT OF CITIZENS BANK’S CHARTER ONE FRANCHISEIN VERMONTKeyes, Who Joined Citizens Bank in 2002 as EVP of Commercial Lending, WillOversee Vermont OperationsProvidence, RI (August 26, 2004) – Citizens Financial Group announcedtoday that James R. Keyes will be President of Citizens Bank’s Charter Onefranchise in Vermont. Citizens takes over Charter One on September 1. Keyes, who joined Citizens Bank New Hampshire inJune of 2002 as Executive Vice President of Commercial Lending, willreturn to the Vermont market, where he spent more than 17 years.”Jim brings more than 25 years of diverse banking experience to his newrole within Citizens Bank,” said Bob Mahoney, Vice Chairman of New EnglandBanking at Citizens Financial Group. “He is a ‘balanced banker’ with abackground that includes executive level management positions in manyareas of banking – with specific experience in commercial lending and riskmanagement. He is an accomplished banking professional who is committedto serving our employees, our customers and the Vermont community.”Prior to joining Citizens Bank in June of 2002, Keyes served as presidentand chief executive officer at First Vermont Bank, a subsidiary of theBanknorth Group in Brattleboro, Vermont. While there he was responsiblefor achieving and maintaining outstanding financial performance, and hemanaged the successful merger of Woodstock National Bank into FirstVermont Bank in 1999. Keyes has also held numerous executive levelpositions with the Banknorth Group and The First National Bank of Boston.”I look forward to returning to Vermont – this time to the Burlington area– and becoming re-acquainted with the many communities throughout thestate,” said Keyes. “I continue to be impressed with Citizens focusedbusiness strategy, and I enthusiastically embrace the opportunity toexpand the bank’s successful franchise into the Vermont marketplace.”Keyes holds a master’s degree in business administration from NortheasternUniversity and a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College. He has beenan active member of both the Vermont Bankers Association and the VermontChamber of Commerce. Keyes is also on the Board of Trustees forMiddlebury College, and was vice chair of the board of directors ofSouthern Vermont Health Services Corp. and Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.About Citizens Bank New HampshireCitizens Bank New Hampshire is an $8.4 billion state-chartered,full-service commercial bank headquartered in Manchester. It has 75branches and 167 ATMs located throughout the state and is a major lendingand commercial banking services resource for the New Hampshire businesscommunity. It has more than 1,200 employees.Citizens Bank New Hampshire is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group,Inc., an $80 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquarteredin Providence, R.I., and has more than 870 offices, approximately 1,680ATMs and approximately 16,000 employees in seven states. It operates asCitizens Bank in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, NewJersey, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Citizens is the 11th largestcommercial banking company in the United States ranked by deposits.Citizens is owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc. The CitizensWeb site is is external).last_img

Credit unions still exempt from FDCPA, CUNA tells CPFB

first_imgCredit unions and for-profit debt collectors have different considerations when communicating with consumers, CUNA wrote to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Friday. CUNA wrote to the CFPB as the bureau releases the proposal for a Small Business Review Panel, in accordance with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Act of 1996 (SBREFA).The CFPB released third-party debt collection proposals last month, and CUNA thanked the bureau for recognizing that first-party creditors should be treated differently in the initial debt collection SBREFA process.“We hope this reflects the CFPB’s understanding that Congress purposefully exempted first-party creditors, including credit unions, from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and therefore, it would be unlawful to extend any rulemaking pursuant to this statute over them,” wrote CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan.Donovan also urged the CFPB to keep in mind that Congress has repeatedly urged the bureau to narrowly tailor its rules to specific consumer abuses, most recently when a bipartisan supermajority of 399 legislators signed a letter to the bureau. continue reading » 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img

Brindisi, Delgado announce $150,000 grant for Northside Market in Binghamton

first_imgCongressman Delgado said “The funds announced today will expand training and resources through the Broome County Council of Churches Northside Market and their Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) Works Program. This project represents a critical investment in healthy food access in a food desert, allowing families to access fresh produce in Broome County and in the Southern Tier communities”. In addition to creating nine new jobs the food market will offer retail apprenticeship opportunities. Brindisi said, “These crucial dollars and critical community partnerships will help bring food to these people and create good-paying jobs along the way. I was proud to work with Congressman Delgado, [Binghamton] Mayor David, and all of our community groups to make this market a reality.” BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Congressmen Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) and Antonio Delgado (NY-19) announced, on Wednesday, a $150,000 grant for the Broome County Council of Churches that would allow community groups to open a 5,000 square foot food market on Binghamton’s Northside. The $150,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant will be locally matched and bring the total funding for the project to $300,000. The Broome Council will extend their CHOW Works Program and increase community-based training opportunities through the market. CHOW is a 12-week training program created to lead to full-time employment. It provides work experience and additional training for potential workers. The project is made possible by a partnership of elected officials, groups of faith and hunger advocates.last_img

SUNY Oneonta campus to shut for 2 weeks after spike in virus cases

first_imgHe said three rapid-result testing sites will be set up in Oneonta starting Wednesday. The 105 cases at SUNY Oneonta represent about 3% of the students and faculty on campus this semester. SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said Sunday that five students have been suspended because of large parties that were held last week. ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Officials say a campus of the State University of New York will shut down for two weeks after more than 100 people in the college community tested positive for the coronavirus. Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged students to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines and avoid large gatherings.last_img

COVID-19: Indonesia records 330 new cases as it boosts PCR testing

first_imgIndonesia announced 330 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total number of registered infections to 3,842 as the country boosts testing through the real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to almost 2,000 samples a day.“To date, we’ve tested almost 20,000 samples in 40 labs across the country,” the ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, who is also the government’s spokesperson for COVID-19, said in the ministry’s daily press briefing on Saturday.The Health Ministry website says 19,452 tests have been conducted as of Saturday. The government started to distribute new PCR test kits to 12 provinces on Thursday, following orders from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to conduct more swab tests as the previous rapid testing was deemed insufficiently effective in detecting cases. Read also: COVID-19 Task force to distribute test kits to 12 provinces, targets 300,000 tests monthlyYurianto added that 21 more people had died of the disease, bringing the total death toll to 327.All 34 provinces have reported cases, with North Kalimantan, Southeast Sulawesi and West Sulawesi reported their first COVID-19 deaths with one fatality respectively. West Nusa Tenggara reported the first two deaths of COVID-19.Jakarta remains the hardest-hit province with 1,948 infections and 159 fatalities.Meanwhile, the number of recovered patients has increased to 286 nationwide.Topics :last_img