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Marketing moving in a changing world

Mar 15, 2018
Danny Crowe, Planning Director for Twenty Ci, addressed The Movers & Storers show at the Seminar Theatre sponsored by The Mover. He looked at the UK property market and said that it was beginning to become more stable.



But his message was not one of business as usual, far from it.  On the contrary, the market was changing and he encouraged moving companies to adapt to the new environment. 

Danny said that there were 1.2 million home owners who move every year.  That’s an impressive figure but the number of renters has increased so there are now more people renting their homes than owning them.  Estate agents still facilitated 95% of the transactions but online agencies, such as Purple Bricks, were growing rapidly.  There are new players in the market too.  Danny singled out a new website, www.homerenter.co.uk, that puts landlords and tenants in direct touch, cutting out the agency and the commission charges.  “There is a tab on the website for ‘service providers’,” he said.  “It’s your chance to get involved in the rental market.” 

Attitudes to renting have changed.  Danny said it is no longer a stigma to be renting your house.  In Manchester, for example, 41% of homes are rented; in some parts of London it is 70%.  “We are in ‘generation rent’,” he said.  

Nor does the change stop at housing.  Danny said there is a growing market for renting products such as TVs and white goods as people like to have the latest equipment. “But if they rent, they don’t need them to be moved.” 

The ‘do-it-for-me’ culture is also thriving in the UK.  Danny gave an example of a business called Taskrabbit (www.taskrabbit.co.uk) that was recently bought by Ikea that claims to be ‘The convenient and fast way to get things done around the house’.  Again, there is a tab ‘moving and packing’.   “None of these companies own anything,” he said. “They just put the consumer in touch with the provider and make it happen.  It’s all about partnerships, associations and affiliations.  You should be on the site marketing yourself to these people.  This is what Yellow Pages used to do for you. This is where the consumers are looking.” 

Storage too has become a way of life, according to Danny.  He said that a more throw-away society coupled with more people renting and smaller houses meant that more people were needing storage. “So see how you can market to the house sharers and students who are short of space.  They are your new customers.” Danny also offered an idea, why not offer to put unwanted goods into storage while they sell them on eBay, then deliver them to the buyers. “You need to think laterally about the business.  If you give people what they want in the short term they will come back when they have a bigger job.” 

The market is changing in favour of smaller, more frequent moves. Danny said that renters move every 18 months on average.  “Stay in touch if you move a renter, they will move again soon.”  Danny also suggested movers should offer a house cleaning service for renters which would be particularly useful in helping them get their deposits back from landlords. 

Danny closed by explaining that Twenty Ci provides the information needed for movers to target home owners at every stage of the process - when first listed, when sold subject to contract, at exchange – allowing them to target their marketing accurately. “The housing market is always on, 52 weeks of the year,” he said.    

Photo: Top: Danny Crowe; top right: Top right: https://www.homerenter.co.uk/service-providers; top left: www.taskrabbit.co.uk.


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