We decided to see how the property market was affected north of the border in comparison to here in sunny Yorkshire, here we caught up with Sean Nicol.
Can you tell us about yourself and how you got into your current role and what you like about your job?
I am the Sales Director at Coulters, having only been with the company since August 2020.
I joined Coulters from a firm, where I had the same role and spent almost 10 years, since leaving Edinburgh Napier University in 2011.
I have always enjoyed anything to do with property, the wide range of people that you come into contact with, the challenges that different home owners circumstances present you with and the difference that you can make to both buyers and sellers with the completion of each transaction.
What is that your company currently does and what sets them apart from their competitors?
What I came to realise very quickly is that the relationship that exists between Coulters and our clients is at the forefront of what every member of staff focuses on.
Whether that be from a buying or a selling point of view, not only does everyone at Coulters want what is best for our clients but the way in which things are carried out and communicated is second to none.
Moving forward my plan is to not only take the company to the next level in terms of territory and areas of expertise but also to create an environment where clients have much more involvement in the set up of their sale and the approach that the company ultimately takes for them specifically.
How has Covid-19 affected the company?
COVID-19 has thrown multiple challenges our way, as I am sure it has for the majority of companies doing what they can to make the most of such a difficult period.
While we have remained focused on our clients purchases and sales we have had to implement the necessary guidance, including how we carry out pre-sale marketing appraisals, how viewings are carried out and how our staff interact in person - with a rotation between home working and socially distanced working from one of our offices.
The way in which our clients and staff members have persevered with such major and constantly changing best practise has certainly helped.
What would you say your local property market is like at the moment?
Predominantly covering mid to high valued properties in the east of Scotland at the moment we have found an incredible surge in demand for properties, particularly at a time where the market generally cools down over the winter months.
I believe the catalyst for this is that the majority of people, who had planned to or would have come to either buy or market and sell over the summer months had their plans put on hold during lockdown and tight restrictions, have still come to buy and sell but within a much smaller window that would usually have been the norm.
This has led to activity levels during the 3rd quarter of the year that I don’t believe anyone has ever experienced. This window of opportunity still exists while we come into November and it will be interesting to see how many people cool off over Christmas and New Year, particularly before there is any potential shift in the market and therefore mortgage options and property values.
Can anything be done to help the property sector at this moment in time?
I’m not convinced an awful lot needs done for the property market but that is in relation to the areas in which we cover. I know the same cannot be said for all areas.
However, if / when there is a shift in the market I may have a different opinion but the LBTT holiday has certainly been a helping hand in seeing people move that may have otherwise held off.
Do you think Covid-19 will have a lasting affect on the property market?
I believe that the lasting affect of COVID-19 will be different in each and every area of the country. When you look back to the 2008 recession, there were some areas which were not affected at all and others that saw house prices fall through the floor.
The catalyst for this is ultimately who is looking to buy and sell in which areas and who is willing to offer and accept which levels of offers. As long as expectations remain high then there should be limited damage within these particular areas.
Where do you see yourself and the company this time next year?
I believe, although we have clearly been faced with many unexpected challenges for the majority of this year, that this has presented with many opportunities also.
As such, the plan for Coulters is to continue to work on taking our systems and platforms to the next level, to offer more tailored services to our clients, to allow clients to be more hands on with the sale / purchase of what will be some of their biggest assets, to question and therefore outperform what is expected from a Solicitor & Estate Agency firm and to leave a lasting impression with all of these clients in the form of a relationship for life, rather than individual transactions.