Homemovers’ spending power stretches far beyond their move date

Retailers won’t survive if they are not investing in relevant customer interaction. Understanding customers and prospects, what they are doing and why they are doing it – so we can respond appropriately – has never been more important as a means to build firmer customer relationships.

Research recently revealed by Cognizant showed that UK shoppers can become indifferent to retailers if they receive irrelevant offers from them. Only 38% believe that retailers actually use their data effectively, while 51% say that the offers they receive do not offer value and 56% claiming the products are not relevant.

Retail marketers instinctively know that acting on consumer insight is essential, with many rightly obsessed with finding patterns of consumer behaviour to help inform and implement personalised marketing campaigns. This kind of analysis makes it possible to put customers and prospects into specific segments so they can then receive appropriate communications. This is a good first move and yet it lacks one essential element – context.

One of the best ways businesses can add context to their customer knowledge is to use life event data. Whether it is moving home, having a baby, going to university or retiring, all of these events have a massive impact on consumers’ lives – and on their purchasing behaviour too. Factual life event data is far more powerful than inferred data that is more commonly used in marketing as it enables brands to truly understand the motivations driving consumer activity rather than having to make assumptions.

Bringing context into marketing decision-making brings a new spin to CRM. Instead of Customer Relationship Marketing, a better definition in today’s data-rich, always-on and connected world is ‘Conversations that are Relevant and Measurable’. By understanding the motivation behind the behaviour, brands can move beyond tactical offers to deeper ongoing relationships where communications are not just about eliciting sales, but about giving consumers what they need according to a bigger picture of their life events. It’s looking beyond one transaction or online search and playing a longer game.

The opportunities that this approach offers retailers can be seen very clearly within the homemover market. It typically takes at least 18 months from start to finish for people to move, including 12 months post move when the main home improvement spend occurs. So identifying people during the homemover process offers the chance to reach people at a time when they are likely to make many more major purchases compared to normal. The purchasing power of homemovers equates to £12 billion annually across the UK – with those purchases being typically spread across at least 12 months.

In the graph below, we have mapped data from a number of major brands against our database of 99.6% of all UK homemovers – giving them insight into the relationship between customer behaviour and the homemover process. These Homemover Waves show when purchasing dips and spikes across several industry sectors as homemovers shift from putting their house on the market, through to moving in and beyond. So, for example, we know that furniture buying actually kicks in before people move, DIY happens at the point of moving in, electrical goods are bought a month or more afterwards and, presumably following the stress of the move, holidays become a big purchase between two to six months post-move.

For the retailers who have mapped their own data against our homemover data, this insight has proven invaluable. For a start, they can identify what proportion of their customers are homemovers. For some brands the proportion can be massive – with, for example, 20% of bed buyers and 35% of consumer electrical buyers being homemovers. By understanding the size of the opportunity that homemovers provides them they can allocate budget accordingly.

The next step is to then track their database against homemover data so that they can identify which of their customers are moving at any given time, and then send them communications that are relevant to where they are in the homemoving process

Homemover data can be used across a wide variety of digital and traditional channels including direct mail, email, programmatic advertising and social media, so brands can reach homemovers not only with the right message at the right time, but using the right channel.

In our experience homemovers consistently outperform other retail consumers, remaining at the top of the pile for at least 12 months. So why aren’t all retailers creating homemover marketing strategies yet? One of the biggest barriers is the fact that they are not sure who should own the activity – Digital? CRM? Marketing? – making it difficult to secure budget. However, for those retailers who have woken up to the opportunity, it is often viewed as their secret weapon – an untapped opportunity that, once turned on, keeps flowing. As marketing teams increasingly shift towards ecommerce and digital channels, though, more retailers are likely to wake up to the power of the Homemover Wave.

Source: Twentyci

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On this week in history

On this week in history (25th September to 1st October inclusive) as follows;

  • 1066 – Norman invaders land in England
  • 1888 – The Central News Agency in London receives a letter signed ‘Jack the Ripper’ about the current spate of horrific prostitute murders
  • 1897 – Britain’s first motor bus service starts in Bradford
  • 1903 – Women get the vote in the Connecticut state elections
  • 1907 – New Zealand becomes a Dominion
  • 1932 – Catalonia in Spain becomes autonomous; it has its own parliament, language and flag
  • 1949 – Mao Tse-tung formally becomes chairman of the Peoples Republic of China
  • 1960 – Europe’s first ‘moving pavement’, the travellator, is opened at Bank Underground Station in London
  • 1968 – Just one day after the end of theatre censorship, 13 naked actors faced a London audience as the rock musical ‘Hair’ opened
  • 1969 – The sound barrier is broken by Concorde 001 for the first time during a test flight in France
  • 1974 – The Watergate trial begins
  • 1976 – A ‘broke’ Britain asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a £2.1 billion loan
  • 1984 – Britain and China agree that Hong Kong will revert to Chinese rule when the lease expires in 1997
  • 1986 – In Wales a British police constable is jailed for biting off part of a colleague’s ear during a rugby match
  • 1987 – john M Poindexter officially resigns from the US Navy over the Iran-Contra scandal

And some notable birthdays include;

  • 1547 – Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish playwright best known for his novel Don Quixote
  • 1573 – Caravaggio, Italian baroque painter
  • 1722 – Samuel Adams, American revolutionary
  • 1847 – Annie Beasant, English social reformer and theosophist who promoted birth control
  • 1862 – Louis Botha, South African Prime Minister
  • 1888 – T S Eliot, American born poet and playwright
  • 1924 – Jimmy Carter, American president and peanut farmer
  • 1924 – Truman Capote, American novelist and short story writer
  • 1934 – Brigitte Bardot, French actress and international sex symbol
  • 1935 – Julie Andrews, British film and stage actress
  • 1935 – Johnny Mathis, American ballad singer
  • 1935 – Jerry Lee Lewis, American rock ‘n’ roll star
  • 1945 – Bryan Ferry, British pop singer with the group Roxy Music
  • 1947 – Marc Bolan, Lead singer of British pop group T-Rex
  • 1948 – Olivia Newton-John, Australian singer and film actress

ADR Website Requirement – Important Reminder

BAR Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Scheme – Important Website Update – REMINDER

Please be advised that, under ADR Regulations 2015, all traders that belong to a certified ADR scheme through membership of a Trade Association must provide the consumer with the name and web address of the certified ADR provider on their website(s).

Therefore, in order to comply with the Regulations, all BAR Members are required to update their website(s) with the following information with immediate effect;

(Please note that this will form part of the checks at your BAR Annual Inspection)

We adhere to the British Association of Removers Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme which is independently operated by;

The Property Ombudsman
Milford House
43-55 Milford Street
01722 333306

You may download the TPO logo here

Should you have any queries regarding this matter, please email: compliance@bar.co.uk

Backchat Issue 21

Backhouse Jones latest BACKCHAT Issue 21 is now live featuring all the latest regulatory compliance updates, employment, commercial and property issues. To read more click here.

First time buyers and home owners could face increased mortgage costs this year

Over two million first time buyers have bought a home with a mortgage since interest rates fell to an historic low of 0.5% in March 2009 but experts are warning that could come to an end as a rise in rates is becoming increasingly likely.

The Bank of England has hinted that a rise might happen sooner than expected, possibly before the end of the year. Another potential influencing factor is that Sterling has increased against the US Dollar since prospect of a rate rise has increased.

The increased likelihood of an interest rate rise sooner rather than later came after remarks from a member of the Bank’s rate setting monetary policy committee (MPC), who had previously been regarded as one of the most wary of a rate rise.

‘Until recently, I thought the appropriate response of monetary policy was to be patient, given modest growth and subdued underlying inflationary pressure. But the evolution of the data is increasingly suggesting that we are approaching the moment when the bank rate may need to rise,’ said Gertjan Vlieghe, an external member of the MPC. He also hinted that any change in rates might eventually be greater than the quarter point cut introduced after the European Union referendum.

Last week, while the MPC voted to keep rates at 0.2%%, it indicated that a rise was coming, although there was scepticism from some economists about the rationale behind any rise. However, it is expected that the US will see rates increased this week which could put further pressure on the MPC next month.

Economists at Barclays expect a rate rise as soon as November. ‘We believe the MPC is ready to take the risk of a hike, even faced with disappointing data, as it has boxed itself into a corner,’ the bank said.

‘Although the Bank of England hasn’t raised rates this time around, the message is clear that consumers should be aware this might happen sooner than expected. When rates do eventually rise, it will be first time over two million people have experienced this as a mortgage holder, and more rises are likely follow,’ said Shaun Church, director at Mortgage Broker Private Finance.

‘However, while today’s rock bottom mortgage rates can’t last forever, further base rate rises are likely to be gradual and mortgage rates won’t necessarily rise at the same rate. Healthy competition between lenders should ensure that mortgage pricing remains low for some time yet. Home owners therefore have plenty of time prepare for a slight increase in pricing in the coming years,’ he pointed out.

According to Ishaan Malhi, chief executive officer of online mortgage broker Trussle, anyone with a mortgage should be thinking ahead. ‘With the Bank of England once again choosing to hold interest rates at 0.25%, anyone with a mortgage should be thinking about how they can take advantage of the situation,’ he said.

‘Borrowers should check what level of interest they’re paying on their mortgage and whether they could save money by switching to one of the more competitive deals on the market. Switching mortgage can now be done on a mobile in a matter of minutes and could shave hundreds of pounds off the average household’s monthly outgoings,’ he explained.

He also pointed out that low interest rates offer the potential opportunity for home owners to overpay on their mortgage, increasing equity in their home and bringing down their debt. ‘It’s easier than ever to stay on top of your mortgage, and the rewards for proactively managing it can far outweigh savings made by switching energy or internet provider,’ he added.

Leading finance platform, Freedom Finance, is also urging owners to review their finances after revealing a future interest rate rise could add more than £750 to the average annual mortgage bill.
Freedom Finance reviewed its consumer database to provide a snapshot of the nation’s mortgage finance from July, which showed the average family has a £130,000 mortgage on a 19 year term. A 1% rise on a lending rate of 2% would equate to an extra £756 a year.

Andrew Fisher, managing director of Freedom Finance, believes that consumers should do their sums now and understand the impact even a small increase in interest rates could have on their monthly mortgage payments.

‘Once families are armed with the right information they are in a much stronger position to take action to ensure they’re on the best rate for their circumstances and aren’t spending money unnecessarily. It’s easy to feel helpless when encouraging financial news has been so thin on the ground for such a long time. As a country we’ve become use to financial restraint,’ he said.

‘While it’s unlikely that we’d see an increase of 1% in one month, it’s perfectly conceivable that in the space of only a few months many people in the UK will have to factor in a substantial extra cost,’ he explained.

‘For some that will mean the annual summer holiday has to wait for another year, for others it might mean having to reduce how much they save. Some people are having to balance such a tight budget that the impact could be greater still,’ he added.

Trading standards secure £1m confiscation order against rogue letting agent

A former letting agent from Kettering has been ordered to pay a confiscation order of £1 million made under the Proceeds of Crime Act following a financial investigation by Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards.

Harpreet Garcha, who ran property lettings franchises Belvoir in Kettering, Desborough and Corby, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison in 2016.

The court heard how Garcha, now aged 41, of Bath Road, Kettering, fraudulently generated significant profits at the expense of tenants and landlords by dishonestly increasing the cost of maintenance and safety work.

He was also convicted of money laundering, VAT fraud and insurance fraud. The offences were committed out between 2008 and 2012.

At a hearing last Friday (September 8th), a confiscation order for £1.006 million was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 – the largest confiscation order ever secured by Northamptonshire Trading Standards.

Of that, £51,000 will be paid out in compensation to Garcha’s former tenants and landlords who were victims of his offences.

Garcha will face up to seven years in prison if the order is not paid in full.

County council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth Cllr André Gonzalez de Savage said: “This confiscation order against Harpreet Garcha is by far the largest order ever secured by Northamptonshire Trading Standards and is entirely fitting for the shocking level of offending by this individual.

“This is an amazing result for Trading Standards and reflects the hard work of the officers involved in carrying out both the criminal and financial investigation.”

Garcha’s fraudulent business practices first came to the attention of Trading Standards when a landlady made a complaint about being overcharged for routine maintenance at her rented home in Kettering.

Upon querying the cost of safety checks, she had been provided with invoices for £502.50 – these were fakes as the contractor doing the work had only charged £166.25.

Over £45 million has gone into ‘PropTech’ in the last week alone as Habito and Yopa raise cash

Two of the UK’s leading “PropTech” — property technology — companies have announced fundraisings of over £45 million between them over the last few days.

Yopa, an online estate agent that offers a fixed transaction fee rather than taking a percentage of the sale, announced late on Friday that it had raised £27.6 million from estate agent group LSL and Daily Mail-owner DMGT.

Digital mortgage broker Habito has also raised £18.5 million in a fundraising led by European venture capital fund Atomico. The news was first reported by the Telegraph on Saturday but confirmed to Business Insider over email.

Both companies are part of the UK’s flourishing “PropTech” scene, with a slew of new businesses self-identifying as “PropTech” in the wake of the success of the broader fintech sector over the last few years.

Other notable recent deals this year include a £9 million investment for online estate agent eMoov last month, £8 million in March for Nested, a startup that guarantees to sell you home in 90 days, and a £4.5 million investment in online mortgage broker Trussle in February.

Anthony Codling and Sam Cullen, analysts at Jefferies who cover LSL, said the Yopa deal is a savvy bet on the future of the estate agency market, noting that other traditional agents have backed the startup.

“LSL is not the only traditional agent to take an interest in Yopa,” the analysts said, “Savills has also invested in the Group.

“We note that in the past traditional agents have done very well by co-investing in new technology, with Rightmove and Zoopla being the best examples, in our view.”

Zoopla announced in February 2016 plans to invest in and partner with PropTech businesses in February last year as part of plans to future-proof its business.

Ian Crabb, CEO of LSL, said in a statement announcing the Yopa investment: “We have been impressed by the Yopa management team, their business model and the technological capability which they have built.”

As for Habito, Atomico’s Niall Wass said in a statement that the big inefficiencies within the mortgage market present an attractive investment opportunity.

“Habito is a solution that is better for both sides of the mortgage market and with a great team executing with technology and customer service at its heart,” Wass said in a statement.

Habito has advised 50,000 people on mortgages worth over half a billion since its launch in April last year, the company said.

Yopa, which raised £15 million in May, plans to put the new money towards fuelling growth. Habito plans to invest in technology, integrate its systems with unnamed leading banks, and invest in advertising.

Hard-hitting FTA film focuses on van safety

A thought-provoking film featuring the death of a child in a van collision has been released by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) – the UK’s biggest freight transport membership organisation – to highlight the importance of safety and compliance in van operations.

In the film – One Fateful Day – the van driver is distracted by talking to his office on his mobile phone. He is also found to have been taking drugs and to have a defective vehicle – all of which have catastrophic consequences for the driver, operations manager and company owner.

The film is the brainchild of FTA’s Head of Vans and LCVs Mark Cartwright, who has recreated the scenario at Van Excellence Operational Briefings throughout the UK this year to raise awareness of the issues of driver distraction and compliance.

FTA’s Van Excellence is the only scheme of its kind in Europe, providing a baseline code of practice for operators to ensure they are meeting set standards of safety and compliance and enabling members to share good practice.

Mark said: “This film has been a few years in the making but I wanted to create something that would really hit home and resonate. The story we’ve used illustrates some of the typical failings we see amongst van operators who think they’re compliant but are only paying lip service. HGVs are strictly regulated through O Licencing but all too often van operations are overlooked, compromising safety and putting drivers and the public at risk.

“The Van Excellence code of practice enables operators to ensure they are meeting basic standards and membership of the scheme gives them access to a range of resources to help them run safe and compliant businesses. The code was written by some of the best operators in the industry and sets a clear benchmark for members to achieve.”

The film, which was funded by the Van Excellence Governance Group, is available free to download and existing scheme members are encouraged to share it as widely as possible to spread its important safety messages.

Recent increases in penalties for mobile phone use while driving and changes to corporate manslaughter legislation have all impacted on van operations, but many operators are unaware of the implications.

Mark said: “Van safety is a serious business and it’s vital that operators understand the consequences of not treating it as a priority. This film clearly outlines what can happen from the perspective of the driver, operations manager and company owner. It will serve as a wake-up call to those who are currently turning a blind eye to many of the issues highlighted.”

Clips from the film can be viewed on FTA’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/theftachannel and the film can be downloaded at www.vanexcellence.co.uk/one-fateful-day

For more information about FTA’s Van Excellence scheme see www.vanexcellence.co.uk

Source: FTA website