Learn with your eyes

Learn with your eyes

Humans have a natural bias for what’s aesthetic and well designed.

As property developers we should always aim at creating a well designed product. Improving the design of our properties (both aesthetics and use of space) is in fact the strongest weapon we have to:

1) Stand out from te crowd

2) Ensure clients’ satisfaction

3) Increse profit and decrease expenses in the long run

Of course, if the scale of the project is large enough, investing in design consultation from a specialist design firm may be one of the best ways to make sure your property product stands out in an increasingly competitive market.

However, smaller projects too should receive the appropriate attention to ensure the best clients (either tenants or buyers) will choose them over the competition.
At AGAPE we monitor the market all the time during our property searches and we noticed that many “newly refurbished” properties often end up being reduced and then sold or rented for not that much more than old tired ones. If they are sold or rented at all.

Almost always these properties happen to be what we call “magnolia disasters”. I’m sure we’ve all seen one of these: a property with a basic brown new kitchen, a brown cheap carpet, white square tiles in the bathroom and magnolia paint throughout.

Contractors call it “the blank canvas” and surely enough following this blueprint saves developers a few hundreds when refurbishing. As a matter of fact this model is so widespread that properties that have been “modernised” according to its standard are EVERYWHERE.

Now, here is the question: in a discount supermarket filled with unknown brands and similar packages, what do customers use as a reference for making a choice? Price, obviously.

Other question: why do people often end up buying something when going through a market, even if they had not planned for it?

Here the answer is less straightforward, but research in human psychology shows that people’s choices are often driven by their emotions first and only subsequently justified by reason.

Street food sellers have known this for thousands of years and my first lesson as a fruit market salesman was precisely that: “Make sure the stall is covered with luscious, colourful, abundant fruit -and offer loads of little tasters”

The bottom line is: in absence of a distinct set of appealing features, products can only hope to stand out because of being cheap.


When people choose to buy or rent a property they are making a purchase. Unless they are investors themselves, they will ask themselves 3 questions:

  1. Do I see myself living well here?
  2. Can I afford it?
  3. Is this the one I like the most? (If so and can’t afford it, am I sure I can’t afford it?)

A well designed property will tickle prospective buyers’ or tenants’ senses like the fresh produce on a full market stall. If it’s aesthetically pleasing, the property will push them to justify small defects, on the other hand an anonymous design will make them more inclined to haggle or even move on altogether.

Good design in the form of intelligent use of space and ease of use/access to the various features and fittings will then ensure that maintenance is minimised and that the living space becomes bigger (and appears even bigger).

This is not just some abstract idea: this is something we are all subject to and MUST be aware of all the time!

Sometime ago I moved home myself and it was definitely a sobering experience that pushed me to invest even more in making sure AGAPE’s design expertise is second to none.

As it turned out, despite being a property developer myself, I could not help but looking at properties with different eyes because this property was going to be My partner’s and My “home“.

This is one subtle difference between most property developers or builders and prospective tenants and buyers. The first ones look at properties as houses, the latter as homes.

(Can you see WHY the above kitchen is NOT appealing? Would you know how to quickly turning it around through well design, without overspending?)
During my few years of experience with AGAPE I must say that, unfortunately, one of the phrases I heard the most from both trades and agents is “you don’t need to spend to make such and such become that nice! at the end of the day this is not your home”. Usually they say this to justify a certain price and make you believe you can make more profit (and give them more money) if you save on certain cosmetic changes.

At the very beginnings of my career in property, I even listened to this advice once or twice.

Oh boy! How I wish now I had paid someone with more design experience back then to advise me better. Every penny I saved by listening to that advice at the start of my career I have later on lost with interest.

Thankfully, I quickly learned from my mistakes and I have since invested both in my personal design knowledge and in AGAPE’s range of consultants. Now, as a company, we have made of delivering quality properties that are also well-designed homes our company motto.

We are also here to assist others because we believe that sharing our knowledge will help both other investors, in their growth within the property market, and our brand, in establishing itself as a synonym of quality property development.

For those who want a 1-to-1 design advice on their developments/refurbishments, we have now launched a new product in our investment store (see Invest section of this website).

For those who want to check us out first, you can reach us at info@agapehomes.co.uk or go to our Contact us section. Calling or emailing us is free and you’ll be under no obligation to purchase any of our services.

Finally, for those of you who like to constantly learn from the world around us, here is a tip: look for good design or well-designed details in buildings around you. Then take pictures and notes!

You’d be surprised at how many sources of inspiration you’ll find: the boutique HMO where your friend lives in, your local airport, a new build designed by a big development corporation, the flat of an interior designer who hosts parties in your neighbourhood, and so on…

Here are some pictures I took recently with my phone as a source of inspiration for AGAPE’s team:







See you next time for another property top tip from AGAPE PROPERTIES.
-Francesco

AGAPE supports meditation and yoga for the prisoners of the UK!

AGAPE supports meditation and yoga for the prisoners of the UK!

This month we decided to pledge our support to the British charity The Prison Phoenix Trust by setting up a monthly contribution. The Prison Phoenix Trust is a charity that encourages prisoners in the development of their spiritual welfare, through the practices of meditation and yoga, working with silence and the breath.

The Prison Phoenix Trust offers personal support to prisoners around the UK and the Republic of Ireland through teaching, workshops, correspondence, books and newsletters – and to prison staff too. They work with people of any faith, or of none, and honour all religions.

According to a research article by Bilderbeck et al. published by Hindawi Publishing Corporation, there is emerging evidence that the practice of yoga may play a significant role in prison rehabilitation programmes. On top of this, we believe that just because a person has made mistakes -admittedly, sometimes big mistakes- we should not simply lock people away and forget about them. We should all, as a community, help one another overcome life’s dark moments and become better people day after day

Our director has worked alongside the ex Probation services (now called C.R.C.) back in 2015. At the time, he was working with the charity User Voice to improve the rehabilitation services provided to ex-offenders in the community and he has since remained very sensitive to the cause of improving the way the justice system treats convicted people.

“I am both a meditation and a yoga practitioner myself -said Francesco in the office today- and I know this stuff is powerful! Supporting the PPT and their work with the people society often forgets about is something we should all be proud of in this company.”

You can support PPT too, or just find out more about who they are on their website.

An insight into the company…

An insight into the company…

AGAPE Properties has two souls: we are home developers and we are investors. And we want to be the best.
Our core belief is that we should always stay true to the meaning of those two words. Developing for us means improving, offering what was not there before, transforming for the good of the community and of our clients: it’s a creative process and a work that should always try to leave the world a bit better off than it was before. Investing, on the other hand, means devoting one’s time, effort, energy and resources to a particular vision, with the expectation of a worthwhile result.
Profit? Money? That’s just a means. A part of the process. Indeed we need money to fuel or projects, and both us and our investors rightly expect a return on the initial financial input, but for us it’s not really about the sheer profit: it’s about building a solid legacy for our future and for our families.
This is what we believe, and this is what we work for: increasing the standards of leaving of our clients by providing quality homes, whilst ensuring investors get all the knowledge they need to invest safely and a healthy return on the capital invested.
For our tenants, we want to offer the best homes. We believe that both the design and the quality your home matters and that, even if you only rent a room for a few weeks from us, you should feel like that is not just a dwelling: but your home.

For investors and co-investors, we source exclusive opportunities on a daily basis. Our range of services includes the whole spectrum of brick and mortar investments. From packaged hands-off deals in properties we acquire, refurbish and rent out for you, to Joint Ventures and Lead Sourcing. We will advise you on all the possible aspects of your investment and make sure the short, medium, and long-term benefits of any recommended strategy match your unique requirements.

For home-owners and landlords, we provide a full list of services to help you achieve what you need in the most effective way. We can purchase properties quickly, if this is what is required, or we can work with your property over a period to achieve the best return whilst giving you peace of mind. We like to think creatively but effectively and to be realistic on each deal – our aim is always to deliver or over-deliver what we promise.

Our belief is that by working locally but reaching globally, we can connect the right people with the right properties. We strive for delivering bespoke quality properties since we believe that, by tailoring our products to the demands of the market, we can best serve both the investors and the end users.

New Website 2017

New Website 2017

It’s 2017 and AGAPE Properties keeps growing and promoting quality property developments across England and Wales.

After a fantastic 2016, where we entered the commercial property market and tackled our first commercial building redevelopment, we are now busy developing in Croydon, where we have set out to provide new high spec residential accommodation for a fair rental price.

Today we inaugurate our new website and feel really good about refreshing our online presence. We hope that this beautifully designed page will better reflect our company values, which aims at providing both high quality and great design in each and every development we undertake.

We thank our little sister AgapeSoft for this beautifully designed website and welcome any feedback about the new style.

— You can find more info about AgapeSoft on their web page —

 

Francesco Perticarari

Francesco Perticarari

Founder and CEO

“Hi, I’m Francesco. I started AGAPE after successfully exiting my previous businesses, inspired by the legacy of my late grandfather: the man who built the family home I was born in. My goal is to provide people with accommodation they can truly feel at home in, whilst offering investors opportunities to get healthy returns from real estate.” (personal website) (LinkedIn page)

Gabriella Agamennoni

Gabriella Agamennoni

Offshore Adviser

“Hi, I’m Gabriella. I live and work in Italy, from where I make sure AGAPE’s international links remain strong and legally sound”

Massimo Perticarari

Massimo Perticarari

Investment Consultant

“Hi, I’m Massimo. I have a 30+ years experience in running and managing corporations. I am mainly based in Italy but often come to the UK. I am such a believer in AGAPE that I invested in its portfolio myself”

We Buy

We Buy

We purchase properties for cash quickly and professionally. However, we are also happy to work with any vendor or agent on longer terms to pay out higher purchase prices. We deal with both residential and commercial properties

We are specialised in properties where a fast sale is required or where a redevelopment, a conversion, an upgrade or modernisation could enhance the value of the asset

If you are an agent or a property owner with a property full of potential contact us to see if we can help with your property sale

If you’d like to see some of our most recent acquisitions, click here to scroll to our portfolio section

 

We Rent & Manage

We Rent & Manage

We lease properties from other landlords long-term to house tenants for large corporations or educational institutions. We deal with maintenance, bills and property management and offer a totally hands off solution for both agents and property owners. Never suffer form voids, rent arrears or damage claims again: let your property to a professional corporate landlord like us

We specialise in large houses where we can house 4 or more sharers, as well as modern apartments to accommodate the relocation of staff for large companies

If you are a landlord or an agent looking to let a property, get in touch today

Rigby Close

Rigby Close

Absolutely stunning gem of a property, which we refurbished to a very high standard.

This three bedroom, ground floor flat has been designed by us and offers modern interior throughout. It features a light and spacious reception room, modern kitchen, three bedrooms and a contemporary communal garden.

Situated close to the local shops and amenities that the ever popular Purley Way has to offer, in the centre of several transport links.

Contact Us for future availability. Currently let to corporate.