Buy, sell or rent property in Hackney — an estate agency advises how to do it. And how not to do it

FiftySevenEast Kingsland Hi St next to Dalston Kingsland station 040317 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
Nothing below £400k at FiftySevenEast in E8, a typically high Hackney price
Winkworth property leaflet 050317 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
A property leaflet has hot news: seasonal change means that spring is coming

SOMETIMES an advertising leaflet is informative — sometimes but not often because it can be something else. Some people might even say “uninspired”.

A leaflet from estate-agency Winkworth plopped through Hackney letterboxes this weekend. Entitled “Shoreditch and Hackney Insight”, it promised useful news from the property frontline.

Alas, the writer of the main piece, Market News, had some kind of weather obsession because it started “As the evenings get lighter we can dare hope that spring is just around the corner — at last! After a dreary winter…”

Really? Has this graduate of the University of the Bleedin’ Obvious no information for desperate Hackney homeseekers?

Only a little: while mourning the slight fall in sales prices (clearly, it is high commissions that make agent hearts beat fast), he provides a sidebar with a few random statistics from months ago, then throws in an obvious misspelling — “saavy” — as well as a grating cliché, “anytime [sic] soon”.

Nobody expects Winkworth to be Wordsworth, but shouldn’t it provide, property news, something more — well, insightful — than can be read in the news and finance pages of any daily paper (which are free to read in Hackney’s helpful libraries)?

No, because it turns out that Winkworth is rather addicted to such phrases. On its website, the agency notes that “Spring is in the Air”. Then, a little unsure of this daring claim, it adds the a qualification: “Spring is apparently [my italics] in the air”.

Winkworth property leaflet 050317 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
A pleasing image. But Winkworth should perhaps ditch the weather notes
This keen observer reports that “The weather starts to get warmer, the days get lighter, the spring flowers come out.”

An autumnal variation advises that “As the days grow shorter and the nights draw in, it’s time to seek out a cosy nook and hibernate. With crackling log fires or a toasty range in the kitchen, we need somewhere to curl up with a good book.

“Here are our top 20 cosy homes to hunker down [in] across Britain.”

By top 20 the would-be poet means “top 20 on our books” before returning to — yes, that construction again — “as the evenings close in”.

It can make sense to hook target readers with a little whimsy. But tedium is not — yawn — whimsy, it is… Zzzzzzzzzzzz…

* Hamish Scott 040317

* Winkworth Hackney’s branch is at 17 Lower Clapton Road E5 0NS( 020 8986 4216).

* Backstory: Hackney house rise a record 600%; Property dealers will miss Hackney ‘regenerations’; Violence still worries Hackney libraries workers 

* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained. 

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One thought on “Buy, sell or rent property in Hackney — an estate agency advises how to do it. And how not to do it

  1. Maybe the estate-agent writer suffers from seasonal affective disorder and really does find the winter very dreary. But yeah, probably not the best way to make people feel good about what they are reading.

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