PFK are so much more than just an Estate Agent
PFK have been a feature of Cumbrian life since 1876, first operating as livestock auctioneers before moving into property, land, furniture and antiques. “We have a proud heritage but are…
PFK are so much more than just an Estate Agent
PFK have been a feature of Cumbrian life since 1876, first operating as livestock auctioneers before moving into property, land, furniture and antiques.
“We have a proud heritage but are definitely not resting on our laurels,” said managing director Stephen Lancaster.
“In 2015 we opened our sixth estate agency office in Whitehaven and in 2016, in response to customer expectation, we opened the door to our new Carlisle branch, in a beautiful listed building in the heart of the city centre.
“Our new Facebook page PFK Property launched in September, adding to our already strong social media presence, and just this month we unveiled our new website, full of the user-friendly features that our customers told us they wanted.
“It is this willingness to adapt and change that has been key to our success.
“We’ve come a long way in the past 142 years and we’re looking forward to the future with confidence.”
Have you noticed our new website?
After a lot of work behind the scenes, we at PFK are proud to unveil our brand-new website.
It’s an exciting time for us, and our shiny new site is just a part of that.
As technology moves forward and systems change, an old website can get slow and inefficient. To avoid this, a website should be updated every two to three years, which meant ours was due a makeover.
When we reviewed our old website in the early stages of the revamp, customer feedback suggested that it wasn’t particularly user-friendly or easy to navigate, so we took this into consideration as we were keen to improve our clients’ experience when using our site.
We rebranded at the start of 2018, with new colours, fonts and logos. Our online presence is a massive part of what we offer so it was the perfect time for a revamped website that reflected the new branding.
The way the site is designed is now much more user-friendly and the search function easier to operate. You can find out much more than you could previously.
The ‘book a valuation’ button on our home page makes it even easier to arrange appointments online, which is a modern and useful alternative to contacting us by phone.
Of course, we are still here at the end of the line for anyone who would rather give us a call.
Each department now has its own mini-site which makes it much more straightforward for people to find exactly what they are looking for, while still having our services linked under the PFK umbrella.
A new Investors site gives an insight into the corporate side with information on shares, management frameworks and the year in review. This makes it easier for both current and potential investors to have essential information at their fingertips within seconds.
Over the past six months we have been closely working with Bert, an award-winning, independently owned branding agency with studios in London, Madrid and Manchester.
Each department has a representative which has worked alongside Bert to ensure the new website design works equally well for each different service we offer.
From workshops in Manchester to meetings in Penrith, our marketing team, department representatives and contacts at Bert have all been beavering away behind the scenes for a long time to get the new site off the ground and into the internet!
Please get in touch and tell us what you think. Phone 01768 862323 or email email@example.com
Taking the stress out of your survey
Chartered surveyor Andrew Green works alongside office administrators Shirley Whitby and Cath Lyall.
The team provide valuations for mortgage providers and for probate and inheritance tax.
“We also produce reports on condition of properties, are a home-buyer representative and can do full building surveys.
“We’re an established team with a wealth of local knowledge and an extensive track record of successful client service.
“Property and land transactions can be complicated enough, so we try to make life easier for our clients; it’s our job to simplify things for you.”
Contact details: tel. 01900 821411, firstname.lastname@example.org
We can guide you through planning
Rachel Lightfoot heads the team, assisted by town planners Kayleigh Lancaster and Naomi Howard.
“We help clients to navigate the complexities of planning rules and regulations, and work on housing schemes and with local authorities and private clients,” said Rachel.
“We try to eliminate the stress for a client going through the planning process, keeping them up to date and tackling any issues that may arise.”
The team has a good mix of skills and experience with newest member Naomi a graduate who is being moulded by the ethos of PFK.
“It is important that both we and the client go into the planning process with eyes open so there are no surprises,” Rachel added.
“Nothing is too big or too small for us to handle. From advice and applications to appeals, let us guide you through the planning process.”
Contact details: tel. 01768 890140, email@example.com
A creative eye in the sky
Allen Williams, manager of the Media Services division, has worked at PFK for five years, delivering high-quality photography, using a drone for aerial images and videography for internal shots.
He said: “My role is to support the marketing function and I think what I do is rare in our industry.
“As far as I’m aware, not many estate agents have a drone pilot licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority.
“Whether you’re a commercial developer, landowner, a local authority or a private householder, aerial drone imaging is a fast, cost-effective way to add real value to your project or transaction.
“We use our equipment to capture HD/4k images and video, which are then professionally edited and presented to meet the requirements of each brief.
“Looking ahead, we’re planning to branch out into corporate videos and special events.”
Contact details: tel. 01768 862323, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah knows her market
MARKETING and COMMUNICATIONS
PFK’s marketing and communications function is headed by Hannah Warren.
She said: “I work across all departments, helping with graphic designs and ensuring marketing sits in company guidelines with a uniformed approach and consistency.
“I am also involved in media management, liaision with external companies and managing our website and social media.
“It’s unusual for an estate agency to have in-house marketing and it’s great that I make a difference in that way. I also enjoy creating bespoke customer sales material.”
Contact details: tel, 01768 862323, email@example.com
Peace of mind for landlord and tenant
Manager Nicola Hadfield and assistant manager Mandy Green provide fully managed or let-only services, creating a seamless relationship between tenant and landlord.
Their work involves looking after the landlord’s asset, the property, and making a home for the tenant.
They currently manage 160 properties and also deal with
sub-contractors, supporting estate agent branches and customers and only becoming involved when the tenant signs up.
“We manage expectations for both parties,” Nicola said. “We deliver peace of mind for landlord and tenant and abide by up-to-date legislation.
“You can be sure that you are fully covered legally and in this respect we have legal support through my membership of ARLA.”
Contact details: 01768 862135, firstname.lastname@example.org
Land and property our business
Guiding the farming and rural community through a comprehensive range of professional land and property services is one of the main aims of PFK’s Land Agency team.
It is headed by David Stout, assisted by Jo Edwards, Janet Flintoft and Guy Heelis.
Graduate surveyor Abigail Wass joined the team this year.
David said: “A land agent has the ability to influence existing and prospective clients.
“We offer good advice in all aspects of land and property and manage everything related to
land and property from start to finish.”
Core services delivered by the Land Agency division of PFK are estate management; agricultural estates, farmland and minerals; valuations; sales and lettings; compulsory purchase schemes; renewables; grants and Government schemes; shooting and fishing; interaction with lawyers and accountants for tax planning and ownership issues; general business management.
“ We have a sound reputation, good local knowledge, expertise and are focused on the quality of our service and the satisfaction of the client,” David added.
“We are proud to offer a comprehensive range of professional property services for the farming and rural community.”
Contact details: tel, 01768 866611, email@example.com
Team with lots of advice and help
MICHAEL Roberts leads the seven-strong team of auctioneers and valuers.
The other members are the saleroom manager Simon Thompson, porters Paul Harkness and Josie Hall, office manager Sarah Mulheron, office assistant Zoe Antrobus and valuation assistant Megan Birley.
“We sell a very wide range of items throughout the year, from fine art and antiques to vehicles and machinery,” said Michael. “We also offer house clearances and valuation services.”
The team runs an auction every fortnight as well as periodic specialist sales.
Michael added: “We use our expertise to market clients’ goods to the highest standards to help achieve the best possible sale prices.
“There is a family feel to our auction which can remove uncertainty for clients, especially those who are new to the auction process.
“We care about customers and results, the arts and antiques we handle and our beautiful, diverse region.
“We are also proud to support local charities.”
Contact details: tel. 01768 890781, firstname.lastname@example.org
Holding your hand in home-buying process
The Sales and Lettings team at Carlisle is headed by branch manager Paul Doyle, aided by valuer Hayley Kenny with sales negotiators and administrators James Harrison, Alex Weir and Rosie Negus.
Paul said: “Our work involves regular contact with vendors, guiding them through the sales process and helping them afterwards. We also contact our customers when new properties come to market that might interest them.”
This dedicated help and support makes the whole property process seamless and stress-free, he added.
“We are with you every step of the way, with Hayley helping and advising clients on marketing their properties and the sales team achieving the best price using sales negotiation skills.
“The housing market is challenging and we believe that clients use high street estate agents like us because they feel our traditional methods of selling properties makes the process of buying and selling easier. “
Contact details: tel, 01228 558666, email@example.com
The Sales and Lettings team at Cockermouth is headed by branch manager and valuer Michael Hewitt, assisted by sales negotiators Pauline Ellis and Steven Earlam.
“Our experienced team is on hand to make the sometimes challenging business of property as simple as possible,” Michael said.
“We also provide marketing packages that cater to the specific needs of property developers.
“At the heart of our approach is an understanding that every client’s needs are unique.
“We take the time to get to know you, your needs and property goals.
“This enables us to create a bespoke package of services for each client, with the best possible outcome and value for money.
“Our distinct approach to marketing and negotiation creates a competitive environment around our properties, which is key to achieving great results in the current challenging market.
“This approach has cemented our position as the market-leading estate agent in Cockermouth and the surrounding area.” Contact details: tel, 01900 826205, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sales and Lettings team at Whitehaven consists of branch manager and valuer Christine Lofthouse and sales negotiators Charlie Shaw and Chere Adair.
Christine and Chere joined this month, covering for manager Lesley Waugh and sales negotiator Lisa Murphy who are on maternity leave.
Christine said: “We provide a professional experience aligned with a deep personal knowledge of West Cumbria’s property market – something that incoming internet agents may not have.
“We make the sometimes challenging business of property as simple as possible and understand that every client’s needs are unique.
“Our services are expertly planned and transparently delivered with clear communication and full support every step of the way.
“Our distinct approach to marketing and negotiation is key to achieving great results in the current challenging market.
“This approach has cemented our position as the market-leading estate agent in Whitehaven and the surrounding area.”
Contact details: tel, 01946 695535, email@example.com
Article credit – Thanks to Newsquest Cumbria
Rats in Your Roof Space
The roof space is a vital part of the surveyor’s inspection, as it can provide so much information in regard to the construction and condition of any particular property,…
Rats in Your Roof Space
The roof space is a vital part of the surveyor’s inspection, as it can provide so much information in regard to the construction and condition of any particular property, but it can also be home to many unwanted guests.
I recently undertook an inspection of a Victorian terraced house. I suspected a potential vermin infestation after hearing sounds of scurrying and movement, so armed with my Petzl headtorch and surveyors’ ladders, I ascended into the roof space.
Both rats and mice are commonly found in domestic properties and both species have adapted well to the human environment. They pose significant health risks and can cause substantial upset if found in your home. I have seen cases where homeowners have been woken by the sounds of rats scuttling in the loft space, and others who have claimed it was too embarrassing to invite people over to their new home. Whilst this could be construed as an overreaction, it is true that rodents can pose a health hazard, particularly for vulnerable members of the community. Those most at risk include the elderly, the very young, and people with a disability or existing health problems.
Rodents are among the most successful animals on Earth, largely due to their natural intelligence, reproductive abilities, and their ability to adapt to their environment.
There are two species of rat in the UK; the brown rat (also known as the Norway rat, common rat or sewer rat) and the black rat (also known as the ship rat). The average lifespan of a brown rat is two to three years, and the average lifespan of a black rat is one year.
The brown rat usually eats around one tenth of its body weight every day. Rats are opportunist omnivorous eaters, meaning that they eat whatever they can find (both plant and animal products), but typically their diet consists of grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. This means many human foods, such as breakfast cereals, will attract them if left out.
In suitable conditions, the brown rat breeds throughout the year and a female can produce up to five litters during this time. The gestation period lasts only 21 days and one litter can result in up to fourteen rats. This means that the population can grow from just two rats to fifteen thousand in just one calendar year!
Mice are also a common pest, but they are usually more troublesome during autumn and winter. The two types of mice are the house mouse and the field mouse (also known as wood mice and yellow necked mice). Like the rat, mice are omnivorous but prefer to eat grains, fruits and seeds.
Grey squirrels also pose a problem. They may be a familiar animal in the United Kingdom, but they aren’t a native species. They were introduced from North America during the late 19th Century. Since then, the grey squirrel has displaced the smaller, native red squirrel across most of England and Wales, although the latter has managed to hang on in parts of Scotland, Ireland, Cumbria, Northumberland and the Isle of Wight. Grey squirrels are regarded as a pest species in the UK, whilst the red squirrel is a fully protected species. Grey squirrels can enter domestic properties in search of food and shelter, and because of their size they can cause considerable damage including dislodging roof slates.
All these rodents present significant hazards to both people and property, hence why people want to urgently rectify any infestations. Rats and mice can spread many diseases which can be contracted by humans in various ways; through direct contact with rodent faeces, urine, blood or saliva, by inhalation of air contaminated by rodent faeces or urine, by ingesting contaminated food or water, or from bites and scratches. Rodents can also contaminate stored water, for example cold water storage tanks, feed and expansion tanks in the roof space. This can be through their droppings or, in worst case scenarios, when they fall in and drown.
All rodents have a pair of sharp incisor teeth and can gnaw through electrical wires and plumbing, causing flooding and fires in homes. They can also damage woodwork, soft furnishings and other possessions.
Rats usually nest in burrows, but be aware that nests can also be found in lofts, under eaves and in cavity walls. They use materials they can find, such as insulation or cardboard, and shred it up to use for their nests. Mice will also use soft materials for nesting which can be found in places such as lofts, suspended ceilings, cavity walls, under floorboards, behind fridges and in airing cupboards. Rodents need access to water, so rat and mice runs are likely to be found near a water source such as a leak or water tank.
When conducting my survey of the Victorian terraced house, I did indeed discover a rat infestation in the roof space. After reporting this to our clients, they decided that they would not proceed with the purchase, but they reported the matter to the vendors so that they could eliminate the infestation.
For advice on surveys or rodent issues, please contact our chartered surveyor Andrew Green on 01900 821411, or check out our Surveys website for more information.
Happy New Year
Call PFK this New Year and let us take a look, you could have a chance of winning, a break with Thomas Cook. When you instruct PFK to sell your…
Happy New Year
Call PFK this New Year and let us take a look, you could have a chance of winning, a break with Thomas Cook.
When you instruct PFK to sell your home prior to 14th February 2019, you will be entered in to a prize draw to win £1000 worth of Thomas Cook vouchers to spend on whatever you like.