NovaLoca Blog Keeping you up to date with commercial property news Wed, 20 Jan 2021 14:07:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Using Text Analytics in Marketing Tue, 19 Jan 2021 09:19:01 +0000 Text analytics, also known as text mining, is the process of using machine learning technology to extract information from messy, unstructured text-based data and organising it so it can be analysed. Unstructured data is very common. It is information that is not easily stored in a database or spreadsheet. Emails are one such text example as the body of messages are not a standard format.  Other examples include: tweets, reviews, invoices, support tickets and call centre data.  Machines organise the data by natural language processing (NLP). One such process is ‘Clustering’ which classifies similar data into a group allowing you to house together the specific information you want to look at such as property types placed into location and value. There are many software packages available. You can try Google’s NLP software for free.  How is this data useful to your company? It allows you to find patterns and trends in customer behavior and focus future advertising based on what you find. By extracting  keywords, names, topics, or prices you can discover what is most important to a customer and target your messages to them. It can also improve your customer service by allowing you to discover what problems keep coming up they are discussing, what products they refer to most often. You can see negative versus positive comments. By identifying recurring words that appear in social media posts you can discover what customers think of your brand or what topics are being discussed in your field. Now all you need to do is decide how to visualize your information and we’ve covered a few ideas in our blog post here. 

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How to Market for Existing Customers Tue, 12 Jan 2021 09:10:53 +0000 Once a customer has invested their time and money with you they want to know that their investment was money well spent. Their repeat business is probably going to bring in more money without the set up costs of a new client so it makes sense to focus a large portion of your marketing strategy on them. How do you do this? Let’s take a look at some ideas. First of all you want to make them feel welcome. Why not send out an email that lets them know of any exclusive and valuable deals that will be just for them?  You can address any concerns or questions a client may have by providing them with training on how to use your product. This will ultimately mean they use your product more often, and get more value from it without having to refer back to you with queries. How can you deliver this training? You can use a learning delivery platform or provide training content in the form of hints and tips videos, emails, or pdf guides. This training can come before they start using a product or on demand but make sure you can deliver what you promise.  Once these initial contacts are made it’s important not to then disappear. More than ever customers expect you are going to be addressing their specific needs so any post purchase communication needs to be personalized. To achieve this you have to have enough data to know your target audience. Google Analytics is a free way for you to build up customer profiles. It will provide you with information on age, gender, locations, keywords that brought them to your site and devices used. You can set up the “Sessions with Conversions” segment of the analytics to ensure you are looking at customer details and not general website visitors. This gathered information can be used to create relevant content in blog posts, newsletters and emails with special deals or information to keep them engaged. It’s best to be consistent with your communications so maintain a calendar of dates.  Social Media offers many opportunities to build relationships with your customers. Take the time to give “shout outs” or celebrate customer achievements and positive experiences. By listening to what topics people are talking about you can gather data for your customer profiles. And don’t forget to respond to any mentions or queries. If you have any tips you use yourself please let us know in the comments below.

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Using Pop Culture in Social Media Marketing Tue, 05 Jan 2021 09:02:13 +0000 Film, fashion, music, sports. These are the things most people visit social media to talk about. 2020 saw more people indulging in nostalgia as we all seek out things from our past to bring us comfort in difficult times. And in marketing you need to be where everyone else is.  Incorporating elements from pop culture into social media posts allows you to join in more conversations; to be more social. Your audience is going to be much more engaged with posts which are about things they care about.  And it does only need to be a few elements: A Game of Thrones map style, use of a film quote in a title of a post with superhero style graphics. Seasonal occasions are good to use and are easier to add in to a marketing campaign as you know when they are coming. Add some spooky graphics to a post at Halloween or some Christmas sparkle to a newsletter. It’s a great opportunity to show your brand’s personality. Timing is important though. We’ve previously looked at how important relevance is on Twitter. Trends can change very quickly and it doesn’t take long for something to become out of date. The time to strike is the beginning of a trend. Take the example of a movie trailer. When the trailer is first launched engagement begins as anticipation for the film release grows. You want your brand to be seen with this thing everyone is talking about. How can you monitor what is hot in pop culture? Well, you can set up Google Alerts for free. Just go to and enter a phrase or word you want to monitor. You will then receive regular emails containing links to your chosen topics that have appeared on the web and in the news. You can edit the alerts to select where you want the sources to come from, whether you see all results or just the best results and from what country they originate. (Don’t forget to set an alert for mentions of your company name too!)  Finally you need to be sure that your target audience shares your interests. But it isn’t going to be hard to find something they can relate to. 

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NovaLoca Disposals Report 2020 Mon, 14 Dec 2020 12:14:48 +0000 In summary our report shows an overall disposals rate of about 17.9% in the 3 months to December 2020 with a 18.4% replacement figure.  Disposals are highest in Leisure and Industrial but the lower replacement rates in Industrial & Land reveal higher demand.  Office shows the lowest levels of disposals coupled with higher numbers of new listings. Disposals seem to be less concentrated on the largest companies than last year and those disposing of the highest percentages of their portfolios are also more than replacing those disposed of. For our latest disposal report we analysed approximately 21,500 listings in the period 1st September to 1st December 2020. Details and exact dates of deals were not collected but those no longer registered as available or under offer at the end of the period were counted as ‘disposed of’.  Across all sectors and companies 17.9% of properties listed at the beginning had been disposed of by the 1st of December.  These disposals were replaced with new instructions amounting to 18.4 % of the original portfolio number.    Disposals by Property Type As with last year’s results the sector with the highest percentage of disposals is Leisure but there are more properties coming onto the market than the number disposed of. Industrial is in demand with higher disposals but not as many new instructions to replace them.  Retail & Leisure again replacing slightly more than disposed of but both fairly stable.  Land as with Industrial is struggling to replace disposals.  Office appears to have disposed of the lowest proportion, as was the case last year, however, we are also seeing many more instructions come onto the market*; for every 3 office listings disposed of over 4 have replaced them.  *serviced offices have been excluded from this research; the picture may be different across the whole sector. The Top 5 Companies with the highest number of disposals Disposals appear to be more spread across the board this year. Our top 5 companies account for 28.5% of disposals whereas last year the top 5 accounted for around 37%. Remaining at the top of our charts is JLL accounting for 6.9% of all recorded disposals, Shepherd Commercial also maintain second place with 6.7%, placed third is Graham + Sibbald accounting for 6.5% , Avison Young in fourth with 4.7% and making into fifth place is Cushman & Wakefield with 4.3%. The Top 5 Companies disposing of the highest percentage of their portfolio We looked at companies with an initial portfolio of at least 25 properties. The top 5 companies disposing of the highest percentage of their own portfolios are: EHB Reeves who take the top spot with 53% of their portfolio disposed of and 32% replaced, Westport Property had 51% disposed of and 42% added back to take second place, Dowley Turner Real Estate are in third place with 48% disposed of and 71% replaced, Falconer Property Consultants had 44% disposed of and 42% added back and sit in fourth place and finally Bowyer Bryce disposed of 43% and replaced 28% to take fifth place. Last year only 1 company in our top 10 had exceeded... Read more

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NovaLoca Interviews 2020 Mon, 14 Dec 2020 10:58:28 +0000 We take a look back at the informative and valuable commercial property  interviews our agents have shared with us in 2020.   February 2020 Back in February we were lucky to speak to two Scottish agents.  Craig Semple, Associate Director of CBRE Ltd (Glasgow) gave us a report on the state of the industrial market at the beginning of the year.  And Scott Cameron of Whtye & Barrie spoke about demand for smaller retail and office spaces  June 2020 During June several agents shared news of successful deals: Nick Reeve of Curchod & Co had news on a disposal of retail warehouse space.   Alex Bellion of Owen Shipp reported on deals and an increase in demand for out of town space.   Steve Macdermott of Jaggard Macland told us about a disposal of a development / investment opportunity.  Sept 2020  This month our interview was with Nick Atkinson of HTA Real Estate and he spoke to us about demand in the NorthEast region of the UK, enquiries for start-ups and SME companies. November 2020 Our November interview was with George Douglas CEO of Online Property Auctions Scotland who spoke about how digital auctions had managed to thrive during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Core Web Vitals. Be Ready. Wed, 09 Dec 2020 08:49:50 +0000 Beginning in May 2021 Google has announced a new algorithm update that means the quality of a web page experience is to become a new ranking factor for searches. The intention of this new update is to enhance a user’s experience.   A website’s usability will now be measured by:  Loading performance. Google will measure the loading time of the largest content on view, which will usually be a video or image. So now is the time to make sure you have optimised your images. Take a look at our previous blog post on Image SEO.   Interactivity. How quickly a page responds to an action by a user.  Visual stability. How much does your webpage shift as it is loading? Is there a chance a user could click on something by accident because everything has suddenly moved upwards?   These measurements will be combined with existing ones which include: Mobile friendliness. Google checks that links are clickable, text is readable, that there are no obstructions to browsing and no chance of accidently hitting a button because it’s moved.  Safe browsing. The webpage must be secure with no deceptive content. The page should be served over HTTPS.   You may have already noticed a Core Web Vitals heading on your Google search console under the tab- Enhancements. Now is the time to take a look at any usability issues it flags up. Good quality content will still be the most important ranking factor for a web page but it’s going to be more important than ever to understand what your user’s intent is. You need to consider why they have come to your web page, what they expect to find and if your content is the best they are going to get at answering their needs. The introduction of BERT in Google’s Oct 2019 update helps google better understand what a user is asking with more conversational type queries. This makes it vital to know your audience and the words they are likely to be entering in their searches. 

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Do you want to play a Game? Tue, 01 Dec 2020 11:16:50 +0000 Christmas is traditionally a time for games both in video and board format. Who doesn’t look forward to the annual family argument over Monopoly or the wrestle over who gets the playstation controller next?  Our love of games goes back to ancient times. They offer us the chance to enter a playful zone for a short time. During 2020 games have been popular as a way to destress and connect with families, friends and coworkers. When much Retail is feeling the effects of the pandemic Games Workshop, who make miniature tabletop wargames, recently announced record sales.  It’s only natural that games spill over into social media. It’s the place we go to for a break after all. You may be surprised to discover that your audience would be more than willing to engage with game based posts. Statistics show that over 45% of gamers are female, and the average age of a gamer for both sexes is over 35.  Here’s a few simple game ideas that you can incorporate into your social media marketing campaigns. Just remember to keep it fun. It’s not about the hard sell. It is about engagement and interaction.  Find an object hidden in an image. Ask people to post the last….saved on their phone  Using only gifs ask people to show their reaction to a picture you post Offer multiple choice answers to a question you pose. Run a competition where the answers can be found on your website so they have to click through to find them. Ask your audience to use different emojis to answer a question Provide fill in the blanks text – I would do such and such with… (a great way to know what your audience likes and dislikes!)   Don’t forget people love prizes. We feel pleasure when we receive a reward and this in turn makes us go after more rewards. So offering the chance to win something is an added bonus even if it’s just a virtual prize.  A gold star perhaps or a winners badge.  Oh, and if things get too heated this Christmas you can contact the Monopoly Hotline on 0800 689 4903 to diffuse arguments! 

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Image SEO Tips to Increase your Ranking Mon, 23 Nov 2020 09:19:59 +0000 We’ve put together some Image SEO tips to help increase your ranking. When a user performs a Google search the search engine determines if the query can be matched with a relevant image that it will then display at the top of the search query page. So, image search is another way for users to discover your content whether it is in the form of an article picture or webpage visuals Therefore just like written content your images need to be optimized to be seen by Google.  The images you use need to be relevant to the content they support. A click on an image of an office space should go through to a piece about the same. Add the image close to the most relatable part of an article. You can use graphics or stock photos but  Google will not like both image and content not being original. Good quality content is still the most important ranking factor in whatever form it takes. Make sure the image file name describes what is in the image so you are giving Google as much information as possible. For example, a photo of a laptop on a desk should be called something like Office-laptop-desk.  Images are most likely to affect page speed so resize them as small as possible. Website visitors do not tend to wait for slow loading web pages and fast loading sites are always ranked higher. The most common types of image files are PNG and JPEG. PNG files do not lose quality when you compress them but they are a bigger file. Although JPEGS can be slightly less quality they are also smaller in size and also work best when scaling for responsive images on mobile devices. Always create Alt Text for your images. That is a piece of text that describes what the image is about for the visually impaired. It will also be displayed if the image becomes unavailable. It is further chance to add keywords if they are appropriate. You can find out how well your images currently perform in these organic searches and maybe compare the results after you have made any changes by checking your Google Search Console. Open the Search Results Report found under Performance and change Search Type: Web to Search Type: Image. You can also use the Google Analytics Acquisition tab to track which traffic comes from Google Images. Open the tab to All Traffic and then to Source/Medium. 

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Interview with George Douglas CEO of Online Property Auctions Scotland Mon, 16 Nov 2020 14:09:19 +0000 The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a marked decline in traditional property viewings due to social distancing rules.  However, these conditions have allowed Online Property Auctions Scotland, a company specializing in digital property auctions, to thrive. CEO George Douglas says: “Obviously it’s not been possible to attend live auctions during the pandemic, but we’ve found a very healthy number of regular ballroom auction patrons migrating to our online auctions during the lockdown. “We don’t charge any fees whatsoever to those looking to sell their property in our auctions, and we offer a speed of sale that estate agents simply can’t manage at the current time. “We’ve sold properties in all four corners of Scotland in the past year, and we’ve also grown the number of sellers looking to list with us.  “Interestingly many sales were completed with the aid of video viewings etc.” The company has a wide range of properties, both residential and commercial, presented for sale through auction three times a month. In recent weeks OPAS have sold several flats in Glasgow, a pub and restaurant portfolio in Cambuslang, along with other property in Paisley, Ayr, Airdrie and Kirkcaldy.  George Douglas adds: “Perhaps the most unusual sale recently was a former church building in rural Perthshire “The new owners intend to convert it into a stunning family home. It is always refreshing to see people with a dream and vision which will breathe new life into a neglected building.” Sellers include financial institutions, banks, insolve​ncy practitioners, executory sales, large and small investors as well as private clients who seek a fast, guaranteed sale. Prospective buyers are provided with a legal pack prepared by the vendor’s solicitor. It is also always possible to view all of the properties and potential buyers are urged to carry out their own due diligence. For more information please call 0141 2660125. Click here to see all OPAS properties listed on NovaLoca.

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Creating Timelapse and Cinemagraph Videos Wed, 11 Nov 2020 09:29:06 +0000 We’ve previously discussed in this blog how highly social media ranks video which is all very well but what type of video should you be creating for your business? And is it possible to produce said videos while working from home or in unusual circumstances? I decided to find out.  Armed with just my iphone I used my daily walk to see how easy it was to capture and create two of 2020’s trending micro video formats: Timelapse and Cinemagraphs. Of course it is important to consider which type of video is going to be best for your own brand to achieve its goals. It doesn’t matter how trendy something is, if it isn’t a good fit it’s not going to generate any interest from your audience. Timelapse videos Timelapse videos are films that are recorded over a period of time, sometimes hours and then played back at a fast speed. They are good for showing moves or changes such as building work in progress, people doing their work, or a journey, perhaps showcasing a town or city.  The iphone 5 upwards has a built in time lapse camera shooting mode.  It was very easy to use. Just point and press the record button. I recorded for 20 seconds or so as I walked. Every 6 seconds of recording will result in 1 second of time lapse footage. You can see the results played back immediately. I could see that if you wanted to capture something over a longer period of time you’d probably want to use a tripod to keep things steady.   (Click image for video footage) I then tried the same style of video using an Instagram app called Hyperlapse. Exactly the same ease of use. I opened up the app and pressed a white button to record. Of course the additional benefit here is then you can upload straight to Instagram or Facebook. I tried video in both landscape and portrait as vertical video is how most of us view content on our phones.  (Click images for video footage) Cinemagraphs Cinemagraphs are a more artistic version of the old internet favourite gif in that it is a looping image. But only one part of the image moves. Why would you use them? They are a chance to show your brand’s style and are a good opportunity to make the audience focus on an element. Also people just like to look at them. They are engaging and very creative.  This type of video proved to be a little more tricky to produce and it does require the use of Adobe Photoshop (you can get a free 7 day trial ). However I got there in the end and making mistakes is all part of the learning curve so they say! I ventured as far as the garden this time and recorded some plants moving in the wind with the plan of isolating just one branch moving. My footage uploads straight to Google Photos which I can then... Read more

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