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Your Fitted Kitchen, The heart of your home

by Damien Turley from John Damien

25th November 2015

Post Type: Other

Your Fitted Kitchen

It has long been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, as it is so much more than just a place where food is prepared. A kitchen provides a hub where a family can share food together as well as each other’s company, so it deserves a lot of care and attention. As a family business, JohnDamien understand this more than most. We have years of experience in designing and fitting bespoke kitchens and a firm commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. We can give your kitchen the makeover it deserves. Whether you’re a fan of bold colours, functional design or traditional wood effects, JohnDamien have a solution for you. If you’re not really sure what you want or you need advice on how to best utilise your space, you can arrange a free home design visit so we can help you achieve your dream kitchen.

Fitted kitchen in Essex 

A fitted kitchen can of course have a tremendous impact on the value of your property and we are thoroughly committed to providing longevity as well as functionality by working together with you to ensure the perfect kitchen for all your needs and preferences. Without the restrictive management heirarchies of large national suppliers, we can guarantee you top-quality personal service and complete satisfaction. Island seating areas can be installed for doing homework, entertaining guests or just relaxing with the newspaper after breakfast. Appliances can be integrated inside the kitchen cabinets to enhance the room’s appearance and make it a heart your home can be proud of. We will work closely with you to ensure that every aspect of your utility needs, design aesthetic and layout is incorporated and will work in combination to give you a family hub which will be the envy of your friends. A room where you can cook, eat and entertain in style, no matter what your tastes.

Fitted kitchen in Herts 

Based in Sawbridgeworth,  JohnDamien provide kitchen design and installation services in Essex, Herts and Cambs. We pride ourselves on delivering luxury living spaces at prices you can afford,  only using the most qualified and experienced of professional tradesmen for installations. Call for a free visit today, and take the first step towards giving your home the heart it so richly deserves.

Fitted kitchen in Cambs

Book your FREE home design visit today – telephone 01279 722042

The Maltings, Station Road,
Sawbridgeworth, Herts. CM21 9JX
Showroom opening hours:- Monday to Friday 10.00am to 5.30pm   Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm

Do I need a for sale sign outside my property?

by Angela Westgarth from The Personal Property Shop

24th November 2015

Post Type: Newspaper Article
Do I need a for sale sign outside my property?

With the internet now the leading method of property marketing you may well be asking yourself, “do I need a for sale sign outside my property”? As estate agents in Bishop’s Stortford, this is of course a question we are regularly asked and so we thought it would be a good topic for our latest blog post. Rightmove and Zoopla have of course now taken over as the market leaders in property advertising. The newspaper and shop windows are now outdated and people are turning to the internet to start their search for their next property. What about the for sale board though? Has this died along with other traditional property advertising methods?

Let’s start with a question – why WOULDN’T you want a for sale sign outside your property?

The main reason we come across, is that many home owners are worried that their neighbours will find out that their home is for sale and they’ll be the subject for gossip for weeks to come. It’s certainly a talking point when a new property comes up for sale in your street, I can’t help but hop on to Rightmove and check out the details whenever one becomes available where I live (that’s if we’re not selling it already!)

However, the truth of the matter is that regardless of whether you have a board up or not, your neighbours will know your home is for sale! How? Through our friends over at Rightmove and Zoopla is how. So many people I know are signed up to Rightmove’s property alerts for their local area so they can keep track of what’s on the market and check out the local property prices. Many of these people aren’t even considering moving home but they like to browse Rightmove out of interest. Even if a neighbour doesn’t sign up to Rightmove themselves no doubt another neighbour will fill them in, or perhaps a friend will mention “I noticed that there’s another house for sale in your street”. They will know!


Do I need a for sale sign outside my property? 

Let’s consider now – why WOULD you want a for sale sign outside your property?

If you’re selling your home then no doubt you’ll want to sell it for the best possible price, in the shortest possible time frame – everybody does! The way we see it is that all exposure is good exposure and if you really want to get your property sold, then having a board up outside can only be a good thing. We get 7% of all our enquiries as a result of boards outside properties in Bishop’s Stortford (and the surrounding areas) and whilst you may argue that’s a small percentage it’s still almost 1 in 10 of all our enquiries. It’s a potential extra viewing or two that you wouldn’t have had otherwise without someone having spotted your board. Sometimes people spot a board outside, like the look of the house and will make an enquiry whereas perhaps it didn’t appear on Rightmove under their search criteria and so often we find people end up buying properties that are totally different to their initial ideas!

Plus nowadays we’re using our revolutionary ‘brochure boxes’ so that passers-by can take a copy of the property details there and then as they’re passing, this is ever increasing the number of enquiries we gain from advertising by for sale boards. If you haven’t seen these already then take a look at our blog post ‘Bishop’s Stortford estate agent, revolutionary new idea’ –   The other benefit of these boards is that if the neighbours ARE aware of houses for sale, think about their network of friends and family who may be looking to move to the area. We all know networking works, so who better to sell living in your street than your own neighbours?

We advise all property owners to have a for sale board outside their property. It certainly can’t hurt and will give you that little bit of extra exposure that could be that extra viewing you need to get an offer. What have you got to lose?

What to read next? ‘Should I use more than one estate agent to market my property?’ 

Home Cinema Design and Installation

by Damien Turley from John Damien

17th November 2015

Post Type: New Member Article
Home Cinema Design and Installation

Everybody loves a good movie and what better place to watch one than in the comfort of your own home? In the past this has traditionally been seen as a poor reflection of the full cinema experience. A convincing home cinema setup used to be the preserve of eccentric millionaires and ageing stars. With today’s technology, however, quality home cinema is available to all. It can be the highlight of a well-designed home.

But technology is of course, only part of the experience. For true comfort and immersion, it is important that this matches your decor for those times when you’re not concentrating on the screen. Whether you already have the equipment and would like to design the room around it, or are starting entirely from scratch, JohnDamien will help you find the solution you need to recreate that authentic movie-going thrill without disrupting the look of your home.

JohnDamien will work with you to achieve the perfect blend of technology, comfort and presentation, ensuring that whatever your tastes, from traditional to contemporary, your home cinema experience is tailored to your individual needs and preferences.

Of course, nobody wants to splash out on a home cinema set-up that will become obsolete and need to be replaced in a couple of years. We can help you future-proof your system by looking at your plans for future upgrades and additions. This ensures that your home cinema experience will remain relevant, enjoyable and comfortable for years to come. Taking such annoyances as disk storage, dust collection, unsightly boxes and cabling into account, as well as those all-important considerations around lighting, visibility and sound quality, JohnDamien will use handmade fitted furniture and bespoke cinema furniture. This delivers a home cinema experience that’s immersive without being intrusive. It creates a room that is just as suited for a quiet evening’s casual television viewing as it is for the enjoyment of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, without taking away any of the comfort and warmth of a traditional family living room.

Whatever size and model of equipment you decide you want installed, from games consoles to projectors, JohnDamien can provide a quality service for any homeowner looking to enhance their enjoyment of all that modern entertainment has to offer. All that without having to leave the comfort of the sofa.

Should I use more than one estate agent to market my property?

by Angela Westgarth from The Personal Property Shop

14th November 2015

Post Type: Newspaper Article
Should I use more than one estate agent to market my property?

This is a question we are frequently asked, “should I use more than one estate agent to market my property?” I’m sure you may remember the days when Rightmove and Zoopla didn’t exist. Hard to believe now isn’t it? When looking for a new property in the past the process would be to register with as many different estate agents as possible to make sure you knew about every single new property coming on the market. You may remember receiving heaps of property particulars in the post and sorting through to find those you wanted to view. If you were looking for a high end property you registered with an agency like Savills and if you were looking for a lower end property than someone like Haart. Therefore, in the past it was highly beneficial to market your property through several estate agents, especially if you needed a quick sale. Yes it might cost you a bit more in fees but you would massively increase your chance of reaching all the local buyers in your area. More estate agents meant more exposure.

Times have changed.

Now that the internet has effectively taken over the property market, the way we search for properties has totally changed too. Gone are the days of registering with every estate agent. Gone are the days of wading through mountains of property particulars. Gone are the days of traipsing down to your local high street to look in estate agent’s windows. In 2015, buyers now have the freedom (and control) to search for properties themselves online on Rightmove and Zoopla. 100% of buyers now turn to Rightmove or Zoopla first when searching for a new home so if your property is on the market and meets the buyer’s basic criteria, then they’ll find your property online, probably within a matter of seconds. Instead of needing to register with every single estate agent, the buyers now just need to register with Rightmove…which they do.

So what happens nowadays when you list your home with more than one estate agent, and more importantly is it beneficial? Ultimately when you now market your property through two or more estate agents, you’ll simply appear on Rightmove twice. Remembering that ALL buyers now turn to the internet first when searching for a new home, then you’ll simply be duplicating your property listing online by choosing more than one estate agent to sell your home. But what harm can that do I hear you say? Surely if you have two or more agents then they’ll work harder to get you sold? WRONG!

  • When buyers see properties listed twice on Rightmove they’ll immediately come to the same conclusion – “this house isn’t selling”. They’ll generally be thinking one of three main things. 1. “they’ve obviously not been able to sell the property as they’ve had to go with more than one estate agent, I wonder what’s wrong with it?”, 2. “looks like they’re pretty desperate to sell, I bet they’ll take a lower offer” or 3. “not that property AGAIN, we’ve seen that SO many times!” I’m sure no home owners wants to appear desperate and you certainly don’t want to give the impression that your home isn’t selling to potential buyers.
  • So we’ve already ascertained that it doesn’t give you any added benefit marketing your property with more than one estate agent and that it can give a negative impression to potential buyers. So what about your estate agents? They’re far more likely to invest MORE in marketing your property, for example by using a professional photographer or hiring a home stager for you, if they are instructed on a sole agency basis. If they’re up against another estate agent and there’s a risk they might not sell the property then they’re unlikely to fork out for extra benefits to help you sell your home.
  • You’ll pay more for the privilege with no added benefit! It’s common for most estate agents to charge extra for marketing your property on a multi-agency basis. So if there’s no real benefit appearing on Rightmove twice then it seems illogical to pay a higher fee for no apparent reason.

What’s the solution?

If your home isn’t selling then instructing more than one estate agent is not the answer. Instead, why not pick the RIGHT estate agent to sell your home? How about choosing the BEST estate agent to market your home? One that takes gorgeous looking photos of your property, works hard and is motivated to get your home sold as quickly as possible and for the best price?

What to do if your home isn’t selling?

  1. Sign up below to our Property Pointers and you’ll receive top tips on how to sell your home faster. You’ll get a free property selling tip sent straight to your inbox each week.
  2. Give us a call to arrange a free home visit. We’ll come over to see you, have a look at the property along with your current marketing materials and we’ll be able to tell you why we feel the property hasn’t sold to date and what you can do about it. Call us on 01279 719193 for more information.

For more useful selling tips visit

First licensing deal for The English Cream Tea Company

by Jane Malyon from The English Cream Tea Company

08th November 2015

Post Type: Ten Minutes Announcement
First licensing deal for The English Cream Tea Company

White Roding business The English Cream Tea Company are thrilled that their first ever licensing deal went through in October 2015.  The company’s distinctive brand seems to have a worldwide appeal and they have been keen to link up with manufacturers who make afternoon tea related goods such as kitchenware, cake tins, tea services and more. The first deal was signed with an international tinware company who make tea caddies, trays and assorted cake tins - a perfect match for The English Cream Tea Company.  Thus they will manufacture these items and sell them all across Europe and the UK, with a percentage of each sale going to The English Cream Tea Company as the licensing fee (with a guaranteed minimum). 

Owner of this afternoon tea gift business, Jane Malyon, said:  “We were so excited to open up the delivery of pre-production tinware; it was like Christmas Day for everyone at The English Cream Tea Company!  The tins all prominently feature our logo and brand and even our website URL, all in our corporate colours.  What fantastic marketing this will be for us.  We’re so chuffed that everyone who’s seen the tins loves them and we can’t wait until they’re available for us to fill with cakes and treats to sell.”  

The tinware company has a great pedigree, making tins for companies like Disney and Coca Cola.  However, part of the arrangement with The English Cream Tea Company is that the tin makers aren’t permitted to put anything inside the tins and must sell them empty.  “We had advice on aspects like that throughout the process from our branding agent.  There was a concern that if the tins were sold with potentially ‘inferior’ products inside, then it would reflect badly on us - so the decision was that only our own company could sell the tins with contents, to ensure they’re always delicious!  It was fascinating to learn what we can request in a licensing arrangement, even dictating the sorts of stores that can and can’t be approached with these tins.” 

Jane continued:  “With our team and branding designer, we’re gradually building our brand.  Our gift boxes are created by a fellow BNI member, Noel Greenwood of GWD Ltd and these beautiful boxes have become an integral part of our retail range.  Our dream is to have the whole range of The English Cream Tea Co preserves, teas and giftware in stores like John Lewis and also being exported around the world!  We’ve a long, long way to go but creating our own giftware and now licensing our brand in this way is an exciting step in the right direction!”   

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