Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56O scar Wilde said it should touch everything. Ginger Rogers said men can’t dance and hold it at the same time. Winston Churchill said we should give it a tremendous whack…three times! It is conversation that marks the art of our business, and it will continue to do so, perhaps more in the future than we could possibly expect as the internet and its attempts at selling houses online continue to divide opinion. I am in in no way suggesting that the power of technology is obstructive in the sale of houses. As a firm, we analyse closely the effectiveness of property portals, social media and our own website – and their impact is quite clear; many leads are generated by the click of a mouse. However, it is what is done with those leads, and how those leads are handled by the agent that is of most importance. Whilst it may appear terribly old- fashioned to 'sound out' against technology and the direction in which the modern world is moving, I personally feel it is more progressive for us to reclaim the art of conversation and encourage those around us to engage with each other more often. After all, various social studies have reported that conversation in the workplace leads to increased productivity; we should all encourage friends, colleagues and employees to lock the iPhone away and ‘speak up’. In our business, nothing can replace the opportunities that stem from a chat between a good agent and a buyer or seller. The ability to discuss their basic requirements is in itself quite a simple task, but the opportunity to engage with them and discover their motivation for moving, which gives real insight into what they hope to accomplish, is an art and to do so is made more challenging when there is an over- reliance upon a computer. At Bedfords, we take a pride in the belief that what sets us apart is our ability to discover the perfect house and present it to the right buyer by picking up the phone and telling them all about it. Simple. Albert Einstein once said, “Most people stop looking when they find the proverbial needle in the haystack. I would continue looking to see if there were other needles.” With this attitude we continue to work hard for our clients and present their beautiful houses to real buyers looking for their perfect home. It was 50 years ago this summer that we started doing just that, finding more needles, and I am sure we will continue doing the same over the next 50 years. Long live conversation! Michael Bedford, Partner, Aldeburgh and Woodbridge Office 'In our business, nothing can replace the opportunities that stem from a chat between a good agent and a buyer or seller.' CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF TALKING TO PEOPLE 54 Bedfords Review | Issue Three Michael Bedford Stop Googling, let's talk. End note