Storemates founder Shaff Prabatani recalls how an estate agent helped him see the wood for the trees.
I remember when I tried to sell my cosy one bed flat just after my girlfriend moved in. She brought with her 24 boxes of her belongings plus a lifetime of sentimental clutter. My uber minimal bachelor pad transformed itself into a very feminine ‘bring and buy’ sale over a very memorable weekend. As the walls closed in and the daylight only partly peeked in through windows blocked by stacked shoe boxes, it was inevitable that my now dark and chaotic flat was no longer going to ‘sell itself.’
Our lovely chirpy estate agent, Valerie, put on a brave face and assured us that she would try and work her magic for the ‘right buyer with lots of imagination’. But we could sense that the white elephant in the room – was exactly that... A flat with so much excess baggage, that it was like living with an actual white elephant. Having watched the ‘Hoarder Next Door’ – the morbidly fascinating TV programme about psychologically unstable residents living in dense labyrinths of clutter, we should have known we were sending out the wrong signals to potential buyers.
After 3 months of impenetrable viewings a frowning Valerie finally broke the news to us: ‘Either you declutter or we delist the property’; most potential buyers, she affirmed, would want to view a blank canvas and not a Jackson Pollock.
What happened next has now become our very own folklore ... i.e. we couldn’t afford self storage – way too expensive...Boo! Stored with neighbours for cheap rent..Great!!...Easily sold minimal spacious flat..(Thanks Val!) Moved to new house with space for everything...set up Storemates... to help everyone store their ‘White Elephants’ with their neighbours. Now I rent out my own loft to people in needs of storage space!
So a year on and remembering Valerie's determination to help us see the wood for our cluttered trees we've now launched a new scheme to work in partnership with estate agents throughout the land.
Put simply, people who are trying to move often benefit from having some additional storage space. By using Storemates they can now cheaply 'self store away'their unsightly possessions with a neighbour pleased for the additional rental income. Those who have moved out and are awaiting the keys to their new homes can also store with neighbours and choose from a wide range of storage options such as local garages, spare rooms and lofts. With security features, safeguards and 2000 satisfied customers; essentially Storemates offers a reliable, cheaper, more local, greener alternative to costly self storage. Estate Agents now recognise Storemates as a complimentary service they will happily recommend to their customers. In return they are rewarded with quicker sales, happy customers, and a 50:50 share of all of Storemates earnings from the storage rental for no outlay. Property trade mags ‘The Negotiator’ and ‘Estate Agent Today’ have both run features this month on the benefits of teaming up with the world’s first neighbourhood storing sharing scheme for a ‘real no brainer’ way of staying ahead of the game during difficult times.
As for me and the thousands of agents trying to let or sell cluttered flats - space needn’t be the final frontier (if you use Storemates!)
If you are an Estate Agent and want to work with Storemates.co.uk, call 0800 001 6720 or contact email@example.com. We will send you a free ‘get started pack’ as well as your own user promotional code and some marketing materials for your customers. You will start to earn a fee for every Storage arrangement made identified through your promo code. No catch, just a simple win-win deal.