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This year it's really become apparent that there now seems to be a greater number of industry bods on this forum than investor bods.
I understand that PT has to make money to survive, but the list of sponsors that now chip in to various threads with an often thinly veiled sales patter is starting to feel claustrophobic now, and it is stifling chat when someone pops in with some sales patter.
A classic example is OneAndOnlyPro - they have basically provided very little, if anything to this forum other than annoyance about being repeatedly called out by JC and thinly veiled sales patter.
Is another option on PT some form of membership, and if so, what would the annual cost be? Newbies could maybe get a grace period to see if they're happy before plunging in.
The content up to the end of last year I feel was great, now an increasing % seems to be some sales angle.
Someone yesterday was saying how every LL should use an agent, then several posts later it came out that they were a LA themselves.
Another idea might be for each user to provide their primary status eg. Landlord, Letting Agent etc. Etc. so that it is easier to spot those with a vested interest?
I'm happy with the current arrangement but also wouldn't mind paying a membership fee. I will trust Nick and Vanessa's judgement on what is best.
While I agree that I have read a few frustrating posts recently with "our preferred partner" or "my business can help you", I don't agree that a membership option would work either.
As a relatively new member to PT, I would not have signed up if there was a membership fee. I already pay membership to a number of different organisations and i'd be reluctant to pay another.
Advertising and sponsorship is a necessary annoyance in almost every aspect of daily life. PT is a valuable resource, and membership is free, that should be celebrated :-)
I think the current arrangements generally work well, BUT V&N should take action and end the sponsorship when a sponsor is found to be selling a flawed product (OneAndOnlyPro) especially when said sponsor tries to bullshit their way out of it.
Property Tribes is based on the philosophy of "reciprocity" and is transparent about commercial agendas. So everybody, including newbies, know what the score is here.Reciprocity is the concept that, if you got value from something, you can "choose" to reciprocate. In the case of this site and PT's business model, that means you can choose to show your appreciation by using the legitimate products and services of our commercial partners/sponsors/affiliates, which are all transparent and clearly signposted.Our sponsors and partners are also accountable to the PT community - as evidenced by the challenges against One and Only Pro - and it is our belief that this gives an extra layer of due diligence and assists in building trust.As for sponsors contributing to threads, we absolutely encourage them to engage and support the community, and there is nothing wrong with that. They have domain expertise around their product/service and can add value through that. As far as "thinly veiled sales patter" is concerned, then if you see it, then use the "report" button and I will take the appropriate action. We actively check the site and we regularly remove commentary that you were probably not even aware of to ensure this site stays spam-free.Earlier, I used the word "choose". It's important in this context, not only for choosing to reciprocate for the value you have got from this site, but also you can choose which commentary you are exposed to.If you do not like the input of any member, whether that be a PT partner or indeed anyone else, then simply "mute" or "block" them and you will no longer be exposed to their commentary.As to there are "more sponsors than commentators", then no, the data does not support that claim. Moreover, compared to other sites/forums, this is arguably not one of the most "in your face" presentations of commercial messaging. The costs of running Property Tribes, considering the size of the membership and the ever-increasing number of users, comes with an ever increasing cost. Without our commercial supporters, there would be no Property Tribes. I have personally spent a lot of money and taken a lot of time to ensure that the advertising on PT is not intrusive - to the best of my ability. But you can't please all of the people all of the time ...As far as having a "paid for" version without advertising, its a good idea, and one that I would like to push forward. However, there are significant costs associated with evolving that in terms of the site coding and taking on a payment platform. As and when the resources allow, that is something I will look to instigate.I appreciate all input on this topic and take on board all feedback.
general operations director, site owner and moderator - propertytribes.com
PT is providing an invaluable service to landlords and others involved in the residential investment and operating space. I like the model as it is and think the team at PT have done a great job - as a user, I recognise its not a charity and that it needs revenue to cover it costs and makes its owners a profit. So like almost all free to use sites, being advertised at is the "price" you pay as a user to get access to free content - Nick and Vanessa's challenge is to try and make sure the partners are relevant to the audience and that the balance of advertising is appropriate, and that's not an easy one, and isn't a "one size fits all" because consumers react to advertising in different ways. For me, I don't currently feel overly advertised to.
Stay as it is 100%
I don`t mind a slight steer towards sponsors it is only to be expected and can be of real help of course .And if it helps keep PT free its got my vote .But a full on in your face sell is tacky and detracts from the message . I don`t see too much of that at all really and the `mob` in any case would regulate that as it does in all communities .The lure of money can distort advice and it can be hard to remain neutral if you are constantly plugging a service and thinking will i get a new customer from my post .
So there is a balance to be had . And the balance is right in my view
Flag it up but don't stuff it down my throat
If I warm to the person first then I warm to their business . They need to earn their spurs
The other day the car valet guy said with a smile as I drove in off the street that he would make my car shine like it had never shone before and I will be the talk of the town. He got my business and will keep it now because of his overt humorous flattering sales patter about my 12 year old Golf . I knew I was being sold to but I kinda liked him for that
V&N have done a fantastic job in growing with the PT brand . They must meet with dozens of potential associates in their travels and 10 years ago could only have imagined as to how it would all pan out. They didn't have this issue to even contemplate at PT`s inception so they also learning constantly and figuring out what is best with every link up they do .Its not going to be perfect every time but they try their best and their motives are true and i support them in all of that
But sponsors like with your tenants you naturally start out on great terms and think each other is great . Then cracks can appear as you get to know the inner being and sometimes unfortunately they are not all quite what they seem.You challenge them and some say a genuine sorry and change their ways and learn from their errors and the relationship survives and in fact grows deeper . Others just go into denial and dig a hole for themselves and pretend there isn`t a problem when clearly there is. They may have to be served a sec 21 for the good of the parent brand.
Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com
They may have to be served a sec 21 for the good of the parent brand.
This is exactly the nugget, I strongly believe that OneAndOnlyPro are damaging PT's brand.
I have to say that I get a bit frustrated by the thinly-cloaked sales pitch replies too. However, many of these contributors offer some sound advice so I wouldn't want them to stop. Perhaps a good compromise would be for each sponsoring organisation to start their contribution off with a line like "*Response from PT sponsor*" or that they should be limited to only contribute factually (not sales-y) as their company info can be in the footer.
My vote would be to keep it as it is, PT is an amazing resource and has undoubtedly helped us grow our business, both through thought provoking discussions I have read & also people I have met as a result of PT.
If N&V decided to go down a membership route though I would not be averse to that.
Having the sponsors I see as a bonus, If there is a thread thats relevant, asking a sponsor to comment gets an immediate expert comment< If i like what they say I would bear it in mind for when I am in the market for that service & the fact that they came to mind via PT passes my first part of DD in knowing that if they passed the checks to be accepted by PT they must be an OK business.
Stewardson Developments Ltd.
Burson Land Ltd. & Jennings & Gilchreaste Ltd.
Follow me on twitter - @philstewardson
Phil, you are the classic example of someone that obviously runs a business, but your answers are certainly not the type that I was referring to, namely the barely hidden sales pitch.
It's great having people in the industry such as yourself on here, I wouldn't want to change a thing about it, but I'm sure others can see the difference between what you have provided here over the years and what a few of the recent additions have done.
Anyway, we'll see what happens.