Browsing all articles from December, 2011

Will Our Greenbelt Land End Up Looking Like This?

Author admin    Category Renewables & Green Issues     Tags

With the demand for housing forever on the increase there is constant pressure on the government to relax their hold on various greenbelt areas across the UK. This has been successfully avoided for a number of years but now it would seem that there is another demand on the horizon, which, in order to be met could make the destruction of some of our most prized countryside areas inevitable.

What am I talking about? – Green Energy!

In recent weeks we have seen the introduction of the new Energy Bill 2011. This outlines our strategy to meet the carbon reduction targets by 2050 that we have so dearly promised Brussels. You will notice by the media frenzy surrounding issues such as the Green Deal that the need to cut carbon emissions is now firmly on the Governments radar.

The need to cut carbon emissions or face heavy fines from Europe is forcing us as a nation to invest in green technology. There are plenty of carrots being dangled out there such as feed-in tariffs to entice consumers to purchase renewable energy systems such as solar power. But the fact is as the deadlines draw ever closer, more drastic action will have to be taken to ensure that these targets are met.

An example of such radical action could well include countrywide production of  renewable power plants such as Gemasolar situated in Andalusia, Spain.

Solar Power plant

How does a view of England's rolling hills look now?

This colossal 19.9MW plant generates enough electricity per year to power around 25,000 households in its local region. Developers have reportedly also figured out a way to provide continuous solar energy, even after sunset.  With an estimated CO2 reduction of more than 30,000 tonnes per year it’s not hard to imagine that with a few of these plants placed around the UK, emissions could be reduced towards target levels quite dramatically.

Granted we do not have the same levels of sun exposure compared to that of Spain, but when you consider that Photovoltaic panels work using daylight, the possibility of a system like this running in the UK could still be effective. This is backed up further still by the fact that for economic viability purposes and regional topography, solar energy is the most effective way of generating renewable energy.

So the question is what side of the fence do you sit on – green energy or greenbelt?


How Landlords Can Avoid Gumtree’s Advertising Fees

No one is sure what happened or why, but earlier this year it was announced that Gumtree, the classified website owned by eBay was going to be charging for their once free service. Gumtree was a place that landlords could post free adverts for vacant rental properties and find tenants quickly and easily. It was a very effective site – and free!


The way Gumtree used to work was that landlords could post as many adverts for free. So if a landlord had several properties, he/she could post as many as necessary without it costing a fortune. They would list their properties from newest to oldest. If a landlord wanted his listing to be visible at the top of search results, he’d have to “bump” his listing frequently in order to be put back at the top.


“Bumping” used to be a simple case of logging in and resubmitting your advert. This would automatically push your ad to the top because it would tell Gumtree that the property was still available. The ‘bump’ feature was absolutely necessary, especially in high volume areas such as London, where there were hundreds of vacant properties added daily. It wouldn’t take long before your advert would sink to the bottom and within a couple of hours be completely out of sight. Without being able to ‘bump’ the advert it would become completely useless.


The old pricing structure was wonderful, which is why Gumtree received so much praise from many landlords through the blogs.


But as is the case with many free listing sites, the word ‘free’ only remains for so long before the powers that be deem it necessary to charge the very people that make the site ‘valuable’ to use their service, you!


The result…Gumtree now charges £9.95 per ad (you get your first 2 ads free) and for unlimited ads they charge a fee of £42 per month. In addition Gumtree also has used this opportunity to revoke the free ‘bump’ feature! This is now chargeable at £2 per day outside of London and £7.14 per day in London, which would amount to £49.98 per week if you decided to do it every day; which you will probably need to do if you want your advert to be read at all!


Now having said all of this, one might start to wonder ‘how does Gumtree monitor and figure out how to limit Landlords to 2 free adverts per year?’ Since landlords didn’t have to register in order to post an advert it didn’t seem technically possible to restrict the free usage so a little research was in order. From the research carried out it would seem that the way Gumtree keeps track of usage is through email addresses.


Anyone with multiple email addresses (and if you don’t they’re certainly easy to obtain) could get many adverts posted for free. It’s also possible to use this system to avoid the costs of ‘bumping’, since all you would need to do is delete the ad, and re-enter under a new email – for FREE.


So now we have shared that golden nugget of information with you, our loyal readers, before you run off and begin posting free property adverts on Gumtree once more, we would like to ask you to consider this…


Aside from its mass traffic generation ability, historically, Gumtree’s unique selling point to landlords was to provide a service by which they could market their properties to a huge audience at no cost. A fantastic, no-brainer service if it’s free, but now it isn’t one should question what they are actually getting for their money.


Ok, we have shown you a way to make the service essentially free for you to use again, but is Gumtree really providing a good service for the average Landlord?


There are several reasons to consider but one that stands out like a sore thumb is Gumtree’s primitive search feature. It is hard to search for properties of interest at the best of times on the site, but with all the extra work involved in keeping the service free, is it really worth it?


There are other options that will be cheaper and easier with less time consumption that would be well worth looking into. User-friendly portal Letting Links is free to use and is growing in popularity everyday. With the sites unique ability to match tenants with properties and vice versa based on their requirements, could there be a simpler, more effective way to rent your property out?


If you rely on finding quality tenants online then Letting Links is just the ticket you’re looking for! Check us out to find out how we can save you money and get you in touch with the right tenants.




December 2011
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