Agents pool their resources for commercial gain

They say that knowledge is power. This is particularly true in business, and the property market is no exception.

Now that interest rates have dropped to their lowest levels since the 1960s, the indications are that life is returning to the market.

Some in the property world believe that the commercial sector has faced a loss of investor confidence, which has led to underfunding and a shortage of buildings that suit the needs of modern companies. Agents' margins have been squeezed by competition, teleworking, and now undersupply. Those with the best information are often those who strike the most profitable deals.

Accordingly, a company has been established with the express purpose of supplying such information. The Pride register, or Property Information Data Exchange, has been formed by a number of London's main property agents. Its objective is to improve the availability and quality of property information to its subscribers.

Pride was established in 1991 by a number of commercial agents who decided to pool their property databases, in a drive for greater efficiency. There are now 20 subscribing agents, including, Knight Frank, Hiller Parker, Richard Ellis and Chesterton. Because the register concentrates on large commercial properties, it does not store information on shops or residential property. It is also only available to agents.

Richard Pawlyn, Pride's managing director, points out: "Pride is not an open information provider, it does not offer information across the Internet and will not allow end users to access the property database, which would result in the agents' role being cut out."

The company contacts 3,000 agents monthly to update its record of properties that are currently available. Information is also gleaned from property brochures, advertisements in the press and client circulars as well as other sources. A wide range of units are registered, including industrial units and office accommodation. Information is stored for all UK locations but not the lucrative markets of the West End and City of London, where it is easier for the agents to keep their own records.

The information is currently compiled for the subscribers by Pride's seven staff at the company's London offices. New entries on the register are down- loaded overnight via a modem link to the subscribers' computer networks.

Pride's staff also provide advice on technical problems that may arise when operating the system. And the company undertakes to do whatever it can to ensure that critical searches and reports are delivered even if the client's computer system fails.

Subscribers are offered a three-tier service, depending on the subscribers' needs. Agents who cover the entire country can have access to a database that also covers the entire country. Regional players are offered a service with information restricted to their area and market requirements. A third tier consists of a "fax back" service that is aimed at occasional users, consultants and niche players who need specific property information for a particular transaction.

Despite rising house prices, Pride has no plans to extend its service to include residential property. Mr Pawlyn says: "We tend to find that residential agents do not wish to share information to the same extent as they are product - not client - led."

The company has also decided not to share details of retail or investment property. Pride's experience has been that this sector is controlled by a limited number of agents. Mr Pawlyn explains: "The market is not transparent enough for us. There are so few agents dealing, the property details very rarely get to third parties."

However, Pride intends to develop its research facilities to provide brokers, banks and analysts with a more detailed assessment of market property trends.

Mr Pawlyn explains: "It is a field where most distrust a single agent's views and complain of the diversity of views when two agents are involved. The reason for the diversity is usually because the basic statistics on which the analysis is based are differently compiled."

Some of those who have signed up say the service provided them with the information they needed at a fraction of the cost of resourcing and inputting it themselves.

"It enabled us to focus resources on the interpretation and analysis of data which, after all, is what clients seek from us, rather than mere data assembly," said one.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Graduate / Trainee Recruitment Consultant - IT

£25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: Orgtel are seeking Graduate Trainee Re...

HR Business Partner - Banking Finance - Brentwood - £45K

£45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: ** HR Business Partner - Senior H...

PA / Team Secretary - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz