Monday, 31 March 2014

Buy to Let Pension Boost on its Way!

Soon, a whole new wave of pensioners will be inspired to join the buy to let boom in April. This is when older landlords ‘Grandlords’ can use their maturing pension pots to help boost their longer term pension income into retirement. According to a recent Mori poll, some 200,000 plan to cash in all of their pension pot, despite some severe taxation if they do, as only the first 25% is tax free.

However, with paltry rates on savings deposit accounts and low annuity returns, yields from having one or more rental properties look appealing.

There has been some glib posturing by politicians saying some pensioners will blow their life savings too quickly. But those that have saved carefully for their retirement will invest wisely as they realise they may have 20 or 30 years retirement to fund.

Buying a property at auction is a real option for those looking to acquire a buy to let in a particular time frame and at a highly competitive price. If they’re not paying cash, then bridging finance can be arranged quickly to cover the initial purchase while longer term finance is arranged.

If they opt to hold on to some of their pension pot and get a mortgage for the property they will often need a large deposit (often 20 -25%) which may come from their pension. The newby Grandlords will have to finance landlord insurance, hold money back for times when the property is not let as well as a contingency fund for repairs.

After all that’s been said though, they will still have a bricks and mortar asset which they can then sell in their retirement to raise a cash lump sum, providing the property has gained in value, which based on current trends seems highly likely.

This linked to the rental boom, means that we are seeing a generation of people who may never own their own home – a generation of renters is growing. So for a good property in a good location, the rental outlook continues to be positive for the foreseeable future.                

This is a much welcomed ray of sunshine on an otherwise dull long term investment market and the rise in Grandlords is set to reach new highs from April. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Repurpose content for cross-media impact

Copywriters are starting to get to grips with the demands of the digital age. Readers are viewing content on a greater number of devices and in more remote locations (other than work or home). But there is still work to do to make your copy more effective across multiple platforms.
Now a 1,000 word article can be repurposed so that the original piece can be turned in to a blog, loads of tweets and a rather interesting newsletter!
But it’s not just important to consider how the content can be rewritten in different styles for a variety of media.  The real value in repurposing content is to consider how your audience will read and digest the information – what device will they be reading it on and what mind-set will they be in?

Make your content match the device
A recent report said that we now consume information on about seven different screens a day; from a smartphone to a TV, tablet to a laptop, e-reader to a smart watch! What’s interesting here is that the reader will approach these mediums with a pre-determined mind-set and a varied set of expectations.  The same content won’t work in the same way on multiple devices, not just in terms of the technical formatting or screen resolution and scale, but in terms of what the reader ‘expects’ to get out of the content on the device they’re using.

Where will your article be read?
Another consideration for the copywriter is to think about the environment the reader will be in when they consume the content. Will they be at home, at work or commuting? Will they be looking to use the information for themselves, their department or company? And are they looking for professional advice, fun learning or personal interest?
So although the access to key information has been made easier in recent years, the modern copywriter needs to think a lot harder about where and how their audience will be engaging with their work. But this opens up a host of new possibilities for a good core idea – it can be disseminated in various guises to fit the device, the place and the expectations of the reader when they are reading it, so it can reach more audiences than traditional media ever could.
Here’s a few tips on repurposing:

1. Have a good idea in the first place and write your initial piece in full, before you start to adapt it for various uses.
2. Think what device(s) the content will most likely be read on and tailor and edit the format accordingly.
3. Consider the mind-set of the reader and what they will expect when they read the piece on that particular device or site.
4. Change the tone of voice for the type of article, if it’s a blog version then you could adopt a more personal approach for your core idea, if it’s an educational approach then a more professional tone could applied to the piece.  
5. Where will the reader be when they read your content? Knowing this will help you format the article to increase impact.