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The Movers and Storers Show - Part 2

Dec 15, 2014
Moving day mayhem debate and Paul Evans shares his experiences.

Moving day mayhem – surely something can be done?

Membership organisation Moving etc... put together an impressive line up of representatives from the legal profession, estate agents and the Property Ombudsman to discuss how the process of moving house could be improved. 

The debate, hosted by Matt Faizey, began with a question from Chris Leach of Leach Removals in Kent who asked why the period between exchange and completion, which used to be a minimum of 28 days, was now much shorter and in some case could even be on the same day. This was making life difficult for movers as they now had very little notice to plan their operations. 

Edward Goldsmith, Chairman of the Conveyancing Association, said that changes in customer expectations and the high speed with which money can now be transferred were the main reasons for the shorter transaction times. 

From the floor, Jane Finch from Moving etc... asked why lawyers allowed customers to tell them when they wanted to move and suggested they should be encouraged to allow more time for the process to take place.

Mr. Goldsmith explained that if it was possible to exchange within the time frame requested by the client and their lawyers it would be wrong to deliberately obstruct the procedure and could even result in a legal complaint. 

Mark Hayward, MD of the National Association of Estate Agents added his voice to the debate by broadly agreeing with Goldsmith and that competition for properties and the demands from clients to complete were the main reasons for the often short periods between exchange and completion.

The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer said that it was the responsibility of all the parties to be transparent in their negotiations and to be realistic and clear.  He suggested a code of practice that lawyers, estate agents, movers, surveyors and anyone else involved in the transaction could adhere to may be helpful.

Jonathan Smithers, Vice President of the Law Society said the Society had invested in new software that will allow conveyancers to view the position of everyone in a ‘chain’, and should keep everyone up to speed on the progress of the sale. The software called VAO is due to come on-stream in spring 2015.

Although the debate ended without reaching any firm conclusion there was a general consensus that there is a need for more transparency and dialogue between all parties involved, so that unrealistic deadlines are not imposed and transactions are completed in a timely professional manner.

Paul Evans: Lucky man!

Paul Evans was the star of the show at Movers & Storers.  Paul has been in the business for 40 years or more and shared some of his experiences for the benefit of the audience.  He said that he had been extremely lucky, but those who know him well also know that the luck was complemented by a huge helping of talent too.

Paul spoke of his days as a child working in his father’s greengrocers shop; starting his first business; and tales of driving trucks to Saudi Arabia.  For most people Paul is known for starting Trans Euro in the early 1970s, building it to remarkable success and selling it in 2000, then performing the same conjuring trick with Interdean five years later. 

After selling Interdean in 2011 Paul had a change of career buying a group of 55 nightclubs across the UK including brands such as Oceana, Liquid and Lava Ignite serving around 10 million visitors each year. But the lure of the bright lights wasn’t enough to drag Paul away from the moving industry.  As soon as his restrictive covenants and health allowed he was back, buying Momentous earlier this year.  The company has now recruited some of the best talent in the industry and has operations in Park Royal and central London as well as its original warehouse in Aylesbury.

Paul spoke of his love for the industry and the people within it and how his life in the moving industry had been full of highlights despite having to battle health problems that threatened his very survival more than once. Listening to Paul it was quite obvious that his life in the moving industry had been a joy for him.  Long may it continue.

Photos: Top: The 'moving day mayhem' panel answer questions from the floor, and Paul Evans - the star of the show.  All other images from the top: Flame Recruit, KES and Evolved Energy; Buzzmove; Alliance of Independent Movers.

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