Vicky

now browsing by category

 

Get to know RightmoveAddict

Getting to know @RightmoveAddict

Did you know that @Rightmoveaddicts’ alter ego is actually Andrea Morgan who founded Citrus Content?  Like most super hero’s Andrea has her day job but she isn’t a journalist for the Daily Planet or a photographer for a local newspaper Andrea founded her own company and writes content for property and interior companies all over the UK.  Unlike Superman we share Andrea’s superhero talents through our work but there are still some fun facts about @RightmoveAddict.

Would you rather…

Enjoy a houseboat or speedboat?  Has to be a houseboat as I suffer from motion sickness.  I absolutely love water and the idea of being on any boat really appeals, but sadly my heart and my body don’t think alike.

Go to a play or musical?  Now that is tricky as I used to work in theatre, but I guess I would say musical.  I performed in an amateur dramatics group as a child and so grew up in musicals.  In my adult life musicals played a huge part in the theatres’ I managed, especially Wicked.  When I worked in London, this was the last show that I worked on and was privileged to have been there from the beginning.  The opening night of this production was something the like I have never seen.  Idina Menzel was playing Elphaba when Wicked opened and as she walked on stage, before she opened her mouth, there was a standing ovation for about 20 minutes.

Use Facebook or Twitter?  Ummm now my whole RightmoveAddict journey started on Twitter and the platform changed my life, so I would have to say Twitter.  Although recently I have been doing a lot of work in Facebook at the moment due to some very active groups I am a member of.

Go to a comedy club or dance club? Dance club I think, it would depend what type of dance club as I’m not into the whole ‘clubbing’ scene.  I guess I am a geek at heart!

Who would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?  Patrick Dempsey, and Kevin Bacon doing the voice over, he has such a distinctive voice like Morgan Freeman.  I am sure I was supposed to say some deep thinking, but if you’re stranded you want to have some fun in the sun! (Whoops, sorry hubby!)

If money was no object, what would you do all day?  I would still work as I love what I do.  But I would guess it would give me the freedom to also travel more, indulge in a spa day more often of course go house hunting.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?   There are many places I would like to see, at the moment I think Australia.  It is not somewhere I fancied before, but over the last couple of years I have made some great connections with people over there and I would love to meet them and also explore their contrasting landscape.

What is your favorite memory?  My Sammy (my five year old son) every day we have many special moments.  He is a mummy’s boy and I love the time we spend together, it’s precious, weird and very crazy.

What does your perfect day look like?  In my dream world – Morning cuddles with Sammy, a few hours working on my business, being pampered at a spa, dinner with my hubby, reading Sammy a bedtime story.

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?  I am a costume drama queen; there is nothing I like more than reading Jane Austen or watching Downtown Abbey.  But I do think it would be the Regency Period, I love the poetic language, but of course I would be a woman of means.

What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?  I really wasn’t sure what would come up and I was surprised.  Alison Krauss – Forget about it

What is one of your favorite quotes? Things happen for a reason

If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?  History fascinates me. I would love to do a ‘Who do you think you are?’ and go and meet my ancestors as far as I could go.

Have you ever had a nickname? What is it?  If you ask my sister it is Half Pint.

And finally if you had a super power what would it be?  Now that I’m over my fear of heights following our zip-wire off the Newport Transporter Bridge for our charity Ieuan The Lion Memorial Fund, I would like to be able to fly!

wonder-woman-533663_640

So it seems that even superheroes have a normal life too.  Get to know @RightmoveAddict aka Andrea and her team at Citrus Content and let them show you their super powers.

Job Satisfaction – What is it? And do you have it?

18

This week I returned back to work from my holiday in Kos and was preparing myself for those well-known holiday blues to set in on Sunday evening but something amazing happened, this time they didn’t appear!

This got me thinking, where were they?  In my previous jobs (and pre-baby) I used to go on holiday two to three times a year and without fail I would suffer from quite severe holiday blues on my return but not this time, why?  And the simple answer is that I have job satisfaction now, do you?  A while ago I sat down with my Grandad who we call Grumpy George, he asked his usual questions of how am I and how is work and my usual response was, “It’s fine, who really actually enjoys their job anyway?” His reply always puzzled me until now.

Grumpy George – “I loved my job, I always hated the weekends and couldn’t wait to go back in on a Monday”

I never understood how he could feel like this about working, don’t get me wrong I still enjoy my weekends but I’m starting to see what he meant.  Now when I visit and he asks about work I actually bore him with details and stories about my week and I have to say it gives me a nice feeling to be proud and happy to talk about work.

15

When you look at the facts it’s actually quite scary, some of you will spend more time in work than you do at home, which means you also spend more time with your colleagues than you do with your family and friends. So why don’t you make it essential that you enjoy your time at work?

16

 

With my 18 month old son in nursery 5 days a week I did have some feelings of guilt that his nursery teachers were seeing him as much as me and I’m sure some of you may have felt the same.  Obviously we tell ourselves that nursery is good for them to learn, play and grow without us and although I believe this to be true it also helps that I am enjoying myself at work when he is enjoying his time too.  Evenings and weekends are precious but I am finding myself feeling happier throughout the day which then continues when I get home and any Sunday Sadness has been erased.

Here are some ways that Citrus helps our team to enjoy our work.

  • Monday Morning Meeting - Every week we have a conference call where as a team we discuss our weekend and our week ahead. I personally find this friendly, supportive and inspiring. As each meeting closes I find myself excited to get started.

 

  • Freedom – With options of flexible working hours and working from home each team member benefits from this in their own way.

 

  • Incentives – Citrus has joined Perkbox, an employee perks scheme for small businesses that gives us offers and discounts on anything from cinema tickets to holidays.

 

  • Birthday Bonus – We all have an extra holiday each year for our Birthday, a nice touch that we all appreciate.

 

  • Personal Development – We are all encouraged to partake in courses/training that will help our current and future roles within Citrus. Suggestions are welcomed and we’re even looking into a course in the US for next year!

 

  • Relaxed Atmosphere – Together, with the support from Andrea, we have created a casual relaxed atmosphere in our office. No topic is out of bounds as we literally talk about everything, being open and honest has allowed us to have a great working relationship.

 

Whether you are an employee or employer you can gain job satisfaction and encourage your colleagues to do the same. Remember, you spend too much time working to not enjoy it!

21

Breaking the Mould – Writing for Estate Agents

6 edited

As we rapidly head towards our second anniversary, I grabbed Andrea for a quick chat to find out more about writing for estate agents.  Where did her passion come from, how did Citrus Content start and what challenges and key trends do we face.

How did Citrus start? 

I have always had a passion for property and interiors, but writing?  My career took me down a different path until 4 years ago when I joined twitter.  Here I shared my love for property and started to attract a following, this led to my first blog post.  I was asked to write a guest post on my passion, incredibly it was for Rightmove.  Over the next couple of years I was asked to write more and more, and realised two things; firstly, I loved it and more importantly, the industry wanted more.  So two years ago, I grabbed my pen and paper and started to write as a profession.

Why?

Let’s face it, estate agents historically don’t have the best reputation and are renowned for being stuck in their traditional roots.  I admit some agents are grasping onto their past with both hands but many are embracing the future and breaking the mould to emerge as a new breed of estate agents.

What are the challenges?

Estate agents are not marketers, designers or creative professionals but the business community and our technological society is asking them to be.  They often find it hard to translate their knowledge and personality into content that emotes the reader.  But being able to be the solution to this challenge is so rewarding.

Are there any key trends?

Like similar industries, traditionally estate agency content has been cold and corporate.  This has changed, whether it’s down to social media or customer needs, the industry leaders seek warm and engaging content that speaks directly to their clients.  We work hard to establish a tone of voice for each agency to highlight their individuality.  I have created, what we fondly call, our Voice Document.  This document is the foundation of everything we write and also means we can write numerous articles on the same subject and you can clearly identify which agent it was written for.  Storytelling for estate agents is now very client centric, we focus on using words such as ‘you’ and ‘your’ rather than ‘we’ and ‘our’.

Estate agents are also fusing this new trend with traditional values.  They want to be seen as not just based within the community but also part of it.  There is a growing demand for editorial content which features local businesses and events.  Blog posts, newsletters, and magazines featuring a community touch are a trend that again is growing.  No matter whether we feature a local store, artisan, or product, we have to find a way of relating it to the agent or buying, selling, renting or letting a property.

We are required to be all things not just writers.  Working with estate agents is fantastically creative; we are often required to be marketers, coming up with inventive ways to promote their business.  Some clients require even more, we have written press releases, organized events and so much more.

How have things changed?

Every day I see a change in the industry and a growing acceptance that engaging content is a necessity not a luxury item.  There is still a long way to go, as this acceptance is still very much a minority.  This is not to criticize those that have not adapted the new trends, as a culture change in an industry never happens over night.

Looking to the future

There is definitely a change in customer perception, and an estate agent is no longer the most hated profession.  I often say ‘There is nothing more powerful than words.’  Words are breaking down stereotypes, strengthening the client and agent relationship, aiding an agency to financial success and most importantly, changing how the industry operates.

I’m proud to be part of this incredible change and look forward to breaking many more moulds in the future.  Writing for estate agents is anything but dull, it is often said when buying a house you think with your heart and your head.  Passion, industry knowledge, and adaptability are key to our success at Citrus Content.

My Biggest Frustration

3 edited

Contact Details

If you have a business website or an online store, I expect that you want clients, but how easy are you making it for them to contact you?  One of my biggest frustrations is contact details, let me explain.  We come in contact with a multitude of businesses every week of all sizes I bet you do too!  But I frequently find that trying to contact these businesses is often not that easy.  You see many of the websites I go on, I play the game of – hunt the contact details.  Although this may sound entertaining, I can assure you that it looses its fun after about 5 minutes.  Now I am wanting to contact them on a professional level, but what if I was a client?  Would I stay and patiently search for your details?  Or go and find another company with a similar service or product?

Visitors to your website have made the first move but it’s down to you to invite them to connect with you, after all every visitor is a potential client.  The importance of contact details is often overlooked but did you know that a “contact us” page is the second most important page on your company’s website?  Here’s why.

  • Listing your full contact details including your postal address and email address shows each visitor that you are trustworthy and adds legitimacy to your business.
  • Visitors are unlikely to search for these details, if you choose to leave out this link on your main page they may choose to leave your site altogether.
  • Including different options of how a visitor can contact you gives them no excuse not to get in touch via a platform that they are happy with i.e. Telephone, Email, Postal or even Web Chat.
  • With an increase in smartphones, users are able to save your number from your website to store in their contacts, making it easier to reach you when needed.

Being transparent and open to your customers seems such simple advice yet being accessible to each visitor can really make a difference to your business.

4 edited

Social Media Links

Following from my previous rant I can’t ignore the annoyance of hidden social media links on many websites.  Believe it or not I have even come across websites that have no links at all, does this mean they have no social media channels?  Who knows!  If you have experimented with social media for your brand you’ll know the hard work that it takes to develop a successful social media presence, so why hide these links and buttons where no one can see them?  However well-known your brand is it’s important to showcase your social media profiles on your website.  We recommend to our clients that they should display their social media profiles and a link to their blog on the front page of their site.  After-all social media accounts are free so why wouldn’t you use them to your full advantage for your business?

When you are searching for the social media links where do you look first?  If your answer is the top right of the page then you are part of the majority of people who took part in the latest eye-tracking studies.  Heat maps show that most visitors’ eyes move to the upper right corner more than other part of a webpage, so use this space to show your social presence and even your phone number.  Here are a few other pointers to consider when it comes to promoting your social media pages.

  • Social media sharing buttons will lead your visitors to promote content from your website onto their personal profiles.
  • Always place your links somewhere towards the top half of the page, or “above the fold”, meaning the part of the page a visitor can see without having to scroll down.
  • Unnecessarily large buttons will clutter up your webpages whilst taking away from the main content.

Through buttons, links and content invite your visitors to share, follow and like your business and be sure to engage with as many people as possible to further promote your brand.

Take a few minutes today to look at your website through the eyes of a customer.  Have you made their experience stress free?  These small additions and adjustments might just be what your website has been missing.

5 edited

6 Month Check-Up

6 month check up 2

As we get older we all need a 6 month check-up and I feel the same about the rest of my life.  Sometimes even just 2 months when things are that hectic.  Using the word “older” makes me sound old but I am most definitely not, no matter what my Fiancé says!  Still holding on to being in my twenties for another few weeks I do feel that life changes quicker as you hit your twenties, then I imagine slows down again later in life, but we’ll see!

I’m not meaning to sound philosophical I just feel that since working, having a family and running a home I need to check on my life a lot more than I used to.  For me, being happy is paramount to everything else, I find without that as my first check point there’s no point in looking any further.  A quick review now again is healthy, here is mine.

6 month check up 1

So let’s go through my check up, over the past 6 months I have jumped back into working, this time as a Mum.  Work also has a different meaning to me now, more of a purpose and more important than ever.  I’m not religious or particularly superstitious but me finding Citrus or Citrus finding me, seems to be more than just coincidence.  Good timing?  Luck?  Fate?  Either way it’s happened and I’m squeezing every drop out of it!

In the short time that I have been working at Citrus Content I have already moved from being Andrea’s Personal Assistant to also writing articles and blogs.  Somehow Andrea has managed to discover a passion and talent inside of me which, with her help, I’m slowly feeling confident enough to release.  At a recent brand meeting I described my thoughts about Citrus and my role, the outcome of this words workshop brought up feelings that I had never really thought about in much depth.  How many of us are proud of their job and love telling people what they do?  I am!  I think that says so much about Andrea, Citrus and our working relationship.  Along with my job description my label at home has also changed from being just “Vic” I’m now “Mum”, a title which holds a whole world of pressure and responsibility.  Luckily these feelings are completely eclipsed by the fun and love that also comes with being a Mum.

The past 6 months has also included a few anniversaries, our first Christmas as a family in our new home, Nico’s first birthday and our 2 year engagement anniversary.  All of which made me almost wish away the year to experience the celebrations all over again!  On a personal note, I have also been able to celebrate something that you all probably take for granted, I have just passed my driving test.  After putting it off for almost 13 years my partner took charge and booked me my first 10 lessons, since then I haven’t looked back and somehow (god knows how) I managed to pass both my theory and practical test first time!  This is a huge significant achievement for me as I let my fear of not being in control take over for so long.  Now I have been given the gift of time, being able to drive has literally meant that I now have an extra couple of hours added to my day!

What are the results of my check up?  After another crazy but blessed 6 months the defining moments in my life are simply stepping stones preparing me for what’s next to come, more work, more fun and more surprises.  As we all know we can’t predict the future and I wouldn’t want to, I could never have imagined what was going to happen but it just makes me even more excited about the next 6 months.

How did your check up go?