Useful Property Websites

In this video Heidi Roberts of Amber Hart describes the websites that she finds useful. I have added the links described in the video so that you can go to them quickly & easily – I have personalised the list a little to reflect my own experience of Heidi’s websites.

Property Search Websites


Useful Utility Websites note, joining with this link gives you an extra free 0.5G of space.

I’m a member of the Guild of Residential Landlords and I wouldn’t be without their website & it’s legal advice.
Guild normal logo

Basic HTML for Property Websites, Forums, and Blogs

Using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) in your posts on Ning and other HTML based Forums and Bulletin Boards is easier than it sounds. It is surprising how important knowing basic HTML is to a quality online existence – of course many people don’t care about things like grammar, spelling, let alone the things that HTML gives you like layout, well presented quotebacks, embedding videos & pictures, anchor text links …… nevertheless I think it worthwhile in order to present a professional image.

Learning basic HTML through posting on an HTML BB like Ning is a painless way of picking up how HTML works, which will then allow you to do more sophisticated things like adding HTML widgets to your Blog. You don’t need to become an HTML expert – or even that competent – the 80:20 works in your favour – understand 20% of HTML and you will be able to undertake 80% of what you need to do.

In your normal posting view you are shown what you post will look like, but actually it is produced using HTML – as you type you produce HTML which is hidden from you. You can see the HTML that is being coded for you as you type by clicking on the HTML button.

Some simple tags to get you started:

Firstly understand a “Tag” – this controls the content within the “< >” TAG it’s best understood by trying out some of the examples, and also clicking on the HTML view of your posts before posting them to see what the HTML looks like ………..

Basic HTML
Command Altered text (examples)
<B>Text here</B> Bold text
<I>Text here</I> Italic text
<BIG>Text here</BIG> Bigger text
<STRIKE>Text here</STRIKE> Line through text
<U>Text here</U> Underlined text
<KBD>Text here</KBD> Keyboard text
<SUB>Text here</SUB> Lower text
<SUP>Text here</SUP> Higher text
<STRONG>Text here</STRONG> Strong text
<SMALL>Text here</SMALL> Smaller text
<P> Starts a new paragraph
<BR> Starts a new line
<P ALIGN=left>Text here</ALIGN>

Left aligned text

<P ALIGN=center>Text here</ALIGN>

Central aligned text

<P ALIGN=right>Text here</ALIGN>

Right aligned text

Changing font type

Command Changes font to:(examples)
<FONT FACE=COURIER>Text here</FONT> Courier font
<FONT FACE=ALGERIAN>Text here</FONT> Algerian font
<FONT FACE=GARAMOND>Text here</FONT> Garamond font
<FONT FACE=ARIAL>Text here</FONT> Arial font
<FONT FACE=MODERN>Text here</FONT> Modern font

Changing text colour

Command Changes text color to:
<FONT COLOR=#DC143C>Text here</FONT> Red text
<FONT COLOR=#3300FF>Text here</FONT> Blue text
<FONT COLOR=#FF6600>Text here</FONT> Orange text
<FONT COLOR=#FFFF33>Text here</FONT> Yellow text
<FONT COLOR=#66FF33>Text here</FONT> Green text

Note that on the WWW colours are identifies by a code of the form #ffffff – a hash and 6 digits. Every combination of the 6 digits produces a different colour (the digits have to be 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,a,b,c,d,e,f – for a geeky reason that we won’t go into!).

Joining HTML together

You may have noticed that the font, and colour are changed using the <FONT> tag.

If you wanted to change the text to a courier font, and red you would put the following
<FONT FACE=courier COLOR=red>Edited text</FONT> which gives Edited text

Example 2: To make the text bold, underlined and green all at the same time use

<B><U><FONT COLOR=green>Text here</FONT></U></B> gives you Text here

It is important that you close the tags in the same order as they were opened. In the example above <B> was opened first so must be closed last <FONT> was the last opened and first to be closed.


  • Only tags with the same beginning can be merged together
  • All < > tags must be closed with the appropriate </ > tag
  • The first tags opened are the last ones to be closed


Adding a link to a different page

Links are what allow people to move to other pages on the Internet. They can usually be identified because the mouse pointer changes when over a link and the text is usually underlined and a different colour. To create a link use the following:

<A HREF=>Pimlico Flats</a> will look like Pimlico Flats

To display a picture

Use the following:

<IMG SRC=”> gives Hello

Please note: There is no closing tag for a picture

<IMG> tag properties

You can set the following properties for the <IMG> tag. It is recommended that you set the width and height for each picture as it makes the picture load faster.

WIDTH The width of the picture
HEIGHT The height of the picture
ALT Text to be displayed if the image can not be displayed – note a description should be included to help the visually impaired

Both width and height are specified in either pixels or as a percentage of the screen size.

<img src=”” width=150 height=100 alt=”Snowy mountain”>

Snowy mountain
Linking a picture

You just need to put the two codes together

<A HREF=address of page you want to go too><IMG SRC=address of picture></a>

Create a numbered list

Command Looks like:

<LI>List item number 1</LI>

<LI>List item number 2</LI>

<LI>List item number 3</LI>


  1. List item number 1
  2. List item number 2
  3. List item number 3

Create a bulleted list

Command Looks like:

<LI>List item number 1</LI>

<LI>List item number 2</LI>

<LI>List item number 3</LI>


  • List item number 1
  • List item number 2
  • List item number 3

Adding a picture is really simple. All you need is an image host (somewhere to store your pics) the following instructions are for how to use photobucket.

Click on a picture to make it larger

    1. Sign up for a free Photobucket account
    2. Activate the account
    3. Right click on a pic you want to use and select “Save Picture As…”


Save button - click to enlarge

    1. Choose an appropriate place on your computer (recommended place:my documents) and select save
    2. Sign in to your photobucket account
    3. Click the browse button


Browse button - click to enlarge

    1. Find where you saved your pic and click on it, then select the open button
    2. Select submit (your picture will now be added to your bucket)


Submit button - click to enlarge

Under the picture there are 3 lines…

  • Right click the tag line <img src=”….”> and select copy


Tag line - click to enlarge

  • Go to where you want the picture to appear (the boards)
  • Right click and select paste in the message box
  • Post the message

The picture should now have appeared

You can also rotate and change the size of the picture once it is in photobucket by clicking on the edit button above the picture you want to change.

Creating a signature picture

To put your name on a picture you need some drawing software

Most people use a specialised program called Paint Shop Pro (PSP) to add their name to pictures.

You can download a free trial here.

Now just get creative

How Pimlico Residents use the Internet

Pimlico IT
Westminster Council did a survey of our technological habits as part of a plan to justify an expansion of its digital services. There are some interesting insights into the average Pimlico Resident’s life in the survey, but my own concern is that WCC seem to have little concern for customer service, success for WCC involves passing it’s problems on to it’s residents. A future blog will analyse WCC’s own use of IT, meanwhile here are the results of their analysis of OUR use ………….

  • Pimlico residents exceed national averages in all areas of digital and wireless communication:
  • Nationally  30 per cent own smartphones but 64 per cent of Pimlico residents own one.
  • 6% of the UK own a tablet against 19 per cent of residents in Pimlico.
  •  86 per cent of residents are connected to the internet at home, rising to 94 per cent in the 16-44 year age bracket.
  • Online interactions between residents and the local authority cost the Council only 17p per interaction, whereas a face-to-face interaction between the Council and a resident can cost £14.
  • Online interactions cost the taxpayer only 1% of the cost of a face-to-face transaction.
  • WCC have  a deal with O2 to provide free WiFi in time for the Olympics, and of course Pimlico Flats provides wired and wireless internet access to tenants free of charge.

Clearly Pimlico Residents make a much greater use of the Internet, Mobile Computing, and Social Media, than the Nation as a whole.

A statement by the Council says “The Council can harness this by expanding the online options for contacting the Council, improving its website, and stepping up its digital publications to save real money for the taxpayer. WCC  has already shown its commitment to becoming the UK’s most digitalized city, and we will continue to expand our online options to provide excellent value for money to our residents.”

Fine words, but what is good for the council isn’t necessarily good for the residents …….

Su Wuz Ere.

Sue Bailey

Sue Bailey

Sue Bailey.

Look around you, and you see her footprint – she built this blog.  Admittedly doing a theme for a blog wasn’t stretching her talents, doing something that others don’t really understand wasn’t terribly difficult for a girl of her ability and achievements.

Girl – isn’t a derogatory term, it implies youth, vitality, enthusiasm, enjoyment, speed, fun, laughter. If you look around at the many eulogies being paid to Sue you’ll see that she was a bit of a girl, and she will laugh at that double entendre.

She did a first rate job for me, and I reflected this in the recommendation which I did for her on LinkedIn she really was an absolute pleasure to work with, and I found it difficult to write something that complimented her enough.

Sue is best known through the leading Website about eBay – Tamebay which she founded and was the technical whizz behind. You can see the depth of feeling about her on Tamebay – the professional sellers on eBay are a massive online community with annual conferences, “University Courses”, consultants, support firms, and Sue was a big cheese in these circles – respected, influential, and loved. Three characteristics that rarely settle in one person.

Property people will know her as the Marketing Manager for Upad, a job that she adored, in a company that she loved. She was a clever girl, but also had the rare ability to roll up her sleeves, get things done, and had a complete mastery of technology. She wasn’t at Upad long, less than 2 years, but as Upad say themselves they wouldn’t be where they are today without Sue’s huge contribution – they miss her intelligence, humour and killer heels! The true test of any boss, is what their staff say about them when they aren’t listening ……

To describe Sue as passionate would be doing her an injustice. She put her heart and soul into everything she did and would make it her personal mission to see it done.

She proclaimed herself to be my London mother and took me, as a scruffy shire-ling fresh on the plains of the big smoke, and turned me into a competent marketing professional, capable of stringing a paragraph together without her violating it with red pen. Her wicked sense of humour and insistence that gin was the lifeblood of the world propelled me through each day.

She was a fantastic boss and friend and will be sorely missed. I can only hope to make her proud in what I do from this point on.

It’s a shame that Sue wasn’t in the Property World longer as I believe that in 5 years she would be as famous and loved in Property as she is in eBay circles. I would like to end by quoting some words about Sue from the finest guest blogger that I have had the pleasure to host:


It’s hard to pick “most like” because there are days when I feel like my to-do list looks like this. I work with an utterly amazing team of people who are not only brilliant at their jobs, but are inspiring on a personal level too. Plus I get paid to play on the internet.


After grapefruit and champagne for breakfast, me and my camera go out to play round some old bits of London. I spend the afternoon in the park with my two-year-old nephew (his mum sends us outside because we both have trouble remembering to use our indoor voices). In the evening, I meet friends for a few beers by the river.

Written by Sue @ Upad 

The Plants Tweet in a Modern London Flat

hello canadian botanicalls!Pimlico Flats do our best to keep our property abreast of modern life, we have broadband (wired & wireless), satellite television, CCTV for security, solar panels for heating, lighting on movement detectors ….. but I think we are going to stop short of providing plants that tweet!

The technology that enables humans and houseplants to communicate exists and comes from a company called Botanicalls, which sells kits which let plants reach out for human help! They offer a connection to your leafy pal via online Twitter status updates to your mobile phone. When your plant needs water, it will post to let you know, and send its thanks when you show it love.

It’s not just a nifty gadget. Botanicalls, some say, is indicative of the next wave in commercial technology, devices that allow us to interact with our homes, our pets, our possessions. Watch this presentation about a future world with plants as intellectual equals (you may want to skip past the promotional introduction and start at 1:33)

Forums – Property Tribes Overtake Pimlico Flats (and everyone else!)

A year ago this website (Pimlico Flats) ranked higher than Property Tribes according to Web properties website Alexa. In the space of 12 months Property Tribes has grown to become the premier UK Property Forum on the internet.

Small Beginnings

After taking a stand at the Property Investor show in March 2010 the “Property Tribes” Property Discussion Website has had a stunningly successful year in which it has experienced a meteoric rise in traffic. Once a fellow wannabe with a position of around the 20,000th most visited website, Property Tribes now sits at the top of the pile as the most visited property website in the UK, even overtaking venerable grand-daddy and highly respected authority Landlordzone.

Ethics and Hate

Property Tribes has become a symbol of hate within parts of the Property Community due to it’s stance of criticising businesses selling No Money Down leads, selling training, and taking large up-front fees for services. The Forum’s own mission statement says that it

Stands for leadership, authenticity, consistency, transparency, respect, ethical practices, and contributing value to others.

Vanessa Warwick

Vanessa Warwick

This has led to campaigns alleging hypocrisy, and a number of personal attacks on the Forum’s figurehead Vanessa Warwick (Vanessa & her husband Nick Tadd are Landlords who own & run the Forum). Controversy, drama, and personal vindictiveness are never bad for traffic, but when in recent months there was the high profile bankruptcy of the Rapid Property Group, a business using the business models criticised on Property Tribes, a flood of new members boosted Property Tribes traffic as investors sought to try to recover their lost money, and co-ordinate support groups.

Property Forum Statistics

Here is the raw data behind the article above. Links through to the traffic reports from Alexa, and a summary of the last 6 months pageviews:

Forum Pageviews Comparison

Forum Pageviews Comparison

Property Tribes

Alexa Traffic Rank 68,578

Traffic Rank in GB 1,912

Landlord Zone

Alexa Traffic Rank 54,040

Traffic Rank in GB 2,053


Alexa Traffic Rank 124,106

Traffic Rank in GB 3,650

Singing Pig

Alexa Traffic Rank 156,951

Traffic Rank in GB 6,008

Pimlico Flats

Alexa Traffic Rank 568,843

Traffic Rank in GB 17,537

If you would like to discuss Property Forums please join & post on the Pimlico Flats Forum for Landlords and Tenants.

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July 2015


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