We’re told that initial impressions last. Apparently our subconscious makes a decision to do with trust and attraction; whether a person/item is a worthwhile time investment; whether someone is likely to fit into an existing business situation/culture or even whether a sofa looks comfortable, in a matter of seconds.

When Susan Boyle strode awkwardly onto the X Factor stage – as an often repeated example – Simon Cowell’s face went from dismissal imminent to total incredulousness and adulation because her voice contradicted and then shattered the initial assumptions he’d made about her.

In all aspects of our lives, we are all likely to make assumptions about where the most value is to be gained. Could be at a supermarket; on Black Friday deals; on a two for one pizza, or growing a business. Typically local high street retailers from the larger chains including hairdressers, pizza delivery and estate agents all do blanket glossy mailshots in letter or card form – the latter particularly – through a local area’s letter boxes, on the assumption that if enough are sent out, some are sure to land favourably.

Whilst statistically that might be true, have they given any thought to the negative connotations now attached to their brand having been directed unread/unopened straight into the recycling bin?

Assuming that many potential clients will respond positively to this might simply be an indicator of misunderstanding their needs.

Sara Morton of Sara Morton Real Estates thinks this is one reason why there is so much mistrust and negativity attached to people’s perception of estate agents generally.

Additionally the notion of selling by numbers – multiple viewings to multiple clients –doesn’t help. By matching the correct client to the correct property – at the correct price for vendor and client – and by exploring and understanding the needs of both, she has based her business on a bespoke service rather than a one size fits all approach, and her business continues to grow.

Any bespoke service is defined by what a client actually needs and wants rather than an assumption of what most clients will need and want, in response to volume.

For BDB this translates quite literally. We have sometimes been labelled as “house clearance” by those who have made an assumption about the bespoke service provision we fulfil rather than understand exactly what we do. As an example, a house clearance service will typically remove any and every item for purposes of expediency on the assumption that it is of little value unless glaringly obvious.

In a client’s house two years ago amidst a huge pile of old papers, newspapers and random paperwork, not only did we recover his birth certificate but found a small pamphlet of poetry by an unknown (to me) Irish poet. On closer inspection it was a first edition print run.

Our book expert sent it to auction where is raised £3,500.00 for our client. We found dust covered boxes of board games going back to another client’s childhood in the 1950s to which he attached no value at all. Those in the best condition went to a collectors sale and earnt him £120.00.

It’s clearly not all “Cash In The Attic” by a long way, but there have been many other discoveries large and small, grand and not so grand found buried in piles of detritus that would never have been uncovered, were it not for our lack of assumption.

So - “Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover” – literally!

The orange. There’s no word that rhymes with it. It’s one of the few nouns that describes itself as a colour. (Violet and Lilac come to mind – any others? Please let me know …). Unless you have a citrus allergy, can we safely assume that practically everybody loves an orange – freshly squeezed juice (and bucks fizz); marmalade; sporting chunks of it at half time and so on? It is rich in vitamin C, hugely fibrous and as such serves as a major contributor for tissue repair, wound healing, bone growth and healthy skin. It helps fight infection and acts as an antioxidant protecting cellular damage. But that’s not all.

A Portuguese client who had surplus from his orange grove baked the skins in the oven to dispel cooking odours. He rubbed his hands with the pith and skin to get rid of the smell of fish, garlic and onions on them, and, in a bid to stop both his dog and cat scratching his furniture, he rubbed the surfaces with orange peel.

Who knew the hidden depths of the succulent Seville?

Thank you again for reading and most importantly, stay safe and well.

Best Wishes,


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