Elements was founded with a determined spirit and a clear objective: help property pros market more amazing.
Every idea starts with a problem: poorly marketed property listings in the portals and highstreet windows across the UK.
Our solutions help market property better, faster and with more wow factor; creating excellent first impressions.
With our simple, lightning quick and low-cost services, we’re rapidly setting a new standard for property marketing.
The year is 2004. Arsenal are invincibles, the Arctic Monkeys are fresh on the radio waves, Facebook is still a student-only affair and ‘Selfie’ was still 9 years away from becoming incarnated in the English language.
Stumbling out of Oceana in the early hours of a cold, wet winter morning after an evening of WKD and wondering the eclectic collection of colourfully themed rooms of this former nightclub heavyweight, I begin the long walk back to my salvation – Lupton halls of residence in Headingley.
As the Chinese proverb goes; ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. Well, on my first step I accidentally/serendipitously kicked something that slid across the weather-beaten Woodhouse Lane pavement like an ice hockey puck.
Lifting my bowed head, I wander over to inspect the puck, which in fact, turns out to be a pouch. My intrigue peaks as I retrieve the pouch from the concrete. Looking around, I see no one coming to rescue the pouch from the drunk fresher about to walk off with it.
So that’s what I did. I walked off with it. You’d have done the same.
Inside the pouch was a small, silver, metallic object of rectangular form. An item that these days everyone carries around in their pocket. In this bygone era, these devices were a thing of rarity.
Inside my new pouch was a Canon IXUS digital camera.
I felt an immediate bond with my new camera, as a student of Product Design, I loved the way it felt, the neatness, the weight, the cool gunmetal finish. What I was yet to realise was that this particular model came complete with a broken screen.
A week or so later, I’m back in Nottingham for the Winter term break and eagerly en route to collect my camera from the camera repair shop.
Upon collection, I’m relieved to find that this thing works like a charm! It blew my mind and I loved wandering the countryside of my hometown snapping cows, flowers, ducks, churches, landscapes, snow, even litter. The thing came into its own on nights out with friends, where no one had anything like it and many wished I didn’t either.
My love affair with Photography had begun.
Death on the beach
This is the full story of how it all began and how we got to where we are today, as nostalgically recalled by our Founder, Alex – Hi, that’s me.
It’s April 2009 and I’m on the ferry back from Manly to Circular Quay in Sydney and I can’t work out why my trusty little IXUS doesn’t want to work. A series of random beeps and a nonfunctioning lens motor are the symptoms.
It dawns on me that my trusty sidekick may have captured its last shot. The cause of death; sand. The despair washes over me in an agonising wave.
My Aussie friend Renae had a friend. I can’t remember his name, that’s irrelevant. What’s highly relevant is what he was flaunting around the cluster of people sinking a few schooners round at Renae’s.
It was a Canon EOS 450D DSLR camera complete with 18-55mm AND 55-250mm telephoto lenses. This thing blew my mind.
The budget of a backpacker is not particularly well suited to indulgences such as advanced photography equipment but after a few days of wrestling the idea of not getting the exact same set up as Renae’s mate into submission, I walked into a camera shop on George Street.
I left with the camera that changed my life forever.
Everyone has their reason why. Why they go to work. Why they set up a business. Why they get up in a morning. My reason why is travel. Whenever I can squeeze in a trip, I go. It’s become much harder of late with the growth of Elements, but still, I try!
FYI – a nickname that stuck with me since primary school is Alexei.
I won’t go into detail of the places I’ve been lucky enough to venture in the years since 2009, but if you want to see some of my shots, I try to post one photo a day on Instagram @alexei.stretton
Maybe my passion for photography and travel runs in the genes. Scan up my family tree and you’ll find this guy; P.H. Emerson, my great, great Uncle. Kind of a big deal in the photography world and himself related to the sepia celebrities; Ralph Waldo Emerson and Samual Morse (of the code).
The growing collection of business cards with my name on them pinned to my notice board from 2010 to now suggest, correctly, that my roles inside the property industry have been diverse.
I’ve helped homeowners release equity as an FCA authorised Sale and Rent Back Advisor. Marketed and sold auction property as an Auction Assistant inside the Savills residential department. Trained as an Energy Assessor supplying EPCs and floorplans to residential and commercial agents across the Midlands. But my favourite role was Property Photographer extraordinaire.
I shoehorned my passion for photography into my offering to create a nice little package for agents; an EPC, a floorplan and a beautiful set of property photos.
Also, in the middle of that melee, I achieved a 1st Class Masters Degree from Nottingham Trent University in Building Surveying. Bought, renovated and sold (aka flipped) a lovely little 2 bed in Carlton, Nottingham. Oh, and also became a Landlord.
If you’re thinking I used to be indecisive, you might be right. Now, I’m not so sure.
Joke. My personal business card expansion halted for good in 2015 leaving in its wake a deep and unique understanding of the property marketing process from the viewpoints of an agent, a supplier and a client.
I could see the matrix.
Elements Property was born on January 14, 2013. Well, kind of. Our original name was EnergySurv. This name sucked for two reasons; 1. It limited our offering to energy surveys, and 2. I had to spell ‘s u r v’ everytime I said it to someone.
After perfecting the 3 services offering (of EPC, floorplan, photos) to estate and letting agents and renaming to Elements Property, I was off and rolling – visiting, snapping, measuring and surveying property around Nottingham.
The seed of an idea began to form, I can’t remember when exactly, but it was there. And it was growing.
There was an opportunity to share my photography knowledge and offer image enhancement, floorplan sketch conversion and property videos to agents and suppliers across the country.
I began blogging about property marketing stuff, mainly photography as that’s what I loved. I wanted to throw out to the world all the info I could, simple tips to help ALL agents capture sensational shots, whether they were my client or not.
Bad property photos really annoy me.
I saw in my mind a world where beautiful property photos are the foundation of a well marketed property listing. And built on top are colourful, custom branded floorplans and exciting, easily sharable HD videos.
Where all agents and suppliers can afford such professional tools and with turnaround times so quick, listings go live the same day.
Where speed, affordability, simplicity and convenience are the cornerstones of a helpful service available 24/7.
Where dull, boring and incomplete listings are banished from the portals, highstreet windows and brochures across the UK forever.
And where wonderful first impressions are created in the hearts and minds of anyone looking to buy, sell or rent their dream home.
So, in 2015, I got to work making this vision a reality.
Our first client
It was June 2015 when my phone rang. As I glided up the escalator in John Lewis, Mark came on the line, an estate agent in Rotherham looking for tips on what camera to buy to help make their listings stand out, look amazing and attract more enquiries. I offered my thoughts on the best camera and lens for his needs.
Mark then asked if we could professionally enhance the photos he took. ‘Yes, absolutely!’ I told him, thrilled to have connected with an agent eager to maximise the wow factor of their shots.
It turned out, Mark wasn’t the only one looking for help solving their property marketing problems. And it wasn’t just photos people wanted help with, it was floorplans and video as well.
Looking back on those clunky early days of sharing files via Dropbox and email, I smile to think how far we’ve come. Today, a beautiful, effortlessly simple website awaits any client wishing to place an order, with digital files gliding into the cloud like feathers dancing in a breeze.
Today, hundreds of estate and letting agents, EPC assessors, floorplan providers and property photographers choose to partner with Elements because of a unified belief; that every property deserves to be marketed amazingly.
We also happen to solve their problems better than any other solution on the market.
Lack of time and/or expertise to capture and edit amazing photos, measure and create floorplans, or to produce videos.
No budget for such ‘optional’ marketing services.
High costs and slow turnaround of third-party services.
Poor service and communication from existing suppliers.
Senior managers not recognising the financial benefits
Left untreated, these problems result in:
Dull, boring property photos
Listings missing essential information
Bad first impressions of the property
Negative judgments about the agent
Vendors choosing an agent who markets property better
Agents moving to a supplier who does a better job
Fewer click-throughs and equiries on a poorly presented listing
We help property professionals market property better, faster and with more wow factor. Order anytime with a simple drag and drop. We spring into action and work our magic in as little as just 3 hours. Friendly support happy to help 24/7.
Image Enhancement: Your property photos, expertly enhanced by us.
Floorplan Sketch Conversion: You draw the layout, we create a digital floorplan.
Video Slideshow: Custom branded HD videos, created from your property photos.
The benefits of partnering with such a service are significant:
Show your vendors, buyers, landlords, tenants, staff and anyone strolling past your window or scrolling the portals that you do things properly. That you go the extra mile for your clients. That you’re committed to setting the highest professional standards in every single thing you do.
This section could easily be huge, but I’ll keep it brief. Without the help of the following people playing thier part in the evolution and success of Elements, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Amir, Rom, Dob, Andy, Kaaeed, Atanaska, Emma, Miyan, Dmitry, David, Violetta, Mo, Mandy, Vanessa, Carlota, Phil, Peter, Claire, Leila and Chris. To all of you, I thank you wholeheartedly for believing in the vision and for playing your part moving us closer to making it a reality.
The reviews we get from our delighted customers are what keep us all excited to come to work every day. Hearing the impact we make inspires us to work hard, innovate new features and add new services to help market their properties’ more amazingly.
Like the look of what we’re trying to do here? Share our Core Values? We’re always looking for more talented people and I’d love to hear from you. Email your CV and cover letter to me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to continue to improve and help as many people as possible solve their property problems and ensure every new listing looking amazing.
We’ll add more services to our offering to help make the lives of our clients a little easier.
We’re setting a new standard for property marketing.
And we’re just getting started.
Our Core Values
Make it better
We aim to improve at every opportunity; including our relationships, ourselves, the service we deliver and our processes.
Go the extra mile
By delivering above and beyond what’s expected, we aim to continually exceed the expectations of our clients and team.
Do the right thing
For actions big and small, we act as if everyone is watching at all times and do what’s right at every opportunity.
Do it quickly
We work fast and with focus to get things done. Whether responding to an email or completing an order, speed is key.
We listen to what’s important and solve problems in the best way possible, even if there’s no monetary benefit to us.
Make it beautiful
Presentation matters, great design matters, simplicity matters. We believe beautiful visuals and processes are essential.
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