London, England – A Brief History 1529AD To The Present

Since its founding as little more than a Roman fort, London slowly prospered and expanded. Such is its resilience, it survived the Norman invasion, the Dark Ages and the Black Death in the following 1,500 years.

It’s greatest period of prosperity started during the time of Henry VIII, in the sixteenth century, who — despite his shortcomings as a loyal husband — did lay the foundations for massive global expansion in Britain’s influence and empire.

A fortunate by-product of Henry’s split with the Roman Catholic Church was the arrival in England of Protestant Huguenot refugees, from the nearby continent of Europe. England has always benefited from the skills of its immigrants and none more so than from the Huguenots, who brought with them their secret skills in silk weaving. Silk cloth was a highly prized product and proved to be a massive boost for the trade and wealth of the country — and London, in particular.

The increasing population and wealth lead to a great deal of new building. Being an island gave Britain an extra layer of protection from invasion. So London was able to expand well beyond the confines of the original walled city without fear, and this it did.

Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII, sought to curb this expansion without effect. Indeed her own encouragement to empire building in the form of Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Drake, only gave new impetus to London’s wealth and power.

Due to the restrictions on building new property, many of the existing properties were bizarrely extended upwards, with floors which jettied beyond the original walls. This lead to situations where the upper floors of houses almost touched, forming archways over the streets, with the occupants able to lean out of the upper floor windows and shake hands with the people opposite!

After the civil war and the execution of Charles I, Oliver Cromwell eventually relinquished his position as Lord Protector and England once more had a monarch, in the person of Charles II. During his reign, there was a dramatic flowering of science, lead by Sir Isaac Newton.

London also experienced the Great Fire of London, in 1666, which destroyed most of the wooden buildings in the old city of London. It also, conveniently, destroyed the last vestiges of the plague, which had decimated the area the previous year.

Sir Christopher Wren, who designed and built St Paul’s Cathedral, drew up a grand design for the replacement of the whole area, to avoid the unsanitary conditions that had lead to the plague. However, such a dramatic transformation would require wholesale acquisition of the land in the area and, due to the difficulty in tracing all the various owners, time ran out and new buildings were put up. These were of more fireproof materials, mainly brick, but still following the higgledy piggledy lines of the old city. Thus the organic charm of the old city of London was not swept away by Wren’s grand vision, and still survives to delight visitors in the 21st century.

Until the seventeenth century, London had grown on east-west lines, along the River Thames, using the river itself as the main highway. What minor inconvenience the River Thames presented to north-south travel was overcome by the provision of ferries, both in the London Bridge area and up river at Putney. However, as London expanded to the north and south, the need for swift transport across the river became apparent and this period was the start of the building of London’s many bridges.

During the Georgian period, London — by then the center of a growing worldwide empire — expanded even more dramatically, with many of the fine and sought after terraces so admired today, being built very rapidly.

As the latest in technology — the railway — developed, there was pressure to keep these away from the center of London. This is why present day London is ringed with railway termini, which originally stopped at the then edge of the city.

With no major railway line cutting right through the city, it was left to the ingenuity of engineers to provide an alternative. This they did by digging a cutting to take the railway, which was then covered over and built on. Thus was created the world’s first underground (or subway) railway. This technique of “cut and cover” as it was known, proved such a success other lines were created in the same fashion. When the railways reached the outer areas of London, they were permitted to rise to ground level, which was considerably cheaper. This, in turn, led to the springing up of new suburbs, clustered around the new railway lines, which offered fast, comfortable and safe transport into the center of London.

Finally, “the commuter” was born.

The most popular suburbs were to the west of London, as they were downwind from the smoke and pollution arising from the city. In the 1930s many cleaner, new “high tech” industries — many American owned, such as Gillette and Firestone — sprang up along The Great West Road, originally the old coaching road to Bath, the ancient Roman city in the far west. Also at this time, several movie studios were built in the western suburbs of London.

World War two came right to the center of London with almost nightly raids by heavy bombers of the Nazi Luftwaffe. These were targeted mainly on the east of London, where the mighty Pool of London docks and factories were situated. Many of these devices were incendiary bombs, designed to maximize damage by starting massive fires. There is a famous picture of St Paul’s Cathedral, surrounded on all sides by raging infernos, yet unscathed and defiant against the very worst that could be thrown at London.

Rebuilding and expansion after the war, lead to the creation of the Green Belt: a notional belt of undeveloped land surrounding London to limit further expansion. With it’s “green lungs” — the massive parks right at its center — the green belt sourrounding it, plus the thousands of trees within, London, despite being one of the largest cities in the world, still retains a village feel, with each former village, now swallowed up by the great metropolis, still retaining much of their own particular character and charm.

In the 1950s the pollution, particularly from thousands of household coal fires, coupled with London’s famous autumnal fogs, combined to create “smog”. The government brought in a Clean Air Act, to force the use of processed coal — called smokeless fuel — which cleared up the smog.

In the 21st century of its existence, London is not resting on its laurels and is, right now, busy re-inventing itself. It already boasts the world’s busiest airport, to the west and is hard at work regenerating the eastern area of London ready to stage the Olympic Games in 2012.

Time Is a Mysterious Factor – Let Us First Know About the Present

How could an object be located in space? While the first three dimensions are used to specify its location in the space, the fourth dimension time, locates its position in time.

Space and time are inseparable. Time could not be easily explained. For our convenience sake we are saying present tense, past tense and future tense.

The events that had happened is past. The events which we are experiencing now is present and what is to come is future.

But these tenses are related. Swami Vivekananda once explained that all the three tenses are mingled together if you see them from an infinite height. You can take whatever tense you want at that level and see what is happening at that moment.

How could this be explained? Very Easy. Imagine one person is travelling in a train. In the compartment, he is able to see through the window up to a distance. The person sitting opposite to him will be able to see the other side through the window up to a distance. The person who is sitting in the compartment next to the engine could see a little more. Suppose if a person travels sitting on the roof of the train he could see everything in front, back, right and left.

Now could anyone say who is exactly in the present tense? Before you say, this moment starts, it ends within a second. The present becomes past in a second and the future becomes the present in that second. So, who is living exactly in the present? And whose vision is the ‘present’ vision among the travelers, the person whom we referred first or the person opposite to him or the one who is in the compartment next to engine or the person who is sitting on the roof top of the train?

For the person who is on the roof top other person’s past is also present. And other person’s future also present. At a higher level all the tenses are mingled.

All are in present tense only but their vision is full or partial depending upon the obstructions or limits.

So our views regarding present tense is only relative! Actually we are all in present tense only.

The train is moving and hence all the persons are in ‘Continuous Present”.

This is exactly the Hindu religion says about time. We are ever in Continuous Present.

Time is ever flowing. Nobody could explain it. Nobody could escape from it also.

Space and time are inseparable. Living in the present is desirable. For this, continuous effort is required. Because all are either fuming about the past or hoping about the future.

The Zen Buddhism and Hinduism emphasize to live in the present. If you are able to live in the present then nothing could stop your success.

This is one aspect of Time. We will explore further in our future article.

Commercial Real Estate Agents – 9 Presentation Tips That Can Win Listings

Commercial real estate is a special class of investment property. It lives and breathes income and price. As a real estate agent, that should be the basis for your listing presentation and to improve your chances of closing on the listing with the seller of the property.

As agents and salespeople, we are up against several other real estate agents in most listing presentations. The seller needs to be convinced of your ability to get the best price for the property and in the timeliest way. That is the best leverage you can use to win the listing.

As part of the pitch in the sales listing presentation, consider this question:

“Just how can the income of the property be used to enhance the price that the seller can get in today’s market?”

To answer the question you really do need to know about the current and future cash flow that comes out of the property. That means reading the lease in detail and with focus on:

  • Income strength
  • Lease term
  • Rent review and option terms
  • Income growth
  • Tenant profile
  • Tenant stability
  • Minimal vacancy threat
  • Lease strength and controls over the tenant
  • Lease protection for the landlord

These points will attract investment buyer interest. Knowing the answers will help you convert the seller’s property to a listing. Show the seller that you really do understand the lease and the value it brings the property in sale.

Not all presentations are simple when it comes to selling commercial property and you can have a number of hurdles to overcome. Importantly you can be prepared for these hurdles if you take the right steps such as:

  1. Comprehensively inspect the property before you meet with the seller. As a result of that inspection be prepared to talk to the property from a detailed perspective.
  2. Take pictures of the property that can be available on a laptop for use in your presentation with the seller if required.
  3. Itemise the strengths and weaknesses of the property today that will be points to handle in the marketing campaign. As part of the listing presentation focus on the strengths and how you intend to use them in the marketing of the property.
  4. Establish the target market that will be ideal for the property promotion. From that target market show how you intend to reach them, and exactly what the requirements are from that target market in today’s terms.
  5. Understand where the competition property is located relative to the subject property and just how the competition property can impact the marketing of the subject property.
  6. Understand the local property history and comparable rents and prices from completed sales and listings for that type of property. Be prepared to use those figures as evidence and argument to support your marketing campaign.
  7. Understand the supply and demand for local property including the threat of new property developments coming up.
  8. Be prepared to talk about return on investment in the current market and how that will impact price to the seller.
  9. Comment on property enquiry of recent time, where it comes from and what they are looking for.

This knowledge will help you find the right points of closure as you present your real estate services to the seller of the property. Local property knowledge and your ability to provide it whilst tapping into the target market will help the seller see that you are the real estate agent of choice to market the property and get the best price.