News

AVLP announced as association partner for the upcoming Henry Stewart Property Conference

AVLP Members receive 10% off ticket price

The Annual Conference | 26 September 2017

This is a market where expert knowledge yields massive increases in yields and capital values.

Once we were an industrial powerhouse – now manufacturing contributes just 10% to GDP. We are, above all, a service economy and leisure is an important service. 
Just as the wider economy evolved from manufacturing to services, leisure is moving from ‘pure consumption’ to ‘experiential engagement’.  The leisure industry is growing rapidly and changing fast. Property values, planning, availability of finance all reflect the growth. 

This is an important review of what’s happening and why in leisure property. With a cloud over retail and high yields in short supply, leisure property, properly understood, has much to offer. In keynote sessions, through case studies and in panel sessions this one day briefing examines the important opportunities offered by this vibrant sector. It covers what’s happening and what’s likely to happen – where, when, how funded and with what implications for values.    

For all those involved in property related leisure, including licensed and unlicensed entertainment activities: owners, operators, funders, investors, their agents and advisors: property lawyers, surveyors and valuers.

Find out more here: http://www.henrystewartconferences.com/LLEP2017/ 

Bob Whittle named as President of AVLP

Bob Whittle is set to succeed Roger Thompson as President of the Association of Valuers of Licensed Property, the UK’s leading body for specialist property advice on hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs and other leisure premises.

The move involves two of the industry’s highest profile and most-loved figures, who have both given so much to the Association and have played a large part in ensuring it remains the leading body for those involved in pub, restaurant and hotel transactions.

Roger Thompson, founder of AW Gore and well-respected inventory valuer, has owned was elected to the AVLP committee in 1971, serving as President since 2005. Roger will continue as a member of the Association. Commenting Pat Walker, Roger’s partner at AW Gore, said: “Roger is a great partner and I’m sure he offered the AVLP all of the qualities that I admire him for, namely a steadying influence in good and bad times, a great knowledge base upon which to make balanced decisions and a wonder sense of humour, something we all need at times in our trade.”

Bob Whittle, established the Fleurets’ East Anglia office back in 1979 and is a director at the firm, joined the AVLP in 1985 before becoming Honorary Secretary in 2003. Fellow Director Graeme Bunn said: “I’m sure Bob’s appointment as president of the AVLP will be a great success, given his energy, enthusiasm and vast experience in the sector.”

Current AVLP Honorary Secretary, Daniel Mackernan commented: “Both Roger and Bob have given so much to the Association, it’s difficult to imagine what it would have looked like today without their energy, passion and desire to instill the highest standards to our profession.” Adding: “I’m sure the members will join me in both thanking Roger for his tireless dedication as President and take time to wish Bob the very best in his new role.”

The news that Bob Whittle is taking the role of President of the AVLP comes at a time when the Association is welcoming a strong number of new members.

www.avlp.com

Gillham steps down from AVLP after 45 years of service to the Association and the Pub Industry

Barry Gillham, one of the most influential and well known figures in the Pub industry, has stepped down as both Chairman of licensed property agent Fleurets, and the Association of Valuers of Licensed Property (AVLP), the leading body in the United Kingdom providing specialist property advice to the licensed leisure industry.

Since 1971, Barry has made an immense contribution to the changing face of the licensed leisure industry in the UK through his work with the AVLP. Elected to AVLP in November 1971, he was Honorary Secretary from 1976 to 1989 and then elected President from 1989 to 1994. He presided as Chairman at the November 1994 dinner in the Association’s Centennial year. After stepping down as President he continued to serve on the Committee as Immediate Past President and Auditor until his retirement this year.

AVLP Honorary Secretary Daniel Mackernan commented: “I am sure I am correct in stating that over the course of the past 45 years, Barry has probably given more time to our Association than anyone else in the history of AVLP. We’ve seen a huge amount of change in our industry during his tenure, and I’m sure that the our business would be operating in a different way had it not been for his influence.”

www.avlp.com

@TheAVLP

-ENDS-

Additional Info: Founded in 1894, the Association of Valuers of Licensed Property is the leading body in the United Kingdom providing specialist property advice to the licensed leisure industry.

AVLP launches ad campaign to help licensees find expert MRO advice

AVLP launches ad campaign to help licensees find expert MRO advice

Members of Association of Valuers of Licensed Property (AVLP), the leading body in the United Kingdom providing specialist property advice to the licensed leisure industry, have launched an ad campaign with the Morning Advertiser to ensure licensees needing more information about what the MRO means to their business have access to the expert members of the AVLP.

AVLP Honorary Secretary Daniel Mackernan commented: “The interpretation of the legislation will take time and licensees should be aware of the pros and cons of the MRO option and need to carefully consider what is right for their business. I’m concerned that many licensees will see this as an opportunity to get out of the tie and will act blindly, that rather than looking at the big picture. Speaking plainly, no two businesses are the same, so the MRO won’t be the right route for every business. What is important is the need for licensees to have all the information they need to make an informed decision. We hope the adverts will encourage more licensees to seek out the advice of our members, not just jump into quick decisions that may not be in their best interest.”

The adverts start on July 28th and aim to connect licensees to AVLP members.

AVLP calls for considered and informed reaction to Market Rent Option

Members of Association of Valuers of Licensed Property (AVLP), the leading body in the United Kingdom providing specialist property advice to the licensed leisure industry, are calling for licensees to take ‘considered’ and ‘informed decisions’ to the forthcoming MRO announcement.

Implementation of the legislation is expected later this month and the final details of the MRO are eagerly awaited by brewers, pub companies and licensees alike. However, AVLP Honorary Secretary Daniel Mackernan is warning that ‘knee-jerk’ reactions could be dangerous to licensees. “The interpretation of the legislation will take time and licensees should be aware of the pros and cons of the MRO option and need to carefully consider what is right for their business. I’m concerned that many licensees will see this as an opportunity to get out of the tie and will act blindly, that rather than looking at the big picture. Speaking plainly, no two businesses are the same, so the MRO won’t be the right route for every business. What is important is the need for licensees to have all the information they need to make an informed decision”. Daniel added: “I don’t think there’s been a time in our industry where getting the right and professional advice has ever been more important”.

Licensed property Poll reveals experience is key

Licensed property Poll reveals experience is key

Members of the Association of Valuers of Licensed Property (AVLP), the leading body in the UK providing specialist property advice to the licensed leisure industry, were polled as to what licensees should look for in a licensed property agent when considering selling their business. The poll was completed by over 30 members, across the length of the country, and the results should act as a “stark reminder to licensees” according to AVLP Honorary Secretary Daniel Mackernan.

Members were asked to select three from the list below that they considered to be most important when choosing a licensed property agent.

30% said: The Ability to show comparables in the area / knowledge of area / transactions personally involved in recently

24% said: Justification of price suggested

16% said: Thoroughness of inspection

12% said: Convincing marketing plan presented

12% said: Ability to be flexible on fees / incentivised basis

6% said: Period of time offered as forecast sales time

AVLP Honorary Secretary Daniel Mackernan commented: “For me the poll highlights the importance experience plays in choosing the right agent. There’s clearly a lot of weight placed on demonstrating a track record, expertise and sound advice on the price to go to market at – all of these can only come from an agent who knows what they’re talking about and can prove that they are fit to handle the sale. Sadly, all too many people are choosing an agent for the wrong reasons, like the price they suggest it should be marketed at, or empty promises about how quickly the business will sell. More licensees need to challenge agents to prove their claims by asking for evidence of success, testimonials and seeking reassurances as to their ability to be successful.”

Trade Mourn loss of Keith Gregory

Trade Mourn loss of Keith Gregory

It is with sadness that we learnt that Keith Gregory passed away.  Keith was well-known and much-loved in the pub world.
 
Keith, a valuer and chartered surveyor, was elected to the Association of Valuers of Licensed Property AVLP in November 1986 and was Chairman in November 2003 and then Social Secretary for ten years, before retiring in November 2014.

Keith worked for Sidney Phillips on a consultancy basis for the last 25 years.  In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s and 1990s he had his own thriving tenancy transfer practice in Oxfordshire and the surrounding counties.
 
Commenting, John Williams FRICS of Sidney Phillips, said: “Keith was a tremendously hard worker with excellent attention to detail, being well-respected by Corporate and private clients.  Younger members of our team might have thought him a but “fussy” but it was his way of ensuring everything was done to a high standard.” 
 
Adding: “Keith continued with his tenancy change work right up to his demise, although as the volume of instructions diminished he branched out into the Building Surveying/Structural Surveying side of the profession, which plainly suited his talents. Keith was a valued member of our organisation for about 25 years and his sage advice will be much missed.
 
AVLP Honorary Secretary, Dan Mackernan, commented: “I am sure you will join me in sending our thoughts to his family at this time. The Association has a lot to thank Keith for both in the administration of it, but the life and wit he brought to our meetings. If Keith chose to say something, it was always worth listening to, a rare quality and we’ll all miss him terribly.”

Property Agents and Valuers claim the MRO presents the biggest challenge facing the pub industry in 2016

In a poll of Members of The Association of Valuers of Licensed Property (AVLP), a group made up of the leading licensed property surveyors and valuers, Members were asked what they thought the biggest challenges the pub industry faces in 2016.

From representatives of over thirty surveying practices that took part, the uncertainty of the MRO and how it would impact on the trading conditions topped concerns, with over a third highlighting that as the biggest issue. 20% of those polled claimed that funding or the lack of funding, presented the next biggest challenge. 10% said that pressure from the Off Trade in terms of cheap alcohol was the biggest threat faced by pub operators in 2016.

Full Results:

33% Impact of the MRO

20% Funding, or lack of

13% Rents being asked by landlords

10% Cost of Alcohol in the Off Trade

7% Rising Costs

7% People – lack of talented people joining the trade

7% Consumer disposable income reducing

3% Rise in legislation and red tape

AVLP Honorary Secretary, Dan Mackernan, commented: “Whilst details of the MRO have now been made public, I think there are still a lot of operators who are concerned over its implementation and what it will actually mean for their business. Additionally, and in my opinion, there were a couple of really interesting points that raised themselves in this poll. Firstly, only 7% raised as an issue ‘people’ and talent entering the trade, a much lower figure than I might have expected or previous polls had identified. Also, I was interested to see funding attract 20% of votes in the poll. I think it’s widely accepted that funding had become a little easier in the past twelve or so months, but clearly clients of our member agents and valuers are still having trouble securing finance.”

AVLP experts question the value of websites and social media channels when pubs change hands

March 2016

AVLP experts question the value of websites and social media channels when pubs change hands

With social media and websites becoming increasingly important tools for promoting a business, the question of whether they should be considered as part of a licensed trade business’ assets when selling a property, has been raised by members of The Association of Valuers of Licensed Property (The AVLP). 

Social media platforms like facebook allow businesses to communicate with their audience, an audience of customers and potential customers that might have been built up over years and may number many thousands. Likewise, websites and databases that will be under the control of the existing business owner are often overlooked during the purchase process, but may well be crucial to the communication of the new ownership and the business going forward. The question over the importance of valuing or at least acknowledging these assets in the changeover process, is one the AVLP believe needs to be explored.

Darren J Holder of BLA Valuers commented: “In general terms I agree with the notion that social media & websites are becoming increasingly important tools for promoting a business and that they can be, if there is an extensive following or database, quite valuable, therefore I do not feel that it is unreasonable that the purchaser should buy this from the vendor, if they so choose and the T & C’s allow. However, it does cause valuers a problem as there is no exact formula for calculating a value (cost based or potential income?), and in the cases, when it has arisen, I have given the purchaser (when acting for them) a general cost based valuation guide, but advised them to consider what it is worth to them and to make the vendor a private offer.
 
On the other side of the coin, if I was acting for a vendor and they were leaving the site and the website/database was of no use to them in their new venture, I would advise them to try to secure something for it in a private agreement as something is better than nothing.
 
So, in summary, I do not currently include anything in the F&F asset valuation for social media/websites, clients often agree a “deal” between themselves that they are happy with. However, I agree that it is an area that we should investigate further.”
 

Another AVLP member, John Keane, of Thomas E Teague, added: “Social media accounts are assets, but as far as far as selling them on is concerned, things are not that simple. Facebook’s T’s and C’s state that its written permission must be obtained to transfer an account. Twitter states that the accounts are non-assignable and Pinterest say that the accounts are non-transferable. It would seem that these companies are happy for people to use the sites for business purposes but are not happy for people to make money out of having an account per-se.
 
With a pub lease assignment or freehold sale, the solicitors for the buyer can arrange for an undertaking to be provided by the seller that he/she will assist in arranging for passwords etc to be legally transferred but with a tenancy change, solicitors tend not to be involved and time scales are much shorter. Furthermore, with a tenancy transfer, the business/goodwill, or whatever you want to call it, is not actually owned by the outgoer and the only payment made by the ingoer is for the tangible assets of the business – fixtures and fittings, stock etc. With a lease or freehold sale a value is ascribed to the goodwill and that can include social media accounts but would be subject still to the undertaking mentioned above.
 
Pub-co and Brewery agreements only refer to fixtures and fittings as business assets and have nothing to say about social media. None of the BDM’s that I know have given any thought to this, although they do acknowledge the potential value of social media to a business and do refer to it when arguing about a tenant’s abilities or otherwise at rent review. It may well be time that the industry addresses this issue but I see problems in that if it is made a condition of the tenancy that the outgoer sells their social media accounts to his successor, it would still be subject to the social media companies’ T’s and C’s  and would confuse the goodwill of the business with its tangible assets. 
 
I am not aware of any method or valuation techniques having been developed to assess the value of a social media account and in practice a deal is done and the passwords etc quietly handed over.
 
Websites do transfer as part of a pub transfer but again it is a case of “doing a deal”. Key to this is who owns the site – often copyright is with the web-host/designer but as long as the new pub owner is happy to keep the site going the web designer is usually happy to wave things through. The value of the site is hard to quantify because different pubs use their sites for different things but in practice, most outgoers are happy to get something for it even if it is only a few hundred pounds. Much inevitably depends on the relationship between the ingoer and the outgoer and if it remains cordial, then these thing are sorted out amicably. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and as the agreements are silent on the matter when there is a difficulty, there is little we as valuers, or the landlord BDM’s can do, other than try to finesse a deal. As long as the new occupier is able to secure the domain name that may not be an issue but it could potentially cause problems if he cannot. Right now we’re probably in a situation where there are more questions than answers but as a group, the AVLP will keep an eye on the subject and seek to provide common sense guidance.”

Poll reveals increased talent entering the pub trade and ‘time to buy’

In a poll of members of The Association of Valuers of Licensed Property (AVLP), a group made up of the leading licensed property surveyors and valuers, members were asked a number of questions about the current state of the licensed property market.

In this, the fourth year the poll of members has been conducted, the results threw up a number of interesting findings, not least that 72% of members said that the licensed property market was more buoyant now than a year ago.

54% of members said that there are less people wanting to buy leasehold pubs now, than there were 3 years ago. With 78% of members reporting that more people are wanting to buy freeholds than 3 years ago. 38% of members said that they expect freehold prices to rise in the next year, while only 11% said they expect leasehold properties to rise in price.

One perhaps surprising find, was that 61% of members said that the quality of those applying to take a licensed property had improved, against 22% in the same poll in 2014 and 14% in 2013. It would also appear that the licensee versus landlord relationship has worsened; when asked: Do you think your clients are happier in their relationships with their landlords than they were three years ago? 28% said yes compared to 38% in 2014.

Results in full:

Property:

In your opinion, is the licensed property market more, or less buoyant than this time last year?

More: 72%

Less: 28%

Are there more / less or the same number of people wanting to buy freehold pubs now as they did 3 years ago?

More: 78%

Less: 22%

Are there more / less or the same number of people wanting to buy leasehold pubs now as they did 3 years ago?

More: 46%

Less: 54%

In your opinion, will freehold property prices increase in the coming 12 months?

Yes: 38%

No: 62%

In your opinion, will leasehold property prices increase in the coming 12 months?

Yes: 11%

No: 89%

The People:

Looking at the standard of applicants taking licensed property, do you think the standard has improved or worsened in the past three years?

Improved: 61%

Worsened: 39%

.

Compared to three years ago, is the average time that a tenant (traditional non assignable agreement) stays in occupation, longer or shorter now?

Longer: 11%

Shorter: 30%

About the Same: 59%

Compared to three years ago, are freeholders remaining in occupation for a longer or shorter period?

Longer: 48%

Shorter: 6%

About the Same: 46%

Do you think your clients are happier in their relationships with their landlords than they were three years ago?

Yes: 28%

No: 72%

Valuation Related Questions:

Do you expect the number of fixtures and fittings valuations to increase in the coming years or decrease?

Increase: 33%

Decrease: 19%

Stay the Same: 48%

Do Valuers feel that all ingoing tenants are adequately represented or take adequate advice or do they feel that tenants general accept the PubCo / Brewery Valuer or Valuation?

Adequately Represented: 8%

They accept PubCo / Brewery Valuer / Valuation: 61%
Not Sure: 31%

Are Valuers finding more or less sites are being refurbished than this time last year?

More: 45%

Less: 15%

About the Same 40%

AVLP Honorary Secretary, Dan Mackernan, commented: “In completing this poll, we’re getting the opinions from most of the leading property agents and valuers in the UK. This years’ finding are particularly interesting, not least that 61% of those polled said that they thought the standard of applicants taking licensed property has improved. Another stat that stood out for me was the view that prices of property are thought to be fairly flat, with only 38% of those polled thinking that freehold prices will rise and only 11% thinking leasehold prices will rise. This could indicate that it’s a good time to buy?”