When Will The Full Bulletin Magazine Return?
Good news + bad news + good news!
Good news: As of 1st January 2020, Unique Property Bulletin can advise we are now able to contract the first freelance journalist to help our small group of volunteers who have been keeping this publication going for the past 35 years. A modest £3,650 to start for a few hours each week, but on present form and success, this is likely to be the direction of travel until we can employ part-time and full-time writers directly.
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Several folk have asked us when the full-format Unique Property Bulletin will return.
Here is the answer….
Hello Dear Reader,
Many thanks for the message asking when we are going to resume the monthly online magazine style Unique Property Bulletin.
We used to send out a regular, free, online, Unique Property Bulletin containing a dozen unusual sale listings, plus articles and features to all of our email subscribers. Also, a large number of folk just checked the main website every couple of weeks…
Old Style Paper Format Bulletin (1992).
Online Is Subtly Different
However, by 2016, the online version had increased circulation significantly (a good thing – and thank you to all our readers). But we were faced with an overload and burnout of our 4 volunteers. The exponential increase in readership after transferring the Bulletin to an online format went a bit viral at times. We are incredibly grateful to the current 70,000 folk who read Unique Property Bulletin. With thousands of folk reading the Bulletin, hundreds of emails arrive each day (again, a good thing, no complaints). However, our volunteers began to cope less well. Of all things we would wish to for: messing up someone’s purchase of their ideal home because of information-overload at this end is not something we want to end up doing.
Action had to be taken to remedy the challenges of Unique Property Bulletin being an accidental success and not having sufficient resources to manage high readership numbers effectively.
Simply illustrated, the stage had been reached where our volunteers would have…
7am – Tidy Desk…
Actual Desk of A Volunteer: Relatively Tidy!
10pm – Not So Tidy…
A Full Days Work!
2am – After Midnight – Falling Off Our Perch…
Well After Midnight & Still 24 Emails To Reply To.
…and next day, repeat cycle. Begin again!
We needed to take a decision…
Close the Bulletin completely, or find a solution. An interesting one.
Consequently, the volunteers at Unique Property Bulletin are on sabbatical and have made substantial progress with our plan. That included an adventure buying a lighthouse station and renovating the property. Selling a couple of the buildings not needed and retaining a place where we could rent a couple of rooms to pay contract freelancers to help the volunteers to reboot this publication. In due course after a couple more adventures, Unique Property Bulletin aims to employ staff writers. This idea has started working…
We have now completed the Noss Head Lighthouse Station project and the next adventure to help bolster the Unique Property Bulletin reserves and ability to contract some of the heavy lifting is progressing at our latest adventure on the Island of Arran: renovating the Sannox Hotel. This should secure 7 new jobs and help the Unique Property Bulletin as we have an Angels’ Share segment that our wonderful property club members and volunteers are putting aside so that we can make this publication free, forever. It is a delight to be able to upload this…
The plan, started during 2016 to help avoid volunteer-burnout has advanced so well that we can now afford our first step in that direction, on 1st January 2020 with this 1 year contract.
All going well, the freelance work will increase and by the end of 2020 Unique Property Bulletin hopes to be in a position to employ staff writers. The volunteers will still be contributing feature articles, but over the past few years, the internet has meant peaks of 150,000 readers on occasion. We are not an estate agency. We are a not-for-profit property website. The dramatic increase in readership numbers is very welcome, but we need to sort out the logistics. Email traffic alone takes 20 hours a week and that is a slow week. If we list a lighthouse or nuclear bunker for sale (these seem to be two favourite genres), then the number.
So dear reader, at the beginning of 2020, Unique Property Bulletin is on target to secure freelance writers and then progress this to staff journalists.
With some irony, it was ourselves taking the advice in these pages that has led to very enjoyable real life unique property adventures, which, i turn, mean we can now fund the future of this publication.
Editor, Unique Property Bulletin
That was some good news. Next…
Unfortunately, Facebook have an over-zealous security robot that has locked us out of our Unique Property Bulletin account. This does NOT affect our main website which is thankfully NOTHING to do with Malfuntioning Mark and his Facebook decline.
Ironically we have paid Facebook around £2,000 for “boosts” and for what? The tantalisingly help with 7,000 new “followers” to our website. This increases our readership by 10%.
But then this nerd of greed presides over a farce of a business. He locks paying guests out of his business.
We have spent hours trying to get back into our Unique Property Bulletin Facebook account. Even getting up at 2am in the morning to telephone across the timezone from Britain to California and spend 20 minutes on a USA Facebook telephone queue which basically said we should send in our ID credentials to their robot computer system. We did that already! We are STILL locked out.
Facebook are no longer going to receive money from us. Little wonder Facebook USA have LOST 15,000,000 members (source: here). This man eating toast will end up with his business as toast if he doesn’t get a grip.
Facebook Suck: Click Here
Sadly, we are now progressing legal action against Facebook.
Facebook extracts millions of pounds from the UK, yet they do not have a single functioning telephone number in this country, nor a functioning UK address to seek recovery of monies paid when their robotic systems goes wrong and locks customers out of their accounts.
We have 7,000 folk who follow our Facebook page. Many of whom may think we are being ignorant not getting in touch, but Facebook took our money and locked us out of their house.
Facebook’s woefully understaffed web-help desks are firefighting with the prospect of escalating and class action from former employees (here). We are actively looking at leaving Facebook altogether (here). But kind of hope our new freelance journalist will be able to rescue the Facebook page. Perhaps the judge in Dublin will help unlock the Facebook door.
The stagnation of Facebook and social media is very sad because when Facebook gets it right, it can be an amazing organisation.
Our time away from the mainstream magazine-format Bulletin with a simpler regimen of posting single items on our social media and main website every few days had delivered a very enjoyable result.
Current Social Media Presence For Ongoing Unique Property Bulletin
Until the new offices and staff are ready.
Sample Post – A New Item Every Few Days
The period we were away from the duties of a full blown online magazine every month has freed up our volunteers’ time to…
Find + fund + buy + then renovate new office premises for Unique Property Bulletin
at the Noss Head Lighthouse Station…
Unique Property Bulletin
Noss Head Lighthouse Station: New Offices. Now Fully Purchased.
During 2020 we will return with full, free, magazine format Unique Property Bulletins.
The logic being we can rent out part of the newly acquired lighthouse buildings and use the income to employ some permanent staff to run the website. After 25 years, and especially since going online in 2011, the readership levels and emails from the Bulletin becoming unmanageable for our small group of four volunteers has had an amazing result. A lighthouse station as the home for this publication.
Some medium sized regional newspapers have less than a 70,000 readership (we are very grateful to all of our readers), but those same newspapers have a full time staff of 5 to 15 employees!
Source – Press Gazette: Click Here
Rather than have our volunteers hit overload/burnout, we are happy to advise the challenges described above have now been addressed.
Freelance Contract Journalist Funds In Place
Sufficient resources and income streams are now in place to gently start with a contracted freelance journalist. During this new year, 2020, we hope to increase the freelance contributions and eventually take on PAYE staff writers. Thereby securing the long term future of Unique Property Bulletin.
The Engine House – Formerly The Office of Earl Caithness
Soon To Be Unique Property Bulletin HQ
The Old Engine House at Noss Head Lighthouse Station, was going to be the new offices. However and offer that couldn’t be refused was made. So this publication is decanting to another unique building.
All of this helps to secure the magazine’s ability to serve our readers. We will recommence the full-format Unique Property Bulletin during 2020.
There is a fabulous story to be recounted for all readers in this exercise of actually buying the unique property at Noss Head Lighthouse Station.
Twenty very impressive friends from a pool of 365 similarly decent folk joined in our 2018 UPB lighthouse HQ location adventure – funding UPB’s future with the Angels’ Share. We are incredibly indebted to every single soul who participated. If Karma forms part of your belief system, we are pretty sure the supporters of our northern UPB HQ endeavour will, in turn, secure their own unique home in due course.
In a virtual world you can work anywhere that has broadband, whether John O’Groats or Lands End and all stations in between. By the way you can see John O’Groats, and Orkney from Unique Property Bulletin’s new office windows…
The New HQ for Unique Property Bulletin.
If this gives our staff pleasure, then our philosophy is that will help them help you find and secure your dream home.
In due course, we shall write a full narrative of how funds can be rustled up from thin air and a major miracle ensuring a legacy of Unique Property Bulletin in perpetuity (a wish of it’s founder – currently ill and in challenging health).
A virtuous circle is being put into place. Buildings held in trust that bring in sufficient income to pay for staff. Forever.
Hope this helps answer the question.
Unique Property Bulletin Team.
Unique Property Bulletin HQ – New Offices Scheduled To Open In 2019
Pretty Spectacular & A Fine Place To Work And Help Others Secure Their Dream
Last Sabbatical From 1981
We are trying not to make a habit of taking a year off. Though check out the sideburns on the old fella – well young chap back at the last sabbatical. In 1981 he looked about 90 years younger than now (I snuck this past editorial) 🙂
Russ McLean, Founded Unique Property Bulletin in 1992.
Before that, in 1982 he served as Student Union President at Bell College in Hamilton.
Russ’ abiding wish – some here who work with him say passion – is to secure a long term legacy by providing this unique property finding service for our readers. For free. Forever.
The old bu66er might just manage it.
Russ McLean: Unique Property Bulletin Founder.
37 years between photos. We are having a whip round to buy a gallon of Botox for the wrinkles 🙂
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Our Aim At Unique Property Bulletin
To bring you an A to Z of unique property for you to consider buying and turning into an amazing home…
A – Air Control Towers For Sale
B – Barns For Sale
C – Castles For Sale
D – Distilleries For Sale
From A to Z and all letters in between. Plus Wildcards and favourites…
W – Wildcards – Any Idea What This Inverted Cylindrical Pyramid Thing Is?
A Favourite – Cliff House – Here At Unique Property Bulletin
More uploaded soon, or you can CLICK HERE for the latest addition.