Why Do People Appear On Property Ladder?

I think i’m a little confused, care to help me out?

I watch Sarah Beeny’s Property Ladder religiously. I think it’s a great show, even though I spend most of the time with my mouth open, eyes covered and my skin crawling. Let’s face it, the show is about stupid people developing property, for the most part.

I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but witnessing stupidity isn’t all that glamourous when it’s on loop. It really does start becoming painful viewing. Then again, Property ladder wouldn’t be worth watching if it had normal people wanting to develop.

My question is, why do people appear on Property Ladder? One thing is for sure, it sure as hell isn’t to benefit from the free, professional advice that La Beeny has to offer. If anyone knows how to squeeze and maximize profits out of a shed, it’s her. So why do the majority of people on the show completely ignore her advice as if they know better? I don’t get it. Do you get it? I want to get it. Do you want to get it?

Granted, at times Beeny doesn’t appreciate the restrictions of finances, consequently suggests pulling an extra 20k out of an asshole to finance a 50ft extension. Putting those moments of insanity aside (forgive me, Beeny), the majority brush away the logical and realistic suggestions.

What really fizzles my mind is that the people that appear on Property Ladder obviously watch the show themselves, so they must have countlessly witnessed moments when the developers get their evaluations at the end. You know, that’s when the agent always says the property would have been more valuable if they had done this or that. “This or that” usually being something that Beeny suggested during the development. Yet when the viewers go on the show themselves, they ignore the advice. It’s mind boggling.

So, we’ve established it’s rarely about the free advice. So what’s it about? Is it to satisfy those that thrive from publicity; those that simply want to get their face on TV? I used to think so until last week. For those that aren’t regulars on my site, I run a Property Ladder forum discussion where everyone has the opportunity to get their claws out and discuss the week’s development(s). I must admit, I do enjoy the cattiness. At times I think the producers intentionally hand pick the most inadequate ‘victims’ just to boost the entertainment value, whilst throwing the names of the sane applicants straight into the bin; not that I mind or anything.

On the 20th of November a couple (Richard & Isabel) developed a property in Chiswick. You may remember them (they were kind of hard to forget- the episode was a corker).

Richard & Isabel on Property LadderRichard & Isabel got a bit of a slating in the forums, not only in terms of their poor development skills (they ignored a lot of Beeny’s fundamental advice), but also as humans. Isabel got the majority of the negative criticism, I think it’s fair to say that her development style wasn’t exactly orthodox and her personality was, well, you know….not great. Am I being harsh? Well, these guys on the Channel 4 seem to agree with me, so perhaps I’m just a realist. I quote:

La Beeny again demonstrating the patience of a saint – I dont think I would tire of slapping that stupid woman in a month of Sundays. The sheer arragance of her (Isabel) when Sarah pointed out at the start that they could guarentee a nice profit from 2 flats but oh no it had to be an over personalised mish-mash house!

I guess that’s what happens when you throw yourself into the spotlight- you start getting judged on every possible level, even if it has nothing to do with the subject matter. You’ll find poor Richard in that thread defending his partner and his development.

To my surprise, Richard stumbled upon the Property ladder Chiswick thread on my site and made it clear that they were human (good thing he cleared that up) and he didn’t appreciate the comments people made about Isabel. While I did sympathise with him (kinda’) and understood why he was protecting his spouse, it was apparent that he didn’t like the attention the media had bought them. On a side note, I find it intriguing that someone that appeared on Property Ladder went onto various forums defending their development and their g/f after receiving blows. He must be tired after all that online combat.

So, like many, he didn’t take advantage from Beeny’s advice and didn’t appear to be craving from the attention of the media, which brings me back to my initial question- why do people appear on Property Ladder if it’s not for the advice and it’s not for the media coverage?

Perhaps it’s purely because anyone that appears on property ladder can potentially save money on the build because they get cheap supplies. People will do anything for a buck. If that’s the case, the majority of people aren’t utilising their biggest tool- knowledge of The Beeny. I know many people will agree on how excruciatingly frustrating it is to watch a tool so useful to be pushed aside like a sack of shit.

26 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Fee 5th December, 2007 @ 17:10

I have a feeling the production team find the builders etc and suppliers .. and therfore get it alot cheaper.
Saving the people who are developing alot of money .
Also , arent they paid for being of the show ? ... I know you have to apply to be on the show . But I do think you get some money for appearing on the show .
I might be wrong .
We should ask Richard , would be interesting to know .

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th December, 2007 @ 17:32

They get paid for being on the show? I find that hard to believe.

I know they get cheap supplies. But I don't think they get the builders, because that would mean they were responsible for those builders that didn't use proper building supports during Richard and Isabel's development.

So perhaps it is just for the supplies.

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Fee 5th December, 2007 @ 21:03

I looked into if you'd get dicounted suppliers .. and they do. Except the total spent of the development that is shown at the end .. is as if you havent of got the PL team with you .
So apparently thats why people always seem to blow there budget. They might have done .. but not as much as the show makes out .
And property ladder also has a staging team .
Which is just stupid really .

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th December, 2007 @ 21:39

PL is pretty misleading.

They also don't take into consideration the capital gains tax (CGT), so the overall profit is extremely misleading.

Oh well, we still love The Been :)

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Badger 6th December, 2007 @ 08:58

Cheap supplies, i wounder if these supplies come from Mr X a close friend. you never know.
It has been said for a long time now that the show is staged to make it glam, this is why alot of pro development comps have comented in the past that, These kinds of shows glam up the situ to what it really is, Hard work and alot of stress.
Then this is telly eh !

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ahha 23rd February, 2009 @ 09:52

I just watched this episode as a repeat and was wondering if I could finally find out what price they got it for.

And your article cracked me up, I was like EXCATLY! If I was ever to be on the show and I told Sarah I wanted to add an extention to the side and she told me no I think it would be better if you put a toilet right in the middle of your kitchen, I WOULD, cause its SARAH B!

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Richard 18th May, 2009 @ 16:32

The benefits of being on the show were being able to negotiate with suppliers, in some cases 50% off. This was done ourselves not via the show. We had to give list price for the shows figures which made things look worse. Also we got paid £300 for filming inconvenience.

I saw a repeat the other day, the amount of times they show the train which they had to film either close up or from the roof of a near by flat, not from the garden which we felt was a little deceptive.

If you're in it for film money then a property will earn more when signed up with an agency, a Nintendo Wii ad netted us a good few thousand for much less disruption!!

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Richard 21st May, 2009 @ 11:02

Just thought I'd respond to the point about the two flats idea. The sheer arragance of her (Isabel) when Sarah pointed out at the start that they could guarentee a nice profit from 2 flats but oh no.

There is a private un-overlooked decked area with skylights looking into the bathroom and bedrooms, as the potential owner of the ground floor flat could you face the prospect of the upstairs flat owners peering at you over the balcony into the no longer private area and looking down into your beddroom and bathroom ?

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Richard 17th July, 2010 @ 20:19

Well we can now close this, we have sold !! at the lowest point of the property downturn for the value that the programme quoted at the peak and yes we are off to Aus, visa obtained and looking for work so we consider it a success

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 17th July, 2010 @ 20:51

Did you make a profit or loss? How long did it actually take you to sell the property?

Good luck, Richard :)

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Richard & Isabella l 25th February, 2011 @ 18:11

I just watched this episode as well.

I applaude Sarah on her great patience as i'd beaten a 2 X 4 over their head to get them to come back down to reality.

I am happy to here that Richard & Isabella took a blood bath on their

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Richard chan 25th February, 2011 @ 22:53

Update. We didn't have a bloodbath. We sold in the dip for more than the program valued at the peak. Made a profit and am now in Melbourne, Australia.

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Richard chan 26th February, 2011 @ 02:10

I know we put our dream in the public domain so expect negative comments who make judgements without knowing all the facts. These type of programmes are designed for
entertainment, 80 hours of film was edited into 45 mins. Enjoy the programme but realise it's entertainment not a factual documentary.

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TO, Can 26th February, 2011 @ 03:19

I just saw this PL episode on HGTV in Canada. I was curious to know if the Chiswick couple managed to sell for a profit, so it's gratifying to stumple upon this forum and have Richard's fresh update from Australia!

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XXX 14th July, 2011 @ 16:04

So was that 1.3m it sold for?

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Jobes 30th September, 2011 @ 20:01

I still would love to see some actual proof, not just Richards 'word' that the house sold for more than 1.1mil... And as for the 2 flats/privacy issue there is an amazing product called obscure glass, which would've allowed daylight into the skylights but no vision, and don't most flats with ground floor garden/terrace access have an issue of overlooking from the upstairs flats?? What a ridiculous couple, good viewing though!! Love the Been-ster!

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Richard 30th September, 2011 @ 23:15

I didn't say it sold for over 1.1 mil.I believe 1.1 mill was the highest not the lowest quote, we sold for just under the million two years later (bear in mind that the house was only half finished inside when it was aired on TV, we still had another 6 months work left) in a property downturn but still made a profit which is the main thing.

As for the flats issue, the obscure glass doesn't help the top flat learing over the balcony as you are sunbathing in the what was a private patio area

Currently enjoying life down under and again,treat the programme as entertainment and less of the judging

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Richard 30th September, 2011 @ 23:32

If you notice each PL programme has an angle, Isabelle was never going to be made out to be the good person and the programmes interest was the clash with Sarah, in fact it achieved the highest PL viewing rating.

In other programmes planning permission for suggestions had actually been made but turned down and in some cases, I suspect at the point of film closure that the project hadn't yet been finished as it was with us, but this was never shown only that the people never took PL advice. The programme comes across as black and white and makes it easy to pass judgment but there's plenty of grey as other PL developers will attest to.

There are two programmes in Aus, The Block and The Renovators, the Block was a hit and the Renovators never really achieved the figures they were loooking for, the Block concentrated on the people and the Renovators more on the skills and project.

It's still being shown in Aus too so we're still getting stick down under (sounds painful !) too, anyway we will put it down to experience

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nadja 2nd February, 2012 @ 16:51

Embarrasing "renovation". I just feel so sorry for the house that had potential. And the lady was plain arrogant and rude! The worst thing with developements is when the renovators are being so selfish and renovating for personal reasons. I Hope they never Touch a house again.

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Heidi 21st August, 2015 @ 12:27

Why Do People Appear on Property Ladder.

I can help you out with that one, because I am one of the ‘stupid people’ that appeared on Property Ladder. So stupid in fact, that I appeared on it twice!  I found your article interesting and amusing and did agree on some of your points, however, it is quite understandably one sided. OK, let me tell you my side of it.
First of all what you, and me initially, and most of the general public don’t realise is how manipulative TV producers can be. They will go to almost any lengths to get ‘good viewing’. This would be at the cost of anyone and everything. Let’s start at the beginning.

Why did I initially apply? 2006 and big changes in my life, bringing up two sons, now teenagers, and I had lost a lot of self-confidence after being a Mum for so long. I had designed, and built my own house back in 1991 which I still live in. I wanted to get back into property and had been watching the ‘wonderful’ Sarah on telly. Yep! I’ll have a go at that I thought! I will get expert advice and guidance and I will get my confidence back and an added bonus of my 15 seconds of fame to boot! Who wouldn’t right?

Ok, so here is the stark reality…when you sit in front of your box watching the show, does it ever occur to you that when Sarah states her favorite line ‘I think this is a mistake’ that she already knows it is a mistake, because the mistake was made weeks ago before she went into the studio for the final edit ‘talk-over’. Think about it! Does she really have all that ‘hindsight’ ? No of course not! However, I have to say at this point that Beeny is very pleasant and is not just a ‘presenter’ she does actually know her stuff but she doesn’t know everything, and at times couldn’t take into account the personal side of a development. Advice about the design given to me in my show (see youtube link for brief view), seemed to make sense on paper but would have cost me about another 10k. I did come across at times as a ‘blond bimbo’ and that’s ok, because I kind of guessed that would happen after watching the way they work. I pretty much got them sussed out so that they then couldn’t manipulate me. Indeed, unbeknown to the producers, I had made a bet with my close friends that I would stick with tradition and disagree blatantly with Beeny on a point, (to be decided), using the words, ‘I hear what you are saying, but I’m going to do it anyway’. I picked my moment and the expression on her face was wonderful. The producers love it too apparently, as it was kept in the final edit, much to my amusement. By this time, I knew their game and enjoyed playing along. Unfortunately, not all ‘participants’ would have worked that out.

While we are on the production of the programme, let’s get a few things straight!

They did about 40 hours of filming for a half hour programme.
You don’t get paid.

I had to organise builders and delivery of goods etc to fit in with filming days. This put me under enormous schedule pressure.

It is up to you to let suppliers know you will be appearing on Property Ladder, (Talk-back TV give you a letter as proof) and up to you to negotiate a discount, with the promise of their details appearing on Chanel 4 web site.

Some of the filming was done out of sequence. They asked me to bring changes of clothing, (and Beeny did too), to give the appearance of time/day difference. I was also interviewed in retrospect, (pretend you have only just done this), and projected, (let’s pretend that you have already completed this task). Consequence of this can be, Beeny looks super cool, you look a tit!

So going back to your original article. Do I agree with it? Some of it Yes. There are a few idiots on there, but as with everything, it is not all as it seems.
What did I get from appearing on the programme?
Well it was fun, once I sussed out the manipulation.
I was recognised for years all around the world, which was quite nice.
I saved money on my development.
It gave me confidence to launch back into property full time, seeking out the wonderful Parmdeep Vadesha and discovering a whole new property world, and property friends.
I made a bundle of money and proved Beeny wrong and I am now retired at age 58 with a large portfolio of house and a passive income.
Oh and last but not least, I watched Beeny breast feed her baby in my back garden. Although that would probably have been more thrilling to you gentleman folk!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu7QT7p6PUI

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Richard Chan 9th February, 2016 @ 10:46

Nadja they had 80 hours of footage to condense to 45 mins yes we said what we said in film but with editing stuff was taken out of context filmed in the wrong order mixed and matched to produce an entertaining 45 mins for the viewing public accept it for what it is entertaining rather than factual

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molly 31st March, 2017 @ 11:59

A message for Richard and Isabel, don't take what these people write about you to heart. They are only a few who are so annoyed they have to write about it - the rest of us (99%) wish you the best of luck - even though we may not have agreed with all of your choices. It certainly was entertaining.

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Richard Chan 31st March, 2017 @ 12:24

Thanks Molly are you in Australia too ? I notice that it's just been repeated AGAIN !!
Yes we sold and made it to Melbourne, Australia on the profits, so all good.

The editing had a bit of artistic license but I guess this has to be more entertaining rather than instructional

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molly 31st March, 2017 @ 12:45

I'm really pleased you came to Melbourne - yes I'm a local and saw this episode this evening. It's easy to be affected by people's comments online but the best thing to remember is that the majority who watch the show just get on with their own lives and problems. I'm glad you both succeeded in your goal to relocate and don't worry what a few others might say. They're obviously frustrated in their own lives, which is common.

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Ian 31st March, 2017 @ 13:37

What are you guys doing for jobs in Melbourne ? Do you enjoy the change ?

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Chan Richard 31st March, 2017 @ 20:54

Loving the lifestyle here have now become proud parents and Aussie citizens. Property Ladder seems a lifetime ago now. Can't believe it still plays after all these years !

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