Jo Sinnott speaks out about ‘The Next Big Thing’

United Kingdom

Jo Sinnott, the lively and personable presenter of Real Estate TV’s hugely successful ‘Next Big Thing’ series as well as a regular presenter on Sky Travel, took some time out from her hectic schedule to speak to Rhiannon Davies about her new series, the places she believes people will be investing in property in the future and where she would ideally like to own a home abroad.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me Jo, I understand you’re literally in the middle of filming the new series of ‘Next Big Thing’ for Real Estate TV…
That’s right!  It’s a ten part series and we’re covering loads of interesting destinations.  We’ve just got back from the UAE, checking out the property markets in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the less well known states of Ras Al-Khaimah and Ajman.  We’ve also been to the Cape Verde islands – which I loved – and soon we’ll be off to Egypt and the Cayman Islands, so it’s all go at the moment.
Do you enjoy all the travelling involved in your job?
I do, yes, I don’t think I could do this job if I didn’t love it.  I have a fairly young family so it takes quite a lot of organisation, but my husband and I are both freelance so we’re usually able to juggle the childcare.  The upside is, I get to recce places that I can then take my family back to on holiday. 
For example, we’ve just filmed a ‘Next Big Thing’ episode in Cape Verde, not only is it an interesting place to invest in property, but it’s also an ideal location for my next family holiday!
It’s easy to see why Cape Verde is being billed as ‘Europe’s Caribbean.’  The islands that make up the archipelago are still virtually untouched – ‘virgin territory’ as we like to call it.  They’re on the same latitude as the Caribbean, so offer near perfect weather, and they are just a short to medium haul hop from the UK and mainland Europe – which is a serious factor to consider especially when you have children.  The aim is to transform the islands into high-end resorts and there is such potential for them to become prosperous that I personally think they’re ideal for a holiday and more specifically for investment.
Would you consider investing in Cape Verde yourself then, or in any of the other locations you’re currently examining for ‘Next Big Thing?’
The locations we’ve chosen for the new series all offer undeniable opportunity to investors – that’s a given – but personally, yes, with the research I do before filming, the knowledge I gain from being on the ground in each location, and the opportunity I have to speak to so many market experts, I would consider investing in Cape Verde.  Specifically I’m attracted to Santo Antao – it’s green, lush and mountainous on one side, with perfect beaches on the other, and just like the rest of Cape Verde, you can still get front line beach properties at reasonable prices. 
The islands have ambitious plans.  If, as predicted, they come to fruition, demand will likely see prices rising fast which is why Cape Verde is being profiled in the new series of ‘Next Big Thing.’
So the next family holiday will actually be a property inspection trip!
Ha!  Yes, if I get my way, although my husband would really like to visit Dubai. However, I’ve just returned from quite a long trip to the UAE, putting together three programmes for the ‘Next Big Thing’ series, so I’d like to explore somewhere else in my leisure time!
Mind you, I could put into practice my theory that the UAE can now offer a rather interesting two-centre holiday.  For example you can enjoy a city break in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, followed by some down time on the beach in Ras al Khaimah or Ajman
Now that the other emirates are opening up to overseas business and tourism, there is so much choice when it comes to investing in UAE. You have Dubai – still an incredible place for property investment with ever increasing numbers of companies and individuals doing business here – but you also have the likes of Ras Al-Khaimah and Ajman rising in appeal as well.
Both RAK and Ajman offer a more laid back pace of life with some stunning beaches and a burgeoning holiday market.  But thanks to the Emirates Highway making them more accessible and their freehold property laws being under review, they also offer potentially profitable property markets too.  Prices are still so much more affordable than Dubai – and if you take the approach of having a two centre holiday, with shopping in Dubai and relaxing in Ras Al-Khaimah for example, or you consider working in Dubai and living in Ajman maybe, you can see that there’s room for property investment profits across the UAE.
Abu Dhabi’s is another interesting property market.  It’s actually the richest by far of all the UAE states with around 95% of the emirates’ oil reserves – so with all that oil it doesn´t need to rely on tourism and development for its financial security, hence there’s been no great rush to build fast and furiously.  It also means, Abu Dhabi has had the luxury of watching its neighbour Dubai do it all before and is now copying what works and changing what doesn´t.  
They have made it very clear that they will build their infrastructure ALONGSIDE their developments, and they have an infrastructure blueprint for the city with an aim to make Abu Dhabi ‘the most modern, efficient city in the world.’  A pretty big statement hey!  But what I find amazing about all the emirates is that anything seems possible.
From an investment point of view, there’s a strong buy to let market in Abu Dhabi and developers are catering very much to the high end.  At the moment Abu Dhabi has too little property to accommodate its growing numbers of wealthy visitors and residents, so, although the price of property is relatively high especially considering that it´s essentially an emerging market, the rents that those properties can achieve are substantial! 
However, for my next family holiday I think the UAE is too long haul.  And after the luxury of flying back with Silverjet, I’m not sure I can handle cattle class with a toddler!
Are there any property investment hotspots closer to home that ‘Next Big Thing’ is covering in the new series then?
Absolutely!  We have some fantastic property markets almost on our doorstep!  Take Morocco for example, we covered Marrakech in the first series and now we’re back to take a closer look.  You can’t deny the natural lure of the country – it’s short haul, it has fantastic weather, it has so much history and increasingly more and more people want to travel there, so there is massive property investment potential. 
What’s more, one area that we’ve focused on called the Costa Vista is just across the Mediterranean from Spain’s Costa del Sol – so you can draw many comparisons, except when it comes to property prices.  Property in this part of Morocco is so much more affordable than in Spain meaning that there is plenty of room for growth.
We’re also about to explore the property investment potential in Egypt, which is also a relatively short-haul from the UK, before heading further a field to the Cayman Islands.
So no let up in the travelling any time soon then?
No, I love it, I really do, I get to explore so many places that I wouldn’t necessarily otherwise go to.  I always intend to return as well, but my schedule seldom lets me!  That’s the only regret I have really – that and not collecting airmiles!
Catch Jo Sinnott on Real Estate TV presenting the brand new series of ‘Next Big Thing’ on demand at

Dawkins appointed Interim Managing Director of Real Estate TV

United Kingdom


Having founded Real Estate TV in 2004, built the business to become the UK´s leading property channel and negotiated the deal with Fox International Channels at the end of 2007, Mark Dodd, CEO and Managing Director of Real Estate TV, has decided to leave the company.

Getting in on the Auction

United States

Selling homes via auction has proved popular in the past with British homeowners especially those looking for a quick sale however in today’s sluggish market sale values are down by 44% year on year according to the Essential Information Group. No longer is a vendor assured a sale at auction because buyers are becoming further and fewer between, and those who are coming to auctions to buy property can afford to be much more choosy.  What this effectively means is that vendors really have to step up to the mark if they want their home to sell, and to sell at a good price.

To prepare your home for auction you need to set the reserve price in consultation with the auctioneer, prepare a contract with the terms and conditions for the sale, and then have your home in a state of readiness and open it up for viewings.  The more flexible and open you are with viewings, the more people will come and see your property and the greater the potential interest you will drum up ready for auction day.  However, when you open your home for viewings you want to make sure it wows would-be vendors, which is why it is becoming increasingly popular for vendors to give their home a mini-makeover ahead of the auction day.
In Australia Auction Squad are on hand to assist would-be auction vendors to realise their home’s full potential, and now thanks to Real Estate TV, British buyers can watch the Auction Squad in action from Monday the 21st July at 10.30pm and learn how to use a small budget to make a big change to a property about to go to auction. 
The Auction Squad, led by presenter Johanna Griggs, visit a different home each week and transform it from lacklustre lot to reserve-busting success.  British vendors hoping to sell their home – at auction or even traditionally – will learn a lot from this show and what’s more, Auction Squad is inspiration and entertaining television.
See the Auction Squad turn ugly concrete courtyards into urban oases, watch them finish half done renovation jobs, learn how to revamp your kitchen for less and then join in the drama and tension as auction day finally arrives.  Watch the Auction Squad in action on Real Estate TV from Monday the 21st of July on Sky Channels 273 & 274, on demand on Virgin TV and at

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but what effect does the ‘Ugliest House on the Block’ have on your property’s sales appeal?

United Kingdom

In the current economic climate, selling a house isn’t proving easy.  As mortgages are more difficult to come by and buyers are biding their time before putting in an offer, every savvy vendor knows that everything from curb appeal to de-cluttering their home has to be done if they are to achieve a quick sale or a sale at all.  Therefore, imagine how unfortunate some vendors are when they find they are trying to sell their pristine home at the same time as someone else in the neighbourhood is living in the ugliest and shabbiest house on the street.

In a brand new series entitled ‘Ugliest House on the Block,’ which is airing on Real Estate TV at 8.30pm from Monday 14th of July, that is just the scenario that the show’s participants find themselves in.  The participants are groups of neighbours from across America who have made every effort to turn their homes into castles and who are suffering as a result of living on the same street or block as the ugliest property around.  In ‘Ugliest House on the Block’ they get the chance to fight back and preserve their properties’ values.
‘Ugliest House on the Block’ encourages groups of neighbours affected by slovenly and lazy homeowners or less well off and overwhelmed house occupiers to band together and nominate the house that most lets down their entire street.  The neighbours who are deemed to live next to the ugliest house on the block win a makeover for the offending property to push not only the value of the ugly home right up, but to secure the values of all the other houses on the street, and to improve the entire neighbourhood.
It’s perfect timing for Real Estate TV to begin airing this reality TV show as right now homeowners across the UK are well aware that they must do all they can to ensure that their home stands out and maintains its value.  It’s highly likely that many such Brits will relate all too well with the suffering neighbours in ‘Ugliest House on the Block’ whose best efforts are almost laid to waste by the lack of effort of just one homeowner on the street.
Tune in to Real Estate TV from Monday the 14th of July at 8.30pm on Sky Channels 273 & 274, on Virgin TV and on demand at www.realestatetv,.tv to make your own mind up about the ugly homes, the disgruntled neighbours, the ugly duckling to beautiful swan transformations, and ultimately the offending house occupiers who ‘allowed’ their homes to get in such a state in the first place.

Switch over and discover

United Kingdom

Whether it is the grisly life of Jack the Ripper or the notorious story of Sweeney Todd, about which the acclaimed movie of the same name was recently released, there is a deep, dark fascination with the sordid side of the famous east end of the capital, its past and also its rising.

The question is where did it all start?
Real Estate TV is airing the popular series ‘Living In’ and on the 8th and 28th July at 7pm you will have the opportunity to see ‘Living in Docklands’ a fascinating programme on how the area that we know today as Docklands first came about and why it has such a predominant role in how we see London today.
Tune in to Living In Docklands on Real Estate TV, Sky Channels 273 & 274, Virgin TV or on demand at For more information call 0800 781 8802.

The Unsellables

United Kingdom

At a time when the UK property market is proving tough for estate agents and sellers alike, when the perfect buyer is getting harder to find, even more so than a mortgage, what more can we do to achieve sale success? If ‘why won’t our house sell?’ is a question you are regularly asking yourself and you need some inspiration on how to get smart and active in the property market then the hit Canadian show ‘The Unsellables’, brought to the UK exclusively by leading property channel Real Estate TV, is essential viewing. It has captured the imagination of Sofie Allsopp who, from a family of property experts (sister Kirsty Allsopp), has turned her skills to helping homeowners sell their properties across the pond giving us in the UK the opportunity to learn from their chintz mistakes.

From dated décor and filthy interiors to cluttered closets and messy bedrooms, The Unsellables tackles the most unsightly and ‘unsellable’ listings on the property market and encourages desperate homeowners to prepare for a sale.
Battling with homeowners’ questionable personal taste and long-standing attachments to household clutter, Sofie and her co-host Anthony Sayers cajole eleven people across the thirteen episodes into giving up the mementos and vivid colourings in order to appeal to the right buyers. From crowded bungalows to dated, drab houses Sofie and Anthony guide, revamp and restore houses to their full glory of tidy turnkey properties, but will the owners take the property duos advice to achieve the sales they desperately need?
Frank and Amy in episode 1 have bought their dream home and need to shift their current property to avoid paying two crippling mortgages; can Patricia in episode 3 get her four children to help with their home overhaul in order to get a viewer through the door? Viewings aren’t a problem for Susan and Bob in episode 6 who have had over fifty showings but no one showing them the money, will their efforts be enough to seal the deal?
Tune into The Unsellables every Monday at 10pm on Real Estate TV at Sky Channels 273 and 274 or view the series on demand at Virgin TV and at

Real Estate TV Website Re-launch

United Kingdom


Real Estate TV, (RETV, the multi award winning UK based television channel and multi-media company that forms part of News Corps’ Fox International Channels’ network, is pleased to announce the re-launch of their online presence from July 2008.  The re-launch of the website coincides with a complete redesign of the simulcast company’s online presence, and the new look site will be launched in a series of phases from July. 
Responding to specific viewer demand, the first phase of the launch will bring online complete UK property market coverage and presence for Real Estate TV.  This new comprehensive level of coverage of the United Kingdom for RETV will feature everything from regional guides to regeneration news, from mapping tools allowing users to pinpoint developments for sale within reach of specific amenities for example, to video rich content showcasing properties for sale and even UK city profiles.
Backing up listings of attractive developments and individual homes for sale across the United Kingdom, Real Estate TV’s video content will allow viewers to learn more about the specifics of a given location or even a given developer for example.  The mapping tools will help guide a user’s property searches, and the unique toolbox that the RETV website will incorporate will enable all online Real Estate TV users to find professionals and support services – from conveyancing specialists to mortgage lenders.
In harmony with the company’s rapidly advancing development in terms of its television-based programming, the upgraded and enhanced online presence will ensure that viewers of the channel and users of the RETV website are completely and fully informed about every essential aspect of the UK property market.
The second phase of the website re-launch in August will include complete international real estate listings together with holiday rental listings.  These will of course be supported by country specific text and video based content.  Country guides, market news, destination reports and even web exclusive video content will enhance the overall free online service that RETV offers its viewers and users.  The mapping tools for the international section of the website will enable users to search homes for sale or properties to rent in proximity to beaches, golf courses, ski areas, restaurants or resorts for example.
From September onwards the enhancement of the Real Estate TV website will be complete with the incorporation of fully integrated contextual video, cutting edge mapping displays and dynamically generated contextual links for example.
The re-launch of the site will bring online a brand new look for Real Estate TV, but the re-launch is about far more than just aesthetics.  In conjunction with the overall advancement of the brand following the January 2008 controlling stake purchase by Fox International Channels, the re-launch is about providing viewers and users of RETV with the most comprehensive and all-embracing property-based resource where they can find everything – from informed opinion to property product, and from inspirational or aspirational programming to specific individuals to assist with a real estate related matter at their fingertips.
As an advertising platform for developers, agents, property market solution providers and real estate professionals, the new look Real Estate TV website will be a high-grade, targeted way to showcase services, developments and specific properties to waiting and focused audience demand.  The multi media advertising platform that the website will provide will enable advertisers to choose how they profile their product, with opportunities available for everything from contextual-based advertisement placement to video-based promotion.
The exciting re-launch of Real Estate TV’s online presence will be another huge advancement for the brand as they forge ahead with their dual campaigns to provide their advertisers with the ultimate level of multi-platform promotional visibility and their viewers and users with the most comprehensive, useful and easy to use and access guide to all things property.
For more information please visit

Dubai: Still the Next Big Thing?



When Dubai is mentioned, images of high-rise buildings, high-success industry, new-found celebrity culture, ‘Media City’, and profit from excellent rental returns spring to mind. Dubai has become the best known of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and has achieved international acclaim for its real estate development, putting it firmly on the map. The second largest Emirate after Abu Dhabi, Dubai was well-situated geographically – between Europe and Asia – for business and property development, and the mere 7-8 hour flying time from the UK as well as having no capital gains or income tax, only enhanced its appeal.
This initial development of this once primarily Arab Emirate, now home to a fast-growing population of which 80% is from overseas, resulted in a shortage of rental properties and therefore a large number of people reaping large profits from the real estate market. Now, however, there are signs that this most well-known Emirate is moving into a new era, as is documented in Real Estate TV’s ‘Next Big Thing Dubai’ programme showing on 11th May on Sky channels 273 and 274 and on demand on Virgin TV and at
The programme allows viewers to discover why Dubai can still be seen as the ‘Next Big Thing’, even following its huge development of recent years and will allow an insight into the future for this powerful Emirate. ‘Next Big Thing Dubai’ considers the effect of new transportation links that are under development, such as the new metro system due for completion in 2012 as well as new roads being developed, and also the effect of the new industry that has moved in, making the Dubai economy now around 94% non-oil related.
Dubai’s plans remain ambitious, and in looking towards the future, impressive developments are in planning or already taking place, in the ever-prevalent drive to attract tourism. Alongside this, recent legal changes have made it easier for foreign property investors, giving them greater protection in an uncertain world. Dubai’s constant evolution has kept it ahead of the game in terms of growth and development and it is this that could see it head towards an even brighter future. As Jo Sinnott, presenter of ‘Next Big Thing Dubai’ concludes ‘Dubai is growing even faster than before and for property investors, could once again be the ‘Next Big Thing’.
Tune in Sunday 11th May at 10pm to Real Estate TV on Sky Channels 273 and 274 and on demand on Virgin TV and at to watch ‘The Next Big Thing Dubai’.

Are You a Property Virgin?

United Kingdom

A brand new reality television series is coming to Real Estate TV.  Looking at the trials and tribulations of first time buyers, the reality television series which is having its British premiere on simulcast company Real Estate TV’s cable and satellite channels, is aptly named ‘Property Virgins.’  

Hosted by Canadian real estate agent and property guru Sandra Rinomato, ‘Property Virgins’ witnesses the presenter guiding a new group of first time buyers through the realities of purchasing their very first home each episode, and in so doing she instructs her audience in understanding and working the market.
There has been so much media interest in the changing fate of the first time buyer in the UK in recent weeks, where house prices are falling but mortgages are becoming harder to get.  As the Canadian real estate market closely mirrors the British market and there are striking similarities between the fate which is faced by property virgins in each country, the timing of the Canadian show’s premiere on British television could not be more appropriate. 
Speaking about the timing of bringing the series to a British audience, Mark Dodd, Managing Director of Real Estate TV stated: “It’s a perfect addition to our programming because our audience is very interested in aspirational programming and we understand that many who watch Real Estate TV also want to find a way in to the British housing market.” 
The show has been an unmitigated success in Canada and we are expecting very high viewing figures because it’s a great show to watch.  “The presenter is not only highly skilled, she is very witty and sharp and you can expect to meet some real characters on ‘Property Virgins’ as well as viewing some interesting real estate!  In other words, expect to be entertained and informed!”
For British buyers, Ms. Rinomato is a refreshing change to the estate agents many of us are used to dealing with who are really only interested in getting a good deal for the vendor.  Sandra Rinomato is a crusader for the property virgin, and if you want to benefit from her wisdom and be entertained by her no nonsense style of telling it how it is, tune in from 2nd June.
Catch the antics of the property virgins each night at 9.30pm on Real Estate TV, Sky channels 273 and 274 and on demand on Virgin TV and at