My travel in to work in the morning takes just under an hour. On the way in I walk past Brixton prison, see the gun crime incident signs from the bus window, hear the screaching of a deranged busker at Oxford Circus, but nothing annoys me more than the site of the Foxtons mafia in and around Notting Hill gate. Dressed in quite good suits, drinking green tea and faces smeared with a smug sense of satisfaction the like of which is rarely seen beyond my bathroom mirror.
But fear not - help is at hand. Property websites are amongst the best on the web. People love looking at things they can't afford, and there's no purchase more important to anyone than their first/second/third gaff. Good property sites pull together information scattered all of the web, allow you to filter it to your needs, and look at all the surrounding amenities.
Nestoria is the best site I've found to do this. Really nicely put together, uses google maps well, layers the property information pulled in from places like fish4 with data on the local schools, hospitals, pubs and shops. On top of this, it uses geograph to source images of the surrounding area, giving the user a visual smorgasboard of the local area. Brilliant!
So next time you go house hunting, do not put more money in to the green tea and selfridges suit fund of swindling mini drivers. Go online. Scope it out. Go offline, walk round yourself. Arrange the booking by phone and do it at your convenience.
Now we just need a high end, houses for rich people site and Foxtons will have nowhere to go. Nowhere.