Focus on property management – but make sure you get it right!

Letting agents have been told today, that by focusing on lettings only and not offering property management, they could be losing out on “thousands of pounds of potential income”. New research from outsourcing supplier ARPM, reported in Letting Agent Today, shows that many agents typically offer let-only. By offering a full management service too, ARPM calculates they could boost average annual income by up to 80% per tenancy. That’s big money.

The report reveals an untapped market of almost one million landlords in London alone who only use letting agents to find them tenants – or don’t use one at all. With private rentals expanding across the country year-on-year and many landlords living remotely from their investment property, there is huge potential for growth. And a chance to claw back the estimated £400 per letting that agents are expected to lose as a result of the tenant fees ban.

Property management is not a business to be entered into lightly

But – and this is a big but – property management is a serious business. The government has agents in its sights right now and poor service in our sector is soon to be outlawed by the advent of stronger regulation and the need for recognised qualifications. So, like marriage, this isn’t a client relationship to be entered into lightly.

As chartered surveyors and professional managing agents, we have specialised in this service for many years. Our lettings division Life by Ringley, based in Manchester and servicing clients across the region, has a clear understanding of the differing needs of landlords and tenants. We provide both basic and full management services, with fees clearly stated from the start. Click here to find out more. https://lifebyringley.co.uk/

As well as managing rental property, Ringley specialises in leasehold blocks. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, our Blockcare offer has something for everyone from a basic service to fully managed options. Fees are charged according to the level of management you require. Sign-up is easy and almost everything from site reports, minutes, invoicing and accounts can be done online. We can take us much or as little of the hassle out of your management requirements as you want us to.

We even have a tailor-made package for you to use if you can’t afford a managing agent! Click here to find a package that suits your needs https://www.ringley.co.uk/property_management

Why do interns come to Ringley?

At Ringley we are passionate about bringing young people into our business. We have a thriving intern programme but we were keen to find out what attracts them to our business. So we asked them.

“Why do interns come to Ringley? Well, there are two reasons. The first is obvious – to gain an insight into property management – and the second is to experience and learn more about one of Europe’s most exciting cities – London. 

London life

“Without a doubt, London stands alone in its ability to provide absolutely anything you can imagine, from culture to food and from activities to architecture. There is hardly a moment to feel bored because the city really is nonstop excitement! We interns have also been surprised and pleased to find so many parks scattered around the city. In particular, we recommend seeing Hyde Park, London’s largest and most famous green space. You can go for a stroll, go boating, eat out in style, listen to an outdoor concert or just relax and enjoy the greenery in the midst of this vibrant urban area.

“Another option is going to Camden Market, which is very close to our offices at Ringley. You can really delve into London’s multicultural environment and try a variety of dishes from around the world. For example, you could get a Lebanese falafel wrap, a German baguette or even an African dessert. You’ll always be full and happy!

“And to top off a great day in London, you can head to the Shard to have drinks in the tallest building in Western Europe. At night, the view is certainly impressive. These are just a few of the thousands of exciting things you can find to do in London . You can have all this and more if you choose to work here.  

A great work-life balance

“Social life at Ringley is more than just cordial conversation. Our company is a melting pot of cultures from around the world and we each bring something special to the table, including our experiences, food, and language. This means that we learn something new every day, ranging from learning to say “hello” in Russian to trying food from India. New interns and employees with different cultural backgrounds arrive constantly, so the excitement never stops.

“We always have something to talk about, and because everyone has a different point of view, we have really interesting conversations. We all accept each other for who we are, so we are able to speak openly about all kinds of topics. Although people come and go, we are able to make lasting friendships that we hope will continue into the future.

“Beyond lunch and the office, we sometimes hang out after work on Fridays. The relaxed environment helps us to build our friendships. We often go to the pub to grab a few beers, and this allows us to talk to people we do not often see in the office. Though we have fun with each other, at the end of the day, we always come back to talking about our responsibilities at Ringley.

“So even though we are ‘only’ interns, we feel as if we really belong at the company. “

Company Day – team building for success

The theme of our company Day last year was 'taking responsibility
The theme of our Company Day last year was ‘taking responsibility’

The annual Company Day is deeply ingrained in Ringley’s traditions. This is a day out of the office that takes place once a year and gives us all a great opportunity to get together to celebrate our company and the achievements we’ve made over the last 12 months. We use all kinds of team building exercises to help us get to know each other on a different level, away from the work environment. Only a few people know where the event will take place and what is planned for us. Last year, most of us knew only that it would take place in a hotel in Edgware, and we needed to be on the bus at 9am!

On the bus we were divided into seven teams and on arrival we played a game called Sink or Float. We were shown pictures of fruit and vegetables and had to guess which would sink or float. Then we were separated again  – this time into three different groups. One group had etiquette training, the second made bricks, and the third cooked lunch for everyone. The theme of the day was taking responsibility and this was a key aspect of each of the tasks we were given.

After a delicious lunch made for us by the cooks team, a bus took one of the other teams to a site managed by Ringley. They were given an exercise where they had to try and work out what the budget and annual charge per owner would be. Those not participating in this task prepared afternoon tea and dressed as waiters to greet the others and take their orders on their return. To round off the day, we got back into our original seven teams and interviewed each other, learnng more about our company values and the procedures we all follow at Ringley.

Finally, employees were awarded for their special achievements during the year. There were awards for providing five star service, graduating, or fixing customer issues.  Our annual Company Day is a great way to bring the staff together to have fun and get to know each other better.  It really helps us pull together as a team, working even harder to deliver the best possible service for our customers.

Stamp duty abolished for some first time buyers – and rates relief for retail

 

Yesterday’s Budget speech didn’t include many dramatic new measures to boost the property sector  but we certainly welcome the Chancellor’s first time buyers’ stamp duty abolition on shared ownership homes valued at up to £500,000. This is a good way to get normal working families into secure accommodation as an alternative to rent.  With the huge increase in numbers of homes for sale and/or part ownership developed by housing associations we see HAs very much as the developers of the future. With a red tape, tick-box-based planning system and some developers guilty of land banking sites to maintain prices – stimulus for social housing must be the answer to the housing crisis.

With the London property market cooling we also welcome the extension of the government’s ‘help to buy’ initiative, which supports many developers and ensures that UK purchasers can buy  UK property – without that ability there is a serious risk of the remote or overseas landlord problem getting out of control.  It is absolutely vital that we don’t alienate young buyers by pushing them out of our cities in favour of yields-driven landlords who overcrowd properties that were originally designed as family homes.   The good news for renters and sharers is that increasingly there are quality, purposefully designed build-to-rent homes coming onto the market in pure rent environments.  But accidental landlords – those who, say, rent out their batchelor pad  – got no comfort yesterday as tax relief and claimable allowances continue to be phased out.

We hope that the promised £400M for schools will be in part directed into ‘fit for work’ measures. On a day-to-day basis at Ringley we remain challenged by the lack of employability skills in many of the youngsters we support. We estimate the employer burden on filling those gaps is costing us up to £3,500 per employee.

Having been an Ambassador for Apprenticeships from the start, we welcome the £695M to develop apprenticeships.  However, we remain concerned and are working with training providers on a number of challenges, in particular the fact that we cannot truly offer to take apprentices through to degree level in some disciplines such as IT and that, for example, IT apprenticeships often reflect old technologies and need updating fast.

The budget did provide much-needed help for the retail property sector. Landlords of our beleaguered high streets and retail centres should be able to hold their rents and reduce the uncertainty of void units with the announcement that rates for small business are to be cut by 1/3rd over the next two years. This is a much needed reduction and some relief from the pressures of a changing landscape and digitalisation, which falls particularly unequally on break-even small businesses.  Not sure we are ready to open our lavatories to the entire general public quite yet though!

We hope that the money local councils will receive to revive their high streets will inspire creative thinking as the reason for having a town centre continues to shift.    More on that soon…..

 

 

 

 

Intern Experience: Lena

My name is Lena and I live, work and study in Berlin, Germany. I came to Ringley Chartered Surveyors for a six-week internship as part of my studies. Back home in Germany, I study Business Administration with a special focus on real estate management and engineering. I also work for a housing company in Berlin. Going abroad for my internship, my goal was to get some insights into London’s fast-paced real estate market, which I was able to achieve at Ringley.

During my six-week internship, I was given a variety of tasks covering a range of different areas. I was given a free hand and the independence to complete my tasks. I worked on projects that made life a bit easier at the office and on more challenging ones. My projects included managing defect reports of newly built blocks of flats and fire risk assessments of properties. It was fun to work together with other interns and property managers on matters of compliance and insurance. Whenever I approached someone with a question, they were happy to take the time to answer it for me.

I have enjoyed my time at Ringley and the atmosphere is fun and friendly. There are plenty of interns and staff with whom to socialise and share the experience. It was great to get an insight into working and living in London.

TASKS AT RINGLEY

My name is Killiann Noseki. I arrived in the company at a pretty crucial moment, in fact the company was about to commercialise a product that they had entirely thought out and designed. This project was the launch of Human Resources software in the form of a cloud for small and medium businesses. The softwarkillianne, called “Ringley HR 1:2:1”, is intended for companies that strive to achieve better organization, task distribution and knowledge sharing between the employees themselves and the directors. It helps improve the performance of a business, simply by keeping people in touch in a very quick and structured yet simple way, also by tying tasks and objectives into their job role, so that together the team could push the organization forward.

Several tasks which were given to me have resulted of this project. I had to search for and call potential suppliers in HR Consultancy, analyse competing products, and edit the tutorial video. On one hand I found it very interesting to follow the marketing process committed by Ringley for this product because it is perfectly suitable with the studies I’m doing in a Business School in France. Ringley enabled me to have a vision and outline in the field I’m studying. On the other hand I felt involved in an important approach which gave me motivation and pride once the task was done. I don’t think lots of opportunities like this come up in a company when you are an intern especially if you’re from a foreign country and don’t speak very good English.

A FRIDAY AT RINGLEY

The social life at Ringley is more than just cordial and superficial conversations. Ringley is unique in that it is a melting pot of cultures from around the world. We each bring something special to the table, including our experiences, food, and language. This means that we learn something new every day, ranging from learning to say “hello” in Russian to trying food from India. New interns and employees with different cultural backgrounds arrive constantly, so the excitement never stops.

We always have something to talk about, and because everyone has a different point of view, we have very enriched conversations. We all accept each other for who we are, so we are able to speak openly about various topics. Even as people come and go, we are able to make lasting friendships that will continue into the future.
Beyond lunch and the office, we sometimes hang out after work on Fridays. The relaxed environment helps us to consolidate our friendships. Traditionally, we go to the pub to grab a few beers, and this allows us to talk to people we do not often see in the office. Though we can have fun talking to each other, at the end of the day, we always come back to talking about responsibilities at Ringley. Even though we are “only” interns, we feel like we belong at the company.

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO WORK IN LONDON

There are two reasons why we, as interns, have come to Ringley. The first is to gain insight in property management; the second is to experience one of Europe’s most unique cities: London. Here is what we’ve learned about London from the friendly people in the Ringley lunch room this week.

Without a doubt, London is distinct in providing anything you could imagine, including culture, food, activities, and architecture. There is hardly a moment when you could feel bored because the city is nonstop excitement! An interesting fact about London is that it has numerous parks scattered around the city. In particular, we recommend seeing Hyde Park, London’s largest and most famous park. You can go for a stroll, go boating, eat out in style or listen to the concerts that happen regularly or you can relax and appreciate the many plants that exist there.

After visiting the park, you could enjoy dinner beside the Thames River. Another option is going to Camden Market and delving into the multicultural environment. Here, you can try a variety of dishes from around the world. For example, you could get a Lebanese falafel wrap, a German baguette, or an African dessert. You’ll always be full and happy!

To finish your brilliant day, you can head to the Shard to have drinks atop the tallest building in Western Europe. At night, the view is most impressive. This is just one possibility in the thousands of activities you can do in London, and you can have all this and more if you choose to work here.

COMPANY DAY

Deeply ingrained in Ringley’s traditions is the annual Company Day, when everyone comes together to celebrate the company and employee achievements of the year. Through various team building exercises, we have the opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level. Before the actual day, only a handful of people in the office actually know where the event will be and what will happen. This year, most only knew that it would take place in a hotel in Edgware, and they needed to be on the bus at 9am! In the bus, everyone was separated into seven teams, and on arrival we competed in a game called Sink or Float. This was where everyone was shown pictures of fruits and vegetables, and we had to guess which would sink or float. After this, we were all separated again into three different groups. One group had etiquette training, the second made bricks, and the third cooked lunch for everyone. The theme of the day was taking responsibility, and everyone was working towards that in their tasks.

After the delicious lunch that the cooking team prepared, a bus took us to one of the sites managed by Ringley, and the team did their best at working out what the budget and annual charge per owner would be. Those not participating in this event prepared afternoon tea and dressed as waiters to greet us and take our orders on our return. To round off the day, the group got back into our original seven teams and learned and interviewed each other about the values and procedures at Ringley. Everyone was in good spirits after this, and some employees were awarded for their special achievements from the year. For instance, there were awards for providing five star service, graduating, or fixing customer issues. At the end of the day, we had a fun time, and we felt more interconnected as a company.

CHANGE CLOCK WEEKEND

Fire kills and so does the build up of natural gas that can cause an explosion.
So whilst you go around your home to change your clock (31st March 2013), test your smoke alarm too or install one.


Ringley’s advice is 
fit a working smoke alarm inside your property and support your Property Manager by asking for a natural gas detector in the common parts.

At Ringley, we are still on a daily basis persuading flat owners to implement fire risk assessment advice.  We believe that there will become a time, like with EPC’s (energy performance certificates) that are required before you sell or rent a home for the government to consider further registration on fire risk implementation.  After all in April 2012 we saw the start of a national register of air-conditioning plant so slowly there is close down on safety compliance in all areas.dstclockimage


It is also now becomming commonplace with many new build developers now installing ‘natural gas detectors’ as standard with some even committing to retrospectively installing these too.  Amos 550 natural gas detector as an example costs from about £60 and in high risk buildings are also worth considering installing as they reduce the risk of gas explosions.  So please spread the word, when your Property Manager asks you to consider a little in your budget for a natural gas detector, support them and say yes.

 

To see the latest government video and more information go to:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/you-can-t-turn-back-time-will-you-promise-to-keep-your-family-safe

15 children died in accidental fires last year, among a total 7,256 injuries and 187 deaths from dwelling fires across the country, and you’re 4 times more likely to die in a fire if you don’t have a working smoke alarm.


The new heart-wrenching video by up-and-coming director, Stevie Russell, reminds everyone exactly what is at stake in a house fire, and is part of the Fire Kills campaign asking people test their smoke alarms when they change their clocks over the Easter weekend.  A working smoke alarm can buy you and your family the valuable time you need to get out, stay out and call 999.


Be safe.