I did not go to University. I completed my diploma in Business management and communication, but I decided not to go to university. I have always worked. Since 1999, I have worked in the property business, first as a PA in a property company and then latterly, for the last 15 years, as lettings & property manager for a London developer.
In 2014, I gave birth to my first child. A few months later, I started my own company, On Point Property Management Limited. It is my first company!
On Point is a one-stop solution for professional landlords offering a unique, bespoke management and letting service for residential portfolio covering South West London. It is a market I am experienced and very confident in, but the property business is a competitive one. Even global players, who are not in the industry, are entering the market. EasyJet, a budget airline that is a FTSE100 company, has recently entered property lettings and sales business with EasyProperty.
But as someone who has dealt with tenants, landlords, workmen and property professionals on a daily basis for the past 15 years, this is what I have to say: the property business is not about bottom line, portfolio size or even balance sheet. It is about human relationships.
I see my job as a nurse of sorts. I am always on call. Even if I am not physically in the office, I have to be accessible by phone at all times, because there are tenants out there who have disabled children or who themselves are in the vulnerable category. You never know when a tenant may have a maintenance emergency, and you need to be accessible at all times. They need a compassionate human voice on the other end of the line to help them in their moment of need. There has to be a genuine sense of involvement in fostering relationships with all stakeholders, from tenants, landlords, and maintenance team in order for management to run smoothly.
It is easy for corporates to talk about relationships, but for me, it is about the actual meaning behind those words rather than empty platitudes that drives my business ethos. I myself am a landlord and my tenant has been with me for ten years. I have no doubt that I can get a tenant that pays me more rent than the one I have had for the last decade, but I believe in the long-term stable business than risky, short term gains (or possibly even loss). So long as the investment is growing steadily, I believe that we can expend our energies more positively than just looking for the next quick buck.
Though I have a very honest and competent workforce making sure that the properties under my care are maintained to the highest standards, there is no escaping the fact that I am a sole trader. I cannot afford to advertise to bring in walk-in clients, I cannot afford to pay for advertisements in glossy magazines. I do not have secretaries or lawyers to hide behind. Thus, I cannot afford to lose a client through lack of integrity or shoddy work. My values and what I stand for is my only selling point. But that’s fine by me, because that is why I started On Point. I wanted to do business in a different way, in accordance to the values that I have been brought up with, which is an anathema to the prevalent culture of our world today.
For more information on On Point, please visit http://onpointproperty.co.uk
(posted by Anna)