Redstones Lettings

Maximising your property portfolio

For landlords, we always advise that a diverse investment portfolio that takes into account your lifestyle requirements, age and risk profile, as well as contrasting which investments are likely to yield the highest returns are central to an effective investment strategy.

Property is a great option for investment, especially when you consider that interest rates are currently far below 1%. The time is now to consider adding property, or further property, to your portfolio.

Diversifying is so important because when it comes to property investment, it makes sense to avoid putting all your eggs in one basket should something unpredictable occur in regards to a particular investment.

There are many factors that will determine what sort of investment is right for you, such as whether you require income or capital growth, long or short term investment or how hands on you want to be. Also, do you want your money back quickly?

Diversifying by location is another way to diversify your property portfolio, although some argue that specialising in certain areas provides greater expertise and better results. Always conduct extensive research and target areas where property prices will grow due to their good location or through new businesses opening in the area.

Of course, risk and affordability is key. If you feel that your investment will become less profitable, always get out when you can.

Another consideration is how hands on you want to be when it comes to property management. At Redstones, your time is precious to us and we take all the hassle out of property management for landlords, whilst helping to advise on your next property investment.

In conclusion, diversifying your property portfolio is certainly an attractive course of action and Redstones are here to help you make your property investment ambitions a reality.

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Redstones looking to recruit 20 franchisees for 2017

With more people renting rather than buying homes nowadays, the housing market remains buoyant in the UK, making it a fantastic opportunity for potential new business owners.

Our ambitious growth plans mean that Redstones are now pro-actively searching for 20 franchisees for 2017, to take advantage of the geographical territories on offer. In comparison to our competitors, we offer large territories designed to maximise profitability.

Many new franchisees are impressed by our state-of-the art systems, which enable them to run a full service property agency from an office instead of the high street; significantly reducing overheads. We also pro-actively train new franchisees and support them with marketing and gaining new clients. Our SEO strategy and focus on pay-per-click means that we have developed a massive online presence.

Many other service benefits set us apart from the rest and mean that you can be proud to advocate Redstones to your clients as a franchisee. These benefits include:

  • The very latest 3D floor plans and walk through technology to help vendors sell their property as quickly as possible
  • An online property auction service with 0% commission to attract more sellers
  • Great value and flexibility for landlords through our Redstones Platinum Total Care service
  • The innovative Switch Agent programme to ensure you attract more landlords to your business!

If you like the sound of our great business practices and feel ready to take charge of your career as a franchisee, discover more about the special opportunity on offer.

With low-cost start-up fees, we’re keen to get the best talent on board, whether you’re an existing property professional or have the relevant skills to succeed in the property market.

So, if you’re ready to face the challenges, thrills, satisfactions and great financial rewards a Redstones franchise can offer you in 2017, don’t hesitate to find out more.

Become one of 20 valued Redstones franchisees in 2017.

 

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Landlords – be aware of energy efficiency changes

The Energy Efficiency of Private Rented Property in England and Wales Regulations 2015 has introduced several measures that have started to take effect.

In the UK, there are still plenty of naturally inefficient properties. An estimated 343,000 private rented properties have an EPC rating of F or G and there will be a ban on granting new tenancies for any properties with these ratings. This takes effect from April 2018.

This measure will apply to all existing or new tenancies by April 2020 and failure to comply could lead to a fixed penalty of up to £5000.

Manjit Virdi, Redstones’ Managing Director advises, “If you have an F or G rated property, start assessing any potential improvement plans as soon as possible and get that rating increased before April 2018. There are funding initiatives available that could help. We are happy to advise landlords on a personal basis.”

In addition, since April 2016, tenants have the right to request energy improvements to any property they let. Landlords cannot reasonably refuse requests, however, they are not required to contribute funding. If a tenant makes a request, they must identify the source of funding for any proposed works and identify proposed improvements from a government approved list.

If a valid request is received, landlords must respond in writing within 1 month, either consenting to the improvement or refusing consent. This must be backed up with valid reasons and there are only certain grounds on which consent can be refused. Exemptions include if an expert advises that improvement may damage the fabric or structure of the property or if the improvements will result in a reduction in the market value of the property of more than 5%.

Redstones are always on hand to advise landlords on changes in legislation and offer a diverse range of services that reduce the time and stress of being a pro-active landlord. Find out more about our lettings and property management services.

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New year, new career – Redstones expand nationwide

It’s the time of year that many people reconsider their careers and decide to take control. Many would argue that becoming a business owner or franchisee is one of the best ways to gain independence, flexibility, work/life balance, great financial rewards and ultimate control over your destiny. Is that something that’s truly offered by your existing career?

As Redstones continue their mission to expand nationwide, there are plenty of territories ‘up for grabs’ for those who aspire to run their own estate agency and lettings business. In contrast to many other property franchises, Redstones offers large territories of at least 100,000 households, low set up costs and opportunities to expand throughout the UK.

Often, the chance to make a healthy profit is far from the only reason to become a franchisee. There are many lifestyle benefits associated with running your own business. Some people are attracted to franchises because they relish the responsibility of running their own business. Others enjoy the opportunity to set their own hours and work around family and other commitments.

All of our existing franchisees have gone through the process of determining whether Redstones is the right choice for them, after enjoying careers in other fields. They have certainly not been disappointed!

Earle Kenlay, Director of Redstones says, “Redstones is one of the best property franchises in the UK due to their business terms and the size of the territory on offer.”

Richmond Franchisee, Brinder Bains agrees wholeheartedly. He says, “With Redstones, I’ve gained the independence of running my own business but with the support of a recognised national brand. My decision to join Redstones was the best business decision I’ve ever made.”

Want to transform your career for the better in 2017 and help Redstones expand nationwide? For further information, visit our Franchise website, call 01922 235 350 or email franchise@redstones.co.uk

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How to choose the best estate and lettings agency

Estate and lettings agents don’t always have the best reputation but with our focus on customer service, Redstones is the brand that goes against those pre-conceptions.

For those seeking a home for sale or rent, in addition to landlords, here’s what we always advise:

Complete your research

Choose an estate agent that is selling or renting properties similar to yours or those you are interested in and an agent that is prominent in your local area. Ask about their track record in your area.

Assess estate and letting agents

Why not pop into the office and meet them? Are they professional, friendly and enthusiastic? It’s essential to find out about their marketing methods too. Are they utilising SEO, 3D floor plans and advertising on all of the best websites?

It’s so important to build up a good rapport with your agent from the start too. You need to find them to be honest and trusting, as well as flexible.

Ask about the level of service you can expect. Ensure they have good local knowledge and the right level of experience. Be honest about expressing your own concerns too. Perhaps you want ensure they will be flexible in terms of showing buyers around your home or if you’re a landlord, you will want to know the level of support the agency will offer.

Redstones offer many unique services that are highly attractive to landlords such as Switch Agent and Redstones Platinum Total Care.

If you want a valuation for your home, don’t always go for the agency that states the highest price. Ask them how they intend to achieve the best possible price, as there’s much more to selling a home than just price.

Many people also ask family and friends for recommendations and some canny individuals even pose as buyers so see how effective a certain estate agent is!

Check testimonials and accreditations

Recommendation websites and independent testimonials are useful too, as you can find out more about the experiences of previous customers.

Always make sure the estate and letting agency you choose is accredited as well. At Redstones, we are members of NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) and ARLA (Association Residential Letting Agents).

Redstones Property Management

How to ‘winter-proof’ your property

As a tenant or home owner, it’s worth thinking about how you can ‘winter-proof’ your property, so that you are well-prepared regardless of what the unpredictable British weather decides to throw at us!

Here are 5 easy to do tips:

  • To prepare for the expense of Christmas, why not compare utility providers to see if you can get any better deals? Remember that bills are always higher in Winter and good deals are available.
  • Are any of your rooms prone to damp? Before the cold weather really sets in, move all furniture away from walls to allow air to circulate better.
  • If your garden furniture or any other objects such as potted plants are still in the garden, make sure you keep them covered in a garage or shed to avoid the ravages of winter weather.
  • Cracked and burst pipes can be prevented by ensuring an even temperature in your home. Set your thermostat at a lower temperature when nobody is at home and set it to gradually rise just before the evening.
  • Consider draught excluders to keep the heat in for doors or even a draught-excluding letter box!

Here are some bigger tasks that are worth considering too:

  • Get your boiler serviced, clean the guttering from leaves and bleed your radiators if necessary before it gets too cold.
  • Don’t forget to check your roof! Cracked or broken tiles let water in, leading to damp, so it’s worth getting a professional in to check if you’re concerned.
  • Ensure that your home is as well insulated as it can be to keep the heat in and to save money. Windows and doors should be double-glazed and the walls and loft could benefit from cavity insulation. Keeping damp and mould at bay is the key.
  • To prevent too many leaves from falling or even branches falling onto your home or car as the weather gets very cold, prune back any large trees that reside close to your property or driveway.

Some forward thinking and vigilance is all you need to assure yourself that you’re keeping your home warm and safe.

Alternatively, if you’re considering a new home to buy or for renting this winter or beyond, Redstones has a great selection available.

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New year, new start – buy a Redstones franchise

Like many people, with the end of the year in sight, are you starting to re-evaluate your career?

If you want the new year to truly mean a new start, becoming a business owner as a new Redstones franchisee is one of the best career decisions you’re ever likely to make.

In stark contrast to being an employee, owning your own business gives you more control of your career and work-life balance. Many people feel daunted by making such a move. However, with Redstones you wouldn’t be on your own.

Redstones offers all new franchisees initial training and ongoing support to help them achieve their business plan. With a tried and tested business model, franchises are much more likely to succeed than independent businesses. In fact, 9 in 10 franchises report profitability.

Due diligence is very important, so we recommend that you speak to us and find out all you can before making this big decision in the new year. If you find yourself answering yes or positively to all of the following questions, we definitely need to talk:

  1. Are you currently working or have you previously worked in the property industry? For a business to succeed, prior knowledge and a real passion for property is very beneficial.
  2. Do you think becoming a Redstones franchisee could give you the career satisfaction you may be lacking right now? Research and speaking to other franchisees is the only way to find out.
  3. How do you rate your relationship building and communication skills? These are crucial skills for any business owner.
  4. How ambitious are you? For hard-working franchisees, we offer plenty of opportunities for business acquisition and growth in the future.
  5. Do you believe that Redstones could offer you the work/life balance or other career benefits you are currently lacking?

For many of our franchisees, joining Redstones has turned out to be their best career decision yet. As Richmond Franchisee, Brinder Bains states,The feeling of being part of a national organisation is definitely a great one for me. I have all the independence of running my own business but with the support of a recognised national brand. When someone tells me they have ‘heard of Redstones’ it is a real boost and affirmation of my decision to join.  Redstones has a solid reputation in a tough market for its commitment to customer service and attention to detail.”

To find out more about how you can transform your career and become a Redstones franchisee, visit our Franchise website, call 01922 235 350 or email franchise@redstones.co.uk    

Franchise security

Sources of franchise funding

Whenever you are seeking to secure funding for a franchise, a business plan is essential to prove any type of lender that your business is worth investing in. However, it’s worth appreciating that there are a wide range of investors out there, other than banks, that can help you to set up a franchise business.

These sources of funding include:

Grants – Grants cover a broad range of sectors, related to business location, size and industry, as well as specific problems in the local area. UK government bodies that offer grants include Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Department for Employment and Learning, Charities and Local Authorities. Some specific grants target women, young people, over 50’s and entrepreneurs with a disability. A grant can be an option once your business is up and running, as well as for capital at the initial start-up phase.

The New Enterprise Allowance – Those on Jobseeker’s Allowance for three or more months and may be eligible for the New Enterprise Allowance, which awards small loans to help those with a business idea with their start-up costs. The maximum amount awarded is £1,000 so this route is more suited to those with low start-up costs.

Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) – These are independent organisations that encourage and create wealth in communities that are disadvantaged by providing individuals and small businesses with loans.

Crowd funding – There is now a growing trend to source funding from several investors through private websites. For example, Funding Circle allows business owners to pitch their business to potential investors, meaning that they can choose from a range of investors and can compare interest rates.

Friends and family – If you are fortunate enough to have this type of assistance, you still need to have a contractual agreement in place, stating when you will repay the money and what, if any, interest you will pay.

Angel investors – Business Angels are high net worth individuals interested in investing in businesses with a high potential to grow. Usually a business angel will have experience of the industry and will share their expertise. To search for a Business Angel, try the UK Business Angels Association.

Government Schemes – The HMRC Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme offer tax relief to investors, including income tax and capital gains tax relief.

The total cost of setting up a Redstones office is around £20,000, including a franchise fee of £9,995 and full training. For further information, visit our Franchise website.

Redstones Shop

Supporting women in franchising

There has been much reported about the fact that despite evidence of girls outperforming boys at almost every level at school and the call to get more women into leadership positions, women are not always where they should be in the employment or business world.

Women started out as a minority group in franchising, but they are increasingly taking a much bigger role and franchises of all types, including Redstones, are actively seeking women who we believe have the perfect skills for running a successful franchise operation.

The number of female franchisees in the UK has been steadily increasing over the last 25 years, with 30% of all UK franchisees now being operated by women. In fact, 4 of the last 7 individual winners of the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Award have been women.

Franchising is attractive for many women due to the flexibility and independence it offers, as well as the chance to follow their passions. Franchising can be ideal for women who are looking to take their career a step further or for those who want opportunities that fit around their home life. Many women also enjoy being part of a franchising community, where mentorship and sharing tips for success is encouraged.

At Redstones, we don’t believe in the ‘old boy’s network’. MD of Redstones Manjit Virdi says, “I know that there are many talented female property professionals currently in employment who would really thrive if they were managing their own business. It’s important for us at Redstones to encourage potential female franchisees to come forward and find out all the great benefits a Redstones franchise has to offer for their career.”

For further information, visit our Franchise website, call 01922 235 350 or email franchise@redstones.co.uk

redstones houses

How Redstones franchisees are going for growth

Many of our franchisees are impressed that Redstones doesn’t just help them to establish their business, we also help them to continuously grow.

Our skilled Business Acquisition team help franchisees to flourish by advising them on acquiring existing property companies, property portfolios and letting databases, which are a good fit for their current business model.

Our Telford franchisee Manj Singh recently purchased a lettings portfolio to expand his existing business. He said, “The Business Acquisition team at Redstones were extremely helpful and it’s fantastic that they are supporting the ambitions of franchisees like me who are hungry to learn and expand their business.”

In fact, many new franchisees understand the importance of support for business growth and this is often a key consideration when considering a new franchise. Hale & Altrincham franchisee Earle Kenlay says, “I decided upon Redstones due to their business terms and the size of territory on offer, as well as the subsequent scope of the business, which was far better than the rest.”

The team guide franchisees through the entire acquisition process, finding businesses or lettings databases that are the best fit for the franchisee, financing business deals and managing the legal process.

Services include the appointment of an Operations Specialist, who shares knowledge and advice during the initial stage, as well as offering valuable guidance through the critical stages of launch and expansion.

Also, in contrast to similar comparable services, Redstones are extremely fair on fees as of course, it is in our best interests too to see franchisees achieve their ambitions to grow.

For further information, contact the Business Acquisition team on 01922 235 350, e-mail franchise@redstones.co.uk or visit www.redstonesfranchise.co.uk