Redstones Franchise Opportunity

Redstones Franchise : Have You Got What It Takes?

Redstones is delighted to announce the official launch of its Richmond office, owned and operated by franchisee Brinder Bains.

From his base in Richmond, Brinder will offer a comprehensive, customer focused service to property owners and landlords in Richmond and the surrounding areas which include Kew, Barnes, Mortlake, East Shee, Roehampton, Ham, Wimbledon, Teddington, Hampton Wick, Kingston and Raynes Park.

Like all Redstones franchisees, Brinder attended our comprehensive training course prior to opening his new franchise, which covers all aspects of running your own Redstones lettings agency.  We caught up with Brinder to find out how the early days of his new business were progressing. He had this to say:-

‘As a relatively ‘new’ franchisee I feel quite firmly like one of the team.

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. It’s a brand name you can trust.   

Redstones comprehensive marketing support for the year ahead has already got me off to a great start in 2015. Happy days’.

The lettings services offered by all Redstones offices range from an ‘introduction only’ through to fully property management service for landlords, as well as the following:-

  • Platinum Total Care Service – Our premier property management guarantees that all landlords are paid on time even if the tenant has missed the deadline for their rent.
  • Switch Agents facility – This unique service makes it easier for landlords and property owners unhappy with their current service provider to make the switch to Redstones.
  • Online auction service – Ideal for property owners in need of quick sale.  At Redstones we recommend the modern auction method for our clients’ convenience.

With an initial franchise fee of £14,995, investing in your own Redstones franchise offers an extremely cost effective route to entry into what is an increasingly competitive, buoyant market.

With Redstones our franchisees enjoy the benefits of:-

  • An established, trusted brand with a reputation for providing exceptional customer service
  • Innovative, state-of-the-art technology and comprehensive marketing strategy
  • Larger than average territories which give every franchisee an equal opportunity to build a profitable business and achieve their objectives, coupled with the support of an experienced team.
  • Unrivalled, hands-on knowledge of the lettings sector to give you the support you need
  • Regular updates on the growing number of legal obligations for landlords in the private rental sector.

Have you got what it takes to join Brinder and the rest of our team of franchisees?

Come along to one of our Discovery Workshops and find out. Our workshops are ideal for ambitious individuals who want to learn more about what it takes to succeed as a Redstones franchisee.

The next workshops will take place on the following dates:-

Discovery Workshop 1

Wednesday 28th January 2015

Venue: Central London

12.00 – 3.00pm

Discovery Workshop 2

Wednesday 4th February 2015

Venue: West Midlands

12.00 – 3.00pm

Attendance is by invitation only.  To register for either of this Discovery Workshops please fill out our contact form.

Click here to find out more about our Discovery Workshops.

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Improve Your Quality of Life With A Redstones Franchisee in 2015

Property Owners Insurance- more than just buildings cover

Redstones Financial

Redstones Financial

Buildings Insurance may be a requirement for lenders who advance money to finance buy to let property purchases. Many insurers will provide a basic policy that effectively covers the risk of fire however a Property Owners Insurance can be extended a little extra cost to provide so much more to the Investor.

Covers can include Loss of Rent and Alternative Accommodation, both of which are useful if you find yourself in a difficult situation with a claim. One of our clients had a drain blocked which caused water to come into the property through the toilet system, leaving as you can imagine quite a mess to be cleared up. The Alternative Accommodation on the client’s policy provided the cost for the tenant to stay in a hotel whilst the property was sanitized and made fit for habitation. Likewise, another client suffered loss from a burst pipe, the water created significant damage to the property, water brought some of the ceilings down, damaged flooring and walls. The property took 10 weeks to dry out to allow the property to be a position to be redecorated and carpeted for the tenant to move back in. The Loss of Rent on the policy covered the cost of the rent which the client did not receive, this was vital for to allow the Landlord to meet his monthly loan repayments which the bank still expected to be met.

Contents insurance can be added to a Property Owners policy to provide for cover for any appliances/ furniture/ carpets/ curtains which are provided by the Landlord. These wouldn’t be picked up by a standard buildings policy and can add up. Even a small amount of cover – say £2000 can be useful should there be a significant claim and the cost of the cover is very nominal to include.

Property Owners Liability really is a must for the Property Owner. It is not compulsory by Law but it protects the Owner for any claims against them for negligence or damage to other property or to people.  A client of ours received a claim for damages due to a tenant slipping on some water outside of a flat that they occupies which the claimant said was down to the Landlords oversight. The insurers put a £15,000 reserve as the tenant had fell and hurt themselves as a result. Injury claims really can add up and be a major issue if insurance is not in place to defend the claim or make a payment if the landlord is found to be liable.

We see quite a few claims coming in where properties have been broken into and damaged maliciously, often this involves reckless damage and theft of items like copper piping and fixtures leading to water damage.  Theft and Malicious Damage can be caused by tenants also and it’s important to check that your insurance policy provides cover for these risks.

Hopefully this highlights some of the issues that Landlords find themselves with and ways they can try to mitigate their exposure. A Property Owners Insurance from a Reputable Insurer can really help to reduce the risks. We are happy to talk to Property Owners who may have concerns and want to know how to protect them- please call  Claire Oakley on 08000 686 001 or email claire@a2ofs.co.uk

Redstones Financial Services ltd is a trading name of Acorn to Oaks Financial Services ltd, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, our number is 486131.

keys_on_tenancy_agreement

Landlords – Are Your Ready For The Right To Rent?

In a recent article we highlighted essential legal obligations of landlords including the ‘Right To Rent’ legislation which is expected to be rolled out across the UK in the spring.

What does the ‘right to rent’ legislation involve?

As a result of The Immigration Act 2014, all landlords will eventually be required to ensure that their tenants have the right to live in the UK before signing a tenancy agreement.  This legislation will include anyone who rents out a room to a lodger or sub-lets a property.

Checks will only apply to tenancy agreements beginning on or after 1st December 2014 and must be carried out on all adults living over the age of 18 who will be living in the property. Landlords will be required to confirm a person’s citizenship, identity and their right to live in the UK by checking their passport of residence permit, for example.

At present, the Right To Rent applies only to landlords, lettings agencies and property owners in the West Midlands, specifically Birmingham, Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley & Wolverhampton.

Copies of all relevant documentation must be retained for one year after the tenancy agreement has ended.

What happens if landlords fail to comply with the new requirements?

Landlords who neglect their obligations and let a property to an illegal immigrant risk incurring a fine of up to £3,000.

While a change in government after the General Election may affect the extension of the scheme, it is widely anticipated that this will become a legal requirements for all landlords.

More information can be found on the Government’s website.

Concern over tenants

At Redstones we recommend that landlords carry out extensive checks on all prospective tenants including the following:-

  • Thorough background checks before entering into a tenancy agreement.  These should include bank statements covering the previous three months, references taken from employers and previous landlords (a history of timely rental payments is ideal) and credit checks for fraud.
  • Confirm your tenant’s identity and proof of their current address in the form of utility bills or tax documents for example. Private landlords are typically less rigorous in carrying out checks than lettings agents but this is an important aspect of the process.
  • Carry out a thorough inventory at the commencement of the rental period and request a deposit from the tenant. As a landlord, you are legally obliged to place the deposit in one of three national deposit protection schemes. To protect against damage to your property, you may also wish to take out a landlord insurance policy. Redstones Financial offers a range of financial services for landlords and can advise on the most appropriate one for your needs.
  • Carry out mid-term inspections. At Redstones we carry out inspections on behalf of our clients for fully managed properties. This ensures that the property meets all safety requirements from the landlord’s point of view and that no unreported damage has occurred.

If you are concerned about keeping up with the increasing legislation affecting landlords Redstones can help. Our fully managed property service ensures that all legal obligations are complied with by all of our clients. Contact us today to find out more.

Redstones Walsall Head Office

Redstones : Unique Marketing For Franchisees

We frequently emphasised the importance of brand marketing during 2014 with the focus on our continual investment in technology coupled with state-of-the-art marketing tools which are available to all of our franchisees.

These include:-

  • Comprehensive 3D floor plans incorporating the latest in walk-through technology.
  • Large photos and a fully printable colour brochure.
  • Redstones mobile app.
  • Prominent online presence.

While online marketing and social media is a vital part of any new business, brand recognition is also vital too, which often requires a more ‘tangible’ approach.

At Redstones we provide a range of marketing tools to our franchisees which include:-

Marketing ‘giveaways’

We know from experience that one way of staying in the mind of potential clients is through branded ‘giveaways’ which are ideal for everyday use.  We provide our franchisees with the following to ensure Redstones is the first choice lettings agent for landlords:-

  • Balloons
  • Keyrings
  • Pens
  • Post-it notes
  • Carrier bags

Business Promotion

We also provide our franchisees with the following direct sales and business marketing tools for both on and offline use:-

  • Flyers
  • ‘For Sale’/ ‘To Let’ boards
  • Newspaper adverts
  • SEO profile templates
  • Bespoke designs
  • Range of corporate stock images

Stationery

Finally, branded stationery is a vital part of all business marketing to provide a uniform image throughout the Redstones network:-

  • Folders
  • Business cards
  • Letterheads
  • Compliment slips

Successful marketing must also be supported with a clear demonstration of our in-depth understanding of the local market as well as the problems faced by our clients.

At Redstones we provide the following services which enable our franchisees to stand out in a competitive market:-

Platinum Total Care Service : Around one third of all landlords express concern over late payment of rent.  Our unique Platinum Total Care Service guarantees that rent payments are made on time, irrespective of whether or not the tenant has paid.

Online Auction Service : This service is ideal for property owners who need to sell their properties quickly. At Redstones, we recommend the modern auction method as it is more appropriate to the needs of residential property owners.

Switch Agents Service : The reputation of the private lettings sector is often tarnished by unethical lettings agents.  At Redstones, we pride ourselves on offering outstanding customer service. For property owners unhappy with their current provider our Switch Agents facility gives our franchisees another unique way of attracting new business.

Redstones Financial : For landlords and homeowners finding a financial services company that understands their individual requirements is often a challenge.  Redstones Financial offers independent financial advice to meet those needs. There’s no call centre, just direct access to a specialist who will listen to the concerns of our clients and provide a solution that’s right for them. Again, this innovative business venture gives Redstones franchisees another unique marketing tool.

The Redstones brand went from strength to strength in 2014.  Be a part of our success and join our expanding network of franchisees in 2015. Contact us today to find out more about life as a Redstones franchisee.

House_keys

7 Essential Resolutions for Landlords In 2015

2014 saw several changes to legislation in the private lettings sector and a number of implications for landlords. As obligations continue to increase, here are Redstones’ essential resolutions for the effective management of your property portfolio in 2015:-

Market effectively : If your current tenancy agreement is coming to an end or you have a new property to rent, ensure it is in pristine condition before marketing. De-clutter any furnishings, clean out your drains, redecorate in neutral colours and carry out any necessary repairs.  At Redstones we offer the latest in walk-through technology to our clients, as well as presenting your property across an extensive range of websites.

Review your documentation : All documentation should be up-to-date and incorporate any changes since the commencement of each individual tenancy agreement. For landlords finding the ongoing changes a burden, it may be time to consider a full property management option with a reputable lettings agent. At Redstones we offer a range of services to meet your needs.

Review your insurance policy : What exactly does your existing insurance policy cover? Are you adequately insured for accidental or malicious damage or for any periods where your property isn’t occupied? Have you checked the small print? Are you paying over the odds? Redstones Financial provides a range of insurance options designed to cater for your individual needs – and we’ll talk you through the small print.

Check your anniversary dates : By this, we mean your gas safety tests, PAT testing and so on. Landlords who fail to carry out timely renewals risk prosecutions and fines.  At Redstones we issue reminders for all of our clients and ensure that all relevant tests are carried out for our fully managed properties.

Carry out a thorough inspection : We have previously emphasised the importance of mid-term inspections. Take advantage of regular inspections to check for adverse usage on your meter readings, review your inventory and assess any damage caused by tenants.  As a landlord it is also your responsibility to ensure that all smoke alarms and CO2 detectors are in full working order.

Ensure your rent payments are made : The National Landlords Association revealed that approximately one third of landlords experienced rent arrears in 2014 with an average of £1,640 owed to each landlord.   At Redstones our Platinum Total Care Service guarantees that rental payments are made on time, regardless of whether or not the tenant has paid their rent.

Be prepared for changes in legislation : Now is the time to plan ahead for forthcoming changes to legal obligations. For example, 2015 will see the rolling out of the ‘Right To Rent’ legislation as a result of the Immigration Act 2014.  This means that as a landlord you will be required to vet the rights of new tenants to live in the UK.  Looking further ahead, from 1 April 2016, tenants will also be able to request improved energy efficiency measures from their landlord. That’s only 15 months away. Are you prepared?

Are you fully conversant with your legal obligations as a landlord? Redstones offers a fully managed property service for your peace of mind. Contact us today to find out more about the extensive services we offer.

Redstones Management Team

Improve Your Quality Of Life With A Redstones Franchise In 2015

When I first established Redstones it was with the intention of filling a yawning gap in the lettings agency market, namely the lack of customer service.

By listening to our clients and offering attention to detail and market expertise, the Redstones brand was born. Today we have an expanding network of established franchised offices.  

Our franchisees join Redstones for a variety of reasons which include:-

  • Freedom to control their lives and make vital decision about their future.
  • The motivation of establishing and running a successful business.
  • Building a saleable asset.
  • The opportunity to fulfil their potential
  • Be part of a reputable brand in a thriving market.

All of our franchisees are ambitious and committed to the on-going growth of their franchise. For some that means eventually working on, rather than ‘in’ the business which enables them  to make better life style choices too.

With a successful Redstones office in Walsall, I am now able to divide my time between working from home and working in the office which gives me that better quality of life. Following Redstones’ proven successful business format, I have the processes and the team in place to ensure that the business is run smoothly and continues to attract new customers.

Today, I work in the office from 9.30 am to 2.00 pm two days a week and from home for another two days a week. This gives me the time to support our franchisees and explore yet more ways to maintain our position at the forefront of innovative marketing in the lettings sector.

By investing in a Redstones franchise you too can achieve your goals and improve your quality of life in 2015.  A franchised business offers you:-

Proven system : Redstones offers a more intelligent model with tried and tested systems designed to improve your productivity and increase your sales, allowing you to establish a successful business.

Turnkey business : By purchasing a Redstones franchisee you are investing in a complete turnkey business.  We work closely with you throughout the training period all the way to the launch of your new venture and beyond.

Low cost route to market : From 1st January 2015, our initial franchise fee will rise to £14,995 from our current fee of £11,995 which is still an extremely low cost investment in a competitive, thriving market.

Innovative marketing : With our commitment to state-of-the-art technology Redstones continues to go from strength to strength. 2014 has seen the launch of Redstones Financial, membership of Utility Warehouse and our exclusive app. This is in addition to the growing popularity of Platinum Total Care Service and Switch Agents facility.

Brand awareness :  Investing in an established franchised business like Redstones gives you a head start as you can be confident of a recognisable brand image.

Ongoing support : Our comprehensive training covers everything you need to know about running a successful lettings agency but we are always available to provide support and advice to our franchisees. Your success is our success.

Improve your quality of life with a Redstones franchise. My vision is to continue to grow Redstones into the largest reputable lettings agency in the UK.  Be a part of that success. Contact me today to find out how you can improve your quality of life in 2015.