Redstones Appoints Its First Franchise Operations Director

As part of our ongoing commitment to strengthening our franchise network, Redstones is delighted to announce our relationship with Steve Doyle in a Franchise Operations role with effect from 1st May 2015.

Steve has a wealth of experience in senior management roles in the estate agency and lettings sector over many years. These include Regional Lettings Director of major national corporate  estate agents as well as senior positions with a lettings franchise organisations.

He has also successfully run a number of lettings, acquisition and sale projects throughout the UK and spent a period of time as Managing Director of an estate agency based lettings business in the independent sector.

Following the announcement of his appointment, Steve commented:-

‘I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Redstones as I admire their values and feel they can make a great contribution to landlords and vendors alike. Their franchise proposition is well thought through and well received so far and I am keen to help with the development to make it even better.’

This new appointment is also timely as Redstones begins to work closely with its franchisees to enable rapid business growth. Our new phase began with a national network meeting involving all of our franchisees and key members of the franchise support team.

The meeting allowed each franchisee a specific presentation slot and covered a number of highlights from Redstones such as:-

  • A series of new marketing initiatives which will be rolled out across the network during the remainder of 2015.
  • An in-depth presentation from a SEO specialist to enable our franchisees to capitalise on Redstones’ significant online presence and drive more visitors to individual franchisee websites.
  • An introduction to Steve Doyle who explained his plans for working more closely with Redstones franchisees to promote rapid business growth across the network.
  • A presentation from Jason Oakley of Redstones Financial about the benefits this sister company can offer to landlords, vendors, home-buyers and tenants with its variety  of financial solutions tailored to the individual.

On the new appointment, Redstones founder Manjit Virdi added:-

‘I am delighted to welcome Steve Doyle to the team at Redstones. His depth of experience adds another vital element to the consolidation and strengthening of the Redstones brand as we prepare for another phase of growth’.

Steve’s expertise in acquisitions will be strategically important in achieving that growth as his specialities include business launches, business development, all areas of consultancy and business transfers and sales.

These initiatives are of course in addition to recently launched marketing promotions which include:-

Virgin Media : Discounts are offered to all Redstones’ customers on a range of TV, broadband and telephone services.  Find out more.

Utility Warehouse : Redstones’ membership of Utility Warehouse means our customers can manage their household bills in one monthly payment. Find out more.

Redstones will continue to add value to its franchise offering throughout 2015 and beyond. Be part of our growing network of successful franchisees.  Contact Redstones today

Redstones identity theft images

Landlords – Protect Yourself From Identity Fraud

A recent report from credit reference agency Experian revealed that tenants are the most susceptible group when it comes to identity fraud. Easily accessible rental properties, such as accommodation with shared hallways, means that their details are easier to steal. Add to that the fact that tenants habitually use online services more frequently without effectively protecting themselves.

How does this affect landlords?

Identity fraud has become the most common type of fraud and is particularly prevalent in major cities with young tenants a prime target. As a landlord you may be vulnerable to tenants with false identities. Tenants with false identities will typically fail to make rental payments and often cause damage to a property,

Carrying out thorough checks is the answer to confirming tenants are who they claim to be. Here’s how:-

  • Ask your prospective tenant to complete a detailed application form providing the details of every address they have lived at for at least the last five years. Confirm all previous residences by checking with any prior landlords.
  • Request references from current or previous employers and include credit checks in your vetting process. They aren’t conclusive proof of identity but are vital as part of overall background checks.
  • Obtain copies of bank statements for at least the past six months. It is highly unlikely that any identity thief would be able to provide bank statements covering such an extensive period. .
  • Confirm they have the right to live and work in the UK. As a landlord, the Immigration Act means the responsibility for these checks lies with you. You’ll find more information in our previous article – The Immigration Act – Your Questions Answered .
  • Ask for a copy of their current passport or driving licence showing their name and address together with proof of any name changes, for example, change of name by deed poll or a copy of a marriage certificate.
  • Prepare a list of questions to find out more about the tenant’s background, including their reasons for moving at this time.
  • If you are happy with the answers, carry out a full inventory of your property which will form part of the tenancy agreement.
  • Carry out a mid-term inspection during the tenancy agreement to ensure that your property is in good hands.
  • Consider using a lettings agent. With increasing legal obligations, more and more landlords are putting the management of their properties in the hands of a reputable lettings agent. At Redstones, we carry out extensive background checks on all prospective tenants, giving our landlords peace of mind.

Why choose Redstones?

Redstones offers a range of property management services to suit your requirements including our premier Platinum Total Care service which ensures our clients’ rental payments are made on time every month, even if the tenant fails to pay.

We are accredited members of The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and of The Property Ombudsman and comply with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS.

Don’t be caught out by identity fraud. Contact us today to find out more about our services.

Related reading:-

When Letting Goes Wrong : Why It Pays To Use Redstones For Your Property Management

Obligations To Your Tenants : 7 Things Every Landlord Needs To Know

Redstones Earle Kenlay

Welcome to Redstones : Earle Kenlay, Redstones Hale & Altrincham

From time to time we speak to our franchisees to discover what prompted them to invest in a franchise. This week we caught up with Earle Kenlay who will be opening his Redstones franchise in August 2015.

What is your career background?

My career background is as a senior manager for a well-known clothing retailer where my main responsibility was forecasting and purchasing stock. The company is renowned for high levels of customer service, while delivering quality and value.

When did you first learn about franchising?

Several years ago I attended a local franchise seminar with a colleague who was considering becoming a franchisee. The seminar was hosted by a major high street bank with a number of franchisors in attendance. Although I wasn’t considering investing in a franchise at that time, the seed was planted.

Why did you choose franchising over an employed career?

My career has been very rewarding on a number of fronts but I’ve always nurtured a desire to run a business of my own. Franchising gives me that opportunity without some of the risk associated with a brand new start-up.

Why did you choose Redstones in preference to some of the other franchise options that are available?

I researched and contacted many of the franchisors in the field before making my final decision but in the end it was an easy one.

The ethos of Redstones, in terms of the detail and the high levels of customer service, matched my own aspirations making it easy to see myself working to brand guidelines.  The terms and size of territory on offer, and subsequent scope of the business was far superior to any of the others.

I believe the territory on offer, technology used and competitively priced franchise model is the best value option out there. Of course, this would be worthless without the support and training in place for franchisees which is where Redstones really excel.

Most importantly, however, it was Manjit Virdi, Redstones’ founder, who really sold it to me. Throughout the process Manjit has been available to respond to my concerns in an honest and open way, without any hard sell or pressure for me to sign on the dotted line.

I was given access to all of the other franchisees who were extremely helpful and happy to give up their time, passing on their experience and knowledge.

Is your husband/wife/life partner included in the running of your franchise?

Only in an advisory capacity currently, but they have been very supportive throughout.

How did you raise the finances required?

Predominantly through personal savings and investments, with a loan to cover a portion of the working capital requirements.

How would you rate the training and support received from Redstones?

I couldn’t have asked for any more than I have received so far on both counts.  The training has been thorough and detailed, but is carried out at a pace the franchisee is comfortable with.  As for support, it has continued exactly as it began. All queries receive a fast, honest response.

What challenges have you faced while getting to know your new business?

Trying to learn and prepare for the launch of the business whilst working notice in my employed career has been difficult.  In effect it is working two full time jobs at the same time.  There have also been frustrating times when dealing with other companies involved in the setting up of my new franchise.  A number of them don’t seem to have the efficiency and service that I’m striving to reach with my own business.

What ‘highs’ have you experienced so far?

The constant realisation that my destiny really is in my own hands now.  In addition to that after working for around 20 years in my previous industry, it has been refreshing and challenging to learn and be involved in a new one.

What are your plans for the future?

To grow and expand my Redstones franchise within the territory allocated to fully maximise sales and profits, with the aim of being recognised as best in class in the area.  From there to take the opportunity to expand in to other surrounding territories if available.

What would your advice be to someone thinking of buying a franchise?

Once you have made your decision that the franchising is the right route for you, take your time and research as many franchisors in your chosen field as possible. You need to make sure that the franchise you eventually choose fits in with who you are and what you really want from it.  Don’t just go for the cheapest or easiest route.

Thank you Earle and welcome to Redstones!

Earle has now completed his franchise training and we look forward to the launch of his new franchise this summer.

Thinking of becoming a franchisee? Contact us today to find out how a Redstones franchise can change your life.