Category Archives: Estate Agents

Redstones Hayes Office Image

Redstones ready to dominate London

As part of Redstones expansion strategy, we have focused on our franchise program for quite some time now, encouraging new and highly motivated potential business owners to take advantage of the Redstones brand and service offerings to build their own prosperous property business.

Renowned for its competitiveness and broad range of properties for sale and to let, we’re heading South, with Redstones now ready to dominate London! There are a number of new London based Redstones branches opening in the pipeline, including new branches in Hayes, Iver and Dartford. Plans are also in place for further branches to follow.

Bobby Bansal is our regional manager for the London territory. He has extensive hands-on experience of property management and a broad range of contacts in the field, including many new motivated and experienced individuals who wish to join Redstones as franchisees.

Bobby states, “Redstones is working hard to expand in the London region and we’re received lots of interest from new franchisees. Initially, Redstones will establish 6 offices in the region. As well as the branches that are due to launch soon, plans are in place to launch new offices in Slough, Harrow and Milton Keynes too.”

Watch this space for more news soon, as Redstones continue their exciting expansion efforts in London.

redstones epc

Government stamping out rental of energy inefficient homes

Calling all landlords and tenants! Please be aware that as of the 1st April 2018, all properties in the private rented sector will require a minimum energy performance rating of E or higher. These regulations apply to new lets and renewals of tenancies that come into effect in April 2018 and apply to all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020.

Therefore, it will become unlawful to rent a property that breaches the requirement of a minimum E rating, although some exceptions do apply. For any breaches, civil penalties of up to £4000 will be imposed.

Please note that Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) will be required for many types of property, including individual dwellings, self-contained flats, bedsits, shared flats and self-contained accommodation. The fixed penalty for those failing to provide an EPC certificate when required is £200 per dwelling and there is a six month time limit for any enforcement action to be taken.

Previous legislative changes mean that all property advertisements since 2013 have contained EPC ratings and SAP ratings and since October 2015, landlords have had to provide EPCs to tenants.

Currently, almost 10% of privately rented homes in England and Wales (4.2 million properties) fall below the E rating.

Manjit Virdi, Managing Director of Redstones explains, “The idea behind the changes are to ban the renting of the most poorly insulated homes in a bid to cut energy bills and carbon emissions, whilst improving the housing stock available in the country by ensuring landlords make efforts to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.”

He continues, “Redstones have advised all the landlords we feel will be directly affected by this but if anyone, either a landlord or tenant, has any concerns, we would encourage them to get in touch with us.”

Introducing Dartford’s new franchisee, Amar Gill

As part of Redstones drive to expand into London, we’re pleased to announce that we’re due to open a new branch in Dartford led by our new franchisee, Amar Gill.

Amar Gill Redstones Dartford

Amar Gill Redstones Dartford

Proving that our franchisees come from many sectors, Amar previously worked in insurance for 12 years but wanted a career change, having developed a passion for property by dealing with different types of property in the insurance sector.

Having family members with franchises, Amar had been researching franchising as a career option for 4 years and felt that the franchise market was growing from strength to strength.

Wanting to become his own boss and having previously worked for a family business, Amar says, “Being a Redstones franchisee is the same business model, as you become part of a family and grow together.”

He continues, “As soon as I saw the franchise model at Redstones, I knew it was the right move for me. It ticked all the boxes.”

Amar has enjoyed learning about all aspects of the property market through structured training, from sales to accounting and has experienced peace of mind in knowing that he can pick up the phone and call the franchise team anytime if he has a query. His exciting plans for the future include employing staff and expanding into different locations.

His advice to anyone thinking of buying a Redstones franchise? “If you have a passion for something but you are not sure how to start the business, franchising is the way forward. Having people around you that you can learn from while being your own boss is very reassuring.”

Redstones Hayes – Open / Launch Day – Saturday 12th August 2017 10am – 3.00pm

Say “hi” to the new Redstones Hayes Office

Redstones The Property Experts sign

Redstones Dartford Now Launched

Amar’s worked within the Insurance industry in the personal lines sector for 12 years, where he was dealing with Household Insurance. He has just opened the latest Redstones’ franchise in Dartford.

Amar Gill Redstones Dartford

Amar Gill Redstones Dartford

What were you doing immediately before taking up your franchise?
“I had a career change and went into the lettings market, dealing with all different types of properties in the Insurance sector. I always, naturally, had a passion for property so I joined a letting agent.”

How did you discover franchising?
“I’ve personally been looking into franchising for four years and examined all kinds of franchises within the market; Fast food, Insurance Claims, Estate agents and I also have family who have franchises, so obviously I started to look into franchising myself as I could see that the franchise market was going from strength to strength.”

Why did you chose franchising over an employed career?
“I always wanted to be my own boss, leaving school and joining a family business gave me that ‘heads up’ in life. I had school friends who were all employed whilst I was working within a family business which made me less inclined to want to work for anyone.”

“Franchising is the way forward for me as working within a family business I can see the similarities between that and franchising; you become part of a family and grow together.”

Why did you chose this franchise over others that are available?
“I had been researching franchising for a substantial amount of time; it got frustrating at times as not all the franchises were for me. When I found Redstones, as soon as I saw the franchise model and spoke to the franchise manager, I knew this was the right move for me. It ticked all the boxes.”

“My family is not joining me in my franchise so I will be building the business alone at start with, but who knows what the future might bring.”

How did you raise the finances required?
“I was lucky enough to have enough in my savings from my previous jobs.”

How have you found the training and support you received from your franchisor?
“Very helpful and professional, it’s a lot to take it when you first join, but for me just having that peace of mind of knowing that I can pick up the phone and call the team anytime is priceless.”

What challenges have you faced while getting to know your new business?
“Joining the franchise has challenged me to learn new sectors of the property market; for example dealing with sales, accounting and learning the system. These are areas I have never dealt with before but I am enjoying the learning experience and gaining additional skills.”

What ‘highs’ have you experienced in your new business?
“What highs? The whole experience really… learning new roles, meeting new people, being my own boss and joining a well-established company.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I want to grow the franchise along with the team as this is what I want to do until I retire! I am looking to employ staff and expand in different locations.”

What would your advice be to someone thinking of buying a franchise?
“If you have a passion for something but you are not sure how to start the business on your own, franchising is the way forward. Just having people around you that you can learn from while being your own boss is very reassuring.”

Redstones Lettings

Good news for landlords with long-term rentals on the rise

It’s good news for landlords as a survey conducted by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) has uncovered that two in five renters are not looking to buy a property and instead intend, consider renting a home to be a long-term plan.

From those who intend to buy, 62% stated that they do not expect to own a property within the next year and a quarter stated that they hoped to purchase a property within 6 months.

Of course, with buying a home being a major financial commitment, renting also suits those saving for a deposit before taking on a mortgage.

In terms of housing, it’s now recognised that the UK needs a flexible housing sector that suits the varied life choices and priorities of an increasingly diverse population and the rental sector plays an important role in offering quality housing in areas where shortages are occurring.

The survey reflects Redstones own observations. Managing Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “The number of tenants we are taking on is on the increase. We are finding that many people choose to be tenants as it better suits their plans or lifestyle, enabling them to be flexible.”

With demand at an all-time high, so is the potential for attracting high quality tenants. At Redstones, we attract landlords through our ‘Switch Agents’ programme, which ensures that new business is gained on the quality of service delivered. The programme makes it easy for landlords to switch their property or property portfolio to Redstones if they’re dissatisfied with their current agent.

Another favourite for landlords, Redstones Platinum Total Care ensures the landlord’s rent is paid on the date it is due, regardless of whether the tenant has paid on time.

Redstones also advises many landlords on property management, helping them to grow their portfolio without the time-consuming difficulties attached with managing property.

Alternatively, if you’re a tenant looking for a new home, find out more about what’s involved when renting through Redstones.

Franchise security

A beginner’s guide to property yields

You may have heard people talk about property yield but what does this mean?

It is a way of measuring the rental potential of a property and is the amount of rent that can be earned in a year for the landlord. This amount is expressed as a percentage of the price of the house.

So, if a rental income of £10,000 was earned from a house costing £200,000, the yield would be 5%. It’s helpful to use a percentage because it better enables comparison between different properties, so that landlords can assess which would earn them the most. For example, a £10,000 income on a £160,000 house represents a rental yield of 6.25%, demonstrating greater value than the previous property.

Many factors impact upon property yield and the larger or more expensive houses don’t necessarily offer higher returns. Landlords can achieve a high yield in areas where there is a shortage of properties, a strong demand due to special amenities, such as a university nearby, close proximity to good schools, a strong local economy, good road or rail infrastructure or even a young population who aren’t yet ready to buy property.

Managing Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “Not every property will get you a great yield. For our various regions, our staff are equipped with excellent local knowledge and can advise landlords or potential landlords on which properties will generate them the best yield for their budget.”

He continues, “However, to make the right property investments, it’s important to look at potential capital growth as well as property yields to ensure you benefit from any future increases in both rents and property values.”

A professional lettings agent such as Redstones will advise you on how to succeed as a landlord, offering valuable local knowledge on targeted areas. Due diligence is the key and we can help you assess rental amounts in advance, so that you can calculate your all-important return on investment.

Here are some of the many reasons landlords choose to rely on Redstones.

Why consider a property management franchise?

In our experience, we’ve found there are many reasons why our franchisees decide to start a property management franchise with Redstones. If you’re looking for a new franchise, here are some reasons you may not have considered:

A robust sector
Despite Brexit and varying economic conditions, overall, the housing and lettings sector remains robust. In factor, in the private rented sector, demand remains high and we have recently seen rapid growth to 15.6%. If this trend continues, home ownership levels would be around 60% by 2025 and private rental well above 20% by 2020. There is a place in the market for high quality estate and lettings agencies, with innovative service, to meet UK housing needs.

Geographical territories
In contrast to many other property franchises, Redstones offers large territories of at least 100,000 households, relatively low set up costs and opportunities to expand.
Earle Kenlay, our franchisee in Hale & Altrincham explains, “The business terms and the size of territory on offer, as well as the subsequent scope of the business were far better than the rest.”

Online marketing and training

The way that people buy, sell and find properties has changed, but not all estate and lettings agencies have moved with the times. Unlike those traditional lettings and estate agencies, Redstones is completely focused on the Internet as a marketing channel. This helps us to stay ahead of our competition.

We embrace marketing techniques such as social media and advertise on all relevant portals and property websites. We also utilise SEO, Pay-Per-Click, 3D floor plans and walk through technology. Furthermore, we’ve introduced online property auctions to Redstones, driving significantly more business.

Our levels of training and support for franchisees are also second to none and have even been highly recommended by franchisees with previous experience of working in property management.

As Richmond Franchisee, Brinder Bains concludes, “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.”  

Find out what else our existing franchisees have to say about joining Redstones.

You can call the Redstones team on 01922 235 350 or email us at franchise@redstones.co.uk or visit www.redstonesfranchise.co.uk for further information.

Redstones Residential Sales

Top 5 tips for selling your home

If you’re planning to sell your home in 2017, here are Redstones’ top 5 tips for ensuring your sale plans are a success:

  1. Consider adding value

To achieve a good price for your property, it may be worth investing first. Adding double glazing, an extension, a loft conversion or a new kitchen could be successful tactics to contribute considerable value to your property.

Whether you want to sell now or if it’s more of a long-term plan, such modifications make a real difference to buyers.

  1. Be realistic

The price at which you sell should reflect your plans and reasons for moving home. Some people need to move quickly and others have less pressure and can take their time with a sale. Your circumstances to some extent should reflect your pricing. An expert estate agency such as Redstones can advise on this.

  1. Ensure your home is marketed effectively

First impressions count! Potential buyers will make a judgment on your home very quickly, which is why high quality images are so important. This is an area in which Redstones excel. Our marketing techniques include social media, advertising on all relevant portals, SEO and Pay-Per-Click. Vendors are able to sell their property quickly through 3D floor plans and walk through technology.

  1. Be fully prepared for viewings

Before every viewing, ensure your property is clean, fresh and clutter free to present it at its best for potential buyers. They need to imagine living in your home. Also, feel free to ask your estate agent for feedback after viewings, as often any negative feedback can be easily addressed.

And finally:

  1. Choose your estate agency wisely

This is a very important point because the agent that suggests the highest asking price for your home may not be the one you want to work with. A realistic price tends to work best and it’s also important to work with a trustworthy agent who will be honest with you. Selling your home can present challenges and therefore, picking the agent who you genuinely feel will be the most helpful through your journey is essential.

We believe we’re the agent for that job! Request a valuation with Redstones and find out more about the selling process.

Redstones Lettings

Reviewing your plans for 2017 as a landlord

Many landlords will have benefited from their property investments over the years but given the changes introduced in 2016 and beyond, assessing your position is always a good idea. As we start a new year, Redstones recommend that landlords review their investments.

2016 presented challenges for landlords, which included an increase in running costs due to Right to Rent checks that made sure that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (where required) were fitted. Also, in 2016 an extra 3% stamp duty land tax on second homes was introduced and the automatic annual ‘wear and tear’ allowance disappeared.

In addition, from April 2017, the reduction in mortgage interest relief for higher rate tax payers will begin, meaning that finance costs can no longer be deducted from rental income. Unfortunately, this means that some landlords will have to pay significantly more tax.

However, the good news is that although profit margins may be tighter for investors, property prices have generally gone up in most areas and some landlords have been in a position to increase rents. This helps to offset some of the increases in tax and other costs. Other ways of offsetting these costs include re-mortgaging, with many landlords now taking advantage of historically low interest rates.

Furthermore, the number of tenants looking for high quality properties continues to rise. This is not only due to affordability, there are many other factors now at play. For example, with Brexit throwing the economy into some uncertainty, more people are considering flexible employment and a flexible lifestyle.

Managing Director of Redstones Manjit Virdi states, “The beginning of the year is a great time to review financial plans and goals. Redstones believes that the private rental market in the areas we serve still represent excellent investments and we’re on hand to help landlords with their property plans in 2017.”

Find out more about the exceptional lettings and property management service at Redstones.

Redstones Residential Sales

Property market buoyant as lending booms

In 2016, mortgage lending hit its highest level in 8 years, which can mainly be attributed to low interest rates.

Proving that the property market remains buoyant, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has confirmed that with a lending total of £246m last year, lending has increased by 12% on the total amount lent in 2015. Mortgage approvals for both purchasing property and re-mortgaging rose in December 2016, showing that this trend is likely to continue into 2017. In fact, since 2008, remortgaging has grown year on year by 30%.

Therefore, despite Brexit and higher stamp duty for buy to let investors, many people have clearly been taking advantage of low interest rates to move up the property ladder. However, despite banks being keen to do business, in some areas, there is an ongoing shortage of properties on the market nationally and house price growth is expected to slow.

Manjit Virdi, Managing Director of Redstones explains, “We’ve got off to a very busy start in 2017 across the board, in terms of both property sales and lettings. We have a very high quality supply of properties right now too.”

He continues, “The positive situation with mortgage lending means that this could be the ideal time to buy your first home, move up the property ladder or continue expanding an existing property portfolio. We’re finding that for many people, it makes sense to start the new year by strengthening property investments.”

We offer innovative services in both sales and lettings such as Switch Agent and Redstones Platinum Total Care, which are very popular with our landlords.

Find out more about the great service Redstones has to offer.