Category Archives: Letting Agent

Redstones Property Franchise

Meet The Franchise Director – Chris Gillam

Prontaprint was Europe’s largest chain of franchised business centres and, at its peak, had almost  300 franchises in the UK. I joined as Sales & Marketing Manager and was appointed to the Board as Sales & Operations Director in 1990 and soon after was promoted again to the role of Franchise Sales Director. I carried full responsibility for the recruitment effort, including re-sales and was part of a management buyout in 1996 that resulted in a successful exit in 1999.

CG Library pic

I ran the National Franchise Exhibition in 1999 and developed a thorough understanding of the wide range of different recruitment strategies used by the various franchisors attending the exhibitions.

Mail Boxes Etc. have over 140 stores in the UK and I’ve recruited most of their franchisees. MBE operates under master licence and trades from high street based outlets that sell a range of business services to consumers and SME’s and I retain a non-executive financial interest in the business.

I have been a member of the British Franchise Associations Policy Board.

I have a wide general knowledge of franchising, including legal, property lease matters, and a strong focus on franchise recruitment.

I have considerable operational experience……I have conducted many franchise feasibility projects and have been involved with several new franchise launches over the years and have a wide circle of professional contacts that include many within the  legal and banking sectors.

Redstones Residential Sales

9 Signs Of A Successful Franchisee

For potential entrepreneurs or anyone currently employed considering the idea of going into business the options can sometimes be overwhelming.  I’m often asked what it takes to be a successful business owner with Redstones. In my experience, the following traits are common to the majority of successful franchisees:-

Ability to follow a system that works : A franchisee is happy following a proven system to build a successful business.  If you are an overly independent character who likes to experiment with different ways of running a business, franchising may not be the best option.

Self motivated : You like to focus on meeting your goals and working effectively to achieve the result you need.  You constantly evaluate your progress and performance to ensure you are meeting your own high standards and are keen to take on board to the advice of others, such as your franchisor’s business development managers.

Thinking big : You are always looking at the bigger picture, even when you’re working long hours to get your business up and running. You are confident it will pay off in the long term.  You focus on your long-term potential for your business, knowing that the actions you take today all represent steps along the path to take you there.

The glass is always half-full : You’re a born optimist, always looking for the positive in every situation You learn from your mistakes rather than dwelling on them, aiming to create solutions to each challenge you encounter.

Leadership skills : Ideally you possess a combination of life and business skills.  In running a franchise like Redstones, you will need to manage and lead your own team as well as encourage and motivate your staff with your outstanding communication skills.  Industry specific experience isn’t essential as all of our franchisees undergo a comprehensive training programme to equip them with the skills to build a successful business.

Excellent people skills : As the owner of a Redstones franchise you are on the front line, dealing with tenants, buyers and property owners on a daily basis.  An ability to build and maintain relationships with potential clients is vital to your long-term success.

Resilience : Starting your own business is an exciting yet challenging time.  A high level of resilience will ensure you overcome any early hurdles, keep any setbacks in perspective and continue to build on your successes.

Financial management : As a business owner you must have access to the financial investment essential to any franchisee agreement.  Furthermore, when running your own franchise – as with any business – careful financial and cashflow management is essential.  Your franchisor will work with you to ensure you achieve both your short and long-term financial objectives.

Investing in a franchise is not for everyone but offers an ideal opportunity for an ambitious individual to build a successful business.  If you recognise yourself in the above mentioned traits and you would like to learn more about becoming part our successful network at Redstones, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you’d like to find out more about life as a Redstones franchisee, get in touch today. 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 Lettings

6 Signs Of A Reputable Lettings Agent

At first glance the lettings market may seem to be saturated. For a property owner considering renting for their first time, deciding who to work can often be an overwhelming and difficult decision.
To alleviate your anxiety and assist with your choice, here are six signs of a reliable and reputable lettings agent:-

They treat their tenants with respect :
The first sign of an ethical lettings agent is apparent in how they treat their tenants, as well as the property owners. Try posing as a potential tenant to gain some insight into their overall approach. A great lettings agent will be ethical, honest, respectful and fair with their tenants.

Your money is protected : A growing number of letting agents use SAFE schemes – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – which ensures that the protection of the clients’ money. At Redstones we also offer an optional Redstones Platinum Total Care Service. Clients choosing to use this service are guaranteed that their rent is paid on time every month regardless of whether or not the tenant has paid.

Knowledgeable and courteous staff : How you are treated when making your first inquiry will tell you everything you need to know about a lettings agent. Most reputable agents train their staff thoroughly, offering high levels of customer care. In addition, they will possess relevant industry qualifications, for example, those offered by the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) or another recognised body.

A well established company : Be wary of companies which have only been trading for a short time. While every lettings agent has to start somewhere, a track record of successful lettings is preferable wherever possible. Lettings can be a notoriously hazardous market for the novice.

Terms and conditions : Many lettings agents claim to offer accompanied visits with tenants and carry out regular inventory checks when agreed throughout the period of the tenancy agreement. Always ask the lettings agent to see records of these checks. In addition, if you are unsure about their standard tenancy agreement don’t hesitate to get it checked out with a legal advisor.

A regulated agency : The lettings industry isn’t regulated so it is essential to work with an agent who is a member of a professional body. Redstones is an accredited member of The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and of The Property Ombudsman. We also comply with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), giving assurance to all of our clients, buyers and tenants that you will receive outstanding customer service from our company at all times.

Day in the life of an agent

Day In The life of a letting/estate agent

As a Redstones Lettings franchisee you work as a self employed person responsible for running and controlling the major aspects of your own business.

Your work and normal daily routine in a busy Redstones Lettings office would entail most of the following:
• Networking, marketing and advertising your business to attract new clients (landlords, property owners, would be tenants, etc) using Redstones marketing systems.
• Taking property descriptions, measurements and images to a high standard to market the property.
• Building a database by recording all client names and contact details. They might not do business with you at the time but you will be able to give follow up calls or send flyers that may result in future business.
• Replying to enquiries by telephone, email and/or in writing.
• Meeting landlords and providing advice how your business could maximise their income and minimise their risk by letting via you.
• Setting appointments to meet new landlords, carrying out market apprasials and follow ups.
• Processing landlord agreements and ensuring properties to be let and managed by you comply with all certification, legal and safety requirements. Ensuring they are aware of their obligations.
• Marketing the properties under your management and arranging and/or conducting viewing appointments for would be tenants.
• Vetting and selecting of suitable tenants, monitoring tenancies, utilising the Redstones back office systems.
• Processing tenancy agreements. Ensuring they are aware of their obligations.
• Maintaining an office diary to ensure you always keep your appointments and meetings.
• Payments, receipts, rents, banking and office administration, basic accounting.
• Communication with Head Office to keep abreast of industry developments.

Strive to develop a strong position and presence in your local business community, with networking and writing articles on your blog.

Redstones Internal Office

Redstones Internal Office

If you’d like to find out more about life as a Redstones franchisee, get in touch today. 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.

Manjit Virdi

My thoughts, why blog, why I set up Redstones?

Landlord, Letting Agent,Property Expert,  Managing Director of Redstones Property and Redstones Franchise.

My path into the estate agency/lettings market has been far from straightforward.  After graduating from Wolverhampton University with a degree in IT and software, I took up my first position with energy giants Eon working in software development.  While I enjoyed my time with Eon, the allure of running my own business proved too much to resist.

In 2000 I made my initial steps into the property market investing in my first ‘buy to let’ properties working with a lettings agent to locate a suitable tenant and manage the property while I continued to expand my property portfolio.  My decision to set up Redstones evolved directly from my disappointing experience with lettings agents. Whenever a problem arose with my first property my tenant called me directly, although I was paying a management fee ostensibly to avoid these issues.

Realising that the market that was crying out for better customer service, I decided to manage my own portfolio, eventually offering a property management service to family and friends.

Finally, in 2003, I launched Redstones to fill the yawning gap in the market for a reputable lettings agency and I’ve never looked back. Seven years later, we launched our first high street outlet offering a customer focused service covering residential sales, lettings, property management and auctions. Building on our successful foundations in the residential market, we’ve recently extended our service into the commercial sales and lettings sector.

Click here to view the first flagship office  http://www.redstones.co.uk/office-locations/walsall

Having personally established a track record which demonstrates my expertise in the property market over a number of years, 2014 seemed the perfect time to launch my blog.

My aims with this blog are:-

  • To offer a ‘go-to’ source of advice and guidance for property owners and landlords in what can be a stressful market sector. 
  • Provide insight into the Redstones brand for potential franchisees and entrepreneurs exploring the world of franchising.

My vision has always been to establish a national network of offices trading under the Redstones banner and franchising offers the most natural route to achieve this.  A Redstones franchise gives ambitious entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop a successful business within a respected network.

As we build on our reputation and expand our client base we look forward to welcoming new franchisees into our network and continuing to offer our clients a superlative property sales and lettings experience.