Category Archives: Lettings

Redstones Board design

Eye-catching new sales and letting boards launched

As part of a regular drive to refresh the Redstones brand, a new design for Redstones’ sales and letting boards has been launched, which eagle-eyed sellers, buyers and landlords will notice soon!

Redstones Board design

Redstones Board design

Manjit Virdi, Managing Director of Redstones explains, “We are a marketing led company who work hard to protect and position our brand effectively. The new board design is all part of that.

In a crowded market, it’s vital for us to have an even more eye-catching board design that will stand out to serious buyers or passers-by and help promote and showcase properties as effectively as possible. Sales and letting boards have always been an important marketing tool to us, which is why we refresh their design every 2 years or so.”

The new boards help ensure that properties attract the right attention and the new board design extends to premium gallow boards, the swinging boards used to sell high value properties.

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.

Redstones West Midlands House Head Office

Centre of Operations

This new office will be the centre of operations for the companies expanding lettings and estate agency franchise, as well as serving landlords, tenants and property sellers and buyers in the Willenhall and Walsall areas.

Manjit Virdi, founder and Managing Director of Redstones, said, “It is an exciting time for our company. As well as moving to our new Willenhall base, we will be revamping our website and online presence. We feel we can utilise our online platform to spread the reach of our service, and give an even more cost-effective service to our customers.”

“We have continually sought to be innovators in the UK property letting and management industry. Our Platinum Total Care Service, which guarantees rental income to landlords, and our Easy Switch Agents Scheme are two examples of that innovative spirit. 2017 promises to be our best year, and I am excited at what we will be delivering for our customers.”

Redstones services include residential sales, lettings, and property management. The nature of the property market is developing, with over 80% of all property searches now carried out online. Redstones utilises this to present property in the best manner, including 3D floor plans, providing a  “walk through” experience.

Whilst fully embracing the internet, and the latest technology, Manjit Virdi feels Redstones have a particular advantage in the property industry. “We never forget that this business is about people,” he says. “Although we may be dealing with bricks and mortar, at the end of the day we are helping people. That may be taking the pressure off a property owner by managing their property and tenants, or getting the best possible price for someone selling their property.”

“Our people make the difference too. We call ourselves the ‘local’ property experts, and the knowledge we have of our communities and the local property markets, means we can add extra value for our customers, that some of the big box agents struggle with.”

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    

Redstones Management Team

Are you our next Redstones Academy Apprentice?

With ‘The Apprentice’ back on our screens, it’s a timely reminder that Redstones is recruiting for a new apprentice too!

Those with the knowledge, skills, vision and ambition to run their dream estate agency and letting business can win a FREE franchise territory to open their own successful estate agency. All franchisees gain the full support of Redstones, in terms of our coveted business model to ensure their new business succeeds.

We welcome candidates who are existing property professionals or business owners interested in
re-branding to Redstones, with a minimum of two year’s industry experience. With an understanding of business development and client relationship building, candidates also require sufficient funds to maintain their success after the business is launched.

Just like the TV show, candidates must be prepared to enter a competitive selection process and prove why they should be our next Redstones Academy Apprentice.

Managing Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi explains, “In the past, our Redstones Academy Apprentice initiative has been a great way for us to help talented professionals establish or grow their business. This is a great opportunity and we’re really looking forward to reviewing some new entries.”
All applicants need to complete an application form, send us your CV and will be required to conduct a presentation and participate in an interview.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity. If you think you’re our next apprentice, call 01922 235 350 or e-mail franchise@redstones.co.uk. Quote ‘Redstones Academy’ for further information and to request an application form.

Redstones Houses

The impact of school performance on property prices

Nationally, figures have been released that reveal that house buyers are prepared to pay more to live near high performing schools. This could also offer landlords great opportunities, if they take this into consideration.

Research from Lloyds Bank has revealed that parents pay an average of £53,000 extra to live in such areas. This figure has increased by 31% or £13,000 on 2015. Where pupils are achieving the strongest GCSE results, average property prices have soared to £366,744.

The research demonstrates that average house prices in areas with a state school in the top 30 of exam results have soared by £76,000 since 2011 and seven of the areas covered in the survey have seen house prices rise by over £100,000 since 2011.

Parents who manage to secured a place for their child at a leading school have seen prices rise from an average of £290,683 to £366,744 over the last five years. This represents a significant increase of 26%. This is in contrast to average house price increases in England, which have increased by £42,145 over the past 5 years from £240,208 to £282,353. This is an increase of 18%.

Of course, the popularity of areas close to high performing schools means that some buyers will be ‘priced out’. However, for landlords or buy to let investors, it could represent a great opportunity.

Director of Redstones, Manjit Virdi says, “This research shows the importance that parents place on living near top performing schools. For any landlords with properties in such areas, this should be reflected in their rents and for landlords looking to expand their property portfolios, checking academic league tables as part of their research would be a wise move.”

Redstones Red Cup

Brexit leads to a boost for the Buy to Let market

Buy-to-let activity has seen a boost in August, despite Brexit, with research revealing that buy-to-let valuations were up by 12.7% in August compared to the previous month.

From a landlord’s perspective, it has been a tough year, as the Government has introduced many changes to try and create a level playing field between homeowners and investors. These changes include the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge in April 2016 and the abolishment of the 10% Wear and Tear tax relief for landlords who rent out furnished homes has been abolished, so they can only claim the amount that they have spent. Also, mortgage tax relief is set to be phased out from 2017.

Despite these changes, buy-to-let activity has increased sharply. An encouraging economic outlook, high levels of employment and fading fears of a recession have been positively received, despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit. The Bank of England’s decision to cut the base rate for the first time in seven years also seems to have stimulated property investors.

Despite legislative changes, the buy to let sector seems to remain buoyant and resilient. Manjit Virdi, Director of Redstones says, “We are still regularly liaising with property landlords that wish to expand their portfolio, despite the political and economic climate. As well as helping them identify the right next property for their portfolio, we help them manage the often time-consuming burden of being a landlord.”

Redstones offers a wide range of property management services, from credit control to meter reading, repairs and maintenance, gas certificates and much more.

At the same time, house sellers are taking advantage of reports that house prices will increase following Brexit by getting their properties on the market. With new properties always becoming available, keep your eyes peeled on the local market by checking the search function on our website or registering your details with your local Redstones office.

Redstones Lettings

Longer tenancies supported by Government

Great news for landlords – the Government is now backing longer tenancies. The idea has been backed by the new Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, who is trying to make longer-term tenancies available to tenants who want them.

His department has drawn up a model tenancy agreement which encourages longer-term tenancies and the Government is now working with the private rented sector to promote the scheme and identify any obstacles. This agreement sets out the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, as a benchmark for tenancy agreements and outlines the ways in which families would benefit from longer agreements.

Manjit Virdi, Director of Redstones says, “I know that many of our landlords feel that long-term tenants make greater efforts to maintain their home and many tenants like the security of remaining in one property, so I believe this scheme will be welcomed by many.”

Interestingly, a recent report showed that the average tenancy agreement for a residential property in England stands at just 18 months, reflecting a short-term approach but clearly, some tenants will be happy to settle in one property for a longer period depending on their circumstances.

There are many stresses that come with being a landlord and finding new tenants once your existing tenants have left is just one of them. Although the average annual void period in the UK currently stand at 22 days, Redstones work pro-actively with our landlords to minimise void periods and identify longer-term tenants where possible.

Not only do we attract the right tenants, we pro-actively help our landlords manage their properties. Our uniques services for landlords include Redstones Platinum Total Care, which ensures that the rent is paid on time, every time and our Switch Agents Programme, which makes it very easy to switch to us if you’re dissatisfied with your current letting agent. This high level of service is what makes Redstones stand out in the lettings market.

Redstones Buyers

Finding tenants with a good credit score

As a landlord, an essential part of finding good tenants is checking their credit. This is the best way of predicting whether or not they will be able to pay their rent on time.

There are various issues to consider in regards to credit scores, such as the age of your tenant. When you rent property to younger tenants, they may not have built up enough positive credit history to achieve a high credit score. However, remember that if a potential tenant has a low credit score but you feel they would be a good tenant, you could consider a co-signer such as a parent.

Another issue is the region where the property is located. Factors such as employment rates and property values can impact credit scores, so the region’s average credit score needs to be taken into consideration.

Many credit reports highlight issues that may have adversely impacted your prospective tenant’s credit score. It’s worth investigating these issues, as some of them may not matter as much as others.

Income, of course, is another factor and a credit report helps to assess whether the tenant has enough money to pay the rent, with enough left over for other expenses.

Clearly, a mixture of judgment and intuition, as well as evidence, helps determine good tenants.

As part of the detailed tenant screening process at Redstones, we can advise on credit issues and much more to take the hassle out of finding good tenants.

To safe guard you in any eventuality Redstones launched the Redstones “Platinum Total Care Service”. Rent is guaranteed whether the tenant pays or not.