Category Archives: Property

Redstones Lettings

Buy to let market to remain strong

Despite recent reports to the contrary, the buy to let market in the UK remains bouyant, with a growing private rented sector set to continue into the future.

In fact, the latest research shows that over the past 15 years, the sector has more than doubled. There are now 4.3 million households living in privately rented accommodation, demonstrating strong rental demand.

So, what has caused the private rented sector to grow? Firstly, more people are now living for longer and an increasing number of people live on their own. Furthermore, some people delay a choice to settle down with a family or they are staying in higher education for longer periods of time.

In addition, there is also a growth in population, which includes more migrants arriving in Britain. This is also combined with less available social housing and difficulties for first-time buyers in terms of affording properties.

Affordability is a key issue as house prices have been growing at a rate that has outpaced earnings, meaning that first-time buyers stay in rented accommodation for longer as they save for a deposit.

Whilst the Government states that it wants to get more people on the property ladder, the private rented sector is still likely to flourish.

There will be changes, however, as the new higher stamp duty for second properties could lead to higher rents and fewer properties available for rent. There is also tax and regulatory changes planned, which means that the buy-to-let market could grow at a slower rate but it will still continue to grow, nevertheless.

At Redstones, we regularly work with new and experienced landlords with property portfolios of all sizes and proactively advise them on market shifts. Here’s what makes us one of the leading lettings agents and property management experts in the West Midlands.

Redstones Marketing Ready

Features that make a Redstones franchise a fantastic option

If you’re considering starting your own business next year with a new franchise, you may be familiar with the term ‘due diligence’. Basically, this means that before you decide which type of franchise to become a part of, a crucial part of the process is research.

Clearly, research is vital to ensure that the franchise will be a viable business option. Once you become a franchisee, you must demonstrate the drive and ambition to make the business work and ensure it’s profitable. If the business model that the franchisor has developed is proven to be effective, this will be a huge advantage in the franchisees favour.

At Redstones, we’re constantly innovating and doing everything we can to ensure that our franchisees are successful. Compared to similar property franchises, we know that we have a superior offer. This includes:

Unique and highly innovative practicesRedstones Platinum Total Care is a scheme that ensures the landlord’s rent is paid on the date it is due, regardless of whether the tenant has paid on time. It’s a great incentive for landlords and an ideal business generation tool.

We also have the ‘Switch Agents’ programme, which ensures that new business is gained based on the service delivered. The programme makes it simple for landlords to switch their property or property portfolio to you, as a franchisee, if they’re dissatisfied with their current agent.

Modern marketing All franchisees can take advantage of the modern marketing techniques we offer, which have been proven to generate great results. Our extensive on-line and off-line marketing techniques include social media, advertising on all relevant portals and a focus on SEO and Pay-Per-Click. Vendors are able to sell their property quickly through 3D floor plans and walk through technology. We’ve even introduced an additional sales channel; online property auctions, which have driven more business through the door.

We actively help franchisees with their marketing because we are committed to helping them succeed in business. Therefore, we are providing new franchisees that join our network in 2016 with the Redstones Marketing Ready Package, worth over £7,000.  For further details click here.

Large territories – In contrast to many other property franchises, Redstones offers large territories of at least 100,000 households, low set up costs and opportunities to expand throughout the UK. When a Redstones franchise is in a position to grow, we have business acquisition experts on hand to help advise franchisees on how to effectively build their business portfolio.

Finally, to equip themselves with the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed, every new franchisee undertakes a comprehensive new property franchisee training course.

Take the first step to controlling your financial future and find out more about becoming a Redstones franchisee. For further information, visit our Franchise website, call 01922 235 350 or email

Stressed Landlords

Top tips for first time buyers

Redstones recognises that moving into your first home will be a major milestone in your life. If you’re currently working towards this goal, how can you achieve it successfully? Here are our tops tips:

Be financially savvy
This means having a clear picture of how much money you actually need to buy your first home. Typically, you will need a deposit of at least 5% of the property’s value. In addition, don’t forget that you will require further funds for mortgage and solicitor fees, survey costs and stamp duty if the property is above £125,000. This can amount to several thousands of pounds, which needs to be added to the initial cost of buying a home. Furniture, carpets, decor and household supplies also need consideration.

Think about your household budget once you’ve moved in too. The budget will need to cover the mortgage, bills and other outgoings on a monthly basis, as well as a contingency for maintenance and any emergencies that could occur. Understanding your costs and being able to stick to a budget ensures you’re making the right decision and will be happy once you move in.

Get Help to Buy
If you’re struggling to save a deposit, consider taking advantage of the Help to Buy government scheme.

Their equity loan scheme offers an interest-free loan of up to 20% of the value of a new build property, whilst the mortgage guarantee scheme has increased the number of mortgages only requiring a deposit of 5%, which makes mortgage interest rates more affordable.

Research different mortgages

There are so many mortgages on the market that it is worth speaking to a mortgage broker, bank or building society early on. You can start researching the many mortgages available through a price comparison site too, which often include Mortgage Calculators that help you work out monthly payments based on the interest rates available and repayment terms.

A fixed rate mortgage is often useful for first time buyers, as it means that your monthly payments will remain the same for a number of years. However, variable rate mortgages reflect the Bank of England base rate, which is historically low at the moment.

It may feel daunting to make a big commitment such as buying your first home, but by following these tips you can be assured that you’re making the right decisions.

Ready to buy your first home? Let Redstones help you take that important step.

Redstones Walsall Estate Agents

Planning to work for yourself in 2016?

The New Year often symbolises a new start and for many people, this means re-thinking their career. You may be unsatisfied with your current career, looking for a fresh start or want more flexibility and rewards.

If so, working for yourself by becoming a franchisee could be a serious option to consider for 2016 and beyond. Here’s why you should give it some thought:

Being your own boss

Fed up of that bad boss? A franchise allows you the freedom of being your own boss but you also have the protection of working within the framework of a tried and tested business. You don’t need to think of your own successful business idea, which is harder to identify than you may realise but you will need the passion, skills and drive to promote your own business.

Reduced risk

The success rate for new franchisees is now 91.8% – that’s significantly higher than most other start-up businesses. That’s because the franchisors will have developed a business model that works. This means that you don’t need to start from scratch and should just focus on making your own impact.

Your franchise is also far more likely to be successful if it’s part of a business sector you’re interested in, as you will easily be able to demonstrate passion. To reduce risk, due diligence and thorough research before you choose the right franchise is essential.

 Great income potential

Once your new franchise business is established, the income potential can be significant. If you’re looking for a career that is more financially rewarding, consider whether you’re satisfied with the income a franchise business could offer you.


For working families and those who value work/life balance, as a franchise owner, there is flexibility in the hours you work. This is extremely valuable for some people, as it allows them to work around their childcare and family commitments.


Don’t forget that a franchisor will give you all the support you need to succeed – it’s in their best interests after all! This may mean offering advice on business planning or marketing, for example. This support is invaluable as you set off on your road to success.

If you like the idea of being a franchisee, how about owning your own prosperous property business?

Find out why many potential business owners are discovering that a Redstones Property Franchise is an attractive option.

Redstones Residential Sales

5 Signs You Need To Switch Your Agent

Whether you have a home to sell or a property to let, choosing a reputable lettings or estate agent to obtain the best price for your house or manage your property responsibly is vital. Identifying an unethical agent is not always easy; here are five signs that you may need to switch your existing agent:-

No communication

You’ve assigned the management of your property portfolio to your lettings agent who has promised to source suitable tenants quickly. A few weeks’ later you’ve yet to receive an update and your enquiries are fobbed off by the agent who claims there is a shortage of suitable tenants.  A reputable agent should keep in touch with you on a regular basis, with updates on enquiries about your property. If you are struggling to let it, there may be a simple explanation; perhaps the property needs some renovation work or the rental price is too high. A reputable agent will be able to provide you with this information to help you let your property in the shortest possible time.

Problems ignored

Whether it’s your tenant not paying their rent, damage to the property or a broken down boiler, your agent isn’t resolving the problem, yet is still collecting payments from you every month.  Before selecting your lettings agent find out what background checks they carry out on tenants.  These should include reference checks from employers, for example, as well as credit checks to prevent problems with non-paying tenants during the period tenancy agreement.  At Redstones our Platinum Total Care Service ensures your rental payments are guaranteed to be paid on time, every month.

Lack of marketing

If your agent has exclusive responsibility for the letting or sale of your house, you should expect a comprehensive marketing strategy to ensure that your property is let or sold in the fastest possible time at an optimum price.  As well as eye catching boards, Redstones takes advantage of every marketing tool at our disposal using state-of-the-art technology. For property which may be difficult to sell due to renovation issues, for example, we also offer an online auction method for a quick sale.

Too pushy

A reputable agent will possess in-depth knowledge of your local market, including appropriate pricing (whether for rent or sale) while at the same time listening to your concerns and respecting your opinion.  Homebuyers should also be wary of an estate agent who attempts to pressure you into favouring a particular property during your house search.  An ethical agent will listen to your requirements and provide you with a list of options that meet your criteria in terms of both location and price.

No follow up

Some agents believe that once you move into your new home their job is done. The best estate agents will follow up once you are settled in to ensure your move has progressed smoothly.  This is a sign of an agent with outstanding commitment to customer care.  Similarly, once a tenancy agreement ends, a reputable agent will be in touch at the end of to ensure your have been satisfied with their service.

Don’t tolerate poor service from your lettings agent.  At Redstones, we offer a Switch Agents facility which takes you through a series of easy to follow steps to switch your property management or sale to a brand you can trust.  Contact us today to find out more.

If you’ve enjoy outstanding service from Redstones Refer A Friend today. We pay £100 for every referral on the completion of a sale and £50 for every referral once a tenancy agreement is signed and the property rented out.

Is Your Property Ready For The Winter

Landlords : Is Your Property Ready For The Winter?

Autumnal weather is well and truly upon us and for landlords, now is an ideal time to ensure your rental properties are ‘fit for purpose’ as the weather gets colder. Follow our tips below to ensure your property is in peak condition in time for the winter months.

Carry out a boiler service

When was the last time you had the boiler serviced in your rental property? Regular gas checks are essential as part of your tenancy agreement. If you’ve neglected this mandatory part of your obligations as a landlord, now is the perfect time to service the boiler and any other gas appliances in your property.  For landlords who carry out mid-term inspections or who let their properties through a reputable estate agent this should be routine.  Our advice is, don’t delay – have you ever attempted to secure the services of a gas engineer during a cold snap?

Check all pipes and guttering

All pipes and guttering should be thoroughly secured to the walls and, together with brickwork, checked for leaks, fractures and blockages. Leaking pipes may freeze and burst during the winter months and in this case prevention is certainly better than cure.

Pay attention to bathrooms

From our experience of property management at Redstones, we know that bathrooms can often suffer from excessive condensation and damp, resulting in loose or cracked tiles which lead to leaks and water damage. Check bathrooms thoroughly for any telltale signs and rectify any potential problems immediately.

Carry out regular checks if your property is empty

‘Void’ periods – the times when your property does not have a tenant – during autumn and winter months mean that you must pay extra attention to your property. Carry out regular visits and checks to ensure your property is secure and your heating is working properly.  If you are struggling to find a suitable tenant, consider contacting a reputable lettings agent who specialises in your local area and can help you to find a tenant quickly.

Insulate your property

With all landlords required to provide EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) on their rental properties, insulation is essential. Check the cladding around your pipes and boiler, ensure that your taps aren’t leaking and seal windows and doors with appropriate draft excluders.

Keep your tenants fully informed

While the maintenance of your property is your responsibility as a landlord, it is worth investing some time putting together an information pack for your tenants. Include advice on operating the boiler, locating stopcocks and ensuring heating is on if they are away during the cold weather. With the arrival of darker nights, it is also vital to ensure your property is thoroughly secured with deadlocks and burglar alarms.

Carry out tests on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

While these tests should form part of your regular inspections, with colder weather approaching, it is essential to ensure that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are fully functional.

Make sure your insurance policy is up-to-date

Insurance can be a grey area for many landlords as maintenance issues aren’t always covered by landlord policies. For your peace of mind, Redstones Financial Services provides a full range of financial services for landlords and tenants.

For more information on your responsibilities as a landlord, you may also find our blog 8 Landlord Obligations You Need To Know helpful.

Thinking of letting your property? Talk to a reputable lettings agent. Contact Redstones today to discuss your options.