redstones houses

Making The Switch – It’s Easy With Redstones

For homeowners considering selling their property who have been holding on for good news, that good news has now arrived.  Confidence is rising in the property market with a recent survey by Zoopla revealing 92% of property owners expecting house prices in their own area to rise during the first half of 2014.

Redstones Switch Agent

Redstones Switch Agent

It’s also great news for the West Midlands; the region recorded a year-on-year rise in prices of 4.4% – trailing only London and the South East.

One of the biggest issues facing homeowners as they tentatively return to the property market is finding an estate agent they can trust to sell their property at the right price.

Here we’ve listed just some of the common problems:-

  • Lack of marketing.
  • Poor quality marketing materials with disappointing photographs.
  • Lack of customer service, with estate agents often slow to return calls
  • Overvalued property prices.
  • Undervalued property prices.
  • Extortionate fees.

The great news is that you do have a choice. If you’ve lost confidence in your current estate agent or feel they are failing to provide the service they so enthusiastically sold to you, why not make the switch to Redstones with our unique ‘Switch Agents’ programme?

Why Redstones?

At Redstones, our extensive marketing strategies result in your property reaching the broadest client base possible. We achieve this through local promotion, via our existing prospective buyers’ database and through our presence across a plethora of property websites, including Rightmove, Findaproperty, Zoopla and Primelocation, among others.

With our in-depth knowledge of the local market, coupled with our expertise and extensive experience we liaise closely with our clients from their first call through to the completion of their house sale.

Switch To Redstones – It’s As Easy As 1-2-3

If you are unhappy with your current agent, switching to Redstones takes just three simple steps:-

Step One – Call us today and allow us to explain how we can assist you with your current sale.

Step Two – When you are happy with what you hear (we are confident you will be), you will need to give your current agent formal notice to terminate your agreement with them.  We can provide a template for you to use. NB : We advise you to check your current terms and conditions prior to contacting us.

Step Three – We will ensure a seamless switch by arranging to collect all relevant documentation and house keys where necessary from your current agent.

Making the switch to Redstones has never been easier.

Day in the life of a Lettings Administrator by Linsey Ballinger

Linsey Ballinger - Lettings Adminstrator

Linsey Ballinger, Lettings Adminstrator for Redstones

“My daily routine beings by answering a simple telephone call and booking an appointment for a potential tenant. We deal with a range of people and always love to help with different situations and sometimes have to go that extra mile to make sure our clients are getting the best possible care when going through something as stressful as moving home.

Along with this I complete the tenants referencing process for all of the new tenants we have waiting to move into their property, and I am happy to say it is my duty to give the fantastic news that they have been successful and to arrange a move in date which always proves to be the best part of lettings.

Being an administrator at Redstones is not just your average 9-5 office job, the fast pace, excitement of lettings means I am always there to help with any emergency property maintenance, and even the odd occasional viewing. Having me in the office means that no matter what happens someone is always there to help tenants and landlord feel they are protected by us at all times, giving ultimate peace of mind for all our clients.”

10 Reasons To Choose Redstones As Your Franchisor

Making the decision to invest in a franchise business allows you to operate under a recognisable brand name using a proven business format.  This enables you to get your business up and running – and more importantly profitable – in the shortest possible time.  The dilemma potential franchisees often face is which franchisor they should choose. 

If you’re considering running your own estate agency business, here are ten reasons to choose Redstones:-

  • A strong, recognisable brand name : Redstones focuses on customer service and integrity in a market which is sometimes notorious for lacking both.
  • Excellent value for your investment. We allow our franchisees to open as many offices and high street branches as they wish within their territory at no additional cost.
  • Comprehensive training : All of our franchisees undergo two weeks of comprehensive training covering all aspects of how to successfully operate a Redstones franchise. The training takes place at our head office in the West Midlands.
  • Extensive ongoing support : On completion of your training we spend a minimum of two days on-site with you.  We believe this is invaluable as you begin to market your business and meet potential landlords.  On top of this we offer a telephone helpline, additional training modules and local marketing promotion and PR support, together with regular networking meetings and an annual conference.  We are confident that our support ranks among the best in the franchise sector.
  • Redstones’ Platinum Total Care : Recently launched as a key element of our new Landlord Services Packages our Platinum Total Care gives Redstones the edge on its competition.  This unique service guarantees that the landlord’s rent is paid on time, every month, regardless of whether or not their tenants have paid.
  • Redstones’ ‘Switch Agent’ programme : Specially designed to ensure our franchisees secure business from other lettings agents providing a poor service to property owners.
  • An optional rent collection and credit control : This enables our franchisees to become more efficient in winning new clients. Our unique offering allows you to focus on developing your business rather than worry about paying landlords.
  • Up-to-date on-line marketing strategies : From SEO to social media, Google to PPC and your own micro site, Redstones is at the forefront in developing online marketing strategies that work.
  • Outstanding service for residential sales clients : Our service includes 3D floor plans and walkthrough software solutions utilised on property websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove.
  • 0% Commission Fees :  We are confident that the recent launch of our zero commission fees for vendors through Redstones’ auctions service will increase opportunities for winning new business.

With a proven track record in a competitive market place, Redstones offers an outstanding franchise opportunity.  We look forward to welcoming you to our network.

Franchise security

7 Essential Questions To Ask A Franchisor

For would-be entrepreneurs thinking of investing in a franchised brand, the range of businesses on offer may seem overwhelming.  First of all, you need to decide on the type of business that’s right for you, whether it’s a retail franchise, ‘man and van’ business, professional services, estate agency and so on.

Secondly, once you’ve decided which sector you want to operate in, you are then faced with choosing the right brand.  To help you, we’ve compiled a list of essential questions to ask your potential franchisor with a brief explanation as to why you need to know.

What is the owner’s background? Do they have a successful track record in their business sector or in franchising?

If the owner doesn’t have a successful track record either in their business sector or franchising or has not successfully operated a pilot business, they will not be able to help you in running your own business.

Are you members of the British Franchise Association?

The British Franchise Association is a voluntary association which vets its members to ensure their compliance within stringent ethical standards. We would strongly advise all potential franchisees to proceed with caution if considering a non-BFA member. Redstones is proud to be a member of the BFA.

Have you worked with BFA accredited franchise consultants and lawyers in drawing up your franchise agreement?

Franchising is a specialised business and most ethical franchisors work with accredited lawyers and consultants when setting up their franchise.

How will I be trained and what ongoing training is available?

Comprehensive training in all aspects of running the franchised business, together with ongoing support, is essential for long-term business success.

How long is the franchise agreement for?

The franchise agreement is a legally binding agreement. It is important to know the length of time you are committing to and whether or not you can sell the business or renew the agreement when it comes to an end. Franchise agreements typically run for five years depending on the sector.

What additional capital or working capital will be required to set up the franchise?

You must be clear on exactly what the initial franchise fee covers and how much additional working capital will be required to get your business up and running.

What are your ongoing fees?

Franchisors typically charge royalties or ongoing fees on a franchisee’s turnover which is reinvested back into the marketing of the brand and support of the franchisee. Understanding the exact level of ongoing fees will enable you to produce a viable business plan.

For additional advice we recommend the BFA website.  

Redstones Lettings

Letting Made Easy With Redstones

Letting Your Property Is Easy With Redstones Total Platinum Care

The lettings market can be a precarious one for landlords.

At Redstones, we know from listening to our clients that their overriding cause for concern is finding a tenant who pays on time, every month.  We also know from experience that even with the most comprehensive reference checks and seemingly perfect tenants, life occasionally gets in the way.

What happens if your tenant is made redundant or falls ill?  In the worst case scenario, a tenant may cease all communication and refuse to pay their rent.  Before you know it, you are faced with mounting costs for bailiffs, legal fees and the added stress of evicting your tenant.

What’s the solution?

Traditional letting agreements simply require the agent to provide a suitable tenant, processing rent payments as and when they are received. If the tenant fails to pay, the landlord receives nothing.

When your mortgage repayments are dependent upon paying tenants or you simply can’t afford to be left with an empty property, what can you do?

At Redstones, we have the answer.

Our unique Platinum Total Care option is a must for property owners seeking a solution to the potential problem of rent arrears and onerous legal costs.

What is Redstones’ Platinum Total Care?

Our innovative Platinum Total Care service includes the following:-

  • Redstones assume full responsibility of ensuring the rent is paid on time, every month.
  • Our arrangement means that the tenant pays the rent directly to us.  We in turn pay our clients on a fixed date each month.
  • If the tenant falls into arrears or fails to pay, we will continue to cover the rental payments to our clients up to a maximum of five months.
  • Redstones covers any legal costs which may be incurred in obtaining vacant possession of the property. This gives our clients the time to regain possession of their property without incurring additional costs and losing more money in the process.

Our client Kate Willis has this to say about our Platinum Total Care service:-

‘I would highly recommend the Platinum Total Care Service. It gives me peace of mind to know my rent will be paid on time, every month and takes the stress out of renting!”

Contact us today to find out more about how our Platinum Total Care service can take the stress out of letting your property.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Blue Sky

Franchise vs Start-up

Franchising : Your Business Advantage

Setting up in business alone can be a daunting prospect. Where do you begin, how will you establish your brand, what are you chances of success? What happens when you encounter a glitch in your business plan?

Investing in a franchise business provides the answer to all of these issues. For would-be entrepreneurs, franchising is becoming an increasingly popular way of setting up their own business under the banner of a tried and trusted brand name.

Franchise success in the UK

Natwest Bank’s 2013 Survey in association with the British Franchise Association reveals that the UK franchise industry is growing, contributing around £13.7bn to the UK economy in the past year.  What’s more, 90% of franchisors are confident that growth will continue during 2014 – and Redstones is one of them.

The advantages of franchising

For a budding entrepreneur, setting up in business as a franchisee offers the following distinct advantages over a ‘stand-alone’ start-up business:-

Increased chance of success : While statistics vary, guidelines suggest that only 7% of stand-alone businesses are still trading after three years, compared to 90% of franchised businesses.  Natwest’s survey supports these figures, with 92 per cent of franchisees reporting profitability and one in four running multiple outlets.  Among new franchisees (less than two years in business) 80% are already profitable.

A competitive edge : Being part of a recognised brand gives a franchisee more visibility. Potential customers know what to expect and will be more confident in working with them. In the competitive lettings market this is especially important.

A proven business system : A franchisor’s business model is tried, tested and proven, removing the often steep learning curve that most stand-alone businesses face.

As the Chairman of the BFA, Brian Smart states ‘The fact remains that franchising provides a business owner with the means and methodology to set up and run their own business with an increased rate of success when compared with traditional stand-alone methods’.

With Redstones, our franchisees are comprehensively trained in all aspects of running an estate agency business, including marketing, accounting and sales.

We also provide ongoing ‘hands-on’ support to ensure our franchisees become profitable in the shortest possible time. As members of the British Franchise Association, we are committed to excellence in our franchise business.

Franchising is open to anyone from all walks of life, provided they have sufficient capital and the right attitude.

Contact us today to discuss how you can become a franchisee of Redstones and owner of your own successful lettings business.