Diversifying your agency's service offering could result in exponential growth
“We have something to offer everyone,” says the Head of Lettings for a property management company that manages 1,500 residential properties, 600 student rooms, and 1,000,000 square feet of office space in the UK.
A diverse service offering has been key to a property management company’s nationwide growth, says its Head of Lettings. Sheffield-based Omnia Property Group works across all areas of the property market, with student accommodation, serviced offices, commercial property, residential lettings and facilities management all strings in its bow. Its clients range from landlords with a single property to commercial landlords who have several hundred in their portfolio. Becky Hague, Head of Lettings, says that their diverse offering has been central to Omnia’s growth.
Diversity has offered more opportunity...
“It means we can take on full management of bigger buildings, rather than just managing individual apartments, while the commercial side works really well because we’re getting a lot of mixed-purposes buildings now, where there is accommodation and offices side by side,” says Hague. “We have something to offer everyone.” It’s been an effective strategy. In just 16 years, Omnia now encompasses three divisions managing 1,500 residential properties, 600 student rooms and 1,000,000 square feet of office space across the UK - or more than £350,000,000 worth of property.
But expectations in build-to-rent are a challenge
Omnia’s growth doesn’t mean it’s been without challenges, says Hague, who thinks increasing standards in the build-to-rent sector have proved difficult for some landlords to keep up with. “There have been a few new developments that completely broke the mould - with cinema rooms and swimming pools and rooftop terraces - and it just meant the expectations went so much higher,” she says.
“Five years ago, when you’d get enquiries where people would be asking if the property had all of these features, you would be thinking, why would you even ask that? But now we need to be convincing landlords that they need to be making changes to meet that standard that’s on offer and explain to them that they need to improve and keep up to date."
Maintaining growth in an uncertain market
But Omnia’s growth looks set to continue apace. “Everything’s up in the air at the moment and I think sometimes that it can make a big difference to the market,” says Hague. “But we’re still getting new business through the door and I don’t think there’s anything that will change too much this year. We want to keep growing, get new business on board, and use our existing relationships to improve.”