Meet the agency offering renovations alongside property management
Diversifying their service offering has allowed a Shrewsbury-based agency to provide their landlords with more value, while improving its bottom line.
A Shrewsbury-based agency is offering its landlords a renovation service and 100% of landlords who’ve been offered the service have said yes. Cooper Green Pooks, an award-winning sales and lettings agency and Goodlord customer, added the renovation arm to its business almost a decade ago so it could increase revenues without the pressure to keep growing its managed portfolio in a competitive market, where it already dominates market share.
“We anticipate slower growth of our managed portfolio over the next few years, because we think that there will be less new landlords coming into the market,” says Director Chris Pook. “You get to a point where the cost of growing that market share is actually too high - we don't want to lower our costs or our service level or run an expensive marketing campaign - so we decided the best approach was to look at offering extra services to our existing client base and create real added value for them.”
Project managing renovations for landlords was an obvious decision. “A lot of the time we've managed the property for years,” he says. “We know that, if the landlord invests in a major overhaul, it's going to lead to a shorter void period because it's going to be a more attractive property, we’ll attract a higher calibre of tenants at higher rents, and the sales value will increase if renovation is well-designed and carefully executed.”
Every single landlord who has been offered the service to date has taken it up. “We've got such a good back catalogue now that we can give landlords a spreadsheet with the exact costs, show them floor plans and before-and-after photographs - everything to help them make a decision. The reason it works so well is that we have more buying power than a landlord who is only doing a renovation once in a blue moon, and we can oversee the entire project and take all the stress out of it,” he says. “They're more than willing to pay someone to do it for them, particularly when they know they are in safe hands.”
Pook believes the service increases landlords loyalty to the agency. “It really entrenches you with your landlords because, we’re responsible for really adding value to their investment. Their tenants are happier, and, if there are any problems, you know exactly which contractor to call because you oversaw the work. You know all the crucial little details that make it all flow,” he says. “You’ve worked very hard for your fee, but in the end, your landlords are going to really value your input and it often leads to new instructions, when they describe your service to friends and colleagues.”