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We are specialists in residential property management

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WHY WE'RE DIFFERENT

RESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT

STUDENT MANAGEMENT

BLOCK MANAGEMENT

WHY WE'RE DIFFERENT

THE CHANGE IN THE LETTINGS INDUSTRY

Our business model is different to most of our competitors. If you are used to having your property managed, you are probably used to dealing with an estate agent. At APG Residential (part of the Astute Property Group) we are full time specialists in residential property. As part of our commitment to offering the highest levels of service, it is important for us to be transparent enough for you to see why we are like we are.

Years ago, it was far more difficult to find tenants, even for the best rented properties, than it is today. Simply, fewer people were renting houses. Houses were more affordable, so the majority were able to buy their own homes. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Mortgages are fewer, jobs are fewer and offer less long term security, and the stock of social housing was depleted without being sufficiently restored. All of this means there are more tenants looking to rent your properties.
As tenant demand has changed, so too has the methods in which properties are advertised. Whilst prospective tenants would have few options other than visit a high street to view the property particulars in Estate Agents’ windows, or look in the local paper, this is no longer the case. Now, the vast majority of people complete their entire property search online, most notably on Rightmove and Zoopla.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR US

At APG Residential, we make a point of saying that we are not an Estate Agent. By this, we mean more than say we do not sell properties. We have embraced the change in advertising vacant properties and do not have numerous high street offices, nor vacant properties on our website. Instead, all of our properties are advertised on Rightmove and Zoopla, as well as via our eye catching ‘To Let’ boards.

The endless list of overheads that Estate Agents must pay are largely redundant in 2015. By operating from smaller offices, we are able to still be within close proximity to the properties we manage and meet our clients conveniently. Without the high street office rents and expensive overheads, we are able to free up funds to invest elsewhere in our business – with the target always being to further improve our service. This means investing in the welfare and education of our staff and investing in new technologies to further improve the level of service we offer, as two examples. It also means that we can spend more time on each property we manage, and structure our business differently. Each property has a property manager, in charge of all aspects of your property. This means the same point of contact each time you call, and more importantly, someone who actually knows the property’s history and what is going on with it. Our clients say they prefer building a relationship with someone they can trust, rather than speaking to a different member of staff each time they call. This also benefits our tenants, who can build a strong rapport with us. This inevitably leads to happier tenants, who stay longer, look after the property better and are less likely to cause any potential problems.

As house prices are again increasing, and restrictions on obtaining mortgages become more stringent, it is the Landlords who inevitably profit. With our exceptionally high occupancy rates, average tenancy length and very low void periods, we think that we are in the best position to ensure that you generate the best return from your investment.

If you do not feel like you are getting the same level of service from your current letting agent or Property Management Company, please do not hesitate to get in touch. If we seem like the type of company you would like to work with, we can liaise with your current agent to transfer the management over, making the process as simple and hassle free as possible. If you are a new landlord, or looking to invest, again, please do not hesitate to contact us – we are happy to discuss any queries or concerns you may have at any time.

APG Residential. A part of The Astute Property Group :: www.apgresidential.com

RESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT

LETTINGS

As well as advertising each property through all of the main online portals, including Rightmove and Zoopla, and erecting our eye catching ‘To Let’ boards, we actively promote each property to each member of our tenant database who may be interested. Our database is comprehensive, and ever growing. We conduct all viewings individually, rather than conduct group viewings. This allows us to get to know the prospective tenants as far as possible, in order to provide an early indication of who would be best suitable. Inviting applications from several prospective tenants is then preferred to a ‘first come first serve’ technique, as often those who would make the best tenants aren’t necessarily the quickest to apply.
We reference all tenants, performing credit checks and speaking to past landlords and current employers ourselves directly. We believe in working that extra bit harder at this crucial stage, to ensure the tenants we install are the very best based on all evidence available.

We produce highly detailed, photographic inventories to ensure an accurate and well documented appraisal of the property’s condition is recorded. With only 19% of all DPS adjudicated landlord/tenant disputes ruled in the Landlord’s favour – we think it essential that we have the strongest evidence to back up any potential disagreements.

We also produce welcome packs for each tenant, designed for each individual property. Providing details of the house (such as where the stop cock is), manuals, agreements and general information on the area to ensure the tenant feels at home as soon as possible.

MANAGEMENT

This proactive approach features throughout our management service. We send reminders as soon as rent is late until it is paid, as well as build up strong relationships with each and every tenant. We find that having such a good working relationship encourages any maintenance issues to be reported as soon as possible, reducing the chance of an unreported issue escalating into a serious, and expensive, problem.

When maintenance issues do occur, we appreciate that they rarely do within the working week. We provide each tenant with personal emergency mobile numbers, so they are safe in the knowledge that if something goes wrong at midnight on Sunday, they have someone they can contact. We have a strong network of tried and trusted contractors. These are the people we know will provide a quality repair for the right price.

In order to further increase the level of service we offer, a member of our staff will always visit the property to ascertain the issue as soon as a maintenance issue is reported. Whilst this is rarely done by the majority of local letting agents, it gives us the peace of mind to say the correct repair is being carried out in the most cost effective manner.

We have invested in technology and software to further increase the level of service we offer to all of our Landlords and Tenants. This will always continue to be the case, and we will never rest on our laurels. We are continually striving to improve our service, and regularly ask our clients for suggestions on how we are able to do this. We think there is a lot of potential to make property management and lettings a better experience than the majority of landlords currently have.
For more information please visit the APG Residential Lettings & Management website using the link below. Our team of local property experts are waiting to answer any questions you many have.

APG Residential. A part of The Astute Property Group :: www.apgresidential.com

STUDENT MANAGEMENT

We have a genuine desire to improve the quality of student accommodation offered in Newcastle and Edinburgh – offering the best levels of service to our clients and student tenants. Engaging with the students has great benefits for our clients – with houses better looked after, contracts regularly renewed and fewer social problems encountered.

We employ a proactive and hands-on approach, combining novel ways of management with our tried and tested techniques. We are continually investing in the latest technology, such as innovative ways of reporting faults through our website – and a smartphone app in early stages of development. As well as targeted social media marketing, we are becoming increasingly involved with societies within the universities – further increasing our marketability of the student portfolio we manage.

We have noticed a shift in the student market, with a surplus of accommodation on offer in certain areas of the city. A demand of shifting preference towards the city centre is one of the most pronounced observations. If you own student property in or around Newcastle or Edinburgh, our agency is one growing and receiving more and more enquiries from high quality students. Being able to relate to the tenants, building excellent relationships, also means we work tirelessly to ensure maximum occupancy for the portfolios we manage is constantly achieved.

Unlike the traditional or professional lettings market, the student sector is one where the students have good choice. Our experience has shown that as the students now have choice, the most successful letting agents going forward are the ones that are most popular with the students. As an increasing number unfortunately seem to alienate themselves from the students, we shun the commonly employed hidden, high fees and arms-length management style – opting instead for a friendly and personable service promoting strong working relationships. Also, numerous landlords who have managed their own portfolios for many years have recently come to us – citing how students increasingly prefer to deal directly with professional agents rather than landlords themselves as the reason for doing so.

Our student property management is driven by our desire to offer the highest levels of service to our student tenants just as much as our clients. Keeping our tenants thoroughly satisfied ensures they either renew for following years themselves, or speak sufficiently highly of our agency to their friends – ensuring referrals account for a great proportion of our enquiries. Happy tenants, of course, also look after their properties better, knowing that anything they report will be sorted quickly – with the alternative often being to let minor issues fester into costly and complex issues. Finally, building strong rapports with the tenants allows for minimisation of any social issues that may arise, and allow us to tactfully advise and assist on resolving them – rather than resorting straight to threatening correspondence.

If you are dissatisfied with your current student letting agent, please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss just how we can help you. Our tried and tested management systems have been employed successfully over many years – and we welcome all enquiries, regardless of property type or portfolio size.
For more information please visit the APG Residential Lettings & Management website using the link below. Our team of local property experts are waiting to answer any questions you many have.

APG Residential. A part of The Astute Property Group :: www.apgresidential.com

BLOCK MANAGEMENT

Being a time-served property management company held in high regard, we are experienced in managing a wide range of buildings to a high standard and ensuring best value is achieved for the leaseholders.

Unlike many block management companies, we do not simply employ a Facilities Management company to oversee the actual running of the block, whilst picking up a commission for doing so. We take a far more ‘hands on’ approach, proactively and regularly visiting the properties we manage to ensure they are in the best possible condition. Cutting corners inevitably leads only to creating further problems down the line, and this is what we always look to avoid.
Working constantly with a team of cleaners, gardeners, window cleaners and handymen means we can get great value for our clients, whilst offering more of a personal service than a faceless management company.

Having a dedicated property manager each leaseholder, RMC Director or resident of the building can contact at any time is a highly popular aspect of our service – meaning there is always someone on hand if something goes wrong, and the person you speak to actually knows your building quite literally inside and out.

Carrying out regular walkthrough inspections allows us to keep on top of any small issues that would otherwise not get reported, as well as completing a 6 monthly visual inspection of the property as a whole to estimate quality of various renewable aspects. These renewable aspects that may need cyclical planned maintenance can be accounted for through utilising our surveying service. Being able to identify areas that may require structural attention over time allows for us to draw up more accurate budgets. Being able to estimate the life of various aspects of the building means the estimated replacement costs can be incorporated into the service charge, meaning maintenance costs can often be paid for over time – creating a surplus to fund the work when it is ultimately required. This is a popular aspect of our service, reducing the need to levy leaseholders for additional payments. We have great experience in managing large Georgian townhouses converted into apartments. These special buildings need a specialist level of management experience, as their age and (often) listed status creates complications not regularly seen through a more conventional block. We have a strong management presence in areas of Newcastle such as Jesmond, Sandyford, Heaton and Gosforth in particular – managing a number of large, iconic converted townhouses.

The majority of our enquiries for Block Management fall into either one of two categories. Firstly, leaseholders who have used a large Management Company for a long time, but become disillusioned by the high service charges and management costs, and low quality, faceless service. The second category is where a Residents Management Company (RMC) is in place, but for whatever reason, the majority of the management burden has fallen to one individual in particular. Being able to relinquish the pressures of managing the block is a blessed relief for many of our clients.
Whatever your reasons for considering a new Block Management company, please do not hesitate from getting in touch for further information on just how we can help you.

APG Residential. A part of The Astute Property Group :: www.apgresidential.com

Mike The Accidental Landlord

As Mike regularly had to travel around the world for work, and with a long commute to Rachel’s job, it made sense for Mike and Rachel to relocate closer to her work. With a young son and the benefit of her parents living locally, the move was ideal. However, they had no desire to sell their family home – and enlisted APG Residentail Lettings & Management to let and manage their home in Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

David The Professional Landlord

At APG Residential Lettings & Management (A part of The Astute Property Group), we manage David’s large and diverse property portfolio – based primarily in Jesmond and Gosforth, Newcastle. David has built a strong and high yielding property portfolio that enables him to live off the rental income alone. This does not mean, however, that he can afford lost rent or void periods – especially with mortgages to pay on the portfolio.

Ian The Investor Landlord

Ian has built up a profitable property investment portfolio over a number of years. With the expertise from our Investment Service, we constantly monitor his portfolio to determine how it is performing. This means assessing yield, monitoring and recording interest levels when re-letting, and assessing how much maintenance is costing on a per property basis. This data is analysed and used to produce a monthly Portfolio Investment Report.