Property specialist SDL Group yesterday launched a new franchise focusing on estate and block management.
The company, which already operates the UK Century 21 franchise business and is heavily involved in the build-to-rent sector, is targeting estate and letting agents wanting to diversify or expand their businesses, as well as sole practitioners and small firms already in the sector.
The new offering, Property Partners, will provide technology, business support and compliance in what is often seen as the Cinderella of the property industry.
Nick Faulkner, managing director of SDL Property Partners, told EYE: “We’ve designed it to be a ‘best of both worlds’ approach, offering a hybrid between the two very distinct camps that currently exist in the estate and block management sector.
“On the one side, you have sole practitioners doing a fantastic job, knowing the ins and outs of the buildings they look after, being on first-name terms with residents and having a great knowledge of the local area.
“However, it’s not uncommon to see one-man-bands struggling when it comes internal and customer facing systems and also keeping up with the 83 individual statutory compliance laws that property managers should be fully up to speed with.
“On the flip side, the large-scale corporates tend to have few gaps in their compliance knowledge.
“These well-oiled machines will have centralised and user-friendly services and deploy the latest technology; however, they are often criticised for being cold and disconnected when it comes to resident relationships. In effect there is no personal service.
“We’re of the belief that the future of estate and block management can be found in the middle-ground between these two camps.”
Faulkner said: “Our initial marketing activity centred around a teaser campaign that we called ‘Ask Nick’. We focused on 1,600 property professionals and the first call we received was from an existing letting agent looking to provide additional services.
“We’ve had many questioning why letting and estate agents would want to venture into estate and block management, but it makes perfect sense for those wanting to create a one-stop shop.”