We value tenants as much as landlords

We value tenants as much as landlords

Lettings is often a tricky business, the success of which can be completely transformed through listening and a good old fashioned conversation.

In the words of our new Lettings Manager, Nicola Wilkes, “It’s a landlord’s property, but it’s a tenant’s home,” which is why at The Apartment Company we value tenants as much as landlords.
Nicola has only been with us for two weeks, but already her experience, passion, and approach has been praised by landlords and tenants alike.  I asked Nicola to tell us more about her property past, and why The Apartment Company was the right fit.
“I set up my own agency in early 2006 because, having been a tenant myself, I felt that I could provide a service that both landlords and tenants were happy with. It was really a case of treating both sides of the equation equally, so feeling that, as a tenant, you were valued too.
For just under 12 years I grew the business from zero to a portfolio in excess of 150 properties. Based in Trowbridge, my agency covered what was historically north and west Wiltshire. We managed properties right across the spectrum, from studios right the way up to, for example, a gorgeous eight-bedroom, four-bathroom mansion type property in Trowbridge, and everything in between.  Our landlords and tenants came from across the UK as well as overseas.
I was responsible for developing the business and putting in place all the processes. When you have your own business it’s a learning process and a bit of trial and error as well, so you develop it and grow.
Something had to change
It was the desire to change my work-life balance that led me to selling my business.  I’d run it at full speed and I needed a break.
I’m a single mum with six children.  Three are all grown up, but I still have three at home, who are all now in secondary school. When I sold the business I still had one in his final year at primary school, and I wanted to spend that time supporting him in his final year, and just being there for all my children. I needed to redress my work-life balance, and, to me, it was a really productive year out. It was time for me, time to just rediscover who I was.
When I decided to come back into the job market I had so much enthusiasm and so much energy. I’d spent that year spending time with the children, going to the gym, having a PT, going on holiday, just having some me-time, which, when you run your own business, is in short supply.
At the end of the summer the time felt right to go back to work; I wanted to utilise all my skills and experience I’d learned from running my own business.  I knew that I needed to find a company that had the same outlook, somewhere where I could be very involved and could really make a difference.
I’d researched The Apartment Company thoroughly before I met Peter. I liked what I saw; the niche market that they specialise in, and the quality of what they do. Peter and I got on well instantly, I asked for the Lettings Manager job – they hadn’t specifically advertised that one, but I knew it was in the wings, and I got it.”
How does your experience as a tenant influence how you manage a property?
“Ultimately, I thought back to how I was treated, wanting to feel like I actually mattered. If you’ve never been a tenant, it’s hard to describe.  You’re renting your property, you don’t own it, but it’s still your home and you rely on others to make it feel like it’s your home. There are so many things that you can do, and can’t do, when you rent a property. You are entrusted to look after it, but it’s important you also feel like the trust that’s placed in you.
I’ve only been here for a little under two weeks, and met with a number of our landlords tenants. I have talked to them, but more importantly, I have listened to them.  A quick phone call, a text message, or email can make all the difference.   
It is a landlord’s property, but it’s somebody else’s home, I’ve always expressed to landlords that they should value their tenants and don’t just think, “Oh well, there’s always somebody else out there who will take it.” That’s not the right approach. Value your tenants just as much as your landlords.
Communication is one of the most important factors in property management
A successful tenancy all comes down to communication; communication on both sides, with landlords and with tenants. Listening to them, helping them understand the process and what we do, and what we can do.
I listen to people, and I make sure that people know that they actually count, that they matter.
What do tenants want?
Tenants want their tenancies and their time living in their properties to be smooth-running; they want the place that they live in to be of the best standard. And I would like to think that landlords understand and value their tenants just as much as they do their properties.
Lettings and property management is always about people. The bricks and mortar is important to the landlord – it’s a valuable asset – but at the end of the day, we’re dealing with people, and I think it’s about ensuring that we never, ever lose sight of that.
Joining the team
It’s great to join such an enthusiastic lettings team who want to do the best that we possibly can. We have a shared passion for providing a positive and rewarding experience that benefits and supports all our clients.  I’m enjoying working in the niche apartment market and understanding the full process of that, including the block management companies that we obviously have to have relationships with.  Together we want to ensure that every tenancy runs as smoothly as it possibly can.”
It’s been a joy to welcome Nicola to our team, please do not hesitate to contact her should you be looking to let or rent a property in Bath. 



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01225 303 870