News

14th June 2018
ARMA holds glittering dinner in support of Rainbow Trust Childrens Charity
ARMA holds glittering dinner in support of Rainbow Trust Childrens Charity

ARMA, the leading trade association for residential managing agents, is holding its ARMA ACE Awards 2018 with a dinner on Friday 6 July 2018 to help raise funds for Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, which supports families with a seriously ill child.

The event, held at Tobacco Dock in London, invites ARMA Members, Associates and Partners as well as external suppliers to enter the awards. With help from guests the ARMA ACE Awards is hoping to raise £2,500 through partnership with Rainbow Trust.

Rainbow Trust enables families who have a child with a life-threatening illness to make the most of their time together. Rainbow Trust pairs each family with an expert Family Support Worker who helps them at home, in hospital and in the community, for as long as it is needed.

Dr Nigel Glen, ARMA CEO, said: “We couldn’t have chosen a more deserving charity partner for our ARMA ACE Awards this year. Rainbow Trust works with children with terminal or life-threatening illness and gives their families much needed emotional and practical support. Many families couldn’t have coped without their help. They also work in our local area, Wimbledon, and it’s heart-warming to see the support they give in our community.”

Oonagh Goodman, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Rainbow Trust, said: “We are incredibly grateful that ARMA is supporting Rainbow Trust through its fantastic event to fund vital support for families with a seriously ill child. All the money raised from the event will help Rainbow Trust to support families to make the most of the precious time they have together.”

Rainbow Trust is a national charity providing expert practical and emotional support to families, where they need it, to help them make the most of each new day. It relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and thanks to the generosity of its supporters helps over 2,300 families through its nine care teams in England.

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6th June 2018
New law firm launches with promise to shake up property sector
New law firm launches with promise to shake up property sector

A new national law firm has been launched in Birmingham, with a mission to shake up the property law sector.

Realty Law will specialise in the recovery of service charges and ground rent for management companies, managing agents and landlords. It will also deal with other legal issues faced by its clients.

It will operate mainly in the residential leasehold sector but also within commercial property and aims to offer a superior personal service within a complex area of law.
Charlotte Collins, a property specialist with more than 30 years of experience in commercial property and litigation has been appointed operations director. She joins from Midlands property law firm, SLC.
Sanjay Sabharwal joins Realty Law from Rendall and Ritter, one of the UK’s leading residential property management companies. A property investor with a Masters in banking law and financial regulation, Sanjay has managed more than 700 units in prime London locations including Canary Wharf and Tower Hill.

Zainab Khatoon has been appointed executive assistant. Following her qualification as a solicitor, Zainab pursued a business development career and has since gained almost a decade of experience in the property management sector.

Charlotte Collins said: “What will make Realty Law stand out from the usual debt recovery practice, is that our services will not be delivered by faceless lawyers with whom our clients have little contact. We are set up to provide clients with cost-effective, tailored and personal services from an individual team specialist.
“Although a niche sector, I am excited by what we can achieve and am looking forward to growing the team.”
Realty Law has been designed to protect the reputation of the client and to ensure that leaseholders are not penalised unfairly in costs. It will operate different cost tiers, depending on the type and level of debt. Clients will have access to a secure portal, where they can find information relating to their cases and also report new cases in an easy-to-complete format.
Realty Law is a sister company of established law firm, Emms Gilmore Liberson (EGL). It will work alongside EGL’s existing commercial property team, led by Mark Dakeyne, Simon Robson and Beth Margetson.

Mark Dakeyne, partner at EGL, said: “Realty Law has both the capacity and expertise to shake up the property law sector by offering a superior service in what is a complex area of law.

“EGL prides itself on delivering a personal service to clients and Realty Law will continue that tradition. We are delighted that Charlotte, who has a fantastic track record in this specialist sector, has agreed to join us as operations director.”

For more details about Realty Law, visit www.realty.law

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5th June 2018
Principle recruits established estate management expert Joe Jobson as director
Principle recruits established estate management expert Joe Jobson as director

Principle Estate Management has brought in experienced chartered surveyor and estate management expert Joe Jobson as a director.

He joins Principle founder Brett Williams in the Birmingham-based practice from 1 June.

Joe Jobson said: “I have worked closely with Brett Williams over a number of years and we are likeminded as far as business goes. We both seek to build sustainable, long term relationships with clients and respect each other’s professionalism and commitment.

“These are exciting times to be based within the Birmingham market place. Town and city centres are seeing a sea change in how people are living and working, and we believe that Principle Estate Management is well suited to meet the demands of residents and clients alike.”

He said that “One of Principle’s strengths was that the firm had a particular core specialism in residential block management and this will allow us to continue to build relationships with other property consulting firms, such as estate agents, who can introduce us to developer and freehold clients in the knowledge that we are not a threat to other aspects of their services, and we will continue to build on this.”

Managing director Brett Williams said: “It is great to have Joe Jobson joining Principle Estate Management as my business partner. He has fantastic experience in this sector and is very customer focused with a strong desire to make a difference.”

Principle Estate Management recently announced its first Birmingham city centre contract win, the management of Burne Jones House on Bennett Hill, which houses two restaurants on the ground and basement levels, and 29 luxury apartments on the remaining floors of the seven-storey building.

Leasemethod Ltd, which refurbished the property, appointed Principle Estate Management specifically because of the firm’s experience with mixed-use developments.

Principle Estate Management was launched in April 2018 by Mr Williams, the former head of residential property management at CPBigwood.

The company, based at Cornwall House in Lionel Street, Birmingham, offers a national property management service, predominantly to modern residential apartment buildings and traditional blocks of flats.

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25th May 2018
POD Management Recruit Industry Leaders
POD Management Recruit Industry Leaders

In response to rapid growth, estate and block management company POD has announced two new senior hires. Both joining the business from FirstPort, the UK’s largest managing agent, Ryan Collier will take the position of Operations Director, bringing a wealth of specialist experience in the large-scale developments and build-to-rent sector, whilst Andrew Froy has been named Director of Business Development.

A passionate and talented leader, previous roles have enabled Ryan Collier to develop a comprehensive understanding of large and complex buildings, regularly providing valuable consultancy to developers to help them optimise the design and delivery of new build developments, and ensure efficient building management. Collier commented: “I am totally on board with POD’s vision and goal to enhance the lives of those who live in our buildings and am excited to have the opportunity to apply my experience of working with the country’s major freehold investors, housebuilders and build -to-rent providers to continue growing the business and establish an enviable reputation, built on an innovative approach to management.”

With a proven track record establishing loyal relationships across a wide range of portfolios, Andrew Froy is a highly experienced professional with notable accolades including securing over £350,000 of annual management fees and the successful launch of an in-house Facilities Management company at a previous firm. Andrew commented: “I’m delighted to join David and the rest of the POD team at what is a very exciting time for a relatively new business. I look forward to building a trusted customer base and providing first-class customer service, underpinned by POD’s unique values.”

David Goldberg, POD’s founder and CEO added: “We’re delighted to have such high calibre additions to our senior team. We identified a need to modernise and revolutionise the sector and I am extremely encouraged by the response we’re experiencing, particularly in larger developments and the build-to-rent sector. We’re at a very exciting stage and it’s the ideal time to be strengthening our growth by building a team of talented professionals with ambition and a hunger that echo my own.”

Launched in 2017, POD Management combines expert developer consultancy with tailored, customer focused estate and block management. Harnessing unprecedented expertise to deliver a modern, technologically focused approach to home management, POD will prioritise its customers’ needs, providing an exceptional level of service, unrivalled by the rest of the industry.

Around-the-clock support through ‘POD Anytime’ means issues are dealt with efficiently and effectively. Additional unique services include ‘POD Connect’, an exclusive online portal featuring property updates, local information and support and ‘myPOD’, which allows customers on larger sites to access building services and engage with the local community.

 POD Management is invested in and supported by an experienced panel of professionals, including Faisal Butt and James Caan CBE. Working with freeholders, Resident Management Companies, Right to Manage Companies and investors, the business also work closely with developers, using their expertise to create and deliver successful, solid management strategies.

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3rd May 2018
SDL Group Shakes Hands with Lomand Capital in Birmingham Lettings Deal
SDL Group Shakes Hands with Lomand Capital in Birmingham Lettings Deal

Midlands-based national property services business SDL Group has announced the sale of a Birmingham residential lettings portfolio to Lomond Capital.

SDL Property Management now focuses on large scale institutional landlords particularly in the build-to-rent sector. This portfolio sale sees its Birmingham residential lettings and management services moving to join one of the foremost lettings agents in the West Midlands.

Rob Clifford, Group Commercial Director at SDL Group said: “This Birmingham-based residential lettings portfolio is a great fit for John Shepherd Lettings, Lomond Capital’s local lettings agency, and the sale creates a larger rental management business in the city, ready to serve the region’s landlords and property investors. We are delighted that our customers will continue to receive the level of service we have been proud to provide throughout the lettings business’s long history in Birmingham.

“Today’s deal is another very positive move as we focus on our strategy to revolutionise the experience of tenants through large scale PRS projects. This is a key component of our work to innovate across the property industry, which has also seen the launch of SDL Property Partners and SDL Auction Partners in the past 12 months.”

SDL also continues to build on its hugely successful auctions business, SDL Auctions, with the famous Villa Park auction at its heart, raising over £165m for SDL’s vendor clients in 2017.

This latest deal follows the Group’s £2m investment in a new central Birmingham base at Great Charles Street, home to over 150 employees, which is the hub of SDL Auctions Bigwood, and SDL Property Management, which manages over 30,000 units across the UK. SDL’s other key office locations include London, Nottingham, Fareham, Basildon and Stratford-upon-Avon.

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30th April 2018
Former CPBigwood director launches Principle Estate Management in Birmingham
Former CPBigwood director launches Principle Estate Management in Birmingham

The former head of residential property management at CPBigwood in Birmingham has launched his own business.

Brett Williams has opened Principle Estate Management to offer a national property management service, predominantly to modern residential apartment buildings and traditional blocks of flats.

The firm has opened for business at Cornwall House in Lionel Street, Birmingham.

Previously a partner with Curry & Partners until its merger with Bigwood in 2011 and subsequent sale in 2015, he was also chairman of ARMA, the Association of Residential Managing Agents for three years from 2007 until 2010.

He was responsible for growing the residential property management portfolio at Curry & Partners and Bigwood from 4,000 units to 25,000 when CPBigwood was sold.

During his career, Brett has managed some of the highest profile developments in the Midlands and across the UK.

He said the new business would be “strong on tech” to take away mundane chores and to automate routine process, freeing up staff to communicate with clients on a daily basis.

“Our focus will be on modern residential apartment developments and traditional blocks of flats, but we will also be managing mixed use developments with both residential and commercial occupiers and private residential housing estates.

“Additionally, the firm will be managing portfolios of rented properties for investor clients.

“We will be offering director level input into all developments, and honesty, professionalism, customer care and staff development will be our watchwords,” he said.

His professional experience also includes involvement with the RICS as West Midlands Junior Organisation committee member and was chairman in the Millennium year. He latterly sat on the RICS Residential Management Working Group for the maximum term of office.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Institute of Residential Property Management.

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26th April 2018
Northern Powerhouse storms ALEPs Mastermind and Mojitos annual quiz night
Northern Powerhouse storms ALEPs Mastermind and Mojitos annual quiz night

ALEP members enjoyed a night of Mastermind and Mojitos at ALEP's fifth annual quiz night, which raised more than £500 for charity.  

Held at The Gable, Moorgate more than 90 members attended this year's competition making it our most popular quiz night to date!  

This year's champions were first time winners, the 'Northern Powerhouse' team from Anthony Gold Solicitors - congratulations!  

Teams took part in a general knowledge quiz, which included music trivia. The quiz concluded with a 'Weakest Link' style elimination round, with a representative from each team took part in a quick fire round. Sean Pugh of Kerry London came out on top, but his efforts were not enough to take this year's title.  

Pemberton Greenish's 'Class A' team were the victims of the tricky music round, and took home this year's wooden spoon – better luck next time!  

Over the course of the evening, a fantastic £585 was raised for the charity Mind – as selected by last year's winners Trowers and Hamlins.  

This year's raffle prizes included a selection of luxury treats donated by generous ALEP members, including:  

  • A tasting menu for two at Fera at Claridge's, which was generously donated by our sponsor, Kerry London 
  • Dinner for two in the Dining Room at The Goring: donated by Anthony Gold Solicitors 
  • Theatre Tokens worth £150: donated by Bishop & Sewell 
  • Luxury hamper: donated by Leasehold group of companies 
  • £100 Selfridges voucher: donated by Seddons 
  • A bottle of Champagne: donated by Robsons 
  • £100 bar tab: donated by our venue for the evening, The Gable 

Thank you so much to everyone who supported this event by attending, and donating generous raffle prizes. Special thanks also to Kerry London who sponsored this year's quiz, and Irwin Mitchell for the Mojitos on arrival!  

We look forward to the next quiz, but in the meantime don't miss ALEP's next event! http://www.alep.org.uk/events  

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23rd April 2018
Bishop and Sewell refresh their brand and website
Bishop and Sewell refresh their brand and website

Bishop & Sewell, a leading full service Central London law firm, launched a refreshed brand identity and new user-friendly website this week as part of a wider strategy to raise the firm’s profile within its core Central London market as well as nationally, following its recent merger with Fisher Meredith.

Bishop & Sewell was established in 1979 and has made several small acquisitions before its merger with Fisher Meredith in Summer 2017. Prior to the merger, the Partners at Bishop & Sewell had already agreed that a more modern visual identity was essential to accurately reflect where the firm is today and to showcase “who we are” and “how we can help meet our client’s needs”.

The firm’s new distinctive visual identity, tone of voice and messaging has been designed to reflect the straightforward legal advice that clients experience when dealing with Bishop & Sewell and was created by Chaos Design, a leading Top 50 creative agency. The new website, inspired by Chaos’ creative brand strategy, was completely redesigned and built by Tela, a leading digital agency highlighting the firm’s solicitors, key practice areas along with clear navigation and mobile friendly form submissions throughout the website. Visit www.bishopandsewell.co.uk.

Nick Potter, Partner of Bishop & Sewell commented:
“Bishop & Sewell is well known for the quality of its legal advice and whilst there are no significant changes in how we operate, and how the firm interacts with clients, we felt that our visual identity wasn’t truly reflecting us as a firm, and that needed to change. Our refreshed brand and website reflects the straightforward legal advice which we are able to deliver to meet our client’s needs.”

Bishop & Sewell has over 50 fee earners (of which 19 are Partners) covering Residential & Commercial Property, Corporate & Commercial, Private Client, Family, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Immigration and Employment, with an international reach via membership of Pragma, a leading network of lawyers and consulting firms.

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28th March 2018
SDL Property Partners has a sterling start to 2018
SDL Property Partners has a sterling start to 2018

The industry’s first property management franchise scheme, SDL Property Partners has had a strong start to the year by signing up two new franchisees and hosting potential property partners at SDL Property: 2018.

Joining the “property revolution” by becoming a franchisee for the Croydon area is Sam Kamara, who has 14 years’ worth of experience within the property industry.

Speaking about why he decided to join the SDL Property Partners, Sam said: “I am excited about what this unique opportunity has to offer and to have the chance to work in a niche area which is currently undergoing significant regeneration.”

“I hope to make a meaningful contribution to the local area and to enhance the property management service in Croydon.”

Fellow new franchisee Suleman Ghauri, who works with SDL as a surveyor, has built a strong rapport with the company and saw the opportunity to bring this franchise model to West London. He hopes to improve local customer service of the property industry while developing his already extensive knowledge.

As well as signing up two new franchisees, SDL Property Partners was one of the four core SDL Group brands present at the at the Group’s annual conference - SDL Property: 2018. Property Partners held its own plenary sessions for delegates who specialise in property management thinking about becoming their own boss and making the transition into becoming a franchisee.

Hosted by SDL Property Partners’ managing director, Nick Faulkner, discussion topics ranged from, “the future of property management” to “property management and the law”, led by a selection of industry experts including, ARMA’s Nigel Glen, Qube’s John Thumwood and Tanfield Chambers’ Phillip Rainey QC.

Talking about Property Partners recent success, Nick said: “The conference was a great success and we were really pleased to be a part of this event. It was a perfect opportunity to showcase Property Partners to a room full of industry experts and to network with existing SDL Group business partners, like Suleman. We welcome Sam and Suleman to our property revolution.”

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20th February 2018
Fixflo Appoints Michael Murphy MBE as Non-Executive Chairman
Fixflo Appoints Michael Murphy MBE as Non-Executive Chairman

PropTech company Fixflo (www.fixflo.com) which provides repairs and maintenance software used in hundreds of thousands of properties, has announced the appointment of Michael Murphy MBE as non-executive Chairman and the formation of a heavyweight Advisory Board.

Michael is a widely respected business leader who has an extensive operational track record in high-growth and digital subscription businesses such as the Financial Times, Quidco and Friends Reunited, and in providing support for such businesses at board level with previous roles at companies including Instant Offices, Datamonitor and Multimap.

Fixflo has also announced a formal Advisory Board comprising John Davis (former CFO of Yell Group plc and Pearson Inc), Mike Wroe (former CFO of Just-Eat), Tim Ward (former marketing director of the Financial Times) and serial entrepreneur Steve Pankhurst who co-founded Friends Reunited.

Michael Murphy said: “Fixflo is a hugely exciting business which is already adding value to thousands of businesses around the world and I’m looking forward supporting the team on their growth journey.”

Rajeev Nayyar, Managing Director of Fixflo commented on today’s announcement:

“We’re absolutely delighted that Michael has agreed to lead our board and that John, Mike, Tim and Steve are to become formal advisors to Fixflo. We’ve been leaning on advice from Michael and others on an informal basis over the past months, in some cases, years. At this stage of the company’s maturity, it made sense to formalise arrangements and assist us in the next phase of our growth.

“2017 was a record-breaking year for Fixflo in terms of the number of people we helped with property repairs and maintenance management, and we had the one millionth repair managed through our systems in the UK. We also meaningfully expanded beyond the residential property sector that Fixflo is best known for, into providing maintenance solutions for property companies managing assets including petrol stations, offices and industrial estates in different countries around the world.

“Having delivered 37 system upgrades during the course of 2017 at no additional cost to our clients, through 2018 we remain relentlessly focused on supporting our clients in delivering service excellence.

“To all of our clients who have supported us on this journey thank you and please make sure your teams know how to get the most out of your Fixflo system through our free training program.”

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