Trusting a New Business

We were recently approached by a potential client who wrote to us asking about our managing agents services. We love hearing from people and we were really interested as to why this particular client had contacted us and what their background and reasons were in searching out a new leasehold managing agent. We were really touched to receive a very detailed and considered explanation of the deliberation and thought process the directors had gone through in choosing Concordia Residential.  The client has very kindly given us permission to share this with you on our blog.

To Concordia,

We were becoming increasingly frustrated with our current managing agent, but none of us really approached the subject of changing as we all thought the fact they are well established and large, they must be OK. Each of us thought perhaps we were each being a bit fussy.  Indeed, I personally felt worry that, by changing to another large, well known outfit we would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. However it was at an impromptu directors meeting in the garden where two of us had an honest discussion about the fact that it wasn’t working well anymore and neither of us were happy.  It was taking up so much of our time to chase our managing agent for things which should be automatically looked after.  We took our thoughts to a meeting with all directors and I was given the task of researching new agents.  Not a task I desired, but a needs must situation.  As part of researching a change I discovered yourselves who claimed to be a new and supposedly different type of agent. I am very aware that I may fall foul of clever marketing and heady promises, and I was nervous about leaping into the unknown.  A few of the questions we as directors asked ourselves were as follows:

  • How can we establish that the agent has the correct qualifications?
  • How do we know they will look after our money?
  • Do they have any experience in this this industry?
  • Will they be too busy trying to grow to pay any attention to us if I need advice?
  • Will they have disappeared this time next year?

One of the things we like about Concordia Residential is that it was easy to find the answers to our above questions.  Not only were the details on your website clear, but I could also research the RICS website about you (to find you are regulated by RICS), find you on LinkedIn (Abi your profile was informative as well as the Concordia page) and the IRPM website (to see that you were MIRPM qualified). We also liked the fact that you and your team were able to give us clarity about your company’s ethical ethos as we were unclear what it meant.  To know that your operation is focused on actually making things better for the residents and that you are not interested in taking lots of commissions as well as enabling us to use the contractors we want is refreshing and different.  Furthermore, you actually sent us the information about the bank you use, Metro, and information from Metro themselves (including details on interest rates etc).  This reassured us greatly.

It’s interesting, having spoken to Concordia, that I now realise a new business can mean passionate, experienced people.  People who are determined to put right all the wrongs, the negativity and the bad practice they have encountered, by starting afresh and doing things a new way, a right way, an ethical way.

We have decided to make the change. Change is good and we look forward to a much better, more resident focused approach from Concordia when we join you in September.

Marketing & More

It’s been a busy few weeks since our first blog post. In that time Concordia Residential has been steadily developing as a business and starting that all-important marketing. The term ‘marketing’ fills some with dread. We have been spending some time reflecting on why those terms sometimes make people feel a little uncomfortable. Our conclusion is that it is down to confidence, previous marketing experiences (many of these could be negative – think cold calling) and whether marketing is an individual’s professional skill or not. Concordia Residential’s expertise is in property management, organisation and customer service. As such, marketing and sales are not our area of expertise but they are skills that we want to learn in order to ensure our message is effective.

One thing that Concordia firmly believes in, is the process of life learning. Education is so important as it brings wisdom, knowledge, skills and much more, which benefit each generation over and over. It’s how we evolve and it is the only way that Concordia will also evolve. Therefore its back to the drawing board for us in order to learn how to market and how to sell. We want to spread the message which will give the opportunity to ensure leaseholders get the best service.

External Leverage

Many may point out that Concordia Residential could utilise the skills of an external marketing company, and this indeed we could. However with the understanding of our industry being so niche and also with limited start up funds, we have decided the best marketing route for us at this time is to educate as opposed to leveraging out to external firms.

The Concordia Residential Marketing Journey

Our marketing journey began this week by simply thinking about how a leaseholder would find a new managing agent. This is a challenge, as there is no generically known category for managing agents. As a breed we are not estate agents, nor we are not letting agents (which seems to be the opinion of most). Indeed managing agents have a limited target market, that being flats and developments. So how would we ensure that the people who need to know about us, do so?

Not being experts in marketing, we have started with the most direct approach – a mailshot. The process of writing about the company has been fairly straight forward but does the content of the mailshot ‘sell’ the business? Speaking to one of Concordia Residential’s industry colleagues who kindly reviewed the mailshot, their observation was simple and effective. The service Concordia offers sells itself. Their view was that it didn’t need dressing up, it didn’t need a hard sell because the core services were the right thing. Honourable and truthful. This opinion was gratefully received and subsequently led to a boost in confidence.

Social Media

Furthermore, Concordia Residential have a huge awareness of the part that social media now plays in marketing. This again, is something that Concordia want to learn more about. Our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts are live now and we are sure these will develop over time as we learn more. We are confident that we are on the right road to learning how to market and sell. Here’s to more reading going forward. There’s lots to learn.