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Reflection on our 1 year anniversary of Rocket PM

It has been just over a year since I started Rocket PM, but I have worked in property for over 30 years having entered the industry in 1989.

A lot has changed in that time, but the core values remain, as was the case when I started my first lettings and management business in 1999, the key is to always act in the best interests of landlords.

Combining this core value with my experience and by embracing new technology available in the industry to maximise efficiency, it has allowed us to have a hugely successful first year here at Rocket PM.

We brought across more than double the number of landlords than we were expecting when the company launched and we are hoping to double that number once again in year two.

And those landlords have been rewarded for choosing us, as we have seen an average rent increase of 23% across all our properties from when we took them over.

There was even one example where a landlord was receiving £2250 per month while with their previous agent and they were advised to accept £2600, but we took the property to the open market and got the landlord £3450 per month, which is a 53% increase.

By this point, we expected to have maybe employed one person, but our accelerated growth means we now have four employees. All are being trained and have agreed a professional development plan, whilst 2 are doing an associate RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) training plan, as well as taking legal courses, to make sure all staff have sufficient knowledge to be able to give advice to clients.

One of the biggest obstacles we faced this year was dealing with obstructive agents, which has created a lot of inertia in the market and landlords are hesitant to leave their current agents, no matter how incompetent, due to fears they may incur fines or charges.

But, with the new renters reform bill coming into action, it is imperative now more than ever that landlords are happy with their agents, as they are going to have to comply with a lot of new legislation and if they don’t make the most of the current market, they could be left behind in the coming years in terms of being able to make a profit on their properties.

So, here at Rocket PM, one year into business, our message to landlords would be: Take control of your properties and don’t be dictated to by your agent and make sure you’re getting value for money.

Hold them to account if they’re not doing a good job and don’t be afraid to leave and come and work with an agent like us, because we can guarantee we will act in your best interests, which we see as a basic necessity of our business, but unfortunately it is a rare practice in the industry nowadays.

When I first started working in property, buy to let was a new concept and there weren’t many landlords who had portfolios, so the focus was educating people to take advantage of the opportunity at hand.

Today, it is a much more established market and agents have gone from helping landlords to take advantage of the potential profits available, to taking advantage of landlords.

We’re trying to bring back the idea that the property market and buy to let specifically is still an opportunity worth capitalising on and profits can still be made and that is our focus, maximising profits for landlords not for ourselves, because then we all win.

Going into year two, we have personal ambitions in terms of beginning to work with big institutional funds investing in residential property, as well as taking our business overseas.

But, most importantly, we want to continue spreading the message that agents should be working in the best interests of landlords with an aim to maximise their profits, not the other way around.