Tiger Estates

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Tiger Estates's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Tiger Estates is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.tigerestates.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | TIGER ESTATES
Owner and Manager
CraigWebster
Our Blackpool-based
office
Tiger Estates embrace technology and are constantly
challenging tradition in order to bring a cutting-edge
approach to an ever-changing property market. With
a wealth of experience dealing with all aspects of selling,
letting and property management, they recognise the need
for a professional and proactive property service. Owner and
Manager Craig Webster completes both sales and lettings
valuations across the Fylde Coast, and he discusses some of the
issues facing the property sector.
Having spent my university summer holidays working in a Blackpool-based property
lettings and management company, I gained valuable experience in the sector.
Soon after, I acquired my first residential lettings property, before completing a
full refurbishment, utilising my savings and financial assistance from my parents.
I later sold the property in order to purchase two failing property management
companies, which I transformed into Tiger Estates. I merged their portfolios,
infrastructure and staff, and this established the sturdy foundation for the success
that we enjoy today.
Rapid expansion
A significant assistance and challenge for the new business were the portfolios and
properties that were acquired as part of the purchase. It quickly became apparent
that many of the properties were dilapidated and had been managed by landlords
who were reluctant to spend money on their properties to improve the condition.
These properties were still providing a very valuable source of income, however,
FACTS ABOUT
TIGER ESTATES
»Owner and Manager:
CraigWebster
»Established in 2008
»Based in Blackpool
»Services: Experienced sales and
lettings
»No. of employees: 14
»Tiger Estates agree over
£500,000 in new rental
income and process over £20
million in sales transactions
every year
Tiger Estates
35TIGER ESTATES |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
so we looked to find an appropriate
balance between advising the
landlords to complete the necessary
works and accounting for the loss in
rental income in the short term.
As a result of the refurbishments,
we aggressively advertised for new
clients and welcomed networking
opportunities to increase the size
of our rental portfolio, primarily to
support the loss of fee income and
then to increase our fee income. This
strategy was successful: within one
year of trading, we had grown our
portfolio by 25 per cent. We soon
established a zero tolerance policy
towards landlords who wouldn’t
improve the condition of their
properties, and such contracts were
brought to an end when the units
became vacant. This strategy improved
our relationship with the local housing
enforcement officers, who view the
private rental sector with scepticism.
In 2010, the residential sales market
endured a turbulent period, and many
established estate agency businesses
were closing down or switching their
focus to lettings and management.
I took the bold decision to open a
second office in South Shore and
entered the residential estate agency
market. Having completed thorough
market research, we felt that a
different approach to estate agency
could prove rewarding for people
looking to sell and would suit the
changing local estate agency market.
We were the first Fylde Coast agent
to both introduce fixed fees rather
than the traditional 1.5 per cent
commission structure and to provide
floor plans, virtual tours and digital
displaymarketing.
Within nine months of trading in
the estate agency market, another
opportunity was made available to us,
with the largest estate agency in the
South Shore area facing bankruptcy.
Through networking and friendship,
we were quickly able to acquire
the client contracts of Troy County
Estate Agents for both their sales and
property management. Subsequently,
we rebranded as Tiger Sales and
Lettings, operating across South Shore
and Blackpool, servicing 75 per cent of
the population.
Operating across both sales and
lettings markets, we continued to grow
at an unprecedented rate, increasing
turnover by 75 per cent between
2010 and 2014. We soon became the
outright market leader in Blackpool
and on the Fylde Coast, so in 2015 we
moved premises to the former NatWest
bank on Whitegate Drive.
Confronting challenges
Despite our success, there have
been challenges. For example, the
introduction of selective licensing by
Blackpool Council was one of the most
absurd policies. Housing enforcement
officers were already overworked,
and it is nearly impossible for them
to satisfy the workload that selective
licensing entails. It has been a lucrative
way of earning revenue for the
council, but it is one of many policies
introduced by the government and
local councils that have penalised the
private rental sector.
The private rental
sector hasbeen
harshly targeted
by government
legislation,
despite the
necessity for
private rental
accommodation
to meet the
housing
demand
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | TIGER ESTATES
The private rental sector has been
harshly targeted by government
legislation, despite the necessity for
private rental accommodation to
meet housing demand. The decision
to pay housing benefit to tenants
directly, as opposed to landlords, was
a poor decision that has ultimately
increased rental arrears for landlords
and resulted in the evictions of
moretenants.
The attack on the private rental sector
is constant, with the increase in taxes
and costs and the phasing out of
mortgage relief over the next four
years putting a strain on landlords.
Many landlords will suffer financial
difficulty because of an increase in
repossessions. To combat the increase
in costs, there will be a rise in rental
prices, leading to an increase in
rental payments from local councils
or an increase in homelessness. The
government, with their sustained
attack on the private rental sector,
could create a vicious cycle within the
housing market.
Letting agents are now being targeted
with the ban on tenant fees. Many
letting agents will close as a result
of this ban. Despite lobbying from
professional bodies – the Royal
Institution of Chartered Surveyors,
the Association of Residential Letting
Agents and the Residential Landlords
Association – the calls have not
been heard. Many unregulated and
unprofessional letting agents charge
excessive tenant fees, but a ban is not
the solution. Instead, it should become
a legal necessity for estate, letting and
management agents to be members of
a professional organisation and redress
scheme. Introducing letting agents to a
professional organisation would ensure
that those dealing with property
assets are adequately qualified to look
after client monies and landlord and
tenantinterests.
Currently, there is no regulation of
the industry, and anyone can enter
the industry and manage properties
with no qualifications or industry
experience. Client money is therefore
not protected, and any dishonest
letting agent could disappear with rent
or use it for their own resources.
The future will see challenges across
both the sales and letting markets,
including the ban on tenant fees and
the rise of the internet estate agent.
Further regulation and legalisation can
improve the quality of the property
market. It is a massive injustice that
professional, qualified property
professionals have to compete
against agencies with no property
qualifications or prior industry
experience. Property is the most
significant asset a person will purchase
in their lifetime. Those working in
the industry should be fully qualified
and regulated by a professional
organisation, protecting clients and
improving standards and the service
enjoyed by buyers, sellers, landlords
and tenants.
Property is the
most significant
asset a person
will purchase in
their lifetime.
Those working
in the industry
should be fully
qualified and
regulated by a
professional
organisation
The Tiger Estates team

www.tigerestates.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Tiger Estates. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy