Client of the Month: Urban Village

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Client of the Month: Urban Village

Each month we look at a standout client an ICAEW member has recommended. This month David Seaman FCA, Director, Three Lines Chartered Accountants explains why he chose Urban Village.

Who are they?

Urban Village Homes is a new South London estate agency offering a high level of professional expertise on property sales and lettings from its new prominent and smartly branded offices on Denmark Hill, South London.

The business was formed in 2014 by Suzanne Vincent, a local property industry  professional with more than 25 years expertise.

Three Lines Chartered Accountants was involved from the initial conception of the business, holding a number of long discussions on business plans, strategy, and the financial numbers. We were super proud to attend the launch event in the smart Urban Village office in Denmark Hill, and have continued to be a part of the team providing business support, a guiding hand, the key management accounts as well as dealing with the necessary red tape of annual accounts and compliance issues.

What are the key challenges in their market?

Urban Village Homes will have to successfully deal with the impact of recent changes in government tax policy. Over the last year, there has been the much publicised increase in stamp duty and the reduced tax relief for interest on buy to let properties. The residential sale market has already been dampened by increases in stamp duty and the changes to interest relief, which will undoubtedly reduce the number of properties sold to buy to let investors.

More regulations are on the horizon, which will impact on the market share and this will be a threat to the sales channels of the business. An example of this is forthcoming rules to reject landlords who refuse to fully comply with legislation, which must be enforced without causing offense to the landlord! Furthermore, Southwark Council is introducing additional rules for landlords, which may impact on the numbers of landlords.

Above all, though Urban Village Homes must continue to keep and reward an excellent professional staff base.

What are they getting right?

The team at Urban Village Homes is professional, knowledgeable and friendly which feedback endorses.

Urban Village Homes is genuinely customer focused and is determined to provide clients with a high level of professional expertise, recognising that there are key elements to customer satisfaction. Whether in sales or lettings, everyone wants the maximum price for their property using the best service available.

Urban Village Homes prides itself on transparency with fair and open fees.

The staff have a wealth of local knowledge of the local area. The Managing Director, Suzanne Vincent, has been a resident of Denmark Hill in south London since 1993, and the company prides itself on its active role in the community.

The business has a clear strategy and strong leadership.

What makes them different?

As part of this involvement in the local community, last year, they became a leading partner in the fight to keep the Ruskin Park Paddling Pool open as local government funding was cut. The company donated £5,000 to the cause in 2016 and continue to play a part in the 2017 campaign to secure funding to keep the Pool open.

Urban Village Homes are also cycling estate agents. The company has purchased three branded bicycles and the staff use these bicycles to travel to properties viewings.

Each time Urban Village Homes sell a property they donate part of their commission to http://www.treesforcities.org/ enabling more trees to be planted in our local parks, which is a tremendous campaign, no pun intended.

What’s new for 2017?

With business now well established in South London, Urban Village Homes must continue to grow both its residential sales & lettings income streams.

Using both traditional and social media marketing channels, local sellers and landlords will be targeted with the message that the business is professional and committed to the best client results.

The business intends to continue to work closely with the community, local charities, and the key partners. While the ‘fair fees’ policy will be continually refined and promoted.

Above all, Urban Village Homes continues to be focused on succeeding, being friendly and full of new ideas.

In a time when many estate agents are competing heavily in the online only market place, it is a challenging and yet exciting time to work with a team that recognises innovation and customer service are key standards that property professionals need to adopt. We are grateful to share the journey with them.

For more on Three Lines Chartered Accountants and Urban Village.

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