A PROPERTY management company that has moved with the times has expanded its lettings portfolio in a year that marks its 15th anniversary.
Nick Thorne, who runs Oliver Thorne lettings agency with fellow director Natalie Oliver, currently manages more than 250 rental properties in the Basingstoke area.
Their success in business has come down to good judgement, and where they have been able to react to changes quickly and adapt their business, making significant cost savings.
Back in April 2010, Oliver Thorne had moved to new offices in Basingstoke’s Market Place, where the business was a lettings and estate agent.
Prior to that, the firm was based in Winton Square in offices above Barons Estate Agents.
“We soon realised that nobody was walking through the doors,” said Nick. “It wasn’t working for us on the high street.”
The firm had taken on a 25-year lease for the premises, but they had a year’s break clause, and it was because of this that the directors were able to up-sticks and move the business to an office attached to Nick’s home in Sherfield Park.
“We are now an online business and when we moved here we saved £6,000 a month on things like rent and rates and paying staff to man a shop, as well as other costs.
“That’s £72,000 a year and for some, that saving is the difference with being able to stay afloat.”
Initially, Oliver Thorne continued to offer property sales, but it became clear that the business should focus on lettings.
Giving an example, Nick said: “The week before last we took on a four-bedroom house here at Sherfield Park with a rent of £1,450 on a Wednesday, and it went on the Thursday – it was literally taken over night.”
In addition to changes in the property market, Nick notes other factors that have affected business.
“There are a lot more transient tenants. People are moving about a lot more, which is another reason why we get a lot of business tenants.”