UK Enterprise Awards 2021

52 | UK Enterprise Awards 2021 May21365 Best Residential Property Sales & Lettings Agency - Buckinghamshire Committed to providing a professional service to its clients, TOTAL Lettings has gone from strength-to-strength over the 18 years since its inception. We speak to Co-Founder, Simon Willson, about the firm’s core values and its devotion to the local community as it is awarded the title of Best Residential Property Sales & Lettings Agency – Buckinghamshire. Established in 2003, TOTAL Lettings is an experienced, award-winning, accredited company specialising in the letting and management of residential property within Milton Keynes, Northampton, and surrounding areas. The business has grown steadily and is built on a first-class reputation of fairness, honesty, solution focus, strong professional morals and excellent customer service to both the landlord and the tenant. “The company was created on good, solid ‘people values’,” explains Co-Founder, Simon Willson. “Fairness and honesty to everybody was a key strength governed by strong professional morals and this is something which is still of paramount importance today.” Being an independent lettings company with a hands-on owner is a significant advantage when it comes to distinguishing itself from competitors and, with skills learned from years in the Royal Navy back in the 1980s, Simon ensures integrity and structure are the central ethos of the business. “With all the legislation changes in recent years, specialising solely in residential lettings helps focus our attention to detail and enables us to provide an excellent service to landlord and tenant,” he elaborates. “There is no dilution or distraction with sales.” Resetting industry standards, pioneering TOTAL Lettings has revitalised many areas of the industry, from ensuring all viewings are accompanied, the valued price is both realistic and achievable, paying the landlord’s rent within 24 hours of receipt, through to the latest digital inventory taken prior to the ‘Check In.’ “Being a landlord is a tricky business. There are nearly 200 different pieces of legislation covering the how, why, and when of managing a rental property. Here at TOTAL Lettings, we are constantly innovating in order to make the landlords (and tenants) lives easier.” Simon continues to tell us that there are indications in the industry that in the future, staff will be required to undergo industry knowledge training, however being pro-active and ahead of the curve, this is something that has already done for his employees. “All our staff are highly trained and continually updating their specialist skillset and qualifications with the assistance of Safe Agent - a well- respected, recognised by Government, consumer group and industry body.” As well as being fully trained and up to date, TOTAL Lettings employs designated property managers who follow the entire lettings process, from viewings through to check out. “Integrity, transparency, and honesty are a must,” Simon states. “Communication and continuity are paramount and enable trust and rapport to be built up with tenants and landlords alike.” TOTAL Lettings is very involved with the local community and, most recently, served and supported the NHS Volunteer Responders throughout the lockdown period by being on standby to collect shopping and delivering prescriptions for vulnerable residents in the local area. This service was also offered to all tenants and landlords who live locally in and around Buckinghamshire. “We are passionate about supporting our community and doing the right thing for people,” Simon explains. “Using social media sites to find people in the area, we could quash tenants’ fears with guidelines to their financial obligations. In addition, we were available to help when their own agents were not overly forthcoming with helpful information and rules.” Before it became mainstream to support the NHS and the Clap for Carers movement began to sweep the nation, TOTAL Lettings was already letting its feelings be known. “We announced that we felt passionate about helping those tested daily in frontline services. So, at a time when the rewards for putting themselves in danger so willingly were perhaps not as great as they should be, we stepped up to offer something for them.” The company introduced a new offering for those individuals, dubbed the ‘Key Workers and Defence Discount’. This entitled landlords to a 10% discount on all managed services across the board. NHS frontline staff and ambulance workers, police, fire and rescue, teachers, military servicemen and women (current and veteran), coastguard, lifeboat crews, and foreign office workers were all eligible for this discount. “It offered just a small token from TOTAL Lettings to say what a fantastic job they have done for us all and continue to do.” Being based in Milton Keynes, in the centre of a significant residential housing growth area, certainly has its perks for TOTAL Lettings as it enables the company to keep costs down to a reasonable level whilst still offering a quality local