Case study: Nick Smyth, Residently Owner

Posted by Marina Cheal

When you’re busy enough with work and life, being an attentive landlord is tough.

When you’re busy and you live on the other side of the world to your property, it’s absolutely impossible.

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That’s why it’s crucial to find an agent that understands your needs and can take the property stresses away from you so you can get on with living your life.

We spoke to Nick Smyth, LA-based Residently Owner, about becoming a landlord in London, his experiences with other agencies, and how Residently makes his life easier.

Residently: Hello Nick, hope you’re well! Please tell us a bit about your current set up.
Nick: I live and work in LA. I moved here 2 years ago for work.

Residently: How did you become a landlord?
Nick: I purchased my flat in Barons Court in 2013 and did a pretty big renovation job which included ripping out street-level stair entrance and re-establishing the basement entrance. This turned out to be a pretty good investment as we almost doubled the value of the property. We then purchased a house in Acton and did another big renovation and were ready to settle into our new home and then my job moved to California. We sort of became landlords unintentionally because if this.

Residently: What worries you most about renting your place?
Nick: As we live in a completely different time zone it’s impossible to resolve situations quickly. Estate agents’ fees are exorbitant for managed service and we have had bad experiences with [Redacted Agency Name] (Ed: In the interests of remaining friends we’ve removed Nick’s reference to that agency with the big green signs and the branded minis) in particular. So peace of mind and trust is key for us.

Residently: Have you got any horror stories you’d share? Or anything feelgood and nice?
Nick: They say you should never rent to friends and I wish I had taken that advice.
We had a tenant who didn’t pay any bills or council tax and smoked in the house. We didn’t end on particularly good terms which was a great shame. I then decided to sell the house but the market was terrible at the time and we lost 3 buyers due to a variety of different issues that were largely out of our control. We lost a years worth of rental income during the process.

When I decided to rent again I came across Residently. I couldn’t believe how good their offering was. I had agents calling me up asking to list my flat and I told them they were not even in the same league as Residently, both from a service and support perspective as well as financially. The traditional estate agent model just doesn’t compare in terms of value to landlords.

Residently: Well, thank you! What are the key things you look for in a managing agent?
Nick: There is so much BS in the estate agent world. It’s why so many people take a dim view of agents. The initial conversation with the Residently team immediately gave me confidence and trust as the business model is all about protecting your downside. You also receive a share of the upside if your home is rented and they need to use a marketplace. To me, this showed just how differently you operate to estate agents. I was sold!

Residently: And, what do you look for in an ideal tenant?
Nick: Someone who likes to make a place home. Tidy, clean and will look after it as if it were their own.

Residently: Any advice to first time landlords? …..If I had my time again….type advice.
Nick: Google “Residently”….. seriously save yourself the bother.

Nick has been a Residently Owner for three months. We worked with Nick to get his property and paperwork ready, managed all the admin, found residents and now manage the property so he doesn’t have to worry.

Owners like Nick are discovering that you don’t have to be a part of the old system anymore - hidden fees, shoddy tenants and poor service are now a thing of the past thanks to Residently. We connect Owners (and their beautiful homes) with high-value tenants, and take the burden and hassle away from each.

Unlike existing platforms and estate agents, we offer Owners and Residents a lifestyle-based approach to renting. For Owners, that means income guarantees and no hidden fees while we take care of all the hard work. For Residents, it’s our Happy Home Guarantee including flexible move in/out dates.

Take a look at some before and after pictures of Nick's place below

Charville Before and after

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