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Monday, March 21st, 2011 at 8:33 am
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Homes

Specialisation is the Key to Success

As the recession has hit, many businesses have been forced to diversify or die.  However, Complete Solutions, Edinburgh’’s only HMO letting and licensing company has done exactly the opposite and found that specialisation is the key to success.

Owners, Brian Goonan and Becki Linley launched in 2001 with a portfolio of HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) properties throughout the city.  After listening to feedback from clients and researching the market further, they decided to concentrate specifically on the student market in a few, niche, Edinburgh areas.

Today, owning, letting and managing properties in Marchmont, Newington, Thirlestane, Spottiswoode, Warrender, Arden, Bruntsfield, Lauderdale and Polwarth, CS has taken the one-stop concept to a whole new level.  Student-friendly and parent-friendly, Brian and Becki have actually made the HMO process simple and if their latest campaign is anything to go by – fun too!

Celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, Brian and Becki are launching a range of hoodies which will be available to students staying in a CS, HMO property.  The hoodies will be emblazoned with the year and relevant street logo. ” “We are in part a bit like a fraternity house looking after both the tenant and the landlord, each on differing levels and with differing requirements,”” says Becki.  “”We also just wanted to have a bit of fun to celebrate our ten years in business and we thought some American-style hoodies for the students would be a nice memento of their time studying in Edinburgh.””

This care and attention to detail is indicative of the service that Brian and Becki offer to all clients at CS.  Many students in the area are already firm friends with the office puppy, Flynn (the frat house mascot) who has celebrated and occasionally commiserated with clients through the roller coaster ride and thoroughly competitive race to find the perfect student pad.

Throughout the process Brian, Becki (and Flynn!) will do whatever hand-holding is required.  They can carry out an inspection visit to confirm if a particular property is HMO legal or can be converted easily before clients make an offer. ” “We also discuss the long term plans for the property,”” says Brian.  ““For example do the clients intend to keep the property after their child finishes their studies or will they be thinking about selling after three or four years?   This can make a difference as to how much is spent on any alterations required.””

If the property doesn’’t initially meet the HMO criteria, CS will carry out the necessary alterations and legal checks.  CS can source tenants if required and can then manage the property if necessary. ” “The management service is very popular with parents,”” says Becki.  “”Many students are coming from other areas of the UK or abroad and it’’s amazing how many don’’t know how to use a dishwasher or washing machine!  One student didn’’t realise you had to take the food off the plate before you loaded it into the dishwasher. –It was being used like a waste disposal unit!  So, instead of their parents being called with the breakdowns, CS will handle it all.

Throughout the term of the tenancy Gail Wilson in the CS office is our frat house mum.  She guides the clients through all the legal requirements and makes sure they are up to speed and up to date with all their certificates and safety checks.  And, once the student(s) are ready to leave, CS can help re-sell or re-let the property through their substantial database.”

Brian adds, ““With over 2,000 properties on our database we’’ve been working in this arena for so long now that we’’ve seen the majority of the properties in the locale, so when a client says we’’ve looked at a property in such and such a street, we’’ve either been in the particular property they’’re talking about or worked in the one next door!””

The couple also aren’’t averse to a little insider help!  Aoife Buckley is a previous tenant of CS and liked the city and company so much she decided to make Edinburgh her home and join the CS team.  ““Having Aoife working with us is a real bonus,”” says Brian.  ““She can see the student point of view which keeps us on our toes and helps improve the services we offer.””

For students looking to escape mum’s apron strings and parents hoping that their children leaving home will swim rather than sink – there is only one solution – – the complete one!

Complete Solutions (Scotland) Ltd, 38 Marchmont Road, Edinburgh EH9 1HX
T: 0131 622 2213, F: 0131 622 2230, www.cs-scotland.co.uk

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