When I joined PPP in 2010 it was because I was looking for a new challenge. My daughters had left home and I found myself bored with nothing to do. I had no experience of the property world or being a landlord, but the robustness of the PPP model and the support I would have appealed to me greatly.

I never thought that the thing I would enjoy most about building my own property portfolio would be dealing with the tenants (or housemates as I like to call them) – but I love it! Having learnt some of the best practices from PPP, I have found that creating a unique customer experience is what sets me apart from other landlords.

I have three key principles that I follow:

Service

One of the key things that I base my business on is service. I really work hard to provide the highest level of service I can possibly give my housemates. I don’t just tell them that I am available 24/7, I actually am. I am very quick to respond to any texts no matter what time it is or where I am - it shows a housemate that I really care for them.

If I am unable to fix the problem (I’m now getting a little bit better at dealing with the maintenance aspects of being a landlord myself), then I am lucky enough to have a reliable maintenance team that’s always on the ball and problems are usually fixed within hours.

I also like having warm houses – I hate feeling the cold. As all my housemates tend to work normal hours, I always leave the heating on all day at the weekends.

Special touches

It’s one thing to have a nice house, but I want my housemates to have a cosy and comfortable home. This is why I take time and care when furnishing the houses.

For example, all of the rooms have wardrobes with long mirrors – a must when getting ready for a night out, especially for the girls. All of the mattresses are good quality so my housemates get a good night sleep, and the beds are usually ottoman style with extra and easy storage. As it turns out, some of my houses are now all male and so Sky Sports was requested a couple of times - so as well as providing them with the fastest broadband and 100 plus cable TV channels, they get that too!

Soft furnishings can totally transform a room. Without pictures, mirrors and lamps, rooms are soulless and lack personality. I also always like to use granite worktops in the kitchen for that added luxury, as well as mood lighting and silk flowers for decoration.

Surprise

I like to go the extra mile for my housemates. I always send an email on their birthday, followed up by a text because I know everybody likes to be remembered on their birthday. I love Christmas, so as well as sending everyone a card and small present, I always make sure I decorate the houses with a tree and garlands on the stairways and communal mirrors. I send each house a hamper made up of wine, beer, chocolates and mince pies and also give chocolate eggs at Easter time. The amount of emails I get back thanking me makes it all worth-while.

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I believe that it is because of these three key principles that I have a very low turnover rate and a 99.5% average occupancy rate. In fact, the only reason any of my housemates have ever moved out over the past five years is down to relocation, marriage or moving in with a partner!

The high standard to which I finish my houses also enables me to charge higher rents – which housemates are happy to pay because they get a quality product and a quality service.

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