Positive Property Management
Laura Ridge has moved from big corporate projects to running her own business. And she loves it. Oxford residential rental business, Positive Property Management, was started by Laura Ridge in summer 2018. At the time, she had one thing in mind: she believed that letting and renting homes should be a positive experience for all involved.
Laura understood that while she was looking after a landlord’s valuable asset she was also providing tenants with a home, “My approach is simple really. I want both my landlords and tenants to receive an excellent service and have a positive outcome. So, the formula is ‘people first’. I get the job done, but with integrity and always take care to add value in what I do.”
Laura had previously worked as a senior project manager for an international consultancy. She has taken the organisational, financial and communication skills she gained in that career into her new enterprise.
Support from OxLEP Business
To ensure a flying start, Laura strengthened her knowledge by attending workshops on marketing, branding, networking and tax efficiency, all part of the OxLEP Business Elevate programme for SMEs. “The OxLEP Business Elevate workshops helped me to cover gaps in my own skill set. Now I use what I learned from the workshops in Positive Property Management all the time.” Also, one of the programme’s Network Navigators met with Laura and spent time looking at how she could tell her story and connect with her clients. The result has been growth through recommendations by landlords and tenants who like her approach.
Secrets of success?
“I am providing a traditional service but with a personal and caring approach. Landlords receive peace of mind knowing that it is me in person managing their property and looking after all aspects of the let from finding great tenants, to maintenance, to legal compliance. Landlords know that I will also look after their tenants and that happy tenants are, in turn, more likely to look after their property. And tenants are not only looking for a house or a flat. They need to know they’re in the right community for their lifestyle too. They want nearby facilities such as schools, shops and entertainment. I make sure I understand these factors as well. It is a formula that is really working.”
Advice to other start-up ventures?
“Preparation is key. Take time to get an appropriate qualification if that will help. Plan and prepare before you get your first customer and don’t ignore investing in a good brand identity and a good website. They are the first things people will notice about your business. And first impressions count.”