Angelou Beswick has just moved house – something her firm, Isle Of Dogs-based Metro 148, helps other people do week in, week out. After six years, her landlord needed his flat back, so she’s had to find a new place.
And while her experiences on the other end of the process, as tenant rather than agent, won’t be altering what she does, they have reaffirmed her belief in the way she operates her business.
“Looking for a property hasn’t changed what I do but I think it has highlighted my agency’s strengths in certain areas,” she said. “I know where other agencies haven’t done things in the way I would have when I approach them as a prospective tenant.
“For example, I found a property I really liked, put an offer in straight away and it took the agency three days to present my offer to the landlord. It was another two before I got a clear answer.
“I was transparent with them and told them I needed an answer quickly as I’d seen another property I liked as well and didn’t want to lose both of them. In the end, I had to walk away from the first one to secure the other one as I needed to move.
“I’m really, really sympathetic to people in that position so when it comes to my landlords, I encourage them to give me answers as rapidly as they can.
“That benefits both them and the tenants as their properties are let quickly and people looking find homes get certainty fast.
“Then then they can move on to other things like booking removal firms and deciding where their furniture is going to go – it’s a stressful business.”
Angelou’s desire to deliver a high quality service to her clients was the impetus behing her decision to found the firm three years ago.
Metro 148, which won the award for New Business at The Wharf Property Awards 2014 and has been a regular finalist in other categories since, has gone from strength to strength, built on the foundation of her tireless commitment to making sure everybody’s being looked after.
“I try to take Saturday and Sunday off,” she said. “But my phone never leaves my side – my clients have my personal mobile number and I’m quite happy to get messages late at night so that I can respond immediately.
“It doesn’t take over my life because the level of business I have is manageable and I’m always up front and honest about the fact I work on my own. I am a mum and they’re respectful of that.
“But even when I’m on holiday I’m contactable every day. I have to be that way and I like being that way because my business is my baby and I look after it as though it were my child.”
Angelou sees the fact she works alone as a positive thing for her clients and tenants. She maintains the simplicity of Metro 148’s structure means it’s clear who’s responsible for what and the buck stops with her.
It also means she’s free to take the agency in any direction she wants, allowing her to grow into areas of demand that naturally emerge in the course of her operations.
She said: “I am the boutique one-stop-shop for my clients. At Metro 148 you’re going to get a one-on-one, personally tailored service that some of the other agencies cannot offer.
“I don’t have that big corporate set up but you don’t need it because there’s strength in having a single point of contact – one person dealing with and managing every aspect of the business.
“That way there cannot be miscommunication between different parts of the business or different people telling you different things.
“If there is an emergency, my clients contact me and I will deal with it. I offer 24/7 cover and I have a really good team of people that I can call on if something needs to be done.
“It’s always me that people will speak to in the first instance. Beyond that I have a company that is local, which I have worked with for many years and do a superb job – E14 Renovations.
“I also employ inventory clerks, cleaners – anything that a client needs done. I’m my clients’ go-to person to ask for things.
“If you’re moving, for example, and you need help sourcing a company or just to hire boxes – you can come to me and ask me anything.”
Angelou is keen to expand her firm, welcoming new instructions and opportunities with plans to move into project managing building work in the near future alongside her existing business.
She says her extensive experience in the industry gives her the confidence to look forward, having started work in east London aged 19 at Canary Wharf Contractors.
From there she went on to roles at London Link in Limehouse and Abatoria Residential in Wapping before rising to become managing director of a firm she started with her former partner.
She subsequently created Metro 148 to reflect her “continuing commitment to clients” and her obvious passion for the job.
She said: “Metro 148 is primarily lettings and property management but I also do sales and offer advice to clients.
“I offer advice on refurbishment, I’m in talks at the moment to do a really big project of property redevelopment and expansion so it’s going in lots of different directions, which I’m quite excited about.
“The lettings market is still very buoyant. I think for a while things did die down a bit after the vote for Brexit but I think, right now, I have no properties that are empty.
“Everything is renting really quickly. I think if landlords are realistic with their pricing and listen to their agent and they present their properties in the best possible way –which is the kind of advice I offer – then they’ll be fine.”
Follow The Wharf on Twitter @the_wharf .
Keep up to date with all our articles on Facebook .