View Smeaton Home’s Business Profile in our magazine on pages 12 – 13; or continue scrolling to read the editorial below:
Smeaton Homes is a property sales and letting agency based in Plymouth. They run their agency with unrivalled local knowledge and a strong commitment to the local area. The team concentrate on giving a personal touch and aim to be Plymouth’s first choice for property sales and lettings.
The team at Smeaton Homes is currently made up of eight different members who manage all the different services: sales, lettings, accounts and maintenance. Company Director Dan Robinson, started working for the company on 17th January 2008 after being offered a position by the previous owner.
“I used to work for Fox and Sons for four years,” Dan tells us, “two years in sales and then two years letting. I left there because I thought I had enough of property; but then after working in different companies I decided that I missed property and wanted to get back into it.
“I was out and bumped into the previous owner one night and he said “Why don’t you come work for me” and I said yes – so that’s how I started there.”
When Dan first started at Smeaton Homes, the company was falling apart.
Dan became Company Director around six months after starting his journey with the agency. The person who offered him the job left and Dan felt a responsibility to carry on with Smeaton Homes and not leave before he had everything sorted. Dan tells us how he came to own the company:
“I ended up buying the previous owner out in January 2009 – so about one year later. I didn’t get a good price because I took on a lot of problems at the same time; so when I started working there I wanted to grow the company and its name going forward.
“There was a lot going on when I took over the company, it was very full on. But four years is what it took to get everything in order.
“I was working 70-80 hour weeks, there was so much going on and so much to get straight. In March 2009 I got a lady who came in tome out with management and helped me get systems in place which was amazing.”
Dan is currently hoping to eventually restructure everything – he now has three companies: sales, lettings and students that is currently being branded by Owen Jones of Upshot.
Smeaton Homes are one of only three agencies in Plymouth to have been awarded with Buy with Confidence
The Buy with Confidence is accredited on the back of trading standards. This means that Dan is CRB checked and has been audited very stringently. Dan has done Dementia Awareness courses for this and this has also led him to become a trusted recommendation for victims of abuse can go to if they need rehoming to escape their volatile relationships. Dan tells us a recent experience he had with this:
“I had a lady who was a victim of abuse. She approached the company and said “I need to get out this relationship.” So we got her new accommodation. We’ve had a number on people in volatile relationships that have approached us in the last 12 months that we’ve helped to rehome.
“Buy with Confidence recommend us because they know we will deal with stuff amicably and won’t disclose stuff. So if they phone up with a situation, we will help them move.”
Dan has recently taken over management of 170 units within Central Park Towers from the previous managing company based on site. Dan is keeping the offices in Central Park Towers so he has the lettings office based on site; he explains more about this:
“When the previous management company approached me and asked me if I wanted to take over. I knew it was a lot but with the staff around me I knew that I could facilitate this. I asked how much he wanted, we came up with a figure and we agreed to started transferring everything over between 1st January to the 12th January.
“So from mid December until early new year I set up the new company and then I had to write to all the current landlords of the rooms they managed to let them know that we were taking it over so we could get their agreements.”
The rooms are equipped with a shower room, a toilet, sinks, a kitchen, a washing machine and a bedroom and wardrobe. Dan describes it as a “self-contained pod!” Prices for each room vary, but they start from as little as £95 a week which includes electric and water bills. Dan tells us more about the facilities at Central Park Towers:
“Rooms start from £95 per week all inclusive and we have penthouse rooms at the top which are about £135 a week – the average room is £115 per week on a 46 week agreement. So it varies depending on what room you get.
“There’s a communal room, a gaming room, high speed internet provided to all rooms, a washing up room and a dryer. I’m just about to buy a PlayStation, a Wii, and anything else that I think would be good for the gaming room.
“The units, because of the year that they were built, are bigger than other student accommodation in the city. Our rooms are about 30 square foot, so price to square foot is a lot better value than what you may get elsewhere.”
Students can also have their room kitted out with bedding, quilt covers, pillows, saucepans, cutlery – so it’s all there ready for when they move in!
Having only taken over late last year, Dan has made some massive changes to Central Park Towers in a short space of time. He tells the team at OM what his plans are for the future:
“In the summer time there will be a lot happening. There’s going to be a full repaint all the way through, all the floors and all the carpets are being replaced – so everything inside and some parts outside will be refurbished.
“I’m looking to organise an in-house shop where the students can order things they need here: like paper, toilet paper, just essentials really. I’m trying to set up an ordering service with a company called Imagine – so say if a student has their dissertation and they need something tomorrow like paper or a folder, they can place their order with us, we’ll send it off to the company by 4:00pm and we’ll organise it to get delivered by the next day. I’m speaking to them about it at the moment about costs and where it will go.”
A lot has happened in over 10 years for company director Dan Robinson to get from where he was to where he is now. He has helped turn Smeaton Homes around and has a lot planned for the future.
Providing all the services (and more!) that you’d expect from an agent, from start to finish you will find the team at Smeaton Homes approachable, helpful and considerate.
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