Principle celebrate fastest growing success after just one year in business
Principle Estate Management has become the UK’s fastest growing residential estate management business just over a year after its launch.
The company opened for business in May 2018 at Cornwall House in Lionel Street, Birmingham – although it has a growing portfolio of properties in London, the south east, south west, south and north of England, as well as across the Midlands.
From a standing start, the business now manages over 100 developments across the country with its next milestone being 3,500 units, with many more in the pipeline.
Brett Williams, founder and managing director at Principle, said: “This fast expansion has been made possible, in part, by the decision to invest heavily from day one in technology to automate routine processes and administration, freeing up staff to communicate with clients on a daily basis.”
Principle is a new business only in name, as Mr Williams and fellow directors Joe Jobson and Ian Smallman, together with the team they have built around them over the past year, have many decades of experience in residential property management between them.
Mr Williams himself has managed some of the highest profile developments in the Midlands and across the UK, experience which helped Principle win numerous contracts to look after some stunning residential properties during its first year of operations.
One of most interesting was a new development made up of 14 of Birmingham’s most expensive apartments at Bristol Court on the Bristol Road in Edgbaston. These are luxury two and three bedroomed apartments each worth up to £495,000 and were built to extremely high specifications on the site of a former Victorian hotel.
Asad Adras, project manager and consultant for the Turner Consultancy, which appointed Principle to look after Bristol Court, said: “We wanted a unique managing agent that could fulfil the expectations of purchasers at such a flagship development.
“We knew we required both proactive management and an agent that really cares and could provide top quality service. Principle is staffed by experienced chartered surveyors and that gave me comfort of a superior, long-term service for the benefit of all occupiers.”
Another outstanding development which Principle won the contract to manage was Viceroy Close, a collection of 162 mansion flats that are considered to be the finest pre-World War II apartment blocks in Birmingham.
These exclusive units vary from one to five bedrooms across eight buildings on an eight acre site in Edgbaston, and were built in 1937 to a design by Mitchell and Bridgwater in conjunction with Gollins and Smeeton.
Ray Dickinson, chairman of Viceroy Close Residents’ Association, said: “Principle has been selected based on its impressive and growing reputation.
“We were impressed with Principle’s tangible proposal to care for our development as much as we do and to work with us formulating a strategic plan, as the development approaches 100 years of age.
“We feel reassured that the company is run by chartered surveyors with a real love for buildings, expert knowledge of the sector and who are prepared to provide a bespoke service tailored to suit unique properties.”
Down in London, Principle won the contract to manage a collection of apartments each worth more than £1.5 million on America Street, just off Southwark Bridge Road near the Tate Modern art gallery.
This was part of a major new national contract awarded by Simarc Property Management Ltd, which has commissioned Principle to manage a portfolio of developments in the last year.
Other properties in this portfolio include mixed-use developments on Poland Street, off Oxford Street in trendy Soho, Hamond Square, near Hackney’s renowned Hoxton Street market and on the Old Brompton Road, in the prestigious Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
Natalie Chambers, director of Simarc, said: “We’ve been impressed with Principle’s care and attention. We want to make sure that our agents provide outstanding service to our customers, and Principle has quickly shown us that it can be relied on to deliver that.”
Referring to some of the highest profile contract wins, Mr Williams added: “We’re flattered but not surprised at the new instructions, as we know our great team of experienced people on property management, finance and administration will deliver high performance services.”
Mr Williams insists on a hands-on involvement in property management, especially high value properties and special projects. His focus on business development comes from over 25 years of experience and a wealth of close contacts with freehold investors.
He oversees the majority of non-management work such as lease extensions on the ground rent portfolio, freehold ground rent investment deals and the selection of partners for outsourced specialist work such as that undertaken by building surveyors.
Most importantly, Mr Williams also runs the business strategy, governance, finance and promotion.
Among the 12 staff he’s recruited at Principle is director and shareholder Joe Jobson, who has a hands-on involvement in property management, particularly new build and conversion schemes from developers which are taken into management on a phased basis.
Mr Jobson also focuses on business development with property developers, freeholders and resident management companies, and oversees Principle’s residential rented properties.
Director and shareholder Ian Smallman’s main role as operations director sees him in charge of Principle’s property management department, and overseeing training, standards and service levels.
Mr Smallman is a widely respected property professional with many years’ experience in property management. He focuses on key client relationships and directly manages a selection of properties including our commercial multi-occupied properties.
Looking back at the fast growth of Principle, Mr Williams added: “I’m thrilled at how the business has quickly taken off, am delighted at how the size of our portfolio has grown beyond all expectations after just one year, and am very proud of the team we have quickly built within Principle.
“But most of all I’m energised by how closely we’ve kept to the crucial principles that were the foundations of Principle when the company was formed in early 2018.
“Principle is committed to being a customer-focused managing agent that provides a transparent service to the highest standards.
“The company is led by experienced Chartered Surveyors and property professionals. It was born out of a passion for ‘doing it right’ through a director-led but friendly approach, combined with robust systems that maximise efficiency.
“This means that Principle provides a service that we believe is the aspirational standard for other agents across the UK.”
Referring to Principle’s future plans, Mr Williams added: “As long as we stick to our principles and continue to deliver outstanding service to all our clients, I’m confident our business will carry on its impressive growth.”