I recently had a venetian blind in a rental property which had broken. On closer inspection it was just a small mechanism that holds the cord up which had failed. It seemed a shame to throw away a set of perfectly good (and reasonably expensive) blinds for the sake of this tiny part.
At this point I thought to myself – what would a high street letting agent do? I suspect they would get a handyman round to replace the blind, which is perfectly reasonable. It would cost the landlord money but as the letting agent isn’t paying (and may actually be adding on a ‘commission’ for organising the works), would they care?
As an independent letting agent who likes to be a little more pro-active, I approached the situation differently; spending a little of my time to try and save the landlord some money.
I took the offending blind to Falcon Fabrics on the Portfield Trading Estate in Chichester (right next to the Bognor Road roundabout). I showed one of the two Nigel’s (the owners of this independent business) the blind and was told that unfortunately the rather innocuous looking part, which had broken, isn’t sold separately.
Undeterred though, Nigel went out the back and found the required spare part for me to pass on to my handyman…free of charge! Can you imagine one of the big chain stores going to such lengths?
Many independent companies are started by passionate individuals who continue to take an active and personal interest in all activities within the business. There is normally a strong belief that they can better serve their chosen industry than the often bigger and less hands-on competition.
As an independent letting agent, I’m proud not only to have helped my own landlords and tenants, but to have assisted many more who aren’t even customers of mine.
I’ve guided first-time landlords towards properties that offer them a better return. I’ve saved landlords time and money by giving them the details of my trusted tradesmen when they needed to refurbish a property. I’ve even helped landlords who are stuck in a contract with another letting agent who choose to ask me for lettings advice!
I’m happy to do all of the above because I believe people deserve great service. It’s something many independent businesses strive for and I think it would be a shame if we didn’t support them more.