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Graduates are Good News for Growing Business

Monday June 10, 2013

Graduates appear to be getting some stick lately with a CBI survey indicating that over two thirds of graduates would like more support from their university in understanding the world of work in such areas as customer awareness, team working and self management. As our business model for expansion puts graduate recruitment front and centre the findings of the survey should have been cause for alarm but our experience the opposite is true.

We plan to grow from our current nine employees to fourteen within the next twelve months and these positions will be filled by graduates. Our latest team members are graduates Nichaela Robson and Lauren Bailey both of whom have a BSc in Estate Management from Northumbria University. Both Nichaela and Lauren have made a positive contribution to our business from day one, making a seamless transition from the world of academia to the world of work.

The lettings market is changing fast both for students and young professionals, since both groups now have a high expectation of the quality of their accommodation. By recruiting graduates we gain staff that is fully qualified and conversant with laws, regulations and practices of the estate management sector.

As important, our graduate recruits are close to our target market since they were recently students and are now young professionals. The latter group is increasingly looking to long term rental for a number of reasons. They frequently have outstanding student loans and do not wish to incur further debt with a mortgage so they plan to buy a home later in life when they have repaid their loan and saved for a deposit. Given the high standard of housing stock coming onto the lettings market in our region many are asking themselves “Why do I need to buy?” Our graduate recruits are very much in tune with this mind set.

Lauren is working towards becoming our digital communications lead when she will coordinate social media, website, YouTube and lettings portals. Listings of available accommodation will be updated in real time and available on any electronic device.

Nichaela is training to oversee the Heaton Property Pro-Share Plus scheme where young professionals take on the tenancy of a larger property. Tenants get a single monthly bill which covers rent, utilities, Council Tax, internet and cleaner. It is billed as ‘houseshare without the headache’ and accounts for almost 20% of all new lettings. Nichaela will initially introduce tenants to their new housemates through Facebook, so by the time they move in they are fast becoming friends. This means a happier tenancy and no arguments over bills.

In addition both graduates will be responsible for estate management tasks such as matching the right tenant to a property, coordinating regular maintenance and dealing with any issues raised by landlords or tenants.

Heaton Property has developed a close working relationship with staff at Northumbria University and we hope to provide insight into what the professional lettings segment requires from graduates. To any entrepreneurial business with ambitious expansion plans I would say “Ignore the hype and take on a graduate. In our experience they relish the challenge of responsibility and provide fresh ideas from day one”.

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