A new model
Connecting up with the Landlords National Property Group members can offer a regular source of work without the hassle of sourcing products, says managing director Nick Watchorn.
The Landlords National Property Group (LNPG) is a 4,000-strong membership organisation of landlords, pooling their purchasing power to secure contract pricing on a variety of refurbishment products such as kitchens, bathrooms, boilers and heating systems.
For some installers, the idea of not being the primary purchaser on a project could be a turn-off, with any margin for mark-up all but eradicated. That said, working with LNPG members comes with a wealth of benefits – it can result in regular customers, recommendations and a leaner, more profitable working day.
The LNPG is dedicated to helping landlords purchase market-leading refurbishment products at the best prices, and we see installers as a vital component to the specification process.
Finding tradespeople to fulfil this role isn’t always straightforward, and the LNPG is taking a proactive approach to developing a nationwide resource to assist its members in locating and hiring the right tradesperson for the job.
The LNPG has recently launched a recommended-tradesman portal for its members, to help them find top-quality tradespeople in their local area who are experienced at working in the private rental market. With no joining fee or commission structure in place, registering your business on the site is free of charge and there are two ways to join: either ask your next LNPG customer to recommend you or call the organisation yourself to register your interest in working with its members.
For landlords, finding trustworthy tradespeople willing to refurbish and maintain their private rental properties can feel an impossible task. But with a new central hub of information to hand, those installers listed on the LNPG’s tradesman portal will be best placed to maximise the opportunities presented by LNPG members.
As part of the government’s commitment to lowering carbon emissions, the spotlight will soon turn to private landlords as the minimum EPC rating regulation comes into force in April 2018. Owners of inefficient rented housing stock will be forced by law to improve the energy-efficiency rating of their properties to a minimum standard of ‘E’, making the private rental market ripe with business opportunities for installers, especially when you consider that many landlords will have a portfolio of properties to upgrade.
The LNPG negotiates contracted rates with some of the UK’s best known merchants and manufacturers, including Plumb Center. Members enjoy negotiated trade prices on all the essential refurbishment purchases, without the time-consuming task of having to negotiate rates themselves.
Work for LNPG landlords and you have the option to supply or fit their Plumb Centre-sourced products. Ensuring you use products from a reputable provider, such as Plumb Center, will minimise the risk of being called back to properties for leaks or malfunctions from poorer-quality products.
The LNPG recommends that landlords enlist the support of their installer early in the purchasing process, to provide a specification and expert guidance on which products will best meet their needs. The LNPG landlord purchasing team then does all the legwork on your behalf, leaving you to fit in another job rather than collecting products, researching the right bathroom suites or arranging product deliveries. In other words, working with LNPG landlords may be ‘labour only’ on some projects, but it will afford you more time in your working day to fit in additional projects or visit more potential customers.
While LNPG landlords purchase their larger products through their contract pricing membership, it is recommended that installers are left to purchase consumable parts, fixtures and fittings. This means that you, as the installer, can purchase the parts you prefer from the merchant or manufacturer you are affiliated with, making your usual mark-up.
Working direct for homeowners so that you control the purchasing of high-ticket equipment such as boilers and bathroom suites will certainly allow you to make money on the products you buy. But consider for a moment the benefits of regular work, for a customer you trust, all in your local area. In the long run, this customer could prove more profitable than a handful of conventional homeowner customers.
LNPG landlords can provide this ongoing revenue stream, with a portfolio of properties, usually in a single region, all of which need regular maintenance and inspection. Landlords are bound by strict government legislation for the performance and upkeep of their investment properties, which is a task they take seriously.
This duty to maintain their properties translates into ongoing partnerships with tradespeople who are willing to get to know their property portfolio, the specific needs and specification of each home, and how best to resolve issues quickly and effectively.
Securing several ‘labour only’ landlord clients through the LNPG’s new recommendations portal could provide legwork-free, regular income for you or your team, on a growing portfolio of properties – all in a sector that is exceeding growth expectations.
Register your company on the new LNPG tradesman-recommendation portal today by calling 01455 234 499, and start growing your private rental installation and maintenance offering
Plumb Parts talks to chief executive Yvonne Orgill about the association's work and her hopes for its future.
Husband-and-wife team Ben and Jo Alsop have grown a successful gas business since starting up in 2008, and the emergence of renewable heat technologies has complemented that well
The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) is planning to relaunch its Benchmark scheme early in 2017