Confessions from a co-founder of a multi award winning Shoreditch letting agent.
Base started up in 2004 with two laptops & two eager minds with a desire to change the industry. Almost 16 years on, base property has thrived & grown organically through referrals. So, isn’t it about time we got to know the people behind base property specialists?!
I think we all know that when we speak of the ‘property Viking’ it is none other than the Kristjan Byfield, co-founder of base property specialist’s ltd. You can often find our very own property Viking at industry events where he is performing, rowing or dressing up for charity (or, darting around Shoreditch with our office doggo, Diamond).
So, we thought it about time we (and you) got to know our other co-founder, An. Whilst you may not always find An at industry events, you are guaranteed to find her on a table at The ESTA’s celebrating every year with the team (in a killer outfit each time, I must add!). We spoke to An and she offered some advice for first time landlords, revealed some fun facts & even recalled some vital elements of base’s journey.
You and Kristjan founded base in 2004. Nearly 16 years on – what is your proudest achievement to date?
The fact that we have retained 90% of our original landlord base shows that the service delivered goes way beyond. The ones that we didn’t keep either sold up or passed away. The highlight though has to be coming to work each day to a family rather than a workforce.
How would your business partner, Kristjan, describe you?
His crazy sidekick who keeps him in check but at the same time is his biggest enabler. (At least that is how it plays in my head!)
What is your best advice for a new landlord?
Make sure to research the agency you are going in to business with. Your property is your biggest asset that you are handing over to be looked after and you want to feel secure in the knowledge that the team behind the scenes is not only personable so you feel at ease with them but also knows their trade. Here at base all our clients can contact each staff member direct as and when needed. We pride ourselves on our personal relationships to our clients.
Base is made up of a circa 250 property portfolio. Which is your favourite, and why?
It feels like picking a favourite amongst your kids but if I was pushed I would have to say The Warehaus near London Fields simply for the location and the amazing glass bottom swimming pool set in the roof.
Who would you save first from a burning building out of all your staff members?
My stern look would have them all scattering out by themselves and it would leave me to pick up Diamond!
Tell me something that people don’t know about you.
I am a qualified diamond grader.
What is your favourite part of East London?
If you could do it all again, what would you do differently?
Set targets earlier on in our growth.
On the flip side, if you knew how successful base would be, what would you do differently?
Nothing as it is exactly what we did that got us here and keeps us here.
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you in this industry?
When I thought of going in to business with Kristjan at the start of my thirties and I wondered if I had enough life experience to start a business. At the time I was told by a very wise man that if I didn’t do it then, 10 years later I would not have the balls for it anymore and he was so right!
If any of your clients read this article, what would you like them to know?
That without our faithful clients, base would not be where it is today. Each and every one of our clients has brought something to the table, whether this was an issue we had to resolve in their property, or through talking to them realising how we could improve on our services, or simply being our biggest fan which in turn gave us the courage to keep going during the tough times.
Your funniest moment since founding base ps?
Our Amsterdam trips are no doubt the highlight of our year and the funniest time to spend with our base family.
If you were to be gifted a superhero power, what would it be?
To be able to process data instantly and retract and retain required information
What did you want to be when you were a little girl?
I didn’t have a dream like so many girls to be a nurse, or an air hostess, or any specific profession. I did however know from a very young age that I wanted something out of the ordinary. I guess you can say I got what I asked for. Which does bring me to state… be very precise what you ask for because you might just get it!
And finally, name your favourite feature of the service we offer our landlords.
The personal touch you get when dealing with base.