Supplier Spotlight - Checking in with Harry, founder of LDN Inventories.
The suppliers you choose can be the difference between being a good letting agent or an exceptional letting agent. If you want to provide a high quality, seamless service, you need suppliers who mirror your values. After all, these will be the people indirectly representing your agency.
The check in (or move in date) is a pivotal moment, as this is the first ‘day’ tenants will experience being in their new home. The check in needs to be smooth in order to ensure the tenancy gets off to a good start. Naturally, when anything isn’t quite right, this also needs to be reported in a timely manner to ensure a solution is found. In order to achieve this, you need to find an inventory supplier who is punctual, reliable, friendly & accurate in their dealings.
Luckily at baseps, we have found an inventory supplier who offers an exceptional service, going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure check ins (and check outs) are as smooth as possible. LDN Inventories is a relatively new company, however, they already have their operations figured out down to every last detail. So, what is it that makes them so great & vital to our operations?
The booking process.
We now eradicate any need for playing the ‘middleman’ when booking a check in or check out- tenant details are provided to LDNInventories and they liaise directly with the tenant to book a time. We are then notified once this has been secured.
The layout & information.
The inventory report in itself is clear, concise & it is easy to locate the information you require. For example, appliances are all listed on one page clearly with brand, model & serial numbers. When documenting any wear and tear at a check out, LDNInventories will state whether this falls under the tenant or landlord liability. These are just a few small key features that allow us to have an accurate record of the properties inventory & condition.
Something we all struggle with from time to time- picture quality! When you need to zoom in on a carpet stain or broken tile, you always end up with a pixelated image and none the wiser. LDNInventories sends us a separate folder with high definition images so that we can expand and have a real good look, as if we had done the check out ourselves.
Inventory reports are turned around within 2 working days. Any agent will agree that this is a huge help in terms of addressing maintenance, deposit deductions or simply just checking in on the condition of the property.
Attention to detail.
Not only are their reports comprehensive with the smallest of details, they also pay attention to things that could be a bigger issue. For example, if the inventory clerk finds a maintenance issue that needs bringing to our attention, they will call our offices right away with the details so that we can address this. If they find a carbon monoxide or smoke alarm is missing, they will replace this. The attention to detail is truly second to none.
Our property manager, Terence, has said: “Since using LDNInventories I have majorly reduced my time trying to locate information. The check out feature of listing whose liability the damage/repair is, is incredibly helpful & precise. When I am dealing with property maintenance the appliances are all in one place, so I can easily see the model or serial number. Even if I need something that is not usually listed in the report, the high quality pictures will deliver on that.”
So, let’s get to know the founder, Harry Mardell, a little more…
What inspired your idea to start your LDNInventories, given that there are already so many well established inventory suppliers?
I started working for one of the industry's leading giants and learnt a lot during my 4 years. However, I could not help seeing areas that could be better, and should be better. Over time I identified gaps in the market, realising clients deserved a better service. That’s when LDNInventories was formed.
Which areas in particular did you want to improve when you first set up LDNInventories, in order to differentiate from other suppliers?
We have many points that are different from other companies, perhaps too many to list. I wanted to build relationships with my clients and have a clear working strategy. I wanted an easy and simple booking procedure, consistent and structured reports. I didn’t want our reports to be vague. I wanted to make sure that we spent more time with tenants to make sure they are happy during the check in, answer any queries, obtaining crucial information that tenants need when they first move in. We find things like installing smoke or carbon alarms and uniformed clerks a great success with agents and landlords. In essence, we just wanted to go the extra mile, offer a professional service with a human touch.
If you could have done something differently, what would it have been and why?
I would have started on this career path earlier in my life as I love my job!
Tell me about your proudest moment so far?
I feel proud when I see the feedback we receive from our clients. Also, being chosen over the larger companies feels good too and makes me proud.
You must meet all kinds of people on the job. Tell me about the strangest inventory check in/ check out you have ever done.
This is a tricky one as I have met so many people from all walks of life!! I have seen so many different properties, I have signed non disclosure forms on some occasions. I once did a check in for an A list celebrity in Mayfair, in an amazing property for a short stay. The celebrity would only respond to my questions through her bodyguard and would not answer me directly, this made it very difficult and I think everyone found this awkward! It's not often we meet the celebrities personally as we often deal with the PA’s. I did do a check out in an amazing penthouse for a top celebrity, and was asked to sign a non disclosure form due to findings and I’m sorry that I can’t say more. ;-)
Have you always been in the inventory business? If not, what did you do before?
I have been doing inventories for around 7 years now but before that I was a chef. I think this is where my eye for detail comes from and why I strive for perfection.
Who or what inspires you?
The people I meet that are on their own journeys through life. Everyone is on their own journey and these stories inspire me, make me work harder. I am lucky I love what I do and this comes through in my company.
If a potential client is reading this blog, what would you want them to know & how can they best reach you?