When I first joined the letting industry, dinosaurs were roaming Salisbury Plain, we had no computer system, and Rightmove was in its infancy. Renting basically involved editing a simple tenancy agreement, amending a basic inventory and handing over the keys. As long as you had a Landlord’s Gas Safety certificate, there wasn’t really anything else we had to check. Everything happened at a much gentler pace, expectations were not so high, and there was not the insane level of administration and legal obligations that we have now.

home and keys

A few years later, when the whole lettings industry had really taken off, I found myself working in a very busy high street letting agency as the Lettings Manager. Although I absolutely loved the role, with several hundred managed properties it was very much about crisis management and fire-fighting! This was when I had my ‘lightbulb’ moment and decided there was a better way to do things! My dream was to create a business that could make the whole house-moving and renting process as stress-free an experience as possible for both landlords and tenants. As with most things, this comes down to efficiency and communication!

Light bulb moment

These days residential lettings and property management also requires us to be a legal advisor, marriage guidance counsellor, welfare worker, cleaner, condensation and lime-scale expert and un-paid immigration officer for the Home Office!

I actually think women are very well suited to this business as we are pre-programmed to juggle numerous balls simultaneously! That said, on the property management side, most of the tradespeople I deal with on a day to day basis are men. I suspect not all women are as fascinated by boilers and drains as I am, or know the difference between a soffit and fascia and don’t even get me started on pitch fibre pipes or where to put a ‘strap on boss’!

Air rifle

So would I do anything else? No never! Despite the frustrations and challenges, there is never a dull day in a residential lettings agency. Only last week we had to deal with a tenant who was shooting rats with an air-rifle out of his bedroom window, and investigate the report of a brothel being run next door to one of our managed properties. You better add diplomat and private investigator to the list of requisite skills!

Lou Fletcher

Owner - Piccolo Property Services

residential lettings & property management for discerning landlords in the Salisbury area