CEO Michelle Niziol catches up with online property news service, Property Reporter, for their ‘In the Spotlight’ interview. Here’s what they discussed.
Property Reporter (PR): How did you get into the property industry?
Michelle Niziol (MN): I have always been passionate about property. I trained as a mortgage adviser and opened my own mortgage brokerage in 2005, winning several industry awards since. In 2015, I launched a sales and lettings business in Bicester, Oxfordshire, expanding into property buying and investment, and most recently launching a property and mortgage service for high net worth individuals including sports personalities and business leaders.
PR: A lot of landlords view the recent changes in tax and legislation as nothing more than an attack on the PRS, would you agree?
MN: I don’t view them as an attack, but they aren’t well thought through in terms of the overall impact on the market. The Government wants to make it easier for first time buyers to get on the housing ladder but making it harder for landlords to manage or grow their property portfolio isn’t the way to go about it. It is clear there isn’t one size fits all approach to fixing the housing market, but increasing new build properties across the UK at prices that people can genuinely afford, will make a big difference.
The PRS has a vital role to play in housing our growing population. More people are looking to rent than ever before. Some are doing so as a stepping stone to buying their own home, whilst others are permanent renters who love the flexibility the tenure offers.
PR: How does IMS differ from its competitors?
MN: Our 5-star customer service. The customer is at the heart of everything we do, whether they are buying, selling, letting or renting property, wish to arrange a mortgage or require advice on property investment and refurbishment. We have expanded our service provision with our client’s needs in mind, offering them a range of services to meet their property requirements.
PR: Is the current political climate (including Brexit) having an effect on business?
We aren’t seeing any real impact on our business. People who need to move home or rent property are still active in the market.
MN: There is still an interest in buy-to-let and property investment. However, what we are seeing is a slight drop in the number of first-time landlords / accidental landlords entering the market. Seasoned landlords and those with larger portfolios (5+ properties) are less put off by the tax changes and regulation. Some are even looking to add to their portfolio.
We have had such a busy year that we have recently moved to new premises to maximise the growth of the business, and increase the size of our team by 20% in 2018.
PR: Do you think that the letting industry needs to be regulated or is there another solution?
We fully support a better regulated and more professional private rented sector, operated by quality agents committed to developing and improving standards of landlords and rental stock across the UK.
MN: Looking forward, what do IMS hope to achieve for the rest of the year?
We are looking to further grow our sales, lettings, mortgage and property investment services over the next 12 months. Increase the size of the team and continue to successfully service our current client base, whilst work with new clients to achieve their property goals.
Read the interview on Property Reporter here