Business Case Studies
How Glide benefits specialist student landlord Student Cribs
An introduction to Student Cribs
Student Cribs was founded by Charlie Vaughan-Lee in 2003 when studying at Bristol University. Frustrated by the lack of good quality and well equipped student houses, Charlie purchased and renovated three properties for investors and let them to some of the many students who also desired a good standard of accommodation.
To date Student Cribs has successfully acquired and developed 32 student houses in 7 different university towns across the UK.
We spoke to Charlie Boardman, Managing Director. Charlie is responsible for the development of Student Cribs from 3 houses to the established portfolio it is today.
Looking for a partner over a supplier
It's important to Charlie that suppliers have the same professional, committed approach that her team has. To that end, Charlie was looking for a committed partner instead of just a standard supplier to service her clients' utilities requirements.
Student Cribs offers comfortable, well equipped houses in the best locations in University cities and towns throughout the UK. Our approach is unusual in the student lets world; we give students beautiful homes and they treat them with respect.
The market thought we were completely nuts in the beginning. We kit our homes out with high quality materials and furniture, keep on top of maintenance, and decorate as we would our own homes, and as a result the students we let to treat them like homes, not hotels.
Our accommodation gives students a better standard of living whilst at University plus the peace of mind that they are living somewhere secure. A key part of that proposition is the suppliers we have on board to deliver vital services to tenants.
We approached Glide because their approach is client-led and it suits our needs. We use both Glide's ‘multisite' and ‘referral' service depending on the property.
Rather than pay someone to procure all services in-house, Glide's multisite service does it all and provides us with one monthly bill with fixed energy tariffs for up to 36 months, giving us immunity from any fluctuations in the market, which is a real plus given the current economic climate, and we can pass this on to the tenants.
It's the ideal platform to collect rents inclusive of bills. In short, if we didn't use Glide, offering bills-inclusive across our growing portfolio would be an absolute nightmare.
Our student accommodation can house up to ten students. Each will need to contribute to bills; gas, electric, water, telephone line rental and broadband, the usual suspects. We all remember how difficult it was keeping track of who owed and who paid what. The pain of one housemate's responsibility for collecting the monies, or having to pay upfront on behalf of the entire house! Glide allows each of our tenants to pay for their share.
Our tenants like it because it saves arguments and in-house politics and lets them get on with the important job of being a student. Many of our tenants are away from home for the first time and Glide allows them to manage their money better, which today is vital for cash-strapped students.
At the moment we have approximately two-thirds of our properties using Glide; it's an option that the majority opt for, which fortunately makes our lives much easier.
How we work together
An example of how Glide works with us is where we're renovating a property and it might not be on the grid or have a gas meter fitted. Our Glide account manager takes the problem away, sources the meter, manages the issue and always keeps us in the loop regards timescales. This manages our expectations and allows us to concentrate on the renovation and marketing of a property.
The mix of online, over the phone and face-to-face client handling is exactly right, and we feel we have a relationship with the team and a contact we can call on if we need to.
The team at Glide get what we do. We have high standards; just look at our properties. They know it's not just about the utility bill, but about relationships and trust. Our properties need to be easy to live in as well as beautiful to be in.