We want to thank you for celebrating The Lettings Hub’s 10th Birthday with us! It was brilliant to engage with so many people over the 10 days of giveaways, social posts and our latest eBook launch. It’s been a busy time! But a great opportunity to give back to our fantastic customers, and a chance to reflect on a decade of achieving our goals within the lettings industry. For this last birthday post, we’re going to speak to some of our wonderful employees who paved the way throughout those years…
How it all Started
On the 14th of February 2013, The Lettings Hub (known then as The Landlord Hub) completed its very first reference. Over the next two years the company grew month on month, and in 2015 completed a merger with a fellow industry supplier. Together they went on to build a bespoke referencing platform the following year.
In anticipation of the Tenant Fee Ban, the company then delivered several new strategic ancillary products so that by the time the legislation was introduced in 2019, The Lettings Hub was in good standing to provide everything that its customers needed.
By the start of 2020, three more opportunistic acquisitions had occurred. When covid hit, it was a devastating and uncertain time for many businesses globally. The company’s normal workflow was brought to a halt while the UK became locked down and the unprecedented circumstances meant that tenants temporarily stopped moving homes.
However, the company seized this opportunity to innovate and develop something new. And so began BOX – the markets only tenancy progression platform with no subscription fee. It’s a complete end-to-end software product expertly designed to smartly automate the process of letting a property or renewing a tenancy.
In the very first year after its launch, BOX went on to win ‘Technology Supplier of the Year’ at the Negotiator Awards, 2021. There, the software was highly praised for its user-friendliness, scalability, cost-effectiveness, and quality of support.
Following on from that success, the company then placed its focus on an enriching regeneration of all its referencing products, as well as the successful launch of Property Passport™ – an ingenious product that lets tenants share their online profile with a letting agent or landlord to quickly find and secure a new home.
Open Banking Tenant referencing was also launched, meaning faster referencing and secure, fraud-free financial data for The Lettings Hub’s clients.
The Lettings Hub foresaw the need for new technology solutions when the Right to Rent changes came in to play and wanted to ensure they continued to offer the best-in-class solutions for clients. Partnering with HooYu they launched their Know Your Customer product range towards the end of 2022.
This range provided the opportunity for the company to launch a unique fraud guarantee, and a confident promise to customers that The Lettings Hub would personally pay any Home Office fines acquired as a result of a fraudulent tenant that was approved by this unbeatable technology.
More recently, The Lettings Hub has enjoyed a fruitful period of internal business growth – despite the cost-of-living crisis – expanding the teams numbers in line with the expansion of products and services.
As the company enters 2023 it stands 120 employees strong, and today, ten years on from its start, it is estimated that The Lettings Hub has now helped over 3.5 million people move home. The company protects 35,000 tenants, agents, and landlords with its insurance products, and has over 1,000 agents across the country using BOX with over 40 integrated products and services.
What Does the Near Future Look Like for The Lettings Hub?
In the same way that the company pre-emptively has always looked for solutions to industry change such as the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and Right to Rent changes, The Lettings Hub have already started preparations in advance of Rental Reform changes to ensure they have solutions ready when legislation changes impact the industry, once again.
The impact of changes surrounding pets, the abolition of Section 21, and further legislation updates may cause concerns for Landlords – and The Lettings Hub is ready to address them.
Customers can also expect weekly deployments of sophisticated updates to the ever-growing platform, BOX. The company has a team of developers who dedicate their time to providing regular upgrades and refinements to the software. In addition, there will be a series of new integrations to make BOX seamlessly compatible with other services, starting with a pivotal integration with Reapit this month.
The company constantly strives to provide the best quality and most economically advantageous products of any supplier in the marketplace. 2023 is set to be The Lettings Hub’s best year yet.
Meet the ‘Hubsters’ Who’ve Been Here for it All…
Such great feats couldn’t have been achieved at The Lettings Hub without the incredible energy and dedication of the team. We spoke to one team member who joined the company in each of its ten years to ask them a question or two about their memories, journeys and experiences had while working at The Lettings Hub.
Heidi Shackell, CEO- 10 Years
Can you believe it has been 10 years since the company’s first reference? How have you seen The Lettings Hub change since then?
“Over the last 10 years it’s been amazing to see how the people have changed within the company. I’ve been able to watch people grow and progress in their roles, and the number of employees has rapidly increased. As we have just gone through the next phase of team expansion there are quite a few new faces in the office at the moment and it’s brilliant to have fresh ideas, new input and the huge wealth of experience that everyone brings to the table. The team truly rock at the moment. The Lettings Hub has really developed so much over the last decade, it’s been a rewarding, fast paced journey, and we’re excited to continue into another strong year.”
What are some of your favourite memories of the last 10 years?
“Over the years I’ve had opportunities to go to many communication and internal events, where I get to talk about our great people about that particular stage of our journey and of the positive things that have happened. There are always so many good things to say, and it’s a chance to step back and look at all The Lettings Hub has achieved. In the day to day sometimes you don’t get time to realise how each day you are moving forward. I’ve really enjoyed those opportunities to thank people, and it’s always hugely rewarding to listen.”
What advice would you give new business starters who want to achieve longevity?
“Be impatient – impatience can be great because it gets stuff done. Get into the detail and look a bit differently at things. Within every problem there is an opportunity and you don’t need to be conventional. And I would say that for longevity and so that you don’t waste time and money you really need to talk to your customers and potential customers about what they really want. And show your passion, let everyone feel it – it’s important.”
Amy, UX Designer & Product Owner (BOX) – 9 Years
What do you see as your biggest accomplishment since your started at The Lettings Hub 9 Years ago?
The BOX platform. I’ve been lucky to be one of the core team members to work on the development of our award-winning software even when working within Marketing. I’m proud of how our tech has totally transformed our business, allowing us to rapidly expand the range of solutions and support we can now offer our customers.
What excites you most about this coming year in the business?
We have so many improvements and new features planned to make BOX even bigger and better for our clients over the next 12 months. And with Rent Reform looking firmly on the cards, it’s going to be another big year of change. We are already considering how this might impact the way agents will work and I’m looking forward to tackling the challenge head on to make our clients lives easier when the changes do come into effect.
What has been your biggest “lesson learned” over the years?
That there is always more to learn and nothing should be considered ‘finished’. As legislation, the lettings market and even the way tenants search and apply for properties are all constantly evolving, you have to keep re-evaluating and considering whether there could be an even better way to solve these problems for our users.
Coleen, Strategy Director – 8 Years
Can you still remember your first day?
Yes. The business operated as The Landlord Hub then, from a smaller office & with around 20 team members. I joined on a part time basis, working 3 days a week, to lead projects to deliver a wider and enhanced product proposition. I really enjoyed joining the team, they were open and passionate about their work, and the office environment was positive and progressive.
Has your role changed at all since you started with the company 8 years ago?
Lots has changed and I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in different roles and departments as the business has grown including marketing, project teams and strategy.
Tell us about a work friendship that you’ll keep for life?
I met Anna on my first day with the business and we are still here together many years later. We have never worked in the same location for more than one day per week, but she is someone who can always be relied on, always delivers, and always gives great advice! Both of our roles have changed, and Anna works remotely now, but she is still one of those people who is at the heart of the team and who I really trust and respect.
Jennie, Onboarding Executive – 7 Years
What has been the most rewarding element of your job?
As onboarding executive, the most rewarding element of my job is getting to know the agents and making sure they have everything they require to use BOX successfully. I appreciate them trusting me to impart my knowledge in a way that works for them and giving them the best possible start to their journey with us.
What do you think sets us apart from the rest of the market for pre-tenancy platforms?
I believe that the personal touch along with a great referencing platform sets us apart, it’s great to have a system that works but having a friendly voice to help on the other end of the phone is what most agents appreciate. I know that the relationships I and other colleagues have had with some agents for all those years is one of the reasons we have such longevity of use.
Sarah, Moving Mentor – 6 Years
Can you tell us about a memorable work compliment you’ve had?
Yes, I received a five-star rating and was personally mentioned in a TrustPilot review earlier this month. They said “Sarah was absolutely incredible, after having a couple of issues with our form Sarah was able to professionally and effectively help us through what would need to be done. She has been a real credit to The Lettings Hub. We couldn’t thank her enough.” It was really rewarding to see that!
Elliot, Head of Business Development – 5 Years
In what ways have you seen The Lettings Hub grow, and how do you expect the company to continue
to grow in the future?
Since I joined The Lettings Hub almost 6 years ago, I have seen many exciting developments. The business is always looking to find the best possible solution for clients through both technology and service. I am privileged to be involved in many product development meetings and the customer’s best interests are always at the forefront of any discussion. The Lettings Hub is a business that cares passionately about the customer journey and since I joined the company has grown its customer base and also the range of products we have available to customers. Our product range will continue to develop and grow with many exciting launches scheduled over the coming months. It is really exciting to be involved and I can’t wait for people to see what’s coming!
Becca, Customer Retentions Manager – 4 Years
What have you learned about motivation, both for yourself and others, over the years?
Over the years I think the motivation comes a lot from the team environment within the office, the challenges set, the BOOM days make myself & my team the most competitive to the point I don’t think we’ve not ever hit our target! I would say that working hard and seeing the outcome of the hard work and the results you give are motivation enough to produce those results monthly.
Jade, Moving Manager – 3 Years
Tell us about a work memory that makes you chuckle…
There are lots of laughs at work, BOOM day always has a great sense of comradery and there are a good amount of social events throughout the year! We all really enjoy the Quarterly Awards and have a laugh with each other on those occasions.
Georgia, Quality Assurance & Brand Standards Executive – 2 Years
Tell us about your best workday so far?
The best workday that comes to mind in my first year at the Lettings Hub is the day I received the news I got the position in my new role, going from a Sales Executive to Quality Assurance & Brand Standards Executive.
Are there any exciting projects that you are working on at the moment?
At the moment, we are expanding the sales team for Tenants Home Insurance, which is an exciting development. And personally, I’m working on rolling out my handover before my maternity leave commences!
David, Insurance and Media Executive – 1 Year
Name your favourite thing about your job?
There are many things that I love about my job at The Lettings Hub, however the one that sticks out to me is the fact we are like family in the office and support each other whatever the circumstance.
Debra, MI Analyst– Less than a year
What is something you didn’t know before working here, that you know now?
Something that I didn’t know before working here is how much you can feel appreciated in relation to the work that you produce. Being recognised for your achievements is fantastic, not only for the person being recognised, but for others within the company too. I have also learned a new skill that I never thought I would be able to explore. It has made me more passionate about my career and has enabled me to become more efficient and accurate when doing my job.