1. Who we are and what we do
SimplyWinch strives to become the Rolls Royce of the professional shared living market. We take on high quality properties, on three-year corporate leases, asking permission to rent rooms to our high-end clients. This is as we expand our portfolio of over 50 properties, currently. The portfolio spans two principal areas of London: the region from Maida Vale through St John’s Wood to Belsize Park, and Canary Wharf. The company was established in 2014, and is based in Mayfair, London W1.
2. Why this market
Rent rooms offers young professionals a far more affordable and flexible way of living in high quality locations in central London. Many of our clients move to London for work and do not know other people to share a flat with. Whilst a two bed in St John’s Wood could cost £500-600 per week to rent, a room can range from £170 to £230, depending on size and ensuite.
The business was founded in 2014, to create a simple and elegant solution for young professionals looking for affordable luxury living in prime London. We have grown to over 50 properties and continue to strengthen our reputation as the premiere operator in the subletting market.
4. Core values
Our core value is “Care.” We take immaculate care of our properties, our landlords, our tenants, who we prefer to call clients, and staff. Care also extends to how fast we turn around repairs, typically within a few days where managed by us. We believe the greater care we take of every aspect of this business, the greater our success can be. What goes around, comes around.
We also believe in “Quality,” in terms of location, condition of property, the type of landlord and agent we deal with, how we vet potential clients as well as our own internal team. We also limit the number of people per property to 3 or 4, to create a better environment for professional living.
5. Why to work with us
- We take immaculate care of our properties with weekly inspections and cleaning, to ensure we can rent rooms at the prices we require;
- Clients stay for a minimum of 6 months, and in most cases 12-18 months. There is zero short term or AirBnB letting;
- We do all referencing in house, to ensure we only take on high quality clients. We conduct 30-minute interviews with every applicant, and review bank statements, landlord and employer references;
- We can manage any property at cost, leveraging our tried and tested network of contactors;
- We install high quality furnishings available r a Landlord to keep at the end of tenancy if they wish;
- We work with leading agents such as Knight Frank, Savilles, Chestertons, Greene & Co and CBRE;
- Our CEO brings professionalism and integrity to every aspect of the business, after 20 years as a regulated individual, at blue chip Hedge Funds and Investment Banks. He also qualified as an ACA at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
6. Our business model
We rent two- to three-bedroom flats, at as close to asking price as possible, asking permission to rent the rooms out and use the living room as a bedroom. We then install high quality furnishings to rent rooms out to high end professionals, in their 20s to 30s. The extra room as a bedroom effectively becomes our margin, to cover our head office, admin and marketing costs.
7. Why HMO mandatory licenses do not apply to us
We remain beneath the radar for all HMO mandatory license requirements by limiting each property to 3-4 people. This means HMO licenses do not even apply in boroughs such as Westminster or Kensington and Chelsea.
In other councils, a less onerous “additional” 5-year license is required, which we can arrange for any landlord. There is no impact on planning, while your apartment would benefit from latest safety standards to better protect your tenants. Potential modifications include installation of a hard wired hallway smoke alarm, and radio or wire linked kitchen heat alarm. There would also be an Electrical Installation Condition report (EICR), which can throw up any potentially dangerous wiring issues, which can be swiftly resolved. A gas safety certificate is also required. (Source: LACORS, The Chief Fire Officers Association, also recommended by all councils).
8. How we take care of your property
It is rare one of our high-end clients does not immediately alert us to the slightest repair or maintenance issue. Weekly inspections by our professional cleaners offer a further backup to ensure any issues are reported to us. We use an online software reporting system to ensure full details and photos are provided in a timely manner. We then engage our own contractors to provide a quote with this report to the landlord for swift approval. Alternately, some landlords prefer to us their own contractors.
9. How we avoid voids
We firmly believe cash is king which is why we do all we can to maximize cash flow. This is why many clients comment how cheap our rooms are relative to competitors – we would rather receive reduced rent every month than suffer a void, which can wipe out many months of margin.
10. How we market rooms
We market our rooms through a combination of direct website enquiry, referrals from existing and past clients, agents who recommend us and spareroom. We also keep a database of everyone who has ever shown an interest in our rooms as a further potential source of clients.
11. How long we rent the rooms for
Our standard contact is 12 months, while our minimum stay is 6 months. The majority of our clients stay with us for well over a year.
12. Quality of tenants & referencing
We only work at the top end of the professional sharing market to attract high quality clients. They better respect the property, one another and pay rent on time, more so than any other segment of the market. We conduct 30-minute interviews with every applicant and do all referencing in house, to ensure only take on high quality clients. We also check bank statements, landlord and employer references.
13. Repairs & Maintenance
It is rare one of our high-end clients does not immediately alert us to the slightest repair or maintenance issue. Weekly inspections by our professional cleaners offer a further backup to ensure any issues are reported to us. We use an online software reporting system to ensure full details and photos are provided in a timely manner. We then engage our own contractors to provide a quote which we send with this report to the landlord for swift approval. Alternately, some landlords prefer to use their own contractors.
14. How we source properties
Most of our properties come to us from landlord and developer recommendations as well as from internet search on the main portals. We have established excellent relationships with mainstream high street and online agents, allowing us first bite of the cherry in most cases. This is because parties we work with value our professionalism, predictability and above all, how we pay rent on time and take immaculate care of properties.
15. Our reputation
Our reputation is everything, especially as the company name has our founder’s name in it, or my own surname, Winch. This is the only way we can ensure the longevity of our business model and success. To achieve this, we deeply instill and train our staff with a sense of self-worth, appreciation of what we do and professionalism. Daily meetings and regular staff reviews further ensure we continue to operate at the highest level of professionalism.
16. CEO Profile and background
Our CEO, Mathew Winch, brings professionalism and integrity to every aspect of the business, after 20 years as a regulated individual, at blue chip Hedge Funds and Investment Banks. He also qualified as an ACA at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
17. Accountant reference
THOMAS ALEXANDER & CO
To Whom it may concern,
We confirm that we act as accountants and taxation advisors for Simply Winch Ltd and have done so for the last 5 years. We are not aware of any reason that would adversely impact the company’s financial personal performance in the foreseeable future. We do not have any reason to think that the company would be unable to meet monthly rental commitments. Please note that this reference is given on the strict understanding that neither this company nor the individual directors of the company incur any liability whatsoever in relation thereto.
Nick Georgiou (Director)
590 Green Lanes, London, N13 5RY
18. Landlord references
To whom it may concern
I have had the pleasure of dealing with Simply Winch and more importantly Matthew Winch over the past 3 years. I would highly recommend Matthew and the services his company provide to all Landlords. Rent is always paid duly in time, the properties kept in good order and the clients have been respectful to all neighbours.
Christopher Paxton, Partner, Lettings Manager, Head of Lettings, Canary Wharf
Knight Frank, 18/19 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QW
To whom it may concern.
I would like to write to you to provide a reference for our business dealings with Mr Matthew Winch and his firm SimplyWinch. We have been in contact since 2015 and I have three tenancies currently in place with them. I can confirm that all rent is currently up to date and we have no reported issues with any of these tenancies. On a personal level, I find Matthew to be a very upstanding gentleman who is very conscientious in the types of properties he selects for his business. Mathew and SimplyWinch have an excellent track record in the arena and have always been very reasonable and pleasant to deal with. I would have no reservations in recommending him for a tenancy with yourself.
Cory McNally BSc (Hons) MARLA, Director, South Kensington Lettings,
Chestertons 44 – 48 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3DY