In partnership with: Bold & Reeves
When Bill Shipton set up Bold & Reeves in 2012, his idea was simple: to provide the best property management to well-heeled homeowners. “We think of a property like a car, a yacht or a plane, which needs proactive managing and preventative maintenance,” Shipton says. “You wouldn’t buy a second-hand car without a full service history and a logbook, and yet properties change hands for millions of pounds and there’s really very little knowledge about its history.”
Twenty years ago, talking to a virtual house assistant would have been the stuff of science fiction. Now, those visions have become a reality. Look at Amazon's voice-activated Echo device. Walking into the bathroom to be greeted by a perfectly filled bathtub, whilst requesting Coltrane to play over the speakers is no longer the stuff of dreams. The current buzzword in the property sector is 'PropTech'- a combination of high tech devices and housing appliances, which Bold & Reeves integrate into their service.
Merging management with technology through its innovative electronic platform, customers are essentially provided with an 'MOT' of their home. An initial audit spots faults, reviews current service suppliers and identifies any areas that may require preventative maintenance tasks. Boilers, air conditioning, swimming pools, satellite TV, alarms, refrigeration, electrical systems - all of this is monitored in real time and if anything deviates, an alert is sent to Bold & Reeves. This is an industry first, Shipton says with confidence. Because of the incredible micromanagement of properties, customers are also served by a personal property manager who will plan, organise and oversee every aspect of the service. For those who want a more hands-on approach to their property, a mobile app offers instant access to Bold & Reeves’s proprietary network of specialist partners – usually at discounted wholesale rates. Their services also extend to landlords of high-end properties, in London's ludicrous rental market.
Fitzgerald famously wrote that the very rich "are different from you and me" and this certainly rings true with some of the requests Bold & Reeves have carried out. Here are some of their particularly challenging requests:
- Being called to a block of flats in Mayfair as a tenant's removal company had dropped a safe, which had smashed through seven cast iron steps creating an access and fire safety issue. This was responded to within 20 minutes to make safe.
- One client lost power to the top floor of their Knightsbridge house at 1.25am. The Bold & Reeve out-of-hours service called the property manager who responded and resolved the problem within 20 minutes.
- A client's disappearing swimming pool had become stuck in place (one which returns to solid flooring at the click of a button). Bold & Reeves was able to respond to this request immediately through connections with a French company who specialise in sub-aqua hydraulics.
- A client had the misfortune of two boilers failing on them in the space of a couple of days over Easter weekend. Bold & Reeves responded and had two new boilers installed within two days.
The main benefits Bold & Reeves sees in the adoption of their service is twofold: first, a reduction of issues in the property and second, a reduction in running costs of their home. Their service usually results in huge reductions in insurance premiums, as well as boosting the value of a property. A shrewd investment indeed. Working for well-heeled (and often demanding) clients doesn't come without its challenges. A UHNW client once requested a rental property within a week for a three year period, to rehouse all his family and staff. Naturally, the client's request was accepted.