safe & secure
Directors Gordon Crockett and Michael Younghusband are both from professional backgrounds.
Gordon Crockett joined Northumbria Police Force at 18 years old and quickly progressed through various departments eventually finding his passion within the CID.
After completing his degree at Newcastle University Michael Younghusband became a secondary school teacher in Peterlee receiving outstanding assessments by Ofsted Inspectors.
They both left their professions to follow dreams of working for themselves. Together they opened a Security Company called Total Security Services which flourished throughout the North East of England.
It was through this venture Gordon and Michael became established businessmen and using their unique communication skills, gained through their previous professions, to secure significant contracts within all main Cities of the North East. Total Security had in excess of 60 staff at one point and created an excellent reputation within the industry.
Gordon and Michael also chose to invest into property targeting the buy to let market. After entering the property industry, they were quickly approached by distressed Landlords who turned to them for support with their own property related issues.
Landlords would approach Gordon and Michael with issues ranging from tenant arrears to antisocial behaviour and often the objective would be to remove the tenants from the property, using whatever leverage they had, whether it be outstanding arrears or simple effective communication, Gordon and Michael would attend the property and search for a resolution.
They quickly found that the skills they had acquired from their previous professions along within the versatility required when working in security lent perfectly to dealing with distressed tenants who more than often simply didn’t know what to do for the best. Time and time again through this effective communication they managed to mutually negotiate the surrender of tenancy agreements regaining legal possession for the landlord which was always the prime objective.
As with anything they learnt that despite their exceptional ability to communicate it’s impossible to be successful on every occasion, there will always be that one tenant who simply refuses to listen never mind comply. In line with their professionalism and determination to succeed they quickly educated themselves studying relevant property related legislation.
It was at this stage that Gordon and Michael began to see a real business opportunity within the property industry, they believed their experiences and unique style created a USP in an industry which so many landlords needed effective support.
On the 30th of November 2014 they opened Safe and Secure Property Management, the message was we will keep your property SAFE and your income SECURE. Despite opening business with ZERO customers Gordon and Michael genuinely believed that they had something to offer the industry which was unique to themselves. With a small back street office and bucket loads of enthusiasm along with a little bit of apprehension they began to create a business.
As with anything the early months were slow but being willing to take literally any property related issue within the North East, they began to move acquiring their first portfolio of 12 properties located in the prestigious Waterloo Flats in Sulgrave Washington. Sulgrave flats were covered on an ITV documentary as the cheapest place to buy property in the UK, yep what a way to start your property career!
As it happens learning to manage properties in such a run-down area with tenants who have significant issues with drugs and were heavily involved in crime became the making of Gordon, Michael and Safe & Secure Properties. literally, if you could effectively manage properties in Sulgrave flats, you could manage properties anywhere in the UK.
The first year moved quickly and by the start of 2016 they had secured over 125 managed properties the majority of which were recommendations from landlords who they had resolved problems for. Word quickly got about that two professionals with a background of working for the Police, Education and Security industry were now looking to make an impact in property.
As with any business managing cash flow whilst balancing quality of service was something which Gordon and Michael were very conscious of. Safe & Secure Properties were operating out of a small office with only the two directors and one member of staff providing administration support. The business never compromised on service and registered with all the main portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. However, with more properties coming in thick and fast they became realised that creating solid foundations were essential to their success and retention of hard-earned business.
Gordon and Michael were then presented with their first opportunity to significantly expand the business with the acquisition of a local management portfolio. A local agent who had decided to pull out of managing properties offered 50 managements. Safe & Secure agreed the deal and used this opportunity to take on some further staff, the business was now beginning to grow with a portfolio approaching 200 managements.
Dealing with so many landlords and a portfolio of properties, many of which were bought purely for investment, Gordon and Michael noted the desire of certain landlords who wanted to sell or expand their property portfolio. Being business minded people didn’t want to miss any opportunities of making money and certainly didn’t want to point their own customers in the direction of another agent. There was only one solution, Safe & Secure Property Management became Safe & Secure Properties, the new local estate agent providing sale, letting and property management services throughout the North East of England.
In order to accommodate the expansion Safe & Secure Properties relocated their office to a nearby premises on Shiney Row front street. The new premises have two floors and could comfortably accommodate the increased number of staff which they would inevitably need but more importantly it had much better exposure with fantastic footfall.
Shortly after entering the Sales market Gordon and Michael noted that Sales was an area of the property industry which required significant experience. As such they began searching for a suitable candidate to take charge of this department. In June of 2018 they employed property professional Lisa Roughley who has 26 years’ experience working within the corporate sales sector.
Lisa set to work very quickly restructuring the sales department and introducing all legal compliance policies. She then made it her business to contact all landlords and offering our new sales service she acquired several new instructions getting the ball firmly rolling. Over the following 12 months Lisa took Safe & Secure from a non-existing sale business to pipeline with a value of over £40k.
In the summer of 2019, whilst Lisa was hard at work building the sales element of the business Gordon and Michael made their second and most significant acquisition which again took the lettings and property management side of the business to another level. They secured over 270 managed properties from a local competitor making Safe & Secure the largest single branch in the local area. Having moved office, re staffed and ensured all required IT support and software was in place the acquisition of these properties was painless.
This bring us to date, Gordon and Michael are extremely proud to look back at their journey and what they have achieved however both are adamant that this is just the beginning having huge plans for further development such as financial services and investment opportunities.
To be continued………………………….!