Plymouth firm predicts £10million turnover growth

By WILLIAM TELFORD, Business Editor, Herald


CSL team

LET IT BE: The team at Clever Student Lets

PLYMOUTH letting agent Clever Students Lets is celebrating after receiving an important stamp of approval – and anticipating £10million turnover growth.The North Hill headquartered organisation has just received Plymouth City Council’s Trading Standards Approval Certificate in the Buy With Confidence Scheme.

It means the firm can be recommended worldwide for the quality of its student accommodation lettings.

More than 240 businesses in Plymouth are part of the Buy With Confidence scheme and CSL is the only student accommodation provider to be awarded the certificate.

The scheme is policed by trading standard officers with more than 5,000 businesses nationwide awarded certificates.

“This means people will know we have been gone over with a fine-toothed comb,” said Henry Hutchins, chief executive. “Parents know they can send us their children and they will be looked after.

“They won’t be thrown into any old student accommodation and left to their own devices.”

He said this comes as CSLs is undergoing extensive growth.

“CSL will at least double in size in the next three years,” he predicted. “We’re already at £10million turnover and will go to £20million.

“We have 18 staff and are recruiting again.

“We are turning down 70 per cent of landlords that approach us, because their properties are not to the right quality, or they haven’t got the right attitude.

CSL has just signed an “underpinning” agreement with City College Plymouth.

It has already brought in 66 Chinese students to the Tamar House and Royal building developments, at St Andrew’s Cross, and Gull House, at Mutley.

“We have a January induction as well,” Mr Hutchins said. “This is a first for the college to go to a management company.”

He said CSL, which has a portfolio of 2,000 rooms in Plymouth, was now producing literature written in Chinese to sent to prospective students.

And it is creating a version of its website – written in Chinese.

In May CSL won two trophies at the national Lettings Agency of the Year Awards in London.

The company picked up a bronze award for innovation and silver in the best student letting category at a glittering ceremony at the Lancaster Hotel, just off Bayswater Road.

It followed this by achieving accreditation with Unipol, a national body which sets professional standards for student accommodation.

“Our buildings went through a thorough inspection,” Mr Hutchins said. “They looked at our service to students and our care of students.

“We are the first Plymouth-based management company to get accreditation.

“We now have that for five blocks and another four awaiting accreditation.

“We are now providing world-lass accommodation in one of the safest cities in the world with some of the best educational facilities.”

Read more:
(Publicity generated by Dorcas Media).

DORCAS BREAKING NEWS: The Rockhoppas the homecoming, episodes one & two, now on our website