Mo Ali is the director of Martin & Co Woking, an award-winning local estate agent, and part of TPFG (The Property Franchise Group). They have recently expanded their services to include property management and have been partnering with B-hive for about 6 months.
Mo Ali started his working life in sales, first in the motor trade and then in IT. Five years ago he brought that expertise into property lettings and sales.
When Mo took over Martin & Co’s Woking branch, he already knew what it takes to run a company, having owned his own IT company for 15 years!
Throughout his career, property has always been a passion of Mo’s, going back to his early 20s. As his property portfolio grew, some of them were managed by Martin & Co Woking, and when him and his business partner discovered that the current owner was retiring, they seized the opportunity.
Relationship-building is at the heart of Mo’s business. He loves to talk to people, to communicate, and to deliver what he has said he will. This approach has certainly been working for Martin & Co, they are an award-winning local estate agent, with almost 200 5-star reviews.
Mo believes that, although for a while everything was online, after the pandemic things are turning around, people are looking for that personal service and that’s what Martin & Co can offer.
“When we took over Martin & Co, Woking, the branch was small. But we have worked hard on turning it into the frontrunner estate agency in the area. We have moved to a new building that we own, with state-of-the-art IT and telephone systems. The whole place has had a new interior design – some friends of mine from Italy came over to do it. We have a team of 8, 7 full-time and 1 part-time. The staff turn-over is low, which I’m really proud of, and some of our team members are people I’ve known for decades!”
When the team started offering block management services, they found that service levels from some previous property management companies had not been up to par, and some residents were very dissatisfied. Mo wanted to change things and make a really positive impact. And, in just 3-4 months, they have already secured 9 blocks.
The Property Franchise Group (TPFG), for which Martin & Co are one of the leading brands, introduced the initiative of their franchises partnering with B-hive in order to start offering block management services. B -hive, after the initial training, have helped the team at Woking to build their portfolio. “We have also had a few directly referred clients where we need to go and pitch. Our Head of Property Management, Ian (we’ve known each other for 10 years) is great at that. We have also had support at pitches from Becky, who is part of the B-hive team.”
Mo is looking to expand their block management portfolio with some larger buildings of perhaps around 100-200 units. Currently their properties are mainly mid-size, with the biggest having 50 units and the smallest 8 units. Mo says, “We want people to know that we can offer different things. There are a lot of unhappy and disappointed tenants and leaseholders out there and we want to help them. Martin & Co have always had a good reputation and we want to continue that. Adding block management to our services is a big help as we were ready to diversify. And to make it work you really do need experienced people, that’s why having B-hive behind us is so great.”
B-hive Block Management Partners have trained four of Mo’s team, including Mo himself, on all of the rudimentals of block management and the Dwellant system – the online portal which allows for transparent, instant, logged communication between tenants and property managers.
Mo’s last great piece of advice is; “We are in the service industry so – there’s a clue in the name – service is key!” For Mo and his team, they know that issues will arise, that’s just part of life, but it’s all about dealing with them efficiently and effectively.
We see a bright future for Mo and his team at Martin & Co Woking and are excited to see what properties they bring on next.