Moving into a new Beechcroft home means having an Estate Manager on hand to organise the upkeep of the development, including the cleaning, maintenance and gardening. The Estate Managers are also on hand to offer help and advice when needed – and to keep an eye on properties giving home owners peace of mind when away on holiday.
The management of Beechcroft developments, including the estate manager service, is handled by ELM. In 2008, Beechcroft selected ELM as a partner attracted by the company’s excellent reputation and vast range of experience. The relationship between the two companies has proved successful and in 2021, Beechcroft helped ELM celebrate its Golden Jubilee: 50 years of providing high-quality management services.
Today, ELM Group is one of the country’s leading estate management companies, providing a tailored approach to all sectors of the residential property market and working with developers, leaseholders, right to manage and housing associations.
From the outset, ELM has aimed to make a difference, listening to customers and to staff, understanding what is important to them and continually finding ways to improve. The Group also strives to be inspirational, generating loyalty and developing future opportunities for growth.
Over the last 14 years, Beechcroft has appreciated the way in which ELM works with its team to manage developments in the way that the customers want.
The group’s story first began in 1971 when the Retirement Lease Housing Association (RLHA) was founded. By 1973, the company completed the UK’s very first leasehold retirement estate at Vicarage Close, Ringmer – which ELM still manages today. 1976 saw another first – the creation of the UK’s first shared ownership scheme.
The 1980s witnessed the company’s growth with RLHA building a number of strategic partnerships with developers and housing associations. By 1987, RLHA owned 265 properties and managed another 211 on behalf of its partners.
When the Association of Retirement Housing Managers was formed at the start of the 1990s, RLHA was a founding member and the Group grew from strength to strength, with 700 properties and an in-house team of 30 members of staff. When Gables Court, the very first retirement estate in the country to exercise Right to Manage, chose its own managing agents, they turned to RLHA.
In 2007, RLHA created a wholly-owned subsidiary called ‘Ethical Leasehold Management’ – or ELM, to manage non-retirement estates. Just a year later, the partnership with Beechcroft was formed and ELM was appointed to manage a number of Beechcroft development.
In 2011, Lorraine Collis took over as the new CEO of the organisation, introducing her progressive business plan ‘The ELM Way’ in 2015. This improved the working environment and both customer and employee satisfaction and set the bar for the level of service, something to live up to.
In 2016, ‘The ELM Way’ training programme was shortlisted as a finalist by the CIPD in their people management awards.
By 2018, the fact that the ELM Group was managing 2,500 properties on 90 estates – 40 owned by RLHA - was evidence of the Group’s incredible achievements.
ELM’s Golden Jubilee year brought even more success. Moving from Aldershot to Frimley, the Group was appointed to manage a further 7 estates and was awarded Silver in The Property Management Company of the Year category of the Negotiator Awards.
In 2020, like so many companies, ELM Group faced challenges but adapted the business, often taking actions that preceded those of the Government.
On one of the Group’s estates in Aldershot, the third group of second-generation residents have moved into the apartments. Relatives of past residents are following in the footsteps of parents and other family members, choosing to live at the estate. The team at ELM is proud of this positive feedback, receiving recommendations from friends and family speaks volumes about the sense of community and the management itself.
Looking ahead, ELM’s pioneering spirit is as alive today as it was in 1971 and the Group will continue to provide a high-quality service on the developments it manages.
“The Estate Manager and his assistant are very helpful and the customer care is wonderful. The whole living experience here at Orford Place is so good.”
, Orford Place
“Gary, the Estate Manager, is extremely helpful. He is always visible – carrying out his work on site, maintaining the gardens and the communal areas. He’s an excellent communicator – providing us with information about all sorts of things and not just those relevant to the development.”
, Maryland Place
“One of the deciding factors in choosing to live at Maryland Place was the estate management service. I don’t have to worry about anything outside – the external windows are cleaned and my private garden is maintained for me. My grass gets cut regularly so I don’t have to take responsibility for that. I like to travel and I’m able to lock my door and go away without worrying about my apartment. The Estate Manager keeps an eye on things and picks up the mail. Last time I was away there was a problem with the security alarm and he sorted it out for me. It’s so nice to have someone like that on hand – and the Estate Manager here is really nice.”
, Maryland Place
ELM employs managers from a wide range of backgrounds – health service, customer service, practical and business backgrounds. Based in an onsite office, they work mornings, Monday to Friday but have mobile phones so home owners are able to contact them in an emergency.
In a ‘typical’ week, the Estate Managers start their days by walking round the communal areas, ensuring that everything is in good order, checking on any repairs. They liaise with gardeners, window cleaners and other contractors, prepare and despatch newsletters and check on properties when owners are away.
ELM ensures that the Estate Managers receiving ongoing training and updates on health and safety and data protection. They send details of any works needed to the after-build team and print out lots of useful information for residents.
“I feel so privileged to be working at Hampton Manor. The estate is stunningly beautiful, so quiet and peaceful – you can hear the birds singing – and it has a real sense of history. It’s a wonderful place to work and I love my job because I am dealing with people which I enjoy - and I get to work outside. We have a team of gardeners to handle the professional gardening work, including mowing the lawns, but every day I spend time sweeping and cleaning the pathways and the car park and checking on the properties here. There’s an abundance of trees at Hampton Manor and it’s important to keep the leaves swept up and to maintain the private and roof top gardens. I like this area of the estate to look kept and tidy, as much as mother nature will allow.”
, Estate Manager
“I love my job – I am semi-retired so it’s ideal. This job is all about meeting people. All the homeowners are all very nice– and some of them have some really interesting life stories. Some of them went through the war and the hardships of the post-war years and they are not strangers to difficult times. The grounds are lovely at Orford Place – and I’m also working at The Clockhouse at West Byfleet at the moment – and the grounds there are beautiful as well.”
, Estate Manager
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