Our guest of today’s Small Business Owner’s interview is Pelin Martin, founder of Blue Crystal Property Management London.

Pelin began her property career in 2006, having joined a large west London-based, well-respected estate agency. Working exclusively in the prime, central, and west London property markets, she achieved record sales, establishing herself firmly as a property agent with expert knowledge on location and purchasing.

Pelin then decided that her heart was in property management and followed that route.

Nowadays, although being a tough negotiator, Pelin Martin is also proud of her trademark warm approach. She is a true professional who gives fully of her time, energy and knowledge and her Company, Blue Crystal Property Management London provides homeowners (local landlords, overseas investors, ex-pats with London properties to manage, and busy corporate management groups) with total peace of mind through complete solutions for all property matters.

Their aim is “to take care of your home so you can get on with your life”

How would you explain your business to someone who has no knowledge of it?

We work with landlords and also look after blocks and estates. Our landlords are abroad and rely on us for all matters related to their property. We ensure all properties comply with regulations and maintenance works are carried out in a timely manner. We are the main point of contact for tenants, leaseholders and freeholders.

How long have you been in this business? And in other businesses?

I used to run a car hire company that I have sold and along with that, I worked as a headhunter and estate agent for many years. I have been involved in property since 2007. Having developed property and worked as an estate agent for many years, I noticed my heart was in the property so I started up Blue Crystal Property Management.

Why did you choose it?

I enjoyed property. I also run West London Property networking, bringing together West London property professionals and people with a serious interest in property to network with peers, share insights and hear from speakers about property investment successes, latest market trends, news, legislation changes and other issues affecting property, particularly with regard to investment and development.

How did you get started?

I think it all starts with making the choice of what is the right profession, or business for us and where our strengths lie. Once I identified that I loved working in the property world, it became easier. We decided on the services we provided and focused on furthering my knowledge of property on a constant basis. I truly believe knowledge is power.

How do you attract your clients?

We always put our clients first. We are also responsible for tenant well being and property well being. I believe our clients recognise it in us that we genuinely care. We only use contractors we would use in our own homes. We treat our clients’ properties as if they are our own. Most of our clients are recommended to us.

Can you describe your customers?

Our customers either are away from their property or they simply don’t have time to deal with their own property. In some cases, they lack the knowledge or experience to manage their properties, blocks or estates. Regulations are constantly changing. Our customers have the need to work with professionals so they know all legalities are met. In many cases, our clients don’t have reliable contractors so they find it easier to hand it over to us.

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years?

We will continue to grow and expand further with the London region.

Which things make you happy as a small business owner?

Hearing a client thank me makes me happy. Our clients know we have their back. We work to provide value.

Which is your best-selling product or service and why do you think your clients love it so much?

It is management. Our core business is management. Our clients love the fact that they can leave it to us while they are getting on with their life. That someone is hands-on when it comes to their property.

Why do your customers select you over your competitors?

With Blue Crystal, our clients are not just a number. We provide personalised service. Our clients notice the difference. It is not easy leaving your property behind, especially when you are abroad. Our clients have a piece of mind as provide them with a smooth running life.

Customer Retention: how do you keep your customers happy?

Our clients are regularly updated every step of the way and we ensure their properties are well maintained.

Which challenges did and do you face, in running your business?

Challenges occur as growth takes place. As we are constantly growing, we come across challenging situations at times. I find that decision making is the most challenging issue as we all live with the consequences of the decisions we make.

Is there any business lesson you learnt through experience that you wish you knew about earlier in life?

Always work with people who have the same values as you.

How do you maintain a good work-life balance?

I ensure work is done during working hours unless they are an emergency. I work out on a regular basis to have a healthy mind and body. I find that it is vital to balance it out in order to make sound decisions and be there for our clients.

Which is your best strategy for time management?

I have a ‘Things to do list’. Anything I remember or am aware that needs to be done goes on the list. This allows me to never miss any details. Also allows me to notice and prioritise which task is more urgent among them.