CITY DWELLER MAGAZINE CAUGHT UP WITH JAMES SMART, THE MAN BEHIND LEEDS PROPERTY BUSINESS INVESTMENT & MANAGEMENT.
Most people are intimidated by the property business. What inspired you to get into it?
My father has always been a serial property investor and as a result, it has always been a passion of mine. I’ve always been interested in what is happening in the property market and the way prices fluctuate has always fascinated me. There’s always going to be a market for property because everyone needs somewhere to live. I actually studied architecture at university because, to me, there’s nothing better than a beautiful piece of architecture or building full of character.
I have been working in Leeds for just over six years now, within the property industry. I began my career in lettings to get to grips with the industry but I always aspired to have my own company. The inspiration behind starting Smart Investment & Management was to be able to give a great level of service and knowledgeable honest advice to all clients whether they are experienced or new to property investment.
What exactly can Smart Investment & Management offer to our readers?
We offer a range of services, from someone wanting to buy their first home, to lettings, management and helping investors find perfect buy-to-let opportunities for themselves. I manage everything from open market sales to dealing with investors and working to acquire buildings for people. Basically, if someone tells me their criteria, I can source the best opportunities to meet their individual requirements. I am planning to specialise in the buy-to-let market, finding our investors the best investments possible.
At my previous company, we had people coming up to us and saying “Your service has been great but could you also manage the property for me?” but it wasn’t something we offered. So the inspiration for me doing lettings and management is to keep everything under one roof, it’s essentially a one stop shop for property.
What do you think separates Smart Investment & Management from your competitors?
I would say it’s the level of personal service. I always strive to give that high level of customer service and people often come back to me and say they’re thinking about investing into property, they haven’t even looked yet but they want to know what I can do for them first! I love that feeling of people coming to me and saying “you’re the person I want to deal with”.
Why do you think your company is so well suited to the people of Leeds?
Leeds is a thriving city, the developments and the growth of the city is phenomenal. I always strive to make sure my knowledge is up to speed with what’s happening in the area, the new developments and the changes in the city that will have an effect on the market in five years time. I can point out key areas for people who are planning to stay in Leeds long term so they don’t have to worry whether something is a good investment as I can offer and offload my knowledge of the industry and city to them, guiding them from start to finish.
What would you say is the best part about your job?
Apart from the excitement of finalising a deal, the thing that gives me the most joy is clients coming up to after they’ve dealt with me and they say “James, I really appreciate everything you’ve done, this is working out for me.”
It’s the words ‘we trust you’ that are really important to me.
To contact James Smart and Smart Investment & Management for yourself, ring 0113 887 8158 or head to: www.smarttim.co.uk