Who are you?
I joined Glide in 2011 and am responsible for overseeing the external and internal sales teams. Over this time I've helped the entrepreneurial spirited company grow its turnover from £4.9 million to approximately £20 million. Alongside my work at Glide, I'm an avid football fan and spend my spare time as a semi-professional referee. I'm also a private landlord, with a 3-bed professional house in Birmingham; naturally I use Glide to keep my tenants happy!
Can you remind us how Glide works?
Glide was set up in 2006 as the first company in the UK to deliver complete utility packages to landlords and letting agents of shared households, providing them with one single bill to cover all utilities across their entire portfolio, making it easy for them to offer all-inclusive rates to their tenants.
Our mantra is bills made simple, life made simple. We exist to take the pain and stress out of utility bills, so our customers can offer tenants what they want, while having more time to do the things they enjoy.
You recently announced that you're offering landlords a risk free bill inclusive package. Can you explain how this works?
In February Glide launched Risk Free Bills Inclusive, which is an industry first. It works in exactly the same way as our existing product, but we’ve removed any excessive usage costs being billed to landlords. With the new package Glide takes complete control of the usage to ensure tenants don’t exceed their allowance across a portfolio of properties. In the rare event that tenants do exceed their allotted quota, landlords will no longer be responsible for chasing up with tenants to cover the difference, Glide will ask the tenants to pay any additional usage directly meaning landlords and letting agents don’t have to get involved.
Is excessive use a problem then?
In the majority of cases, no. We have years of experience in dealing with shared and student households, therefore we understand multi-tenant usage habits more than anyone. We’re confident in our billing plans and as such, we decided to put our money where our mouth is, and remove any risk as well as the admin for landlords, or indeed letting agents.
If excessive use isn’t a problem, why have you chosen to introduce the package?
All our products are created in response to our customers; listening to their needs, desires, and concerns. Landlords who aren’t currently offering inclusive rates to their tenants can sometimes be nervous about doing so. They’re worried about committing to a contract, which their tenants could abuse; essentially they’re worried they might have the heating on full blast 24 7. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, so it can sometimes be difficult to reassure them. Risk Free Bills Inclusive does exactly that, providing extra reassurance to landlords who may have reservations.
How will this service benefit landlords and their tenants?
We know from research that almost three quarters, (74%), of students living in shared accommodation want a rent package that includes utilities. Landlords are under increased pressure to offer inclusive rates but they don’t want to foot the bill for their tenants usage. Risk Free Bills Inclusive removes any accountability for landlords, while allowing them to offer more appealing rates to attract the right tenants to their properties. Tenants get what they want, giving the landlord more opportunity to fill their properties.
What happens in the event that tenants use less energy?
Risk Free Bills Inclusive from Glide works in exactly the same way as our existing Inclusive billing plan. When tenants use less energy than expected, the landlord will receive a cheque at the end of the tenancy period. We find that some of our customers like to offer this back to their tenants to create positive reviews and loyalty in their local area, which can help when marketing the property, but this decision is entirely with the landlord.
Is the new service up and running, where can we find out more?
Absolutely. Risk Free Bills Inclusive is available now. Landlords can read more information about it here glide.co.uk/riskfree or call our team on 0333 666 5555. Landlords signing up will need to add a specific clause in their tenancy agreement, allowing Glide to bill their tenants, should the need arise. As with all energy companies, it takes around 4-6 weeks to transfer the provision of energy from one supplier to another.