Taking our Q&A this week is Darren Ludbrook, the managing director of Yorkshire Quick Sale.
Why did you start your business in the first place?
I’ve worked in property for all my life, and I saw that there was a big gap in the market in West Yorkshire for investors looking to grow their portfolios. West Yorkshire is a huge up and coming area for property, as we’re seeing a lot of investment coming up North, and businesses moving here. For investors, both locally and out of the area, they needed somewhere that is specialised for their needs and to meet their demand for purchasing and developing property.
What is your business motto?
The motto of Yorkshire Quick Sale is ‘the one that works’. I think a lot of people start businesses to meet needs that they have themselves, and that was definitely the case with me. When I first started in property, I would have loved to have had a place where I can buy and sell investment properties quickly, simply and affordably, and Quick Sale meets all those needs. It’s a service made by investors for investors.
What advice would you give to anyone starting their own business?
Whether you’re a one-man band or running a big team, you have to be on top of the numbers in your business, so you know exactly what’s happening. Number crunch every day. so you never have any nasty surprises. On top of that, you’ve got to work really hard, because everyone else will be doing and you can’t afford to fall behind.
What was the biggest challenge you faced starting your business?
For Quick Sale, it was very hard for us at the beginning as we had to build up a customer base made of two very different kinds of people. Nobody would want to sell their property with us if there were no buyers, and nobody would come to us to buy if we had no properties! We had to reach out to both audiences at the same time to make sure everybody was happy and got what they wanted.
What do you enjoy most about being self-employed?
I love meeting people, and not being stuck behind a desk for eight hours a day. Due to the wide variety of properties we sell, as well as the large area we cover, Quick Sale is a very mobile business, and I love being able to get out and about.
What do you enjoy least about being self-employed?
Late nights! Being self-employed, you can’t just shut your computer off at the end of the day and pick it up tomorrow. You will be on call at all times, and it can be tiring after a long time.
Which business figure do you most admire and why?
I admire the work of Peter Jones, who most people will know from Dragon’s Den. He’s excellent with numbers and often it feels like he knows the outcome of a deal before it even happens. If you watch him on the TV, you can see that he’s always calculating the risk of an investment, but he knows exactly what he’s looking for and can make a decision quickly. That’s vital in business.
What achievement in your career are you most proud of?
In 2016 I was awarded the Gold Award at the British Property Awards and was recognised as the best estate agent in the Halifax area. To go from nothing to such an achievement in only a few years is something to be proud of. That commitment to customers, and that knowledge of property, is what has led Yorkshire Quick Sale to becoming a successful business so quickly.
Where do you see your business going in the next five years?
Our plan is to expand beyond West Yorkshire to meet the needs of investors across all of Yorkshire. We would like to grow our offering as well, so that we sell more commercial properties and portfolios of residential properties.
If you could invent one new product, what would it be?
If there was some kind of machine that screens staff straight away it would save employers a lot of headaches! When you hire people, you don’t know whether they’ll be good or bad. If I had a machine that could tell me straight away it would make life a lot easier, but you never know with people until you try.
If you could work for one company, who would it be and why?
I’ve been self-employed for most of my life, and I can never see myself working for anybody else. I think a lot of businesspeople will agree with me that being an entrepreneur isn’t something you can just give up and go work somewhere else, it’s in your blood.