Roath Independents Q&A:
Emma James, Director of CPS Homes
After studying at Cardiff University, CPS Homes director, Emma, fell in love with the city (and her Cardiff-born partner – now husband) and wanted to set up life here.
Could you tell us about the CPS Homes story – what inspired you to start it up?
I lived on Shirley Road and Gold Street in Roath during my university days, and while I loved Roath, I realised that students, including myself at the time, weren’t being given the same quality of service by letting agents as professionals were. We set out to change this, and if you look at today’s market, they are now taken far more seriously – both in terms of service and the standard of properties they’re living in.
Our customer base is quite wide – older investment clients, young families, professionals of all ages and, naturally, students. We’ve always prided ourselves on being approachable and honest with our customers, and I think that’s why so many people come back to us. We’ve had quite a few people rent with us as students and, since graduating, have bought investment properties, so they’ve come back to us and asked if we can find them tenants.
What’s the ethos behind CPS Homes? Is there a particular service you aim to offer, and what makes your business unique?
What really marks us out is that we aren’t a national company – our knowledge is of our city, so we know Cardiff and its locals pretty well. We also work to have a frank and honest approach with all of our clients, and we’re always looking to better ourselves and the services we offer. You can guarantee we understand your goals and aspirations because they’re ours too! The only difference is that, at work, we’re on the other side of the desk. Whether you’re a seasoned property investor, a young professional or a young family looking for flexibility in selling your home (crayon marks on the wall and all!), we know your market. Whether renting or buying, we’ve helped thousands of people just like you to find their ideal home, and as we’re all local, we can speak first-hand about our own experiences too.
Why did you choose to open your business in Roath?
Roath really is its own community within Cardiff. There aren’t many areas in Cardiff that offer such a diverse patronage, from families to students to professionals – it has such broad appeal. And who can blame them?! It’s minutes from the city centre and has great transport links, but why would you need to go anywhere else when you have Albany Road and Wellfield Road on your doorstep? No matter what time of day, take a walk down these popular shopping streets and you see a wealth of locals, mums with buggies, business people suited and booted, students, older ladies and gentlemen enjoying their cup of tea and cake. In the summer, the local parks are full of people enjoying time in their community. It’s a hive of activity, this is where our customers flock to, and we just wanted to be part of it. That’s why we have an office on Albany Road!
What sort of response have you had from customers so far?
Though our offices sit next to some very well-known national brands like Darlows and Taylors, we’ve had a great start to the year and received some lovely feedback from vendors and tenants alike. Not only that, but we were surprised to see that our ‘We love Splott’ leaflet had gone viral on Facebook, with residents liking and sharing it with their friends. It’s nice when you can see people like what you’re doing – I think it shows everyone that we’ve got genuine affection for our city.
Do you have any 2014 plans you can share with us?
We’ve always looked to invest back into our local community. This year we’re thrilled to be sponsoring The Great Roath Bake Off! I love to bake, and have incredibly fond memories of learning to make jam tarts with my Nana, so I’m delighted to get stuck into a community event like this.
We also have plans to make the most of our Cardiff Blues sponsorship. We’re hoping to bring some of the players to the local area, as we did last year to support Marlborough Primary School’s Playground Appeal. Stay tuned!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We’d like to offer 20% off all our fees to anybody selling or letting a Roath property with us. Just tell us you saw our offer on RoathCardiff.net at the time of instruction or viewing.
CPS Homes, 66 Albany Road, Roath, CF24 3RR