Security Director Stuart Woolgar celebrates 10 years in the Security Property Industry
Posted on November 13, 2015.
Stuart has been at the forefront in the Vacant Property Security Industry for the past 10 years, including the recent development of BS 8584 Vacant Property Protection. We interviewed him for his experience and knowledge of Vacant Property Security Solutions and how it betters the lives of Property Guardians and Property Owners.
What made you want to start your own property guardian company?
After 6 years in the Property Guardian Industry he witnessed the growth and the untapped potential of the market.
Stuart had previously created two distinct business units with his previous guardian company and had numerous ideas which could only be implemented through a new company.
What are the benefits to you and property guardians/property owners?
Stuart has said that he has benefited because it enabled him to bring his ideas into reality. By focusing on the needs of Property Guardians and Property Owners, both parties benefit by receiving a better quality of service and a wider variety of services available.
What are your strengths as a company?
‘Our strengths are that we put the needs of our Property Guardians and Property Owners first and are continually looking at developing our business to offer them the best solution for their circumstances. We provide best value for money, for both Property Guardians and Property Owners. We always go the extra mile to give something positive back.”
How have you progressed/grown?
‘We have grown by over 100% since 2011, within this time frame, we have eclipsed all our competitors in the market place by becoming the largest and most respected property guardian company. We have also introduced 13 new services to enhance the property guardian solution. We are the market leader in property guardian services as we currently manage over 1,000 guardians within 200 properties. We regularly give talks and seminars to the property industry as part of our CPD membership, and regularly attend exhibits at trade shows to ensure that we keep property professionals up to date with the best vacant property security measures. Within the next 18 months, I would like us to be access the whole of the UK with several new offices opening. Once that is achieved, I would like to expand our influence with offices throughout Europe.’
What have you personally achieved with Global Guardians?
‘I personally developed a total facilities management service for clients to ensure safety and security of their buildings. This included providing full management services for occupied buildings with commercial tenants. I was also personally responsible for creating an efficient way to monetise empty properties through film, location, higher photo shoots, local events, car parking and other inventive ideas.’
What is your current company status?
‘Since forming Global Guardians, we have raised the bar in terms of the living conditions provided to property guardians. For example, we were the first company to provide central heating and white goods for property guardians. We were the first company to implement a head guardian management system. We were also the first guardian company to legally terminate a licence agreement with 4 weeks notice. A full safety measurement is now implemented to every property management. We have recently helped to develop the British Standard 8584.So from humble beginnings with an alternative property guardian company which looked after run down commercial buildings with little attention to Health and Safety, to the end of 2015 with Global Guardians, we are proactively looking after the needs of our property guardian and property owners and our staff. The industry has come a long way and will continue to grow.”
Where would you like to be in the market and how will you get there?
‘We have created a 5 year and 10 year plan, setting our goals and targets. This will include a dynamic fast paced recruitment plan to find local people with the right skill sets, experience and ethos to continue our reputation as the best property guardian company on the market. Regional analysis, area demographics, logistics, marketing and financial budgets have been agreed and we’ll push forward with our plans to expand in 2016.’
What are your main priorities as a company?
- Staff development, through career progression and training courses.
- Retaining current clients and developing deeper relationships with them.
- Attaining new clients.
- Forming strategic alliances and partnerships with suppliers to improve our business reach and delivery.
- Enhancing the areas and local communities where we work.
What are the changes within the industry over the past 10 years?
‘The industry has changed massively. In 2005 there was only a handful of people in the UK who had even heard of property guardians. When I first started in the industry there were less than 100 guardians in the whole of the UK. The only competition at the time were the traditional security methods. Intruder alarms and CCTV had become fashionable at the time. The first buildings with property guardians were run down factories and derelict commercial buildings in Hackney, London. Properties were taken on with little or no adherence to Health and Safety. At one point, the Head of Sales explained to me: ‘if we had to have an NIC Electrical Certificate for every building our guardians occupied, we would have no business.’ The first end user of property guardian services were private developers looking to save money protecting their commercial properties. At the time, the amount of end users increased to include local authorities, housing association, NHS Trusts, fixed charge receivers, religious education, educational establishments and many other vacant property owners. Now in 2015 we are looking at an increasingly regulated business with far greater care and attention dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of the property guardians, guests, neighbours, local people and the buildings protected. I believe that the next ten years will see the property guardian model accepted as a regulated security method on a par with the traditional security methods. This way more and more people across the UK will be able to benefit from this excellent service’