Steve Wells – Managing Director
How long have you worked in the business and what roles have you undertaken?
I’ve worked in the family business for over 26 years. I started as a teenager collecting rents with my mother. Eventually I got a paid job on the clean and clear away team as part of our maintenance department. When the organisation went computerised in the mid 90’s I started working in the office and after serving a 22 year apprenticeship became the Managing Director!! I worked from the bottom up and there isn’t a job I haven’t done, you could say.
What are the biggest changes you have brought to the business since becoming Managing Director?
I became MD four years ago. The business operated from an old corner shop on Windham Road, Boscombe for many years. One of my first tasks was to design and deliver our new purpose built head office which houses over 100 staff including maintenance and administration. It has its own recycle centre and repair shop, furniture storage, offices and boardrooms, all under one roof. Imagine what life was like when they were all housed in separate locations.
Another key change was to add a few hand-picked people to complement our existing committed team. Managing 100 staff and 3,000 units of accommodation has its complexities so you need a team with the organisational skills to run a business of this size.
The business has changed so now I am building on what my father has handed over to me. We are buying fewer sites, re-investing into the portfolio and developing our sites we have owned for many years. Although we are always looking for good opportunities if you know of any!!
What’s your most recent development?
We have just completed a development of 64 units to rent comprising of one bedroom and studio flats located on Lorne Park Road in the heart of Bournemouth, which are being let as we speak. They are proving popular with young professionals who like modern open plan flats, close to their work place so they save commute time and expense and are within easy reach of great restaurants, entertainment facilities and the beaches.
What’s next for DWP Housing Partnership?
We will continue to develop our sites which include 22 two bedroom houses (with gardens) in Southbourne, again very reasonably priced quality housing for the local rental market.
The changes in the tax system will keep my Financial Director and I busy for a while as we incorporate them into our business plan.
The general upkeep, refurbishment and management never stops as the business continues to grow.
What tips would you give to others looking to build a portfolio?
It’s not as easy as it looks and choosing a good tenant is the key.