We love chatting to our clients about their businesses. Here we talk to Jason Griffiths, of Swindon Property Group. Jason and his colleagues have recently moved into the newly refurbished top floor of Kingston House in Swindon, and he says he’s very happy to be there! Welcome Jason and team.
Tell us about your background
I have been a mortgage, protection and insurance adviser for more than 30 years, first at Barclays Bank and then the last 13 years as owner and director of Swindon Property Group. We are an independent mortgage broker, which means we can access hundreds of mortgages and find the most appropriate mortgage to meet our clients’ needs. Our advisers are all qualified to CeMAP Diploma level – the highest qualification available in our industry.
Swindon Property Group is an independent local business and we pride ourselves not only on going the extra mile for our clients, but also on our great relationships with other local companies.
My personal passion, since having children, is encouraging children into team sports. We’ve been able to support this over recent years by sponsoring two youth football teams, Swindon Robins FC and now Croft FC. We also sponsored a once in a lifetime trip to Quebec for the Swindon Pumas U13 Ice Hockey team, to take part in an International tournament in February 2020.
Why did you decide to base your office at Kingston House, Swindon?
After 13 years in the town centre, our leased office was no longer meeting our needs. We looked at alternative leased offices but quickly dismissed this option as nowhere offered adequate parking for all our team and we found this solution wouldn’t provide the time/cost benefits.
We looked at several serviced office providers in the Swindon area and it was Kingston House that met all our needs and felt like home.
Why did you choose Rombourne as your serviced office provider?
Great location – easily accessible, in a business park (rather than an industrial estate), which we soon realised was important for clients when they are visiting, and plenty of parking.
Swindon Rombourne Centre Manager Danielle Mottram was open and honest with us upfront, and also answered all our later questions fully, without pestering us. This wasn’t the same experience everywhere we visited.
What type of office space did you require?
We were looking for two interconnecting offices or a larger office and smaller private meeting room. We regularly see clients at our office, so it was important to us to have our own space for meetings. Although we will also make use of the hireable meeting space for our team meetings.
How did you find out about Rombourne?
We researched online for serviced offices in Swindon.
What were your main requirements when looking for a new office?
Coming from Swindon town centre, easy and free parking and decent broadband were high on our wishlist after years of being frustrated by both. Secondly, space!
We also wanted somewhere easily accessible to all our team, as we live in all different directions in Swindon, and with flexible opening hours as we often have evening and weekend appointments.
How does Rombourne meet the needs of your business?
It’s a friendly yet professional environment and, most importantly, our team are happy here. Clients who have visited are impressed with the modern look and feel, and the friendly and welcoming reception.
We have access to the office 24/7 and this flexibility to vary our working hours, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, has been invaluable while we all juggled the various restrictions of home-schooling and shielding.
What is your favourite thing about your office?
The big windows letting in the natural light! I had no idea how dark our old office was until we came to Kingston House. Closely followed by the super reception and the plentiful parking.
How has Rombourne helped your business grow and develop?
We have spent 13 years in a commercial lease, and the costs, time, and legal and compliance responsibilities involved just to open the doors are considerable. Now, we pay one invoice a month to Rombourne and don’t ever have to think about the best price for utilities or whether our fire escapes are clearly marked!
This obviously means we now have the time, energy and focus to concentrate on generating business and providing the best service we can to our clients.
Would you recommend Rombourne to other businesses? If so tell us why
Absolutely! Kingston House is modern, fresh and in an easily accessible location. But aside from the physical office, the people here are great too. From the very first visit to the seamless move-in and now day-to-day, Danielle and the reception team have always been friendly, efficient, and very patient with all our questions while we settled in.
What office essential(s) do you take to work? Which ones can’t you live without?
I can’t live without coffee and ham sandwiches. I’m surgically attached to my phone and laptop, so I don’t need to remember them!
What advice would you give businesses when choosing a new office space?
There are many serviced offices in Swindon, but they all offer slightly different set-ups and services. Don’t just look at the rent cost. Visit a few (even if you fall in love with the first one you see!), ask lots of questions and take lots of notes.
In the end we had a spreadsheet covering how each office met our needs for space, IT, telephone, costs etc., so we could keep track of all the different offerings. But also, don’t ignore your gut feeling. Only you know your business and whether it will fit with the environment on offer.
Three of us visited Kingston House and all of us said we could see ourselves working here. We didn’t get this feeling anywhere else and found we were trying too hard to convince ourselves on the others.
What would be your number one office etiquette tip?
I know exactly what my team would say to this one: “Don’t pace the corridors on your mobile phone.” I’m still working on this one – it’s a hard habit to break!
Thank you Jason – it’s such a pleasure to have you and the Swindon Property Group team as our clients in Swindon.
At Rombourne, we offer superior serviced office space in Bristol, Cardiff, Newport and Swindon. If you are thinking of relocating to one of these great towns and cities, please get in touch to see how we can help you achieve a seamless office move.