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Waterford’s First and Foremost Letting Company Setting the standard for Renting & Letting since 1997

‘Celebrates 15 years in business’

Meet the team

Maria Clifford Susan O’Keeffe Cormac Finlay Nora O’Byrne Miriam Colfer

I arrived in Waterford in 1995 on a bus, to set up an apart hotel, Adelphi Wharf Suites, as my background was in hotel management. Two years on I decided to set up my business in Waterford. Living on the coast beside beautiful beaches isn’t something I grew up with, so I really value the beauty and quality of life here in Waterford. There wasn’t anywhere else I would have considered to set up my business. With so much history, culture, world class festivals, I can honestly say, ‘I love living here.’ The great thing about Waterford is that whilst it has all the facilities you’d expect from a major regional capital, it is also wonderfully intimate, which makes it quite easy to

meet other people, to network and to really find out what’s going on. It’s hard to believe it’s 15 years since opening my first office over Sasha on Broad Street. I was a young girl - brave and naive. An employment grant from Waterford City Enterprise Board and an overdraft facility given to me by Bank Of Ireland enabled me to pursue my ambitions to set up Waterford’s very first property letting and management company. Right now I’m proud to have a great team with me and between us we have over 40 years experience setting the standard for renting and letting in Waterford. Our business is about people and not just property, and we specialise in finding people homes. Despite challenging times we are confident that people will always need to rent and landlords will always need an agent they can trust.


CONTENTS 2 3 4-5 6-7 8-9 10-11 12-13 14-15 16

Meet the Team Introduction From the beginning Sweet success Caring for the Community Taking chances Property advice Client testimonials With thanks Directors Regina Mangan and Maria Clifford

From the beginni In the fifteen years we’ve been in business we have moved offices four times, started out before an apartment block in Waterford was even built, and in this time we have seen the industry go from property boom to property crash. Being the first property letting business in Waterford back in 1997, it took several years to build a substantial property portfolio. There were difficult times and I worked in event management part-time to ensure the bills were paid. By 2006 we had won some large contracts and so by this time we were established as Waterford’s foremost letting company. Professional landlords soon realised how crucial it was to hire an expert to manage their investment. When it comes to running a business in tough times, I’ve been here before, the difference is now I’m wiser and have lots of lessons behind me and I have an outstanding team with me. The things that have helped shape to be the business it is today: 1. It starts with the values and optimism my mother gave me. 2. My bank Manager, Nora Widger, who stuck with me when things were tough. 3. The Waterford City Enterprise board who gave me the grant that made it possible and who have been there for advice and support over the years. 4. My mentors over the years, in particular Billy

Right: Our first office on Broad Street and far right: our second office on the Quay.

Power who I am dearly fond of. I truly respect and value his wisdom, great advice, support and friendship. The late Robbie Walker who helped me hugely to bring about the changes needed to bring the business to the place it is today, he was my business therapist and a great friend. Being in business can be lonely and I can’t highlight enough how instrumental a role mentoring has played for my business and of course my own development. With our mentors’ support we have top class financial management, technology, processes and systems that make the success it is today. 5. The team, Maria Clifford, my amazing fellow director who started out in the company eight years ago as a part-time receptionist; Susan O’Keeffe, Nora O’Byrne, Miriam Colfer and Cormac Finlay. I read a long time ago that if you want to be successful then you should surround yourself with people who are better at stuff than you and that’s exactly what I have done. Between us we have over 40 years setting the standards in renting and letting property in Waterford. 6 . Our loyal and valued tenants and landlords who have trusted us to take care of their property needs. 7 My beautiful little boy Pierce who has given me the perspective to know what’s really important in life. We are grateful for the past 15 years and look forward to celebrating the next milestone.


Our third office on Lombard Street and below our current location on Parnell Street.

Sweet success The success of isn’t down to one magic formula, but a number of small successes along the way that have helped build the brand to be recognised as Waterford’s premier letting company, setting the standards for renting and letting since 1997. On a personal note, Regina was awarded South East Business Woman of the Year runner-up by the South East Enterprise Boards in 2010 and was the youngest President of Network Waterford during her term in 1997. In 2011 Regina was asked by Waterford City Council to become an Ambassador for Waterford, promoting the city wherever she could. “I’m proud to tell people that I live here, a city of culture and beauty”, says Regina. Maria Clifford, Director of and sister company Liberty Blue, received a distinction in Facility & Property Management from Portobello Institute Dublin in 2011 and that same year Liberty Blue was awarded Brand of the Year by the South East Marketing Institute. Securing the management and lettings of some high profile developments in Waterford means that has the widest choice of quality apartments for tenants. Their exclusive portfolio includes Railway Square, The Courtyard at The Fitzwilton, Glencove Apartments, John’s Bridge, James Gate and Mount Suir. They have an extensive portfolio of houses in most areas and accommodate professionals, corporate, families and students. The company was ranked No. 1 letting agency in Waterford by in 2011.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. -- Robert Collier

Caring for the com Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a vital part of Bookaroom and there is always some project on the go behind the scenes. One that is most recognisable on a day to day basis is The Open Door on Michael Street. Regina and her team took responsibility for the design and fitting out of the South East Simon Charity Shop in 2009. Mentoring has played a huge role for Regina both personally and in business development. Thanking those who were there for her she says: “Billy Power and the late Robbie Walker will always be dear to me for the knowledge and support they passed on to me.” In return, Regina takes her role now as a mentor very seriously with the FAB (Females At Business) programme, which is an initiative run by the Waterford City Enterprise Board and Network Waterford. Last year Regina was asked by Waterford City Council to be one of 12 Ambassadors for the City. This is a new initiative that involves a range of different people from the arts to small and large business to sports. Their job is to promote this city outside of Waterford. “It is a really great honour and one I try to deliver on whenever I get the opportunity,” says Regina. But CSR is not just all about business and Regina played a huge role in the greatest event in the history of Waterford - The Tall Ships. She was delighted when the chairman, Des Whelan, asked her to organise the fashion show “Waterford Decked Out” on the Russian Tall Ship, which proved to be massive success raising funds for the Solas Centre and attracting national media like TV3’s Expose and RTE’s Nationwide.


We’re not afraid to stand outut Below: Model Lisa Kavanagh in Tramore with breakfast compliments of for Ryan Tubridy when he presented his radio programme from the Prom.

Renting is “In Vo Property has been very topical over recent times and we all know that property prices have dropped considerably. In the past a lot of our existing tenants would have considered renting to be dead money, that viewpoint has now changed dramatically. Irish people are now coming round to the European mentality of renting long term and buying a home is no longer the priority it once was. In 2011 we rented to 20% more Irish people than previous years. The influx of other nationalities has also had a really positive impact on our rental market. Here in we have continued to find the market extremely busy. There is a strong demand for properties on the Dunmore Road, Ferrybank and the city centre. However, tenants do not want or will not accept old fashioned, dated or rundown properties. They want a home that is well presented, modern and of course well priced. Last year we rented over 700 properties to a range of different people from various walks of life. They included chefs, factory workers, nurses, doctors, teachers, city council staff, mature and first time students, families, emergency service workers, office workers, call centres employees and 35% of all were in

receipt of social welfare. People will always need to rent and so, despite the gloomy discussions, there is a strong demand for rental property within Waterford. Rent prices have dropped over the past few years but property investments should be viewed long term. Rents will increase again in time and positive change is inevitable. Landlords though do need to consider the profile of the tenant they place in their property. If using the services of a professional letting company make sure they don’t rent to just any old tenant. Your property is one of your biggest life investments. We turn away at least half of the people who enquire daily in our office. Quite simply, won’t hand over the keys to your property to anyone that we wouldn’t be happy to have living in a property of our own. Our policy is that it is better to leave a property empty than rent to an unsuitable tenant. All prospective tenants are checked out to the highest standards, using a 10-point approval matrix. It’s the properties and tenants we reject that make our business a success. Less than 1% of our tenants have been evicted as a result of non payment of rent and anti social behaviour. So choosing the right tenant is everything.


Clients & testimon have continuously had a 100% success rate with service charge collection since 2007. Over the last five years they have

As chairman of Glencove Property

continuously reduced our costs without impacting

Management Limited, I have been fortunate

on quality.

enough to have Regina and Maria as our property

David B. O Hanlon,

managers for five of the fifteen years they have

Director Railway Square Ltd

been in business. I serve in a volunteer position, and have always said that if we were ever to lose Bookaroom as our managers, the development

I have been dealing with for

would need to find a new chairman, because I

two years and I do not think it is possible to meet a

would resign. A great team with the highest ethics

group of people who are as professional, courteous

– congratulations and may the next fifteen years

and obliging. I would wholeheartedly recommend

be even more successful – you’ve earned it.

them to anyone as being the best of the best.

Faye Armstrong & Richard Michaelides,

Robert Jackman, Tenant

Glencove, Waterford.

Regina and Maria have managed John‘s Bridge apartment Management for the last 15 months. As a director of this apartment complex I have been very impressed with Bookaroom. They run a very professional office and have very high standards which leads to peace of mind for property owners. Ernest Levingstone, Property Owner


Supported by – 051 324280 – 086 0730843 – 086 1607191

051 374016 36 Parnell Street, Waterford. Tel: 051 85 81 82 - 051 357813 Produced by celebrates 15 in business

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