Why are lettings and estate agencies so bad, and why do customers put up with it?
This was the question that led to UMEGA being started by two childhood friends. Neil & Andy grew up across the street from each other and spent their formative years playing Nintendo and dreaming about the day they would start a letting agency. Ok, only two of those things are true, but the important part is that when they left home and joined the real world, letting agencies treated them, as tenants, like an inconvenience rather than customers. They went on to realise that landlords, sellers and buyers were not being treated much better.
When Neil & Andy made the decision to start a lettings and estate agency, it was because theirs would look after people. Treat customers as they wished they’d been treated rather than negative experiences they had to go through when they left home.
Over the last 16 years, this simple and obvious approach has led to Umega becoming one of the biggest agencies in Scotland. UMEGA is recognised as the best medium-sized letting agency in the UK and the best overall agent in Scotland. UMEGA is also ranked in the top 100 Best Companies to Work For in the UK.
Taking care of people has never been more important in our industry and it’s as evident in UMEGA’s approach as it’s ever been. The demand for UMEGA’s services has never been greater as tenants, landlords, home sellers and buyers, wake up to the realisation that they shouldn’t settle for 1-star treatment when their home is at stake.
Excitingly, UMEGA’s work is just beginning.
This ethos of taking care of people underpins our 4 values
With our customers, suppliers, and employees
We’re not afraid to behave and think for ourselves. Being brave in making decisions, having direct conversations, giving and receiving feedback and staying committed to our goals.
We strive to understand and deliver a better experience for our customer and colleagues. We don’t put off getting started and we always, always make progress, moving forward towards our shared goal.
about what we’re capable of and what we aim to achieve
We started from humble beginnings in an office smaller than a garage in Corstorphine what seems like several lifetimes ago. We’ve steadily grown Umega since then earning a reputation as one of Scotland’s leading property agencies.
Here are some of the key points in the Umega story so far:
Instructed as managing agent for Edinburgh Council's mid-market rent portfolio, Edinburgh Living
Launched our new Home Repairs service
Umega has been identified as one of the top estate agents and in the country and now features in the Best Estate Agents Guide
Umega has been identified as one of the top letting agents and in the country and now features in the Best Estate Agents Guide
Recognised at #66 in top 100 small companies to work for in the UK
We’ve gone ‘net zero’ by offsetting 5 tonnes of carbon a month through planting trees in Scotland to help combat climate change
Best Companies - We reached 1 Star status with Best Companies Employee Engagement Specialists meaning we have ‘Very Good’ levels of workplace engagement
We achieved Carbon Footprint Standard meaning we’re deemed to be an Environmentally responsible organisation
We won the hotly contested UK Letting Agency of the year and Scottish Agency of the year at the Negotiator Awards
We won the Best Estate Agent Guide's Exceptional award for Lettings!
Our first New Homes Sales instruction
We started work on the Best Companies framework to measure ourselves against the top companies in the UK.
We launched Umega’s Property Sales estate agency service.
We were awarded Letting Team of the Year for the 3rd year running at the Scottish Home Awards
We switched to remote working and adapted our services in response to the COVID pandemic.
Became the highest rated letting agent in the UK on Google
Crowned Residential Letting Team of the Year at the Scottish Home Awards for 2nd year running
Opened our new Quartermile Headquarters
Reach 1,000 properties under management milestone
Won Letting team of the year at the Herald Property Awards
We were awarded Residential Letting Team of the Year for the first time at the Scottish Home Awards.
Letting Agent Registration Commences in Scotland
PRT (Private Rented Tenancy) launched in Scotland
Became Investors in People Silver Accredited
Umega Quartermile opens for business
Launch Staff Property Fund - a world first!
Become a B Corp Accredited business using business as a force for good - the first accredited private company in Scotland
We improved our service offering by hiring our first in-house maintenance technician.
We joined ARLA Propertymark and became voluntarily regulated. This helped support higher standards and cleaning up of the letting sector. We also joined the Safe Agent campaign and The Property Ombudsman in the same year.
Earned Investors in People and Investors in Young People accreditations
Scottish Government introduces compulsory Tenancy Deposit Scheme
After a year in Bruntsfield, we moved to a new head office on Marchmont Road that we called home for the next 10 years!
We moved to a new Bruntsfield office on the corner of Viewforth and Gilmore Place and we hired our first employee.
We changed name from Links Property Management to Umega Lettings. Umega was born!
Landlord Register introduced in Scotland
Links Property Management is born in Corstorphine. We shared a desk phone that was also a fax machine! The old office is now a hairdresser.