Sulets is a student lettings agency born out of a belief that Leicester students needed an honest, fair, and transparent housing service.
Launched in 2012 without a single property but a plan to improve standards, treat landlords and tenants fairly, be honest and transparent and be the sort of place that anyone would want to work for.
Today, Sulets has a code of standards, a separate landlord review site, house 2500 tenants, and a 94% student approval rating. Other than the Universities, we are the largest provider of student accommodation in Leicester.
Sulets’ people have been at the centre of this journey, and they would not have achieved what we have done without them.
They based the entire business on fairness, which runs through the operation from the customers to the suppliers and the staff.
Sulets pride themselves on having achieved IIP Gold, and internal staff reviews show 100% staff engagement.
We spoke to Irving Hill about what winning an IIP award would mean to them and what the future holds.
Why did you enter The Investors in People Awards 2021?
Being recognised as a great employer is good for business as it gives customers and potential employees confidence that you are an outstanding company to work with.
However, the real reason we applied is to celebrate the people’s success that makes Sulets what it is. We know that Sulets is great, and we want the world to know it too!
What does being shortlisted mean to everyone at your company?
It was a big surprise! We were over the moon to achieve IIP Gold, a specific target we sought to accomplish this year. However, it was a real shock to be put forward for a national award.
Gaining that sort of recognition is fantastic, and it is good to know that other people think you do a good job too. The staff are very excited, and we have already scheduled to all watch the awards on Zoom.
What would it mean to win?
It would be a fantastic achievement and a great honour to win a national award. Like so many other sectors of the economy, education has been badly affected by the pandemic, and winning would be a real morale boost for the team.
Moreover, it would show that treating people fairly is not only morally the right thing to do but makes good business sense. The industry we work in is not always associated with this way of thinking, so that we can act as a real beacon of good practice in the local market with this award.
How does being shortlisted benefit your customers?
The lettings industry, so that it is fair to say, does not have the best reputation. Achieving IIP status shows the world that we are a well-run business that cares about our people, and happy, supported, and enthusiastic people make great employees.
Given that our customers trust us with a costly asset (their property) or where they will be living for the next year, knowing that we have achieved a national award and have been shortlisted for an award gives our landlords and tenants real confidence they’re in safe hands.
How would you use being the recipient of this award to influence others?
Sulets is built on fairness. When we first launched the company, we created a code of standards that we use as a requirement for any landlords joining our service. This has directly pushed up standards, and we believe, has affected our competitors.
We see this award as another example of how our work can be a positive example to others in our sector, that if you want to thrive and grow in a competitive market, you need to bring your staff with you on the journey.
What can we expect to see from your organisation in the next 12 months? (And beyond!)
Sulets has just started our latest service expansion as we have just purchased our first property, which takes us from being an agent to being the landlord. We see this as a natural progression where we can grow our business and create a sustainable future.
What advice would you give to anyone applying for The Investors in People Awards 2022?
Entering the Investors in People Awards is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your organisation and the people behind your journey to success. We would 100% recommend applying!
Part of IIP is not only treating your people well but also highlighting and celebrating your success together. Being shortlisted and hopefully winning is the perfect way to promote what makes you stand out in a crowded marketplace.