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Interview of David Hackett
Written by the Landlord Today team
David Hackett, Head of Business Development for The DPS

Who are you and what does it say on your business card?

I’m David Hackett, Head of Business Development for The DPS   

What is your ‘company name’ and what does it do?

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The DPS is the original Government authorised Custodial Deposit Protection scheme, protecting more than 7.2 million deposits since 2007. We offer a choice of our FREE to use Custodial scheme or a competitively priced Insured deposit protection option for letting agents and landlords.

What services do you offer and in what ways do you work with estate and letting agents?

We protect deposits for the lifetime of a tenancy.  We keep things simple with no hidden fees, and a straightforward, intuitive web site that ensures compliance with the relevant legislation and provides transparency for landlords, letting agents and tenants.  If a landlord and tenant can’t agree how much of the deposit should be returned, we also provide a free dispute resolution service to determine how the deposit should be repaid.

What makes your product different and how does it benefit agents?

The vast majority of our customers carry out all of their transactions via our self-service web site, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For those difficult to solve problems we have a team of over 100 providing call centre and correspondence support that receives great feedback.  We also provide free training on the deposit protection process via range of tools and services to help landlords, agents and tenants avoid disputes and/or reach a successful dispute outcome.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role and what made it so special?

Having been with The DPS for almost 10 years, I wouldn’t like to single out any particular moment, but I have to say bringing a new agent onboard and helping them save time, money and effort feels just as great whether it’s a large franchise group, a family run independent or even a student accommodation provider. Being recognised by your peers through industry awards is always a great testament to the work we do, so I’ll include that too!

What is the most satisfying part of your job?

I’d say training sessions with agents. So many of them are really knowledgeable about the industry, and they certainly don’t always hold back on their views! But when we can help them understand legislation, dispute resolution and how they can reduce the number of difficult conversations with landlords and tenants by tweaking some of their processes, it’s really satisfying. There’s no better feeling than one of our clients saying ‘I get it’ and it leading to them having fewer disputes over deposits and better relationships with landlords/tenants as a result.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing estate and letting agents at the moment?

The pandemic is still very much the biggest challenge but as we’ve seen over the years the private rental sector is always asked to adapt and I’m sure we will continue to do so. I see (virtually of course these days) firsthand how quickly agents are able to adapt to ever changing environments and utilise their suppliers and industry relationships to help them grow.

What is your property prediction for the remainder of 2021?

Upsizing of properties - In the last issue of the DPS Rent Index we saw the emergence of a trend towards increased demand for larger homes compared to smaller property types, possibly driven by the prevalence of homeworking driving a need for more spacious housing. In addition, there has also been a switch away from city centre locations to more rural locations, presumably in response to so many people working from home and being less concerned by the length of a commute.  As more organisations recognize the opportunity afforded by home working so I think we could see this trend continue.

Country house or city apartment?

Living in Bristol I’m fortunate to have a trendy, busy city centre along with the luxury of greenery and countryside only ever 15 minutes away. However, I’d probably go with city centre apartment as I’m a big fan of watching live music.

Trendy roof terrace or traditional English garden?

I would have to say a Trendy roof terrace with the background noise of the city alongside a good album.

Would you rather be a free-moving tenant or settled owner occupier?

Having lived in a couple of different cities and travelling around a lot with my job role I’d say settled owner occupier but thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of movement when I was younger.

What is your favourite room in your home?

The living room; cozy colours and a nice comfortable sofa to watch sport on tv and listen to music.

Homes under the Hammer or Location, Location, Location?

Homes under the Hammer to hear Dion Dublin using his classic line that went viral “and here we’ve got the stairs going up to the bedrooms”

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