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Estura - photo credit Marchand Petit

South Devon estate and block management

Reliable support to maximise stakeholder value and experience

Established in 2004 by mother and son team Deborah Carson and James Spencer, Pebbles is the only property management company in the South West to specialise in the requirements of absent owners who need management and servicing for blocks and estates.

Taking a hands-on approach to ensure owners enjoy their properties without having to worry about day to day management and maintenance, we recognise that Directors are volunteers, owners and also holidaymakers themselves. Our wealth of experience working with boards to ensure statutory, legal and health and safety procedures are followed and supported by dependable administration, makes that enjoyment possible.

In addition to our planned and scheduled support services, Pebbles is unique in South Devon and East Cornwall for its in-house resources.  These allow us to respond quickly, efficiently and cost effectively to property issues and stakeholder concerns. It also means we are able to offer housekeeping, gardening and property maintenance through our fully employed, uniformed, insured and trained team of up to 100 members of staff (some seasonal variation) to minimise reliance on third party contractors.

The reliability and professionalism of the Pebbles team is what sets us apart.  The service is defined by a fusion of care and attention to detail, industry expertise, problem solving ingenuity and due diligence.   However, every management service we provide is bespoke, tailored from our range of services to suit the individual needs of each client and estate.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss the requirements of your property or estate with you.

Pebbles has been providing property management services to me for a number of years and I have always found them to be personal and approachable.  They provide a quality service with quick response times and they take a proactive approach to identifying any issues in advance.  Furthermore, they haven proven skilled in delivering on complicated projects that require tactful communication amongst the owners and other stakeholders.” 
Start View Management Company, Graham Hislop


Services

Our Estate Management services include but are not limited the following.  Long-standing policies that have been developed in line with the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) guidelines and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 where relevant.  Our best practice approach has also been designed in line with insurance requirements.

Board support: 

Acting as company secretary, organising and attending AGMs and board meetings, providing support and advice, issuing status reports, circulating regular communications regarding actions agreed and processing any ownership changes.  We provide risk management, fire and health and safety compliance in line with insurance requirements.

Finance: 

Preparation of annual budgets, service charge administration and sinking funds, account reconciliation, organisation of supplier payments, income and expenditure reports.

Transparent communications with owners: 

Central to our way of working is a policy of clear, transparent and regular communications with all stakeholders.  That includes an emergency contact 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; a dedicated Estates Manager for your property and a local office open six days a week; assistance with routine enquiries; regular newsletters to leaseholders/residents; a custom built customer dashboard with real-time updates regarding maintenance and events at your property, which enables owners to access information at any time.

Security:

Regular property checks and reports; dedicated communications systems set up for property owners; key holder service registered with emergency services; administration of insurance claims on request.

Communications with rental agents: 

We have positive relationships with local and regional rental agencies, as well as independently letting owners, to ensure standards are maintained regarding visitors to your estate.

Maintenance: 

We prepare, process and report on tender process for contractors; we prepare a medium and long term maintenance programme; we arrange and manage day to day repairs and maintenance promptly and cost effectively; we respond to emergency repairs within 24-hours; we test all fire alarms, emergency lighting and carbon monoxide detectors weekly/as required.

Additional services: 

Pebbles can also offer housekeeping and cleaning of all communal areas, grounds and gardens maintenance, window cleaning and refurbishment services.

It’s almost like they are part of the in-house team which is lovely!
Overbeck's National Trust

See more case studies

A professional team

The estates management team is headed by company Managing Director, James Spencer.  He is assisted by Estate Manager Helen McPhee, qualified Company Secretary Geoff Earnshaw and Property/Maintenance Manager Nicky Gates. In support is a broad team of professional, efficient administrative colleagues, including a chartered surveyor, as well as expert operational field colleagues.

The solution Pebbles came up with [for communications] has been a small revolution.  Communication is much easier, and the owners are much happier!
Duncan Massey, Director at The Salcombe


James Spencer, Estates Manager

Pebbles Estates are all overseen by Pebbles MD and Estates Manager, James Spencer.  James has more than 15 years' experience in property and estate management, with an intrinsic understanding of the roles and pressures placed on all stakeholders.   Under James, the team takes care of the daily running of estates, so Directors can enjoy their properties and owners can rest assured that matters are managed to the required standards.

Helen McPhee, Estates Manager

Following previous roles as as Head of Aircraft Finance at the United Bank of Kuwait and Senior Managing Director at BTM Capital Corporation, Helen works alongside James, managing estates and luxury holiday apartment complexes across South Devon.  Integral to her role is her personal and professional understanding of the property market, and her estates experience which allows her to appreciate the challenges for all stakeholders at holiday estates, particularly those who are both owners and board members.  As such, she is an affiliate member of The Institute of Residential Property and is a member of the Residential Landlords Association.

Performance benchmarks and industry recommendations

Working in partnership with management company boards and individual owners, we aim to achieve personal and commercial goals for your property. The performance of our estate management team is benchmarked against industry standards set by the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) and the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM). 

Pebbles is recommended by many stakeholders in the property industry, including Strutt & Parker and Knight Frank estate agents, Sykes and Unique Home Stays holiday home agents, and the National Trust. We pride ourselves on long-term client relations: references can be provided in addition to our website testimonials.

Thank you! Everything was sorted to out, the builders were great and Pebbles has coordinated a great outcome for everyone. 
Blue View Management Company, Howard Wimpory


Estates we work with

SEE MORE CASE STUDIES

Estura, luxury Salcombe apartments

Centrally located in Salcombe, the Estura apartments sit alongside the illustrious Salcombe Harbour Hotel, with idyllic views across the estuary.  Elegantly designed villas their carefully considered interior design is enhanced by glass frontages, sun terraces and balconies that maximise the sea views.  Very much the height of luxury modern holiday apartments in the South Hams, Pebbles works with owners and stakeholders to ensure that those five star standards are maintained and that guests and owners alike find an experience befitting the estate’s reputation every time they arrive.

Start View, coastal estate at Hallsands

Located a few meters from the secluded beach at Hallsands, comprising seven houses built in 2008, the Start View estate is the latest to be cared for by Pebbles.  Start View is an estate of seven semi detached properties built in 2008 with gardens and car parking.  The owners of the houses jointly own the estate, which edges the beach and shoreline.

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Blue View, Salcombe holiday apartments

Blue View is an apartment block of holiday homes and private second homes in Salcombe where Pebbles began providing Estate Management and property services in 2011.  Since then we have worked closely with the Blue View Management Company Ltd to provide block management services that include risk management, company secretarial, operations management, bookkeeping and other administrative duties as well as establishing a sinking fund budget and assisting with an NHBC claim in 2013.

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Overbeck’s, a National Trust property

Overbeck’s is unique amongst National Trust homes, for it its outsourced property management.  They chose to work with Pebbles Estate Management to make sure the property is reliably cared for out of hours.  Valuing the personal approach that Pebbles takes, the relationship has been built on the invaluable trust needed to help the custodians of this national treasure.

The Salcombe, an iconic holiday destination

One of Salcombe’s most iconic buildings, The Salcombe encompasses a selection of beautiful apartments overlooking the estuary.  Pebbles has worked with the estate for a number of years, providing a high standard of service to the property, its pool and grounds.  In addition to regular maintenance, this included supporting the unique communications challenges of the estate by assisting in the development of a dedicated website backed up by an online tool for internal communications.   

Duncan Massey, Director at The Salcombe said: “With 35 or so owners, one of the first actions Pebbles undertook was to assess the communication between the Board and the other owners.  Communication is always likely to be a problem.  The solution Pebbles came up with was to design a dedicated website, called Salcombe Online  which had free access to all members, and was backed up by the Dwellant online tool.  The website has been a small revolution in terms of the development of The Salcombe, and has certainly brought our communications into the 21st century.  Communication is much easier, and the owners are much happier!”

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How the right management company benefits you and your estate

What separates Pebbles’ offering from the rest is our specialist understanding of coastal properties, managing the requirements of owners who are both leaseholders and freehold shareholders, and properties with mixed tenure including commercial holiday lets, private second homes and occasionally permanent residency.

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How to reduce fire risk concerns in short term property lets

More often than not owners and guests can focus on the aesthetic and customer facing aspects of a holiday home.  However first and foremost is the groundwork that ensures safety first, in particular site risk assessments including but not limited to fire risk assessments.

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