Their son, Mark, is now Junior Partner and tasked with maintaining John Prest Property Management’s long-standing, well-earned reputation. Mark travelled widely with his wife before starting work at the company – an experience he says gave him a new perspective on life and the value of diversity. So when he returned home in 1999 to assist his father, he brought with him fresh ideas that embraced modern principles and PropTech while respecting the traditions that made his family’s business what it is today.

Interview with

Mark Prest
Mark Prest
Junior Partner, John Press Property Management

Something’s got to give

Mark and his team handled admin manually for over 500 properties for most of his 23 years in the family business. On top of the intense day-to-day operations, the agency would spend close to a week at the beginning of every month just processing all the individual client statements on Excel spreadsheets and paper. Mark would sometimes have to give up his Saturdays in an effort to stay on top of invoicing.

The workload eventually became too stressful for the five-person team. As soon as he made partner, Mark made it his mission to streamline their rental payment admin.

"We couldn’t carry on the way we were going, and we knew we needed a solution to free up our time. PayProp was that solution." Mark Prest, Junior Partner

In with the new

All it took was a brief demo to convince Mark of PayProp’s time-saving and capacity-unlocking benefits. Since signing up in November 2021, John Prest Property Management has seen a noticeable improvement in efficiency. The multi-step payment and invoicing process that used to take the team 3 to 5 days minimum was reduced to just a couple of clicks.

PayProp automatically reconciles incoming rental payments against the relevant property, as well as deducting commission. And the platform’s live bank integration gives Mark the peace of mind that his clients’ financial data is accurate and up to date – no more handwritten calculations at risk of
human error.

With the extra time saved, Mark and his team are able to focus on optimising the rest of their services: more thorough tenant referencing, more successful viewings, more organised move-ins and move-outs.

"PayProp has changed the dynamic of our business. It’s allowed us to flourish and freed us to do what we want." Mark Prest, Junior Partner

In just under a year, the team has developed a more well-rounded business, whilst building stronger relationships with the landlords and tenants they work with on a daily basis – something Mark believes is the cornerstone of property management.

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Trademark service

PayProp’s automated and straight-through rent distribution to beneficiaries ensures that John Prest Property Management can keep delivering the high-quality customer service they’re known for.

“As a family-run business, you feel more invested in your clients and are therefore willing to go the extra mile for them,” Mark says. “To be able to pay my clients on the same day the rent comes in – now that is invaluable customer service.”

Mark notes that he has received exceptional service from PayProp’s own award-winning support team since day one. Onboarding was smooth and easy, and if he ever has a query, PayProp’s staff is equally friendly and helpful across the board. “From senior managers to new faces, they’re all fantastic,” he says.

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A new hobby

Thanks to the newfound freedom provided by PayProp, Mark didn’t just get more out of work – he got more out of life. He discovered a love for gardening and for the first time since they started their allotment together, Mark and his wife recently prepared a Sunday lunch in which everything on the plate was homegrown except the lamb.

“I like to get my hands dirty,” says Mark. “I like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from putting in the hard work to grow my own produce. I like everything that’s involved with gardening, from planting the seeds to eating them.”

Keep cultivating value

It wouldn’t be overreaching to compare John Prest Property Management – and other PropTech-enabled estate agencies – to a seed: a living, breathing entity capable of growing into so much more. With a little help from PayProp to do the repetitive admin tasks, Mark and his team can focus on reaping the benefits in a modern residential lettings market.

"In a busy letting agency, technology can play a huge part in doing the work of multiple people. PayProp has done that for us. If your day-to-day can be made easier, why not take the plunge and have a go?" Mark Prest, Junior Partner

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