In Conversation with Ben Goddard: Navigating Lettings with Winkworth Southfields

by | Monday 15th Apr 2024 | Mortgage Insights

Ben Goddard, Associated director and head of letting as Winkworth Southfields

Ben Goddard, Associated director and head of letting as Winkworth Southfields (Photograph by

Welcome to our exclusive interview with Ben Goddard, the Associate Director and Head of Lettings at Winkworth Southfields. As one of London’s premier estate and lettings agencies, Winkworth has a rich and well respected history spanning over 180 years. Winkworth is known for their commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction in the London property market. Winkworth has truly earned a sterling reputation for its unrivalled expertise and personalised service.

Being a mortgage broker in South West London ourselves, working with an expert property agency in Putney and Southfields like Winkworth means that we can provide the best service possible to our clients as a united force.

In this interview, Ben Goddard shares his wealth of knowledge and experience with Louis from Oportfolio Mortgages. Their conversation explores what it means to be a leading lettings agency in South West London, offering valuable insights and expert advice for both tenants and landlords alike.

The Interview

Louis: Ben, can you tell me about your experience in the rental property industry, particularly in property lettings in Southfields, and how it has influenced your approach as a lettings agent?

Ben: I’ve been working in the property industry for nearly 10 years and over half of that time has been spend focusing on the lettings market in South West London. The last 2 years have been dominated by a shortage of supply of rental properties which isn’t meeting the demand from tenants. My approach as a letting agent has always been the same; we pay equal attention to profile of tenant as we do the price we achieve for our clients. In a market where agents have lost properties to sales as more and more landlords have sold this has been invaluable in retaining our existing landlords and even managing to increase our portfolio since I took over the lettings team in January 2022.

Louis: What sets Winkworth Southfields apart from other letting agencies in the area, and how does your team ensure exceptional service for landlords and tenants?

Ben: I would refer back to my earlier point about paying equal attention to profile as price. It’s a common misconception that lettings is more transactional than sales and does not give the opportunity to build a relationship with a client. I think it’s the opposite. In sales you might on a rare occasion have the opportunity to sell for the same client more than once. In lettings, it’s not uncommon to let a property on behalf of the same landlord for many years during which you can build a rapport with them. By ensuring we are focussed and motivated to not just achieve the best possible price for our landlords but also find the highest calibre of tenant, it means there is no reason to go anywhere else and we can continue to rent properties on behalf of the same Landlord time and time again.

Molly James, Negotiator at Winkworth Southfields

Molly James, Negotiator at Winkworth Southfields (Photograph by

Louis: Could you share a success story or example where Winkworth Southfields provided outstanding support for a landlord or tenant?

Ben: We are very fortunate to be instructed to let a beautiful 6 bedroom house on behalf of one of our Landlords. Last April we agreed the let at asking price to a lovely couple who intended to live there for many years. Unfortunately, at the beginning of this year, their personal circumstances changed unexpectedly and they contacted their Landlord to request an early release. It was not the most favourable time of year to be marketing a large family house. However, the Landlord and Tenant had a good relationship and we wanted to help. We were able to generate good interest without taking the house to market which resulted in us agreeing the let at the asking price for a second time in less than a year, allowing a Tenant to vacate earlier than initially planned and avoiding a costly void period for our client, the Landlord. The new tenants are due to move in this month and we couldn’t be happier for all concerned.

Louis: What specific strategies does Winkworth Southfields employ to effectively market rental properties in the area?

Ben: Our national and international reach starts on our website where there are nearly 10,000 properties to let across the country and 100,000 registered applicants. We also utilise the major property portals including Rightmove and Zoopla. Whilst our national and international reach is extensive it’s our local network of offices which sets us apart. As well as our Southfields office a Landlord’s property will be sent to those registered in our neighbouring offices such as Wimbledon, Putney, Fulham and Barnes to name a few. We also share the details with our Corporate Services department who assist companies and embassies relocate their staff as well as private individuals searching for their next home. We have a strong social media presence and consistently post content promoting our properties. More recently we have engaged with local, independent businesses so that we may mutually benefit from our shared customer base.

Louis: In your opinion, what are the key attractions of living in Southfields that make it an appealing location for prospective tenants?

Ben: Southfields offers a whole host of benefits to prospective tenants. We are fortunate to be surrounded by green, wide-open spaces and yet still be within commuting distance to the West End and the City via Southfields tube (District Line). ‘Southfields Village’ offers a variety of independent shops, restaurants, and cafes. The Village Butcher is a popular, family run butcher who value quality and tradition. DropShot coffee is owned and operated by locals and does some of the best coffee and brunch around.

Louis: How does Winkworth Southfields stay informed about the latest trends and developments in the local rental market, and how does this knowledge benefit your clients?

Ben: Winkworth is made up of over 100 independently owned offices but with the backing of our Head Office in St. James’s. Our head office provides regular articles and literature offering insights on the local market which our clients can benefit from. We are also members of various regulatory bodies such as ARLA, The Tenancy Deposit Scheme and Safeagent all of whom provide its members with helpful market research which we can share.

Louis: Can you outline any unique features or characteristics of properties in Southfields that distinguish them from those in other areas?

Ben: Southfields offers a variety of property styles ensuring there is something for everyone. There is the renowned ‘Southfields Grid’ which is made up of grids of streets featuring pretty Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses, some of which have been converted into flats. The West Hill Road conservation area offer larger, detached houses some of which include off street parking and huge gardens. Between Southfields and Wimbledon Park there are also plenty of purpose built buildings which are conveniently located for transport and amenities.

Ellen Moore, Negotiator at Winkworth Southfields

Ellen Moore, Negotiator at Winkworth Southfields (Photograph by

Louis: What advice would you give to a landlord considering letting their property in Southfields for the first time?

Ben: Be robust but realistic with your pricing. Even in a market where the demand is high and the supply is low being too ambitious with price can put people off coming to view. If you strike the right balance you can often find yourself with more than one offer on the table. That allows us to focus on the price as well as the profile of tenant who is offering which is always a good result for our clients.

Louis: How does Winkworth Southfields support landlords and tenants throughout the entire letting process, from property listing to tenancy agreement?

Ben: We have several service levels for our clients but the two most popular are letting and rent collection or full management. Landlords who instruct us to let and collect the rent on their behalf can be confident that Winkworth will be on hand from the point of instruction right up until the tenant moves in. We ensure that all the marketing material is of high quality and once a let has been agreed we will look after the referencing, paperwork and even organise for the relevant certificates to be in place. Once the tenant has moved in, we hand over to the Landlord confident that the tenancy should progress smoothly from that point onwards. If we are instructed to manage the property as well we do all of the above and give our Landlords piece of mind that when a tenant moves in our property manager will be their point of contact throughout the tenancy.

Louis: What long-term prospects or potential for growth do you see in the Southfields rental market, and how does Winkworth help clients take advantage of these opportunities?

Ben: As rents continue to rise, we are seeing more and more prospective tenants turn to Southfields after being priced out of more central areas such as Fulham and Putney. This brings demand for the amenities and infrastructure in the area to be improved and the quality of services should increase as a result. One thing that will never change is the standard of schools in the area. We are fortunate to have excellent primary and secondary schools for which the demand is high. As an area Southfields strikes a balance between London and Country with easy access into Central London on the tube as well as out of London via the A3.

Speak To A Local Property Expert In Southfields

Well there you have it. Everything you need to know about property in Southfields from a local experienced Southfields property expert. If you are in the market for purchasing a property in Southfields or are looking to invest in the South West London area, then please consider giving Winkworth a call. And if you are looking for a mortgage in the South West London area, then look no further than ourselves at Oportfolio Mortgages. We can help you to secure the best terms on residential and buy-to-let properties.

Content and Communications Director Louis has been working in the mortgage industry since 2016

Content and Communications Director Louis has been working in the mortgage industry since 2016 (Photograph by

Winkworth Southfields

Telephone: 02088771000

Email: [email protected]

Oportfolio Mortgages

Telephone: 02088771169

Email: [email protected]

LRock Media (Photographer)

Telephone: 07903765893

Email: [email protected]

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