What does property guardianship free you up to do?

April 16, 2021

Choosing to use property guardianship in buildings that would otherwise lie empty brings a range of benefits to property owners.

Each of our clients usually focus on one or two benefits that particularly appeal to them, whether that’s confidence and managing risks better, security of buildings, or creating social value to communicate to stakeholders through Dot Dot Dot’s social impact model. Saving on costs continues to be an important benefit too.

Our Chief Executive, Peter Brown, explores another benefit that is less obvious but nonetheless important: freeing up our clients to spend their time and attention on priorities other than managing empty properties.

Too much to do, too little time to do it?

We are all busy people, usually with more things on our to-do lists that we’d ideally like. For some of our clients, austerity and cutbacks have also added to pressures on their organisations. And of course, the difficulties and uncertainties of managing assets through Covid-19 have brought a new dimension to work and challenged our focus. Being able to hand over empty buildings and knowing that those assets will be taken care of, and used to house good people on a meanwhile basis and for as long as it’s required, can be a liberating feeling if there’s a high quality service and a trusted relationship in place.

All of the Dot Dot Dot team work hard at creating and sustaining great working relationships and partnerships. We want to enable our clients to specialise in their work whilst we specialise in ours, and find ways to complement and support our clients’ goals.

Bringing in experts so you can focus on other priorities

For example, one of our clients was a national environmental charity which had a surplus office building. The charity was restructuring its operations and wanted a period of time to evaluate its future property needs. It chose to use Dot Dot Dot to manage the building, where we installed 14 guardians for around 18 months. During that time, the charity was able to focus on developing its strategy, rather than diverting resources and costs to managing the building itself. It eventually chose to sell the building, and we moved guardians out to enable them to do so.

Often it’s the case that housing associations and local authorities don’t have a team or individual with specific  responsibility for empty property. When properties are scheduled for demolition or wholesale refurbishment, responsibility for them can fall between different teams. In these scenarios Dot Dot Dot can act as the internal team they wish they had, by providing specialist expertise and experience that can be brought in to manage empty assets.

Several of our long-standing housing association clients have given us feedback that working with a Dot Dot Dot means that they can focus on other complex aspects of regeneration: managing the project and the development, resident engagement and consultation, liaising with residents and negotiating leaseholder buy-backs. They have commented that having Dot Dot Dot involved in the properties that are empty and awaiting redevelopment means that their housing and regeneration teams are freed up to focus on these activities, confident that properties allocated to Dot Dot Dot are being well managed and will be handed back when theie project requires vacant possession.

If you’re finding that empty property is a distraction and you’d like to find out how we could free up some of your time, please get in touch at partnerships@dotdotdotproperty.com.


Dot Dot Dot: growing across the board in 2016

December 15, 2016

Thank you to everyone who has been part of this journey. We are looking forward to 2017 as we continue to create mutual benefits for property guardians, property owners and neighbouring communities.


Five years of proving there’s a different way to secure empty buildings

July 7, 2016

The way we do property guardianship benefits everyone involved in the process.

We’ve already looked at how we have created positive social impact through the way we work. Today we’re setting out how our strong social mission underpins a rigorous process, which leads to a better service for everyone we work with: property owners, communities and property guardians. Having a social purpose doesn’t make us soft – it makes us stronger!

DDD Central motif

How it works

DDD Quote 2We attract good, reliable people

  • Our mission and values attracts people and organisations to us
  • Our specific stipulation that all our guardians volunteer for at least 16 hours per month is another filter

We are careful about who we accept

  • Our vetting procedure (including multiple forms, calls and checks) is much more stringent than our competitors, and this also helps us to ascertain people’s genuine interest in volunteering.

We then manage guardians closely and attentively

Our ratio of staff to guardians is the best in the industry. Each relationship manager looks after 80 guardians compared with 400 at our competitors.

We are structured like this so that each relationship manager can monitor and support guardians’ volunteering and build up good relationships with them.

The benefits we create

DDD Quote 6Property guardians get affordable housing, are supported to volunteer and they are always treated in a straightforward and reassuring way. 

Property owners save money and they know their buildings are secure because good, reliable people are looking after their buildings.

Communities gain considerate neighbours who are committed to the area and volunteer principally for local charities

Toynbee Hall case study

  • We successfully secured a large zone 1 estate, which included a mixture of residential flats, offices and shop fronts.
  • 64 people housed
  • 6,442 hours volunteered
  • 50+ reports of antisocial behaviour
  • 24 reports of maintenance issues


At Dot Dot Dot, we have always believed that having a social purpose “baked in” to our business approach was the right thing to do. Five years down the line, we are particularly heartened that the way we work leads to a better service across the board. People and organisations enjoy working with us because of the quality of what we do and this stems in large part from our social mission. Put simply, the secret is that Dot Dot Dot is a well-run social enterprise.

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