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Interview of James Villarreal
Written by the Letting Agent Today team
James Villarreal, CEO of Glide

Q: What does it say on your business card?

I like the flexibility of roles so I do not have a title it just has my name and contact details. To be honest I always normally forget mine so people rarely get them anyway. 

Q: Who are Glide?


Glide is a utilities and service provider for shared households and was the first company in the UK to offer multi-tenant billing. Our mantra is bills made simple, life made simple. We exist to take the pain and stress out of utility bills, so our customers have more time to do the things they love.

Q: How long has Glide been trading?

Glide was born in 2006.

Q: How did it all start?

Myself and Sandeep Krishan, both students at Birmingham University were frustrated with collecting money from university flatmates for household bills. Over a few pints our frustration turned into a creative brainstorm, our creativity evolved into an idea, and Glide was born. We wrote the initial concept for Glide on the only thing we could find, a beer mat!

Q: Why choose Glide?

Glide manages utilities on behalf of landlords and letting agents offering all-inclusive rates with one single bill to cover all utilities across their entire portfolio. With Glide you get all the utilities the household needs - gas, electricity, water, telephone, broadband and TV licence. We offer the private rental market a simple solution to help them run their properties more efficiently and help boost income.

Q: What are your three unique selling points?

Glide does everything possible to reduce the hassle of paying bills.

We offer clients one easy monthly payment and one go-to contact for all household bills across multiple properties, enabling letting agents and landlords to offer bills-inclusive, which is becoming increasingly popular with student tenants.

Our online portal gives letting agents and landlords the ability to track and monitor household energy usage across multiple properties in one place, at the click of a button. 

Q: Who do you currently work with?

We work with letting agents, landlords and tenants of shared accommodation.

We buy our electricity from Ecotricity and our gas from Contract Natural Gas. Our complete utilities package also includes: water, telephone, broadband and TV license. 

Q: How do you overcome your competitors?

We have recently launched a mobile app, which will allow our customers to track their energy usage from anywhere, at anytime. Technology is moving fast, but by keeping up with the pace of change, Glide is staying ahead of the competition. Available for free on Android & iPhone.

Q: How do you create value for your clients (how do you go above the call of duty)?

We are constantly reviewing our partners, to ensure we’re providing the best tariffs and service to our customers. We are committed to a greener future, and when we find a supplier that fits our model, offers good value and service to our customers, and is a green supplier, we will review. 

Q: What is your greatest achievement and what made it so special?

Making it on the Sunday Times Virgin, Fast Track 100. Although we were only the 95th fastest growing business we still made the top 100 and that was a dream when we first set up Glide. Maybe we can beat this next year and get into the top 50?

Q: What do you feel it takes to be successful in the industry?

In a progressively digitalised industry, and with an increasing appetite from customers for improved accessibility and usability the industry is having to evolve. If you can innovate and keep up with, or better yet, stay ahead of the change, success will follow.

Q: Are you offering any special promotions?

We offer our landlords and property managers a referral scheme, which allows them to introduce their tenants to Glide so they can benefit from shared bills. There is a small commission paid for successful introductions.


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