December Update - Prime Resi exclusive

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“How we successfully launched a boutique estate agency in a market downturn…”

When we decided to set up a new estate agency in central London, we knew it would be challenging…

We also knew we wanted to provide a completely fresh perspective on how to engage with clients and sell homes in prime central London. Our objective was to provide a premium service to a handpicked selection of clients, giving them the ability to sell their property with a team of professionals, proud to call themselves estate agents.

When one considers the property market is not exactly booming (has there been more uncertainty in the past decade?) and the corporates are relying on their size and marketing power, we were fully aware of the task that lay ahead. After all, only a very small handful of new selling agencies have sprung up in recent years and without the corporate business card in our top pocket, even with a combination of 30 years’ experience and enviable track records, we were very aware that doors might not open quite as easily…

The advice given to us by wise heads has been priceless

We have recently signed off on our first year of trading and what an incredible year it’s been. A 33% market share in Eaton Square in 2018 to date, market appraisals on both Good Friday and Easter Monday, the sale of freehold houses in Kensington and most importantly new team members have all contributed to our early success. We have been lucky in that the support we have received has been incredible, the advice given to us by wise heads has been priceless and it feels that with each day, the brand is growing stronger.

A year in, we continue to review our business model and consider the decisions we made when laying the foundations for Tedworth. Perhaps one of the biggest questions that we gave consideration to was “do we need a visible shop front, or has it become obsolete with approximately 95% of people starting their search online? Is it now simply an unnecessary and expensive cost?”.

After some debate, the decision was made to position ourselves as a forward thinking and modern agency, without the need for a shop

After some debate, the decision was made to position ourselves as a forward thinking and modern agency, without the need for a shop. It’s one of the best decisions we made, allowing us the freedom not to be tied to one location. We have an office just off Sloane Square, and we are still a “traditional” agency. We certainly don’t consider ourselves online or hybrid and attend every viewing, negotiate every sale for our clients, meet with surveyors and advertise on the normal mediums. We just don’t have a shop front, and the feedback from every single client is overwhelmingly positive and hand on heart we haven’t lost one instruction as a result.

Naturally there have been a lot of challenges that we have had to overcome as anyone who has set up a business will appreciate. Aside from the “day job” of selling property, the administration involved has been immense, particularly in the ever-increasing world of KYC/GDPR/AML compliance in estate agency. We have become experts in cloud based IT systems, the art of PR and contract negotiation with suppliers. The learning curve has been steep but also fun and rewarding.

The absence of things that one takes for granted when part of a large organisation takes some getting used to

The absence of things that one takes for granted when part of a large organisation also takes some getting used to – the phone constantly ringing and the endless marketing campaigns feeding new instructions all vanish – but it’s amazing how quickly we have been able to develop the business, to the point that the phone now rings regularly. A small thing for many but a huge win for a small but growing business.

So, what does the future hold for Tedworth?

To continue our upward growth, we need to keep doing what we are doing. In an effort to differentiate ourselves and provide a modern, no nonsense approach, we will continue to develop our relationships with professional bodies, lawyers, surveyors, buying agents and of course industry suppliers as part of our offering.

Equally, if not more importantly, we are looking to grow with the best talent in the industry by providing a platform on which everyone can benefit. For the right person, we have an extremely lucrative offering unrivalled by any other agency in London. If this is you – please get in touch. We would love to talk.

It’s true that many people close to us questioned our wisdom of launching in such a tough market, but we truly believe that this market presents huge opportunities and if we can survive and indeed thrive in a market such as the one we are in now, who knows what the future holds?

Andrew Lloyd