The Brokerage Magazine Issue 2

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WELCOME. Following the success of our last magazine, we are delighted to gather yet another collection of some of the best properties in the marketplace, here in the UK and abroad, from our leading independent Brokers. The increasing diversity of our offering both geographically and in Broker style we see as a strength to herald enabling a wider ability to satisfy and resolve clients’ requirements across a wider horizon. We strongly believe that for our clients, the experience and the ability to use this combined knowledge in a flexible environment enables the very best results through the Brokers and Partners that we have within our network. Since the conception of The London Broker back in 2017, the collaborative approach and successes of our increasingly growing numbers of Brokers continues to quietly gather pace. As a technology and marketing platform, we are here to facilitate a directory of excellence for you, our clients, to showcase some of the best brokers in the business delivering amazing projects. Alongside some exciting new professional partners and specific brokers who we have asked to contribute with some informative editorial. We hope that you enjoy looking at the homes, reading the articles and enjoy not just dreaming of what you may want on your property journey but talking to one of our Brokers about how they can help; this year, next year and for years to come.

Best wishes,

Rupert Collingwood & Charlie Willis (Founder)


+44 (0) 20 7193 9969 Front cover permissions from: Anchor Brewhouse London, SE1, further information on page 29. Published by TBC Publishing Limited, Telephone: 01763 810042. ©TBC Publishing 2022. All rights reserved. Reproduction is forbidden except by express permission of the Publishers. The content of this magazine is believed to be correct but its accuracy is not guaranteed and it does not form part of any offer or contract. TBC Publishing Limited cannot accept responsibility for any omissions or errors.



Meet The Brokers A GLOBAL NETWORK WITH LOCAL PERSONALITY. A new age of estate agency. The London Broker is a collective of leading independent property brokers. Our technology platform allows our brokers to work together to provide their network of clients with the best service, advice and knowledge. This approach simplifies the process and ensures successful outcomes and a better customer experience.

Rupert Collingwood

Charlie Willis

Kris Ericsson

Sarah Birch

Alexander Vine

Heidi Nash

Johnny Turnbull

Charlie Noel-Buxton

Jamie Gunning

Louise Crichton

Richard Huxham Hardie

Alicia Pasley-Tyler


George Jackson-Stops

Jonathan Waring

Rebecca Zarr

Ben Bentley

Ashley Coleman

Andrew Russell

David Adams

Samantha Blomefield Smith

Mike Sands

Matthew Smith

Jerome Lartaud

Farah El-Sbahi


Patrick Paton

Gordon MacGeachy

Bertrand Rassat

Denise Moreno

Samantha Scott-White

Gareth Lloyd Jones

Stuart Mason

Lucy Winfield

Ari Afshar

+44 (0) 20 7193 9969 enquiries@

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A truly unique house set in the heart of Old Chelsea SOLD

Glebe Place, Chelsea SW3 £14,950,000 The property has been the subject of a 3 year, multi-million pound rebuild by the current owners, creating an exquisite and self-indulgent London home for themselves, finished to the highest quality and precision with interior design to match. The house has been created by the joining together of 3 existing artist studios.



Ready for a buyer with creative pizzazz

Whistlers Square, Chelsea Barracks SW1W £8,950,000 Encouraging imagination and interior flair, this “blank canvas” lateral three bedroom, third floor apartment with two balconies is ready for a buyer with creative pizzazz - in one of the brightest and quietest positions of the main building of this exceptional new development.



Sublime sweeping views of the bay of Saint-Tropez

Beauvallon, Bay of Saint-Tropez €3,480,000 In a superb setting in the prestigious area of Beauvallon close to the renowned golf course and the picture perfect Grimaud beaches, this remarkable architect designed villa affords sublime sweeping views of the bay and the Port Grimaud marina. The south west facing property offers a delightful Mediterranean garden and pool.



The Coach House, in the heart of the Tweed Valley

Glenormiston, Peebles Offers Over £945,000 The Coach House is a beautiful, well presented 5-bedroom family home set in the heart of the stunning Tweed Valley. The property is in excellent condition inside and out, extends to about 360m2/3864 ft2 and offers around 2.75 acres of attractive and mature garden grounds.



Located on a premier road in Tooting Bec SOLD

Louisville Road, Tooting Bec SW17 £1,725,000 Recently sold this delightful Victorian home on a premier road in Tooting Bec, offering six bedrooms, three bathrooms, playroom, utility room and a landscaped garden.



Rebecca Zarr Q& A and my meetings can be held in a café on the port of Saint-Tropez or on a beach in Pampelonne. What is there not to love!

If you could buy in any part of your patch in Saint Tropez, where would you live and why?

When and how did you end up in property? I always knew that international property was my calling. I am British but grew up in Saint-Tropez, my parents had moved to the Côte d’Azur to start a new life and work in the tourism industry. After an MA in Property and Management at a French business school, I was fortunate to do an internship at the Knight Frank SaintTropez office and was subsequently offered a position on the French desk at their head office in London. From there followed roles as international director for Chestertons in London and Savills in Singapore.

What is it about the job that gets you out of bed in the morning? I have the best job in the world and love every morning. I am lucky in Saint-Tropez to meet fascinating people from all over the world and I have a truly international career yet with the added benefit of living in the South of France. My clients are above all what drive my work and there is nothing more special than when clients get the “click” and we have found their dream home. I have a passion for all properties from the bijou authentic project to the ultra-contemporary architect designed villas. We enjoy stunning scenery here around the bay,

I am definitely biased (!), but being a nature lover, I find Ramatuelle to be one of the prettiest places on earth with its protected landscape, vineyards and wine estates, hilltop village and sparkling blue sea views over Pampelonne. I like the Escalet area of Ramatuelle for its rugged beauty, turquoise water and coastal walks. I have plans to do a renovation project or to build from scratch with lots of land. In Saint-Tropez village I love the Canoubiers and Salins area, as do many of my clients, because you can cycle to the local market and be on the Place des Lices within minutes, or stroll out for a dip in the sea. For clients who prefer private domains, we have our own Beverley Hills, the prestigious Les Parcs de Saint-Tropez, or the wonderful beachy domains of Capilla and Cap Tahiti with private access to the Pampelonne beach clubs.

What motivated you to become independent & has it turned out to be true? Whilst I fully enjoyed my international roles in London and Asia and learnt many business processes that are invaluable to me today, I am the type of person who thrives on the creativity and freedom of doing things my own way. My clients are at the heart of everything I do. I find that having the flexibility of working independently enables me to focus on providing the exceptional personal service I believe in. I look after all of my clients personally and strive to give my absolute best. Being part of The London Broker and having developed some fantastic partnerships here in Saint-Tropez means that I am part of an international team of

remarkable like-minded professionals.

The job can be quite stressful, what do you do to unwind? I practice yoga daily and I walk in nature when time permits. We are lucky to enjoy breathtaking coastal paths and hiking trails in and around Saint-Tropez, and the Var is the second greenest department of France. I am an art lover so contemplating art always inspires me, and I enjoy music, reading and theatre too. I find all of these things can transport me out of my work mode and into my creative mind, which ultimately also has a positive impact on my business. Above all, spending time with my 5-year-old little boy and seeing life from a child’s perspective brings me immense joy.

What is your top buying or selling tip? I specialise in property search for international buyers and I recommend building a strong understanding of the market prior to making a decision. Explore as much as possible in your budget and in different areas - if you are not set on a specific area. It can take time and patience to find the perfect property but it is a fun filled adventure here! I find that my clients come to me initially with a long list of requirements and, as we zoom in, we are able to identify one or two criteria that are absolutely key for them. For example, if a south orientation is at the top of the list, we can admire the most spectacular sea views in the world, but if the properties are facing north then there will be no “click”! In SaintTropez and Ramatuelle we have extremely strict planning rules and regulations, and I recommend working with a top Saint-Tropez architect to help create your vision whilst navigating the trials and tribulations of our red tape à la tropézienne. I look forward to meeting you.


Considered to be one of South Africa's prime addresses

Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa £4,650,000 | $6,365,000 | R98,000,000 Considered to be one of South Africa's prime addresses, this home is also one of the largest in Cape Town. Situated high above Constantia on Price Drive, the location is private and elevated with incredible views over the Southern Suburbs and beyond to Gordons Bay and the iconic mountain ranges. Features of this home are state of the art security, palatial accommodation, cottages for guests or staff, indoor swimming pool and gym, Roman style exterior pool and water feature, tennis court, lawned garden, cinema room and temperature controlled wine cellar.



Hallydown House, a beautiful four bedroom farmhouse

Hallydown House, Coldingham Offers Over £725,000 Hallydown House is a beautiful 4 bedroom farmhouse set in particularly stunning garden grounds set just outside the popular village of Coldingham. The property extends to about 2841 sq ft / 264 sq m offering comfortable, well-appointed family accommodation, a secure walled garden, outbuildings and just under 2 acres of grazing.



In the heart of Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez €6,950,000 In the heart of Saint-Tropez yet tucked away in a pretty peaceful setting with all the restaurants and cafés on the doorstep, this delightful bastide sits in enchanting grounds with a stunning swimming pool. The garden affords total privacy with ample terraces for outside dining and relaxing in style and tranquility.



Charming Chelsea garden flat in portered building with underground parking SOLD

Painters Yard, Old Church Street SW3 £2,750,000 A well presented ground floor garden apartment in this well known, popular, secure and gated block created around an attractive private courtyard. The building was originally a warehouse and so has some unique features for this part of Old Chelsea and within the wider area. In addition the apartment comes with a private underground parking space and the block with a porter.



A spectacular riverside apartment Anchor Brewhouse London, SE1 Guide Price £8,950,000 | Share of Freehold Accessed by a private bridge this spectacular riverside apartment provides a sophisticated, luxurious interior combined with the character of this historic building. This stunning apartment offers a unique opportunity to purchase one the finest riverside apartments in London. Occupying a prime position on the banks of the Thames, it enjoys breath-taking views of the river and Tower Bridge.



Stunning East Coast Traditional home

Stradella Road, Bel Air, LA £9,075,000 | $12,000,000 Located at the end of a long private driveway, this stunning East Coast Traditional home offers large scale public rooms, paneled library, chef’s kitchen, (5) bedrooms, screening room and wine tasting room. Outdoors an infinity pool sits on over an acre of park-like grounds, and the extensive patio deck is perfect for entertaining.



George Jackson-Stops Q& A I mainly deal with Prime London property but also venture out of town for select clients on a property search basis. With this in mind, I would love to have a white stucco townhouse in Notting Hill, as it’s such a beautiful area and also has such a great vibe. I would also like to have a cottage out in the countryside to make the most of long walks with the dog and amazing country pubs.

What motivated you to become independent & has it turned out to be true?

When and how did you end up in property? With a surname like mine it was difficult to avoid property. My family have been in property for over 100 years, my father ran a partnership of 3 offices in the Midlands and inevitably I helped out in school and university holidays. This then led to a longer spell of work covering for maternity leave. Once I started this the bright lights of London called, and I started searching for a role in the big smoke. Once I found a full-time job I then started my London property journey.

What is it about the job that gets you out of bed in the morning? The diversity of work is hugely appealing to me, you never know who you are going to meet and what will be the outcome. Generally dealing with people from all walks of life and different cultures is amazing, it really keeps you on your toes and means you always keep learning. I am also very nosey and really love seeing what people have done with their homes and I then try to use some of the ideas in my own home.

If you could buy in any part of your patch in London, where would you live and why?

I have always had an entrepreneurial streak from an early age, starting small businesses in order to make some extra money through my school and university careers. I never thought I would have a good enough idea to go out and start my own business. Years of frustration about the red taped involved in working for corporate finally came to a head on my honeymoon when I decided I had had enough and that I didn’t want to be stuck in the same office for the rest of my life lining somebody else’s pocket, so the day I got back to work I handed in my notice. There have been hard times since starting out but overall, it has been the best decision of my life.

The job can be quite stressful, what do you do to unwind? I am a country boy at heart, so I like to get out to the countryside at the weekends or going for weeks up in Scotland in the summer. Any excuse for me to get my wellies on, whether for a dog walk or a trek up a mountain. I am also a bit of a petrolhead and have just bought a new toy with my brother so I am sure there will be a few track days to come.

What is your top buying or selling tip? My father always told me that you are only as good as your last sale. This still holds true in all sales jobs. So as a property broker just being honest and efficient is the best way to build

relationships and become successful. When it comes to buying or selling a property the most important thing is to look at the bigger picture and not be offended at a low offer or take things personally. You make money on the purchase rather than the sale, so if you can buy well then you will be able to sell well.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell property or if you have any questions – please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We would love to hear from you.


Modern development in the heart of Chelsea SOLD

Cheyne Terrace, London, SW3 Guide Price £4,950,000 | Leasehold An outstanding three-bedroom duplex apartment in a very sought-after modern development in the heart of Chelsea. The building has a smart lobby with a 24-hour concierge service ensuring excellent security, the building also provides private underground car parking, additional storage rooms, gym, treatments rooms, sauna, and a swimming pool.



Delightful family home in an excellent West London location

Melrose Gardens, Brook Green W6 £2,275,000 A delightful 5-bedroom end of terrace Victorian home situated on a quiet street in Brook Green, last purchased 30 years ago. Located close to excellent local amenities, as well as a number of sought-after schools including St Paul’s Girls, Latymer Upper, Godolphin Girls, and is well placed for public transport and the M4 corridor to Heathrow and beyond.



Re-built behind a period façade

Donne Place, London, SW3 £5,350,000 A luxury four bedroom terraced house, situated in a charming and highly desirable street sitting right on the Chelsea/ Knightsbridge borders. The property has been beautifully refurbished and designed to include a stunning grey and white book matched marble slab bathroom, underfloor heating, air conditioning and integrated audio technology.



On the doorstep of everything Knightsbridge has to offer

Rawlings Street, SW3 £4,000,000 A bright and well presented 4 bedroom period family house with garden, offering a flexible layout and open plan living spaces, in the heart of prime Chelsea, but on the doorstep of everything Knightsbridge has to offer.



Beautifully furnished duplex penthouse LET

Pinks Mews, Holborn, EC1N £4,500 pcm Beautifully furnished duplex penthouse, with 2 double bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and weekday concierge. Situated on the 3rd and 4th floor (with lift), and benefitting from underfloor heating, comfort cooling, 2 large balconies, double height ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows providing excellent natural lighting to the interior.



Uninterrupted views across the Table Mountain Range

Zwaanswyk, Constantia, Cape Town £1,080,000 | $1,505,000 | R21,500,000 Swiss built on a 6,122 sqm erf, this unique home offers uninterrupted views across the Table Mountain Range & National Park, over the Southern Suburbs and beyond to Gordons Bay and the South Peninsula.



Rare to the market

Bedford Hill, Balham SW12 £1,750pcm / £370pw This stunning one bedroom apartment is offered to the market in immaculate condition throughout with a high spec finish and generous room sizes. Just a short walk from both Balham and Tooting Common, properties of the calibre are rare to the market.



Luxury villa in one of Greece’s premier locations

Vouliagmeni, Athens, Greece €15,000,000 A most spectacular and special luxury villa in one of Greece’s premier locations. This three story luxury residence is located in Vouliagmeni in the region of Attica a short distance from Athens and known as the Athenian Riviera. The property is unusual in the area coming with 2 basement levels as well as both indoor and outdoor pools.



One of the best barn equestrian facilities on the market

Farley Street, Nether Wallop £1,500,000 Kents Farmhouse is a 5 bedroom, 3 reception room, rambling property with an eat in kitchen, and one of the best barn equestrian facilities on the market. Despite its age and character, the property is not Grade II listed. The house has three reception rooms including a fabulous parquet floored dining room which seats at least 14 for formal entertaining.



International Property Awards Commentary

hen you launch a business and dedicated long hours to its success, it’s difficult on occasion to see the wood for the trees. As an entrepreneur you can get lost in the minutiae of the day to day as you move from one project to the next, in the belief that it will eventually come together to create the whole. A company and business you can be proud of. The conditions of the pandemic over the last 18 months or so have made this all the more acute, as the hours have run into each other, and the days have passed with little to differentiate one day from the next.


However I won’t easily forget Friday the 29th October 2021, because it was the day that someone other than colleagues, friends and family, helped to reinforce my belief that all that hard work was in fact worth it. The International Property Awards (IPA) held their gala dinner on the 29th where a crowd of over 500 guests dressed in black tie, celebrated the award winners. The International Property Awards have now been running for over 28 years and include over 45 different residential and commercial award categories. The UK regional awards are perhaps their most prestigious and widely recognised programme, and accordingly it was a privilege for The London Broker to win not one but four awards in total. Of course the judging process for trade awards vary, however the IPA judging is comprehensive to say the least. The Judging panel is chaired by Lord Caithness, Lord Best, and Lord Waverley, members of the House of Lords who oversee over 80 independent industry experts, who in turn judge the various entries on the basis of design, quality, service, innovation, originality, and commitment to sustainability. Pulling The London Broker entry together was no small task in itself and occupied what was supposed to be the first week and a

half of my summer holiday. However in pulling the 36 page presentation together it allowed me to reflect on all that we have done since our launch in 2017. More importantly it revealed how much we had achieved, in particular during the pandemic, when we doubled in size. We now have 33 of the best independent residential brokers in the industry and each and every one brings with them a skill set, market knowledge and dedication to their client base which makes it a privilege for me to work with them every single day. As a brokerage we have brought to the market some outstanding instructions over the last few years from houses and penthouses in Belgravia, to off market gems in Chelsea and Notting Hill, as well as stunning country houses and development opportunities in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire and beyond, not to mention the enviable villas and holiday homes listed by our international brokers. It is testament to the quality of our brokers that two of them David Adams and our CEO Charlie Willis were presented with awards in the Best Estate Agent London category with Charlie winning a five-star award not only in that category but also in the Best Estate Agent United Kingdom category. To celebrate with them was a real pleasure and was only enhanced when as a company we were presented with an award in the Estate Agency Single Office London category. In a competitive marketplace like property, it is often hard to judge your own successes, as like any parent an entrepreneur must naturally believe that their business is prospering in order to keep putting in the hours required to make it a success. It is then a real boost for the board, myself and our brokers to receive recognition from peers within our industry for the work we have put in to date. Like proud parents watching their child collect an end of year prize, please bear with us as we celebrate our success and look forward to the future with an added spring in our step.


Luxuriously furnished two double bedroom apartment LET

Embassy Gardens, Battersea SW11 £3,683 pcm Luxuriously furnished, 2 double bedroom 2 bathroom apartment, situated on the 9th floor (with lifts) of Legacy Building, Embassy Gardens. Parking, sky swimming pool, roof terrace, large balcony and 24/7 concierge are some of the amazing amenities residents can enjoy.



A stunning penthouse apartment

Tamboeryn, Cape Town £620,000 | $850,000 | R12,995,000 We are delighted to present 236 sqm of penthouse living over two floors with city and Table Mountain views. A modern open plan space welcomes you with city views as the back drop and the upper floor with a second living space and third bedroom offers the most spectacular views of Table Mountain and Lions Head. Further features include modern specification, private pool, two parking spaces, domestic quarters, back up generator and airbnb friendly.



Grade II Listed period family house

Earls Terrace, W8 £9,175,000 A well planned Grade II Listed period family house, of 4800 sq ft, with generous proportions and stunning views over communal gardens in Kensington. Also featuring a 91ft private south facing garden to the rear, underground parking for two cars and porters operating 24 hours, 7 days a week.



Mike Sands Q& A incredibly difficult! Kensington, Holland Park and Notting Hill will always have a piece of my heart having lived and worked there for so many years, but I have bought for two clients in Islington this year and if there is a rival to west London living then the Georgian architecture of Canonbury and Barnsbury is most certainly it.

What motivated you to become independent & has it turned out to be true?

When and how did you end up in property? 2008. I took my CV in to 16 estate agents’ offices around Tower Bridge before one offered me a three month temporary job as a Saturday receptionist. Neither my step-father, who had been an estate and land agent, nor the global credit crisis at the time could put me off!

What is it about the job that gets you out of bed in the morning? Two very different things: one, that moment when a buyer falls in love with a property, and two, the responsibility I feel every day for my clients’ needs. Without doubt it’s a wonderful feeling when you have found someone their dream home, whether you are acting for the buyer or the seller, but being a client’s first phone call for anything property-related they need however big or small is equally gratifying, and the responsibility to provide a first-class service provides the requisite drive each and every morning.

If you could buy in any part of your patch in London, where would you live and why? Well, as nice as it is to have a patch which stretches from Wimbledon to Islington and includes everything in between it makes an answer to this question

Being pulled from pillar to post at a large corporate invariably takes away the ability for an individual to provide the highest level of customer service as they just simply don’t have the time to dedicate to every client. Not only can I now devote myself to my clients the way I want to, but my role today also goes far beyond the role of a selling agent and includes buying agency, letting and project management. I wanted to be an independent property adviser with variety to my every day and I’m fortunate and delighted in equal measure that that’s exactly what I’ve managed to do.

The job can be quite stressful, what do you do to unwind? I feel lucky to live within striking distance of Wimbledon Village and the Common with their abundance of tennis courts, golf courses and many walking/running trails. And if I’m not taking advantage of those I’m probably in the Crooked Billet having Sunday lunch.

What is your top buying or selling tip? I think getting organised is key. I’ve always been a man of detail, which is perhaps the RICS surveyor in me, but if you’re buying then get your financing arranged and have your solicitor and surveyor on standby. If you’re selling then have your solicitor prepare a full legal pack at the outset so you can hit the ground running when a buyer is found. Transactions fall apart when momentum is lost, so anything you can do to keep the pace will be beneficial.


Pimlico’s most prestigious addresses

Eccleston Square, London, SW1V £1,500,000 Unmodernised Opportunity with Planning Permission in Eccleston Square. Lower Ground Floor flat on one of Pimlico’s most prestigious addresses, Eccleston Square. This large basement flat of over 1,600sqft provides an enticing opportunity for an incoming purchaser to create a most charming modern apartment.




Perfect for those looking to commute into The City Limerick Close, Balham, SW12 £450,000 | Leasehold This superb first floor apartment features some fantastic upgardes in addition to an allocated parking space and access to communal gardens. Limerick Close is a private development surrounded with communal gardens off Atkins Road. Located just a short walk to either Clapham South or Balham the property is perfect for those looking to commute into The City or central London.



Grade II Listed house dating from C1420 Nuptown House, Nuptown Lane, Berkshire £2,890,000 Nuptown House sits in a private lane off Ascot Road surrounded by the rolling corn fields managed by the Crown Estate. A five bedroom freehold Grade II Listed house dating from C1420, with separate additional 2 bedroom and 1 bedroom flats.




Fantastic position over-looking South Park SOLD

Clancarty Road, London, SW6 £2,300,000 The house has been totally refurbished by the current owners to a very high standard and provides generous living space. The ground floor has a smart formal reception room to the front of the property and a spacious and contemporary kitchen/dining room. Large glass doors open on to a beautifully landscaped garden with water feature.



Located in the heart of Fulham SOLD

Chesliton Road, Fulham SW10 £1,975,000 Recently sold this excellent 5-bedroom Victorian home with sunny west facing garden in the heart of Fulham, close to the amenities of Fulham Road and the transport links of Parson Green.



Views of Kensington Gardens

Palace Gate, Kensington W8 £2,800,000 Palace Gate is an elegant Victorian period building on an enviable corner plot at the juncture with Kensington Road. There are views from the flat towards the world-famous Kensington Gardens, the southern entrance to which is less than 20 metres from the apartment's front door.



Two beautiful detached properties

Shell Cottage & The Birdhouse, Applecross Offers Over £495,000 Shell Cottage and the Birdhouse Bothy near Applecross are 2 beautiful detached properties sitting in a private garden, offering breath-taking views. Shell Cottage offers 3 double bedrooms (2 en-suite) with comfortable open plan living accommodation. The Birdhouse is a stylishly presented 1 bedroom cottage currently run as a luxury holiday let.



A penthouse apartment that ticks all the boxes

Royal Belgrave House, Hugh Street SW1V £1,150,000 A three double bedroom penthouse apartment that ticks all the boxes; bright, well proportioned accommodation within a portered building with lift, outside space and underground parking in a prime central London location.



Lateral Penthouse on the 38th floor of Southbank Tower

Penthouse, Southbank Tower SE1 £10,750,000 | 992 year Leasehold Lateral Penthouse on the 38th floor of Southbank Tower, London. Lateral space with no stairs, panoramic city and river views. Shell and core, iconic landmarks including St Pauls Cathedral, the Shard and The River Thames. 24/7 concierge, gym, luxury spa, 20m swimming pool, 10th floor communal sky garden and business centre.



Nestled between Canford Cliffs and Penn Hill villages

Spur Hill Avenue, Poole £1,395,000 Finished to the highest of specifications this property was extended in 2020. Doubling in size to more than 3,000 sq ft the property compromises of extremely well thought out, natural flowing living accommodation. Nestled between Canford Cliffs and Penn Hill villages, the property is located within easy reach of the local sandy beaches just over 1 mile.



Is the digitisation of estate agency creating a greater need for buying agency? By Louise Crichton

There is no doubt that the internet has revolutionised the way people search for property. Instant online access to the property market at any time of day or night and the pervading marketing mantra that their “dream home” is but one click away has the buying public hooked. For estate agents the ability to market their properties to a vast online audience has catapulted their marketing reach from being primarily local and database driven to being global and almost limitless; so estate agents seem equally hooked too. In theory digitising the way people find property would seem like a good way to bring seamless, cost saving efficacy to a notoriously imperfect market, whilst giving the house hunting consumer easy online access to all the information they could ever dream of needing, and more. During the pandemic digitisation has clearly been crucial in helping keep the property market show on the road but is there danger in online information overload? In practice are house hunting consumers truly able to effectively sort the wheat from the chaff in an online market place? Are buyers becoming overwhelmed with data in what might appear to be a world of choice, but in reality often isn’t?

A digitised market place is only as good as the information uploaded on to it. Out of date property listings that languish online may serve to drive enquiries but they can be misleading and will often disappoint unsuspecting would be buyers. What about the “off market” sector, inaccessible to the trawling online house hunter? As increasing numbers of vendors now seek to avoid the generalised unvetted public gaze of online listing, they are instead choosing to have their properties discreetly and quietly placed “off market” by their estate agents with selected, pre-qualified buyers, often represented by buying agents. Online property listings alone cannot therefore be relied upon to give unrepresented buyers access to whole market information. Property is a multi-dimensional product but could addictive scrolling through online property listings, and the “swipe right” mentality of an increasingly screen driven population, encourage buyers to make instant one-dimensional judgements based solely on a few photos, a virtual tour or video the estate agent has uploaded? Might an over reliance on digital media and a reduction in conventional interaction between buyers and estate agents be a sign that digitisation of the property market is actually creating a disconnect between house hunting consumers and the estate agents selling the properties they want? I have been an independent buying agent for twenty four years and until about eight years ago the majority of my clients instructed me the moment they decided they wanted to buy a property. They had no inclination to search for themselves and were keen to see what I could find for them whilst they focused on their day jobs and enjoyed their weekends. Contrast that to more recent years during which time online house hunting has become a national obsession - I am now increasingly

working with buyers who turn to me for help in a state of property search distress after trying unsuccessfully to find and buy a property by themselves first. These are high quality, property savvy, intelligent buyers left fed up, emotionally drained and at times close to despair by their experiences of searching for a home themselves in today’s heavily digitised property market. My work for these clients is probably best described as “property search intensive care” such is the level of service needed to lift their flagging spirits, get their searches back on track and successfully find and acquire the right properties for them whilst representing their best interests at all times. Digitisation of the property market has undoubtedly opened the door for us all to a wealth of online information that can be an extremely valuable part of any search but it is not a panacea. To successfully find and buy the right property takes a broader approach with the use of digital resources being just one part of the process. It remains crucial to still engage with estate agents conventionally (and there are some excellent ones out there), to physically look at locations and properties of interest to judge them in real life (you’d be surprised how often on-screen images notably differ from reality), to be open to some lateral thinking and to consider options maybe outside the tick boxes. No amount of technology can negate the value of human interaction or the time and effort involved in an effective property search. So from where I stand the digitisation of estate agency looks to be making things more difficult for the house hunting consumer and is creating an even greater need for the bespoke, proactive and professional buying agency services that I, and others like me, provide.


Top floor views easterly across Knightsbridge SOLD

Palace Gate Mansions, Kensington W8 £6,750,000 Adorning the favoured top floor of this well-run mansion building, offering extensive roof top views easterly across Knightsbridge and the Royal Albert Hall, the contemporary finishes mix seamlessly with the period features; including over 3m high ceilings.



A slick and modern house rebuilt

Chartfield Avenue, London SW15 £4,250,000 A slick and modern house rebuilt as an owners own home with clever design features from sliding doors for separation and sound proofing to offer flexibility in entertaining and accommodation space to storage solutions most could only dream of throughout the house.


What could be any more exciting than showing a buyer the property of their dreams? Maybe one thing only. And that is showing the buyer a property that has the potential to be their dream home.

here is a gap though, sometimes an unbridgeable gap, between the potential of a property and what it seems the transformation might take to achieve. All too many potential sales are stopped dead by the scary unknowns: cost, time and the fear of an out-of-control building project.


So let’s fantasise for a moment. Wouldn’t it be fantastic for vendors, buyers and property agents, too, if there were some sure way to foretell what a project will involve; to visualise the potential of a property long before a brick is laid or a single lick of fresh paint goes on the walls; even better, to know exactly the right design team and builders as well. Hold the thought. My phone rang early this morning. On the line was a selling agent. She wanted to know what the chances were of her client, a very wealthy one, being able to build a big new country house on a beautiful grassy smallholding where only sheep are nibbling at the moment. (Answer: the chances are high, approached the right way.) Later today, my colleagues and I will be advising a developer with four newly completed penthouses on the ideal interior designers to furnish and dress them. After that, we are with the hopeful would-be buyer of a super-prime north London house to detail the cost of refurbishing it and the ideal architects and builders to use for the multi-million-pound project. These properties could hardly be more different. Yet all three clients face

that same challenge: how to quantify the unknowns, and how best to realise the potential. Is it too much to hope that the fantasy I dangled really exists? Property projects are so often fraught—unpredictable planning officers and uncertain supply chains are just two of the evil genies that swarm around. So the fantasy may be just that. But my colleagues and I have worked hard over the past decade and more to create the nearest thing to it. Here is an example of what we do. An agent wanted to sell a fine house in Kensington. The house has everything you could wish for. Well, almost. It could do with a complete refurb. And it needs a basement and an extension. And it happens to be listed, too. So we created a highly considered and beautifully illustrated document for the vendors so they could hand it to each interested buyer. The document gave up-to-the minute details of costings, timelines and potential planning gains and challenges. It was halfway to giving buyers an ‘oven-ready’ property—or was the perfect recipe for one, at least. And the document went further still. Our in-house architects and interior designers included design options in the proposal to show what might be achieved by improving the property. To stretch the ‘oven-ready’ metaphor, this

Architects, interior designers, planning

consultants, contractors, quantity surveyors and project managers—we have made it our business to find the best of the best.

was almost like presenting buyers with a golden-roasted bird and all the trimmings. You are wondering about the cost to the vendor of our producing the document. There was none. We charged nothing. Where appropriate we will offer pro-bono advice, in the confident hope that buyers will engage us to advise on their project. And the cost of our advice to clients when they do engage us? Between £1,800 and £3,800 for putting their entire team together on a bespoke basis, and overseeing their project. We are able to charge so little because our business is an agency, with our revenue coming as a small commission on the earnings of the 200+ partner firms we have chosen to work with. Architects, interior designers, planning consultants, contractors, quantity surveyors and project managers—we have made it our business to find the best of the best.

agent knows architects, interior designers, project managers or builders. Frankly, it can be hard to go to a dinner party without meeting one or other. Yet the obvious risk in making recommendations is that they underperform on the job and then there is the blowback. How appealing, then, to be able to pass on that risk to someone else. And how useful at the same time to ensure that the recommendations given to the client comes from independent experts whose business it is to know more about the best talent needed to build a house, refurbish or decorate one whether in the country or in London.

Sometimes we joke that we are a dating agency, as we always present our clients with an array of candidates for their project team in a ‘beauty parade’ of brilliant talent chosen by us to match the clients’ taste, budget and personal chemistry.

Twelve years ago, I set up the RedBook Agency. There are 10 of us now, and we have advised on over 200 property projects, both private residential and commercial. Today there are nearly 50 live projects at different stages on our books. In an overheated market, where the services of designers, builders and other key project specialists are in unprecedented demand, having specialists with the ability to secure the ideal talent for a project against all competition has never been more highly valued.

This in itself solves the challenge that crops up for property agents whenever a buyer asks for them recommendations. Every

Contact Sandy Mitchell at RedBook on 07584 055 985 or at


Completely renovated to a very high standard

Chesson Road, London W14 £595,000 With the advantage of its own access, the flat has been completely renovated to a very high standard throughout and boasts a sunny south facing garden. The accomodation comprises a bright double bedroom with built in wardrobe, a modern bathroom and an open reception room with French doors leading out to the garden.



Holland Park Villas is a wonderful new building SOLD

Campden Hill, Kensington W8 £4,150,000 Created by world renowned London developers Native Land. The building is quietly positioned adjacent to Holland Park at the top of Campden Hill, sandwiched between High Street Kensington and Notting Hill Gate. The building has all the needs that a sophisticated London buyer could wish for.



The Long Read The secret they don’t want to tell you.

explain to you why this seemingly obvious statement matters in today’s property market.

It is not the quantity of viewings that count, it is the quality of viewings that makes the difference. There, I’ve said it… no doubt there will be a barrage of criticism and rebuttal from those with a vested interest in maintaining the charade that the more viewings your agent shoves through your door the better they are. But before I strap on my tin helmet and reinforce the bunker, let me

In order to peel back the layers of this particular onion, I have to take you back to a period before the internet, ipads and rightmove. In the pre-internet age, estate agents (for which I mean both sales and rentals agents) relied upon physical brochures, low-res imagery and the quality of their descriptive prose to encourage buyers through any given vendors door. The only way a potential buyer could browse for property was by reading the short descriptions of houses (later accompanied by postage stamp photos), typically listed within the national and local press. Then, after registering with various agents they would receive phone calls and property particulars in the post, which they would browse through before visiting their shortlist and stumbling upon their future home. You see the only way they could really see inside a property those days was by actually visiting it. If you were lucky, brochures might typically have 2-6 postcard size photographs and there wasn’t really the ability to “zoom in” like we have today. Researching the local area

required buyers to walk around it, and school reviews were typically by word of mouth rather than by simply doing a google search. It was in this era that the importance of “number of viewings” gained its prominence as a key performance indicator related to the abilities of any one agent, as in real terms it was the only way an estate agent could get your home in front of the marketplace. Similarly, it was in this era that the size an agent’s “database” entered into the lexicon of the estate agents sales pitch. Fast forward 25 years and the property market has moved on somewhat, revolutionised by the internet, the portals and mobile devices. Today buyers can visit a property from the comfort of their sofa, or the discomfort of their train seat. Property listings on the portals often have 12-20 photographs, from multiple angles, portrayed in glorious technicolour and in some cases excellent resolution. Floorplans are more accurate than ever before and you can now find out everything you might possibly like to know about any given area, from schools, to crime, broadband speed to mobile reception just by the simple click of a button. You can even see the location and surrounding neighbourhood from a


bird’s eye view, such is the wonder of the internet age. As a result of the pandemic, the demand for “remote” viewing has boomed, with video tours, matterport virtual tours and more, beaming every aspect of the property on to the device of those interested enough to take a look. What’s more, market data, by which I mean sold prices and general market information, is now readily available and easily searchable by postcode, street and even down to the history of any given property, if you only know where to look. What this means overall is that buyers today are more educated about your property than they ever have been, even BEFORE they send an email or pick up the phone to your agent. Given that there is so much information readily accessible and well presented on any given property, it is curious then that the business model employed by the majority of agencies, is one which prioritises the number of viewings over all else. This, in and of itself has far reaching consequences for their businesses, the market and the industry as a whole. The fall out of the financial crash of 200809 established that if you target bankers to sell financial products, they sell financial products regardless of the ethical or even financial consequences. The same rule applies to estate agents. If you target agents on the number of viewings they do, guess what? They do a lot of viewings, but it is only by sheer volume and related probability that they might actually sell your property. In short it is the estate agency equivalent of throwing mud at the wall in the hope that some of it will stick. Naturally if your business model is based on doing a lot of viewings, you will as a consequence require a lot of staff, and cars and office space in which to house them, which all costs money. Accordingly, your expenses increase and the sheer volume of fees required to keep the lights on means that these businesses will slowly but surely

start to sacrifice percentage points in commission for market share, such is the insatiable appetite of the monster they have now created. More stock, higher expenses and lower fees is not, I am sorry to say, a particularly attractive or indeed sustainable model on which to build an industry. It is nevertheless the one we seem to have built. Over and above the business case for switching the emphasis away from volume of viewings to quality of viewings there are other excellent reasons why quality matters. Firstly and perhaps most importantly, vendors hate wasted viewings. Preparing for a viewing is perhaps one of the worst parts of selling one’s home. The constant tidying, packing off the children and pets and the wasted hours in coffee shops or walking the dog, as someone meanders around your home (usually late). This is made all the more infuriating the following day when the agent rings to give you their valuable feedback, typically about something you can’t change… like the location, or the size of the 2nd bedroom or indeed the compass baring of your rear garden. Incidentally all things which are readily explained and clearly displayed in the marketing materials, usually available to the buyer before they arranged the viewing. Another reason why quality should be prioritised over quantity, is that sheer volume of viewings is not an accurate indicator of the popularity of your property or indeed the accuracy of an agent’s valuation. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has sold a property in the last 20 years or so, that agents see the two main variables which help them secure a listing are the valuation and the fee. The valuation is often a quick win, with vendors more often than not signing terms with agents who offer them higher valuations, even if they seem fanciful. Agents who do this then shoehorn any applicants they can through the door over a very short period of time (in some cases before any details

have been made publicly available) in order to start the narrative that the valuation put on the property needs to come down. Of course if an agent has over valued the property, then no amount of viewings are likely to trigger a purchase, especially when we remember that buyers are today so well educated in the market and associated values. However, what is worse is that the buyers being thrust over your threshold have not been qualified and accordingly may well have little or no real probability of actually making an offer. It is within this final layer of the onion, that everything I have mentioned above will start to fall into place. As previously mentioned, if you target estate agents on the basis of viewings, then they will do a lot of viewings. However, one of the unintended consequences of prioritising viewings over all else is that in pursuit of hitting their target they will compromise on the quality of the buyers they are walking through the door. Buyers come in all shapes and sizes and a key task of any estate agent is to qualify or vet each buyer that enquires on any given property. When I talk about qualification, I mean that the agent should understand their buying position i.e. do they have a property to sell, are they cash buyers or do they require a mortgage? They should also establish if the buyer is ready to buy, are they under offer, how many properties have they seen, are they educated in what they are looking for or are they simply window shopping. Finally, an agent should be able to discuss with any buyer their key requirements and budget and by combining these two, establish if they are realistic in their expectations within the area, but more importantly if the property they have called up to view, is actually suitable. The lack of qualification, or dare I say it interest in the buyers’ requirements is a vicious circle in and of itself. The way in which agent’s customer management systems (CRM’s) usually work is that an applicant’s details and requirements are


registered on the system, and accordingly thereafter the system will fire off email “alerts” based on the information put into that system. Naturally the better the information entered on to the system is, the more relevant the alerts will be. Conversely the vaguer the information is the less relevant the alerts will be. As such within a relatively short period of time buyers become immune to the email alerts arriving in their inboxes, so much so that they pay no attention to them.

open the door for anyone who asks, then quite frankly it’s only a short hop, skip and a jump away from removing them from the equation altogether. Vendors will rightly ask what value the agency provides in return for their fee, and accordingly agency owners will be forced to either lower fees, increase their costs, or fatally both.

The consequence of this latter point is relatively obvious. If the buyer won’t take an agents call, and ignores their emails, preferring instead to carry out their own research via the portals, then it should come as no surprise that an agent’s database quickly becomes of little value to either the agency or their vendors, who’s homes they are attempting to sell using this outdated database.

The emergence of the “self-employed” or “Broker” model provides those with the experience, knowledge and work ethic, with the opportunity to thrive. Unshackled from targets and KPI’s other than the ones they might set themselves, independent brokers have the ability and the motivation to provide their clients with an altogether higher level of service than their corporate colleagues.

By glossing over or even skipping this vital step of qualification the agents and agencies lower the level of service they are able to provide to their clients. No longer is there any skill or market knowledge required within the rank and file of agency, they simply book viewings and open doors, hoping to get lucky with the next buyer.

Typically working with a small number of clients at any one time, they have the capacity to qualify their buyers properly and indeed it is in their best interests to do so, as every viewing contributes to either their profit or their loss. That being said, the market makers in the industry continue to reinforce the charade (at every valuation) that more viewings equal better service, and that the size of their database matters. But what really is the value of a viewing with a buyer who has been plucked from a database of applicants that they’ve barely spoken to?

What’s more these issues compound each other and help to reinforce the stereotypes of estate agents in urban folklore ensuring that many buyers see agents as predatory salespeople intent on hoodwinking them in to buying something they don’t want for too much money. Accordingly, they are almost encouraged to hide behind the portals and their emails, often sending fake phone numbers in their enquiries and only engaging when they themselves spot something online that they like the look of. Increasingly matters have been made worse by agencies themselves, who have become so obsessed with viewing figures that they actively encourage buyers to book viewings on any given property directly via their websites without any requirement for qualification, and so the cycle of decline continues. In the long run this cycle of decline has the potential to be fatal for many agents and agencies. If all an estate agent is there to do is

There is however a glimmer of light.

There is no doubt that converting eyes on a website to viewings through the door is important, as on occasion no amount of photographs or 2D imagery can quite convey the charm or feel of a physical viewing. Equally the importance of a buyer being “proceedable” (eg. under offer with financing in place) before they walk through the door is again not always 100% essential, as visiting a perfect home, can increase the motivation of a buyer to accept a lower offer on their own home in order to make the move. However simply forcing buyers through the door without a care as to their situation, in the hope that one of them will buy is, at least in my view neither smart nor sensible. It is also a curiosity that so many vendors can so easily be hoodwinked by the notion that lots of viewings are worth paying for, because surely it is the agent that sells your home in one viewing who is worth the money not the busy fool who sells it in 50.


This massive Mediterranean Revival villa is truly a must see!

Tower Grove Drive, Beverly Hills, LA £6,820,000 | $8,990,000 Spacious and stunning, this massive Mediterranean Revival villa is truly a must see! The gated entrance offers both security and privacy while the home itself boasts an impressive 6 bedrooms and 7 full bathrooms (+2 Half Baths) over a sprawling 7,500 sq ft of living space! Featuring soaring ceiling heights throughout.



Handsome stucco building in South Kensington SOLD

Onslow Gardens, SW7 £999,950 Unmodernised Short Lease Opportunity in Onslow Gardens. The London Broker is pleased to bring to market a rare development opportunity in Onslow Gardens. Situated on the top floor (with lift) of a handsome stucco building in South Kensington, this 1130sqft apartment is in need of full refurbishment as well as lease extension.


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