Monthly Archives: September 2011

20 years on and still going strong………

Office in 1991 – 23 Sheep Street

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Richard James Estate Agents. James and I opened the doors at 23 Sheep Street, a small office with high hopes to establish a business in difficult times. Within weeks of opening interest rates had soared to about 15% and house prices were dropping like a stone.

We rolled up our sleeves and both worked seven days a week for the next few years. The hard work paid off and in 1995 we were able to move to our current premises and start employing staff. From this point the business began to grow and we were able to open our second office in 1999 in Irthlingborough. For an eight year period in the last boom, from 2001 to 2009 we also had a third office on the Gleneagles estate in Wellingborough.

Over the years we have experienced all kinds of market conditions and also seen some big changes to the way we do business. The biggest impact of estate agency in general has been the introduction of digital photography. Gone are the days of sticking photos onto sales particulars. Today we load multiple high quality photographs into software that produces fantastic brochures and then uploads to various websites. The internet today controls the marketing of any house; every vendor rightly wants their house on as many high profile websites in glorious colour.

The other main change over the years is the dominance of independent estate agents. When we opened in 1991 Prudential, Woolwich, TSB and Abbey National all had offices in the area, today none of them are involved in estate agency. The strongest agents now tend to be independently owned and run businesses that live on reputation and service levels.

As we blow the candles out on our birthday cake today we will reflect on the twists and turns of the last 20 years and look forward to the challenges of the next 20!

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