So what is working for a boutique property agency really like?
Our Senior Property Advisor, Anna Lazenbury, writes passionately about the transition from working for a large firm to a more personal, boutique team:
Compared with our experience of working in large firms, it goes without saying that there is a huge difference in hierarchy and levels. With the focus purely on the clients, decisions can be made in a matter of minutes or hours which is ultimately most beneficialTo the client and efficient.
Working in a very close and unified way, we have the ability to be incredibly proactive and service client’s requirements with a very hands on approach – stepping in for each other whenever required. In respecting one another implicitly, we’ve an inherent understanding of how best to deliver for our clients 24/7.
Without a very well known name over the door or established brand behind us, the majority of our business comes through our existing relationships, and the word of mouth referrals that mean so much. Those clients trust us to be on hand to answer all questions and find a solution to their every need. From market values and conveyancing through to how best to dress their property and which photographers to use – we are there with them every step of the way.
Discretion is paramount. Our clients rightly demand privacy – so we have to make sure everything we do is ‘under the radar’. It’s why most of our deals are completed off-market. This in itself places even greater importance on our contacts and client relationships.
Cumulatively, we have almost 60 years of Prime Central London experience – but now, we are fortunate to not have any geographical restrictions placed upon us. With Susannah’s impressive knowledge of the country market, we are able to help with property requirements across both the breadth of London and the Country without having to “hand over” to anybody.
This afternoon, we are off to meet a client who is considering offering on an a flat that they would like to refurbish for rentals- but they would like our advice on their proposed layout and finishes. As a trusted old client of Sami’s, they very much appreciate his advice and input – especially within certain developments in Kensington where he has sold a substantial number of apartments.
From there, I head off to a number of previews that I need to undertake on behalf of a client in search of a lateral property with outside space; This is not something readily available in today’s post-Covid market, but it is precisely why we are instructed by clients – to have access to the widest range of properties, both on and off market. They are prepared to undertake some works to a property but with the sharp increased costs of building works as well as procurement timeframes being quite lengthy I need to make sure any “project” they take on is as transparent as possible and the budget doesn’t overrun.
Harwood offers a very hands on approach with clients. At any one time, we are mindful of only working with a handful of properties, searches and advisory projects. This helps to build a very personal relationship with clients, and fundamentally goes a long way in ensuring we become their ‘go to’ for all property related matters.
As a boutique agency, we all work very hard to create an excellent and knowledgeable reputation in the marketplace. To have built such an incredible track record in three short years is testament to that.
Sami and Susannah and I all share the same ethos and values. We love what we do, and enjoy helping clients. If we can continue to share that enthusiasm, passion and knowledge with our clients, then the future will be a bright and positive one.