It’s funny how in certain industries paths cross in unlikely and repetitive ways and the property industry is one such profession.
Back in the early summer of last year our founder and MD, David Brierley, invited me to attend a meeting with The MD of Enfields, Simon Thurston, an established and successful independent estate agency business.
David and Simon, it transpires, have a history going back nearly forty years which has seen their career paths criss cross initially as competitors and in later years as standalone business owners. It was clear from the meeting that both had a mutual respect and admiration for one another and what they had achieved.
In the meeting Simon was very clear about his desire to expand the Enfields network but in an uncertain financial climate was looking at alternative ways in which to achieve this goal and that’s where I came in… no pressure!!
At Simon’s request evolve, and more specifically me, undertook a consultancy exercise to look at opportunities and methods of increasing brand recognition to help grow the network.
The first part of the exercise was to understand the existing business, its values, the message the company was trying to convey to consumers and finally, how customers would define what Enfields stood for.
Visiting a few offices, talking to the people within the business, and experiencing first-hand the culture and environment gave me a very clear idea of who and what Enfields were and that’s always a great place to start.
The next step was to research the general market place, the wants and needs of consumers, the strengths/weaknesses of competition, and the habits of modern consumers. Armed with this information, and my own deep understanding of the property market, a plan began to form.
In late September we met again in Simon’s office and I presented my findings, recommendations, and a plan to expand the reach and recognition of Enfields… now the pressure was well and truly on!
As we walked through my proposals I gained that inner relief and satisfaction that comes from experiencing positive feedback. Whilst our relationship was relatively new, Simon and I had built a good understanding and had established a mutual like for plain speaking.
The proposal was well received and the concept of expanding the business through the launch of a hub covering the whole of the Portsmouth area, without the need for multiple High Street premises, appealed massively and was taken by Simon to the Board for approval.
Fast forward to 2019 and not only has the plan been adopted but I was asked to oversee and manage the whole process from start to launch, this has involved everything from;
- Sourcing the premises
- Selection of operating systems
- Integration between new and existing business
- Marketing campaign
- Recruitment campaign
- Interviewing and selection of staff
- On boarding process for new recruits
Now let’s go back to the first line of my blog and were it not for the mutual trust and respect David and Simon had established this opportunity would never have materialised. Whilst the words might be deemed old fashioned this exercise has once again highlighted to me how important trust, integrity and honesty is in any relationship.