I recently returned from my annual summer holiday, where Julie and I enjoyed another cruise around the Med’. The weather was sunny with temperatures in the mid-20’s and by the sound of it the weather back home was lousy so we picked a good week to be away!
The property market continued to remain very active. We registered 307 new applicants (buyers and tenants) to our database in September this year compared to only 133 in September 2018. I’m a little sceptical of monthly statistics but the same significant activity increase is seen in the July, August and September periods year on year. Last year over those three months 398 new applicants were registered, whereas for the same three-month period this year we have registered 895 new applicants. Demand continued unabated.
You may have read in the local press that a couple of well-known Leeds estate agencies are on the acquisition trail, buying up smaller agencies. They have recently acquired the businesses of a couple of estate and letting agents we know. Whilst I was away our office was contacted by a member of the public asking whether we were one of the agencies who had been taken over. I’d like to dispel any rumours about this.
We are coming up to our 26th anniversary on St Anne’s Road in Headingley. Julie and I took over David Moor Estate Agents back in November 1993, the same month our son, Peter, was born (easy to remember the anniversary!) It was very hard in the early days – a new business, our daughter, Hayley, a toddler, and a new baby – but this was our career and our livelihood depended upon it, and has done ever since. In 2014 we invited Hayley to join our Partnership. Hayley had been working for the business for several years but 2014 seemed the right time to invite her to establish financial roots in the family business – I’m a good way off retirement but conscious of the need to plan for the future. Michael Davies and Angie Wright are now both Associate Partners. Michael has been with us 18 years and Angie for 13 years. Along with Hayley’s involvement, they bring stability and longevity to Moores.
We believe we are the largest independent, family operated, estate agency in Leeds, certainly within our local market of north-west Leeds. We now have a team of 15 in our St Anne’s Road office (its often been referred to as a ‘Tardis’ by clients (Dr Who fans will know to what I refer!) and I learnt early on in my career that having one office that delivers exceptional service is better than having multiple offices delivering a mediocre service.
Over the last 12 months we have invested in our office space; fully refurbishing rooms, creating a larger staff kitchen, upgrading our phone and IT equipment as well as introducing a document storage software solution, ensuring we comply with the Data Protection Regulations. Further investment is planned over the next 12 months – watch this space!
Customer service has always been at the forefront of our business. That is what differentiates us. Our team care for our clients and the majority of new business now comes from existing client recommendations. For 2019 we further enhanced the customer experience when anyone contacts our office by phone, email or in person with the addition of Anna Neary to our frontline team.
In a recent newsletter editorial I said that compared to 10 years ago there is a shortage of property for sale. This has resulted in some estate agents resorting to the practice of ‘touting’ for new business. Sellers and landlords are receiving letters or leaflets from estate agents who claim they have buyers on their books and that the seller should switch estate agents. These letters often refer to ‘Mr P looking for a house in your street’ or ‘Mrs D wanting a semi in your area’. All estate agents can make spurious claims. The agents may have the buyers on their books, but we’re just as likely to have them registered on our books as well. We don’t tout for business. We are far too occupied with delivering good service than spending time creating leaflets making promises that more than likely have no substance. We do occasionally send post card style cards to the neighbouring houses/streets where we are have successfully sold or let properties – but this is simply to inform those living in the area of our success, and how the market is performing in their area.
I do hope this article dispels any rumours you may have heard – we have no plans to merge, sell out or be taken over. If we can be of help whether you are selling or renting a property, please do get in touch with us. Here’s to another 26 years!