Andrew Grant, estate agents and auctioneers, changes hands

After nearly 50 years, Andrew Grant,  has transferred ownership in what appears to be a rationalisation of the business.

Members of the established senior team, along with two local independent backers, have taken on the brand.

Joanna Monro, Chief Operating Officer said:

“We wish Andrew well with his next chapter and thank those staff who have sadly been made redundant as part of this process.

“I want to thank my colleagues amongst the management team for their hard work and dedication in completing this transaction in order to protect the legacy of the brand; and we now look forward to utilising the best technologies and people to provide an unrivalled customer experience.”

Andrew Grant added:

“I am extremely supportive of the new ownership and am confident that it is in the safest of hands. I wish them all the best”.

One the company website, Andrew Grant relates the history of the Andrew Grant brand:

“Living in Kidderminster, aged just 13 I would regularly attend furniture sales in the town’s old cattle market with two friends from my then school, Winterfold.

“The auctioneers, today known as Phipps and Pritchard, referred to the three of us as ‘The Syndicate’, and if other parties bid against us (by probably no more than 25p in today’s money) the auctioneer would rebuke them for bidding against the syndicate.

“This ignited the desire in me to become an auctioneer and estate agent.

“Aged only 16, and still needing a maths O-level I started in articles, at Arthur G. Griffiths and Sons, an agricultural auctioneer, and was the first not to pay a premium for the pleasure.

“My days in the cattle market were fun.

“My first job was broking in calves (which I sometimes wrongly sexed – much to the anxiety of the auctioneer, who would however always make the surrounding crowd aware of my folly!).

“The cattle market was my university of life, you simply had to get on with and understand the farmers or else they made your life a misery.

“In an interesting turn of fact, my first auction was of some mistletoe, sent to be sold by the nuns of Stanbrook Abbey.

“Some forty years later I would sell the Abbey on their behalf for around £5million.

“Having now gained my maths O-level, my work saw me travel from Worcester, to Bromsgrove, Moseley and then to Michael J. Davis of Kidderminster.

“Michael was excellent at business but rather unpleasant; I was always having to request my monthly salary and eventually left, being owed 3 months wages.

“He also often wrote ghastly letters to those who’d upset him.

“With a loan from my brother, on 1st April 1971, I set-up in business, at Pierpoint Street, Worcester – yes, it was April Fool’s Day!

“My first break came with some publicity gained in my first 3 months when I had managed to secure the sale of Spring Grove, more commonly known today as West Midland’s Safari Park.

“The park was owned by the Webb family, famous for Webbs Seeds.

“The late owner, Major Harcourt-Webb, a solicitor who’d created the Severn Valley Railway, had hoped that the two leisures would go hand in hand, but learned that the property company managing the sale intended to split the entire estate.

“I was asked to trace Jimmy Chipperfield to ascertain if he was still interested in purchasing, and with Lord Derby he did.

“Unfortunately, I did not receive a fee as the solicitor had not discussed this with the buyers and, as anyone knows, it’s no good doing anything after the event!

“I did however receive a huge amount of publicity including the entire front page of the Kidderminster Shuttle, and as a result of the deal, became acquainted with the Webb family, and have since done much business on their behalf.

“The business slowly progressed, by opening further offices, mostly via acquisition; one of which being my former employer, Michael J. Davis (I did not deduct the three months salary still owing to me!).

“I also took over the office of Savills in Hereford as they were unable to make a go of it, as well as more recently their Solihull office as that too was shutting down.

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7 Comments

  1. Whaley

    One of the last old school agents leaves the industry, leaving a name full of goodwill and I wish Joanna and the team the best of luck in taking the business forwards.

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    1. Bless You

      Well done rightmove and zoopla.

       

      Allowing payanyway agents and new homes on to your site took all the profit out of the industry.

      Hope you have a good business model to cope with 50% less agents in the next 5 years.

      As the old school retire. No one in right mind will replace them.

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  2. JonnyBanana43

    True legend in the business. I’ll never forget the roasting he gave me at one of my first auctions! Thank you!

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  3. Richard Copus

    I went for an interview with them around 20 years ago for the post of manager with prospects of one of the firm’s main offices.  The partner who encouraged me and interviewed me introduced me to Andrew  –  a property professional of the old school.  The partner contacted me and offered me the post and invited my up to the office a week or so later to meet everyone.  I started putting in place arrangements to sell up in Devon and move to pastures new.  About another week further on this partner wrote to me telling me that he had changed his mind and that he wasn’t offering me the post any more but that it was going to an existing member of staff.
    Something I shall never forget.  I’m sure Andrew knew nothing about it this.  Thankfully I quickly realised that the grass was not greener on the other side and continued my work down in Devon where I have been for 36 years and am now reaping the benefit of repeat business from all those “old” clients who I sold houses to a generation ago  –  and continuing to enjoy mixed, rural practice and getting involved in the industry!

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  4. majortom1

    I met Andrew only once-a proper gent and seemed to genuinely care about his staff. Great brand.

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  5. whatdoiknow58

    A interesting read which mirrors my own early experience having joined a similar firm of Agricultural Agents and Auctioneers in the East Midlands back in the mid seventies. My job was booking in the store sheep ( those not yet large enough for slaughter ) and fat ewes ( meat pies). Happy days indeed. Oh just to correct a typo in Andrew’s report ” my first job was broking in calves ” should read I believe ” booking in calves ” those having arrived at the market for sale just in case it made no sense.

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  6. Gloslet

    54 redundancies out of 72 total head count

    Seems more of a write off than a rationalisation ?

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