Comings & Goings

Neil Short

JLL strengthens prime central London residential lettings team

JLL has appointed Neil Short as area director of its prime central London lettings team.

Short has worked in the lettings industry since 2004, having started his career as an agent in Canary Wharf before joining JLL in 2013. Upon joining he was tasked with setting up the lettings department in the firm’s (then) newly opened residential City office, which has now grown into one of JLL’s highest performing, influential flagship offices.

Following this success, Short will now also oversee the running of JLL’s prime central London lettings offices which include Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Marylebone.

Working alongside Short is Kerry Morley, an associate at the firm. She joined JLL in 2014, when the firm acquired the residential agency WA Ellis and where she had worked since early 2007.

Kerry Morley

Morley has more than 23 years’ experience in the prime central London lettings market. She operates across both the Chelsea and Knightsbridge offices, appraising and valuing properties across the PCL lettings postcodes working closely with the firm’s Estate and Portfolio clients.

Short said: “We have fantastic teams in place across our prime central London lettings businesses and my focus will be on growing these to further our presence, building upon our market share in these key locations.”

Morley added: “I am excited to build upon our relationships with existing portfolio and estate clients as well as forge new client relationships and increase our portfolio of properties over the next few years as we continue to grow.”


Cheffins announces new head of Newmarket office

Lauren Blake

Cheffins has promoted Lauren Blake as the new head of the Newmarket office, following the retirement of Neil Harris.

Blake, who has 17 years of experience working in estate agency, will now lead the 10-person strong team from the Cheffins Newmarket office, situated on the town’s High Street.

Her appointment is announced following the retirement of Harris, who joined Cheffins in 1989.

Blake joins the Newmarket team following seven years at the Cheffins Cambridge office and will lead the office’s residential sales and lettings departments, covering all sectors from the market from flats through to high end family homes.

She commented: “We will continue to provide an exceptional service for clients both in Newmarket town centre and the surrounding villages and I look forward to ensuring that the branch continues to thrive.”

Mark Peck, head of residential at Newmarket, said: “With a strong existing team in place and the appointment of Lauren Blake, we are confident that the Newmarket office will be left in good hands following Neil’s retirement. Lauren has a wealth of experience and an in-depth knowledge of the local area; I am sure that she will provide excellent leadership and further our strong track record in the region.”


Richard Palfreeman joins Property Academy

Richard Palfreeman
Richard Palfreeman

Property Academy has announced that former Northfields owner Richard Palfreeman has joined its board of trusted advisors.

Palfreeman will work alongside Peter Knight, Peter Rollings and David Smith, chairing leadership groups and providing invaluable guidance on strategies and tactics to Property Academy members.

Palfreeman owned and operated Northfields in West London for over 34 years. He strategically expanded the business across West London from one to four offices specialising in sales, lettings, property management and new homes and went on to sell it in March 2022 to the Leaders Romans Group in a planned exit.

He commented: “I was the very first member of the Property Academy in 2008 and it has helped me and other estate agent colleagues share best practice in a supportive environment to deal successfully with both market challenges and growing our businesses. The Academy was instrumental in helping me successfully and confidentially plan to sell my business to LRG group in March 2022.

“I hope my 34 experience of running a lettings, sales and new homes  business will be beneficial to other estate agency owners who’s issues in building and running a business I can certainly relate to. Having recently sold the business in March this year I am also able to share some very practical ideas on maximising the value of an estate agency business too.

Palfreeman’s appointment comes as Peter Knight and his team look to expand The Property Academy to incorporate more leadership groups to provide broader support to more estate agency business owners.

Peter Knight commented “In challenging times, you need great people, tactics and confidence in your decision-making. Retaining staff at a time when there is a shortage in quality candidates, keeping staff motivated as it becomes harder to build pipelines, empathising with staff who are feeling the pinch of rising costs of living, combating gloomy media headlines with factual communications – these are all real challenges estate agency owners face right now, and there are many more too – they come up at every meeting.

“Having the opportunity to access advice and experience from other experienced estate agency owners is, I believe, invaluable.  These people are in the same shoes as you, know your industry inside out and have broad experience spanning many different market conditions. Property Academy’s leadership groups create a forum for these discussions.”



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