How does a small family agency take off in a town where it has no office, lots of competition and is only a couple of years old?
Saxon Shore Estate Agents, in Faversham, Kent, has been awarded ‘Best Faversham Business’ in local awards.
Saxon Shore is probably not a household name where you are – and EYE does get quite a lot of awards notified to us.
But this one somehow seemed a bit different – and so it turns out.
The firm is not a local hybrid type of firm, but a traditional agent that operates in the high street, albeit without a shop window.
It was set up in 2017 by brother and sister team Richard Gates and Liz Jeffery. Gates is a seasoned estate agent with 20 years’ experience, ten of them with Countrywide.
He had already struck out on his own nine or ten years ago but then needed to be Faversham-based for family reasons.
His sister has no estate agency background but does have business development skills. She had the idea of an estate agency that people genuinely loved, and today 60% of its business comes from recommendations.
In making their award, the judges remarked: “Saxon Shore is operating in a highly competitive and mature market with some very strong, well established regional competing brands.
“However, they have proven that through strong leadership, a great team and dedication and commitment to all of their customers, it is possible to not only compete with the status quo but to surpass them.
“They have dared to be bold and do things differently.”
Gates himself said: “Despite the current climate, our business has achieved great things over the last two years. We regularly outperform our competitors and currently convert 81% of our listings.
“We started the agency from scratch, with no retail premises, using our expertise in online marketing and communications to promote our properties to potential buyers.
“In addition, our extensive involvement in the community and knowledge of Faversham ensure sellers trust our advice on selling their properties.”
The firm has used local artists to do their boards, which are based on photographs that Liz Jeffery herself took of the local area (https://www.whiteonesugar.co.uk/)
She said: “Many customers took a chance on using us when we were still a young, untested business. Many others recommended us, worked with us or joined with our community events.
“We may be Faversham Business of the Year, but it was Faversham that made us a business to start with.”