No high street office – local agent wins Best Business award for daring to be bold and different

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.”

More top news stories

x

Email the story to a friend

25 Comments

  1. Hillofwad71

    Fantastic  board .It makes you almost want to live there !  Is the bird a godwit or a sandipiper ? Well done

    Report
    1. Saxonshore

      Thank you! The bird, we affectionately call Alexander, is an Avocet.  Glad you like the boards, they look great around town.

      Report
  2. RedRebel

    Bravo

    Report
    1. Saxonshore

      Thank you! 

      Report
  3. EAMD172

    Great success story  Congratulations!

    Report
    1. Saxonshore

      Thank you, it’s been hard work but totally worth it

      Report
      1. Bless You

        If you could pick 1-3  things to do  again in another town to launch, what would you do?

        Report
        1. Saxonshore

          Ooh this is a good one!  It’s very hard to say, our success is largely due to being a family business and having a total understanding and passion for our local area.  
          The most important thing is to identify target customers, understand them and listen to what they want. 
          Ensure the customer service is outstanding and don’t focus on hard sell. 

          Report
          1. Bless You

            cheers. So where do you advertise so that  new customers understand this? 

            Report
            1. Saxonshore

              We don’t in the traditional sense!  We are very active on social media, we talk to potential customers in groups and forums, it’s labour intensive but worth it.  We run many community initiatives where we are out talking to people directly.  We have a great PR company that help us to get articles into the local (and sometimes national) press. It’s always testing what works and evolving.

               

              Report
  4. GPL

    “Refreshingly different” – 10/10 for your For Sale Board, nice to see a different take on local marketing.

     

     

    Report
    1. Saxonshore

      Thank you! It’s been nice to see something pretty around town.  They have prompted several rebrands locally, which look much nicer than the traditional “shouty” boards

      Report
  5. MJBertie

    I launched my own business in February in Olney, Bucks doing exactly the same thing. We currently have a £60k pipeline and a register of 18 for sale houses. We have had 8 instructions through recommendations. Although we may aspire to a full high street office, if you are personable and deliver on your promises you can succeed without one.

     

    Well done guys

    Report
    1. Bless You

      why have a high street office? do you feel you lose business because of this? 

      Report
      1. MJBertie

        No, i don’t feel; we do at this point but when we want to grow the business it will be a consideration

        Report
    2. Saxonshore

      Thank you!  It’s great to hear of other success stories, especially when they are comming through recommendations.  Wishing you lots of continued success.
       

      Report
  6. PeeBee

    Looks like a well-run operation – by people who actually appear to care.

    One to watch, methinks.  Many could… make that should… learn from this model.

    Report
    1. Saxonshore

      Thank you very kind words
       

      Report
  7. SamH

    Bravo indeed! That’s a sale board people will WANT outside their place. Real marketing

    Report
    1. Saxonshore

      Thank you!  They really do!  But you need the service to back the boards up.
       

      Report
  8. AgencyInsider

    Delightful choice of branding. And it is pretty clear they are winning business on real and solid service rather than the usual meaningless drivel about ‘personal service’ peddled by many a clueless agent who hasn’t got any idea what service is about. Well done to them.

    Report
    1. Saxonshore

      Thank you so much! We’ve been blown away by the responses here and how many ‘get’ what we are doing! It’s all about service first and foremost.  Interaction and being involved in our community. Then the boards and everything else. Nice that you see that

      Report
  9. RichRep

    Fantastic effort, well done and good luck!

    PS: that is one really good looking board. Phwoar!

    Report
    1. Saxonshore

      Thank you!  Glad you like them

       

      Report
  10. SpongeBob

    Congratulations 🙂

    Report
X

You must be logged in to report this comment!

Leave a reply

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.