The Horton and Garton story

It all started with a fax.

It was “the brit-pop” summer of 1996 and John Horton knew nothing about property. He did know he owed his mum a lot of money after spending 18 months backpacking around Australia and India. Sick of spending his nights stacking shelves to pay her back, he walked into a local estate agent hoping to use their fax machine to send off an application to a recruitment agency.

It turned into an impromptu job interview and two days later John was offered his first agency role. Twenty-five years later, he’s still going – but now at his own company, Horton and Garton, which he opened in 2008 after eleven years of working in Hammersmith for a couple of corporate chains.

Opening any estate agency on the brink of a widely anticipated housing market crash and worldwide recession was seen by many as either gutsy or stupid. To John, it was neither: it was a calculated risk based on the knowledge that a very good local reputation goes far.

And while the first six months were challenging – sales were at a trickle, other local agents tried to shut them down and the whole team had to take a “short term” pay cut – Horton and Garton has been on the up ever since. Today, Horton and Garton’s local reputation has led them to sell and let more properties in Hammersmith than any other agency: “We’re the Number 1 market leader in W6 and a top 3 agency for sales and lettings in Shepherd’s Bush.” John and Branch Manager Ashley Clements, who joined in Horton and Garton’s first year of trading, are still at the helm; they’re being joined by so many new recruits they’ve had to move office to house them all. Our Chiswick sales and lettings offices ensure our signature ‘Client First’ approach is available to sellers and landlords across the W4 postcode.

Horton and Garton’s Chiswick office oopened in April 2017 and was born over a riverside pint. Realising they share the same principles of honesty, integrity, and professionalism, W4 Sales Director Paul Cooney and John decided it was the perfect partnership. Fast forward a few years to 2021 and Paul celebrated completing his 500th property sale, an outstanding figure representing the impressive success he has enjoyed as a selling agent.

Paul’s intelligent approach to each home he lists and decision to work with just a small selection of hand-picked properties proves advantageous to clients. His ‘precision pricing’ and ability to perfectly match homes to buyers often result in sales being agreed entirely off-market. While the Chiswick office has already won several national accolades for the stellar service provided to clients, Paul has been individually honoured by The Estate Agent of the Year Awards over the past few years and most recently the ESTAS 2020 People Award.

Whether it’s an extra bedroom in Brackenbury Village, a lawned garden in Grove Park, a semi in Shepherd’s Bush or a sunny terrace on the Thames, our seamless service will make the selling and buying process a pleasure. For our landlords, we go the extra mile to match their prized assets to ideal tenants while helping to ensure the properties are fully licensed and responsibly managed.

The Trusted London Estate Agency

Given such an unexpected start to his career, it’s no surprise that John doesn’t consider himself a typical estate agent. He favours building relationships over hard-sell tactics, and he’s swapped the branded car for a bicycle (he used to walk, but all the people stopping him for a chat were making him late for appointments).

As an atypical estate agent himself, John prides himself on hiring staff who don’t fit the mould either. “A lot of agencies are driven by targets and testosterone,” he says. “I just want a client to walk in and think, ‘These are the kind of people I want walking around my house.’”

He also insists that his staff live locally and makes sure all are fully accredited with the NFOPP, NAEA and ARLA schemes.

After living and raising his family in Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush and Chiswick for twenty-five years, John’s love of the area hasn’t waned. “As a parent, it’s fantastic that there are so many parks, the river and your kids can walk to great schools. It’s a breeze to get into and out of town and there are so many little pockets which each have their own identity. We see a lot of people moving within Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush and Chiswick, rather than away.”

“Ultimately, it’s the people that make an area and I hope they think of us as their trusted local agent and an important part of the fabric of Hammersmith and the wider West London community. If we can achieve that, I’ll be happy.”

Whether it’s a valuation or a chat about how the market’s moving, our team is here to help.

Hammersmith & Shepherd’s Bush Sales
Phil Coombes
020 8819 0510

West London Lettings
Aggie Tukendorf
020 8819 0511

Chiswick Sales
Paul Cooney
020 8996 5120