Is the choice really yours?

I’ve often made a point of stating in these blog posts how Horton and Garton are a family run and independent business. There are many reasons why this will often make us a better choice than our corporate competitors, and if you are a client of ours then hopefully you will have experienced these benefits.

Firstly the staff turnover in the big chain estate agents is exceptionally high, with many opting for a burnout policy whereby a higher number of negotiators than needed are employed in a single branch and then pitted against each other to compete fiercely for deals and commission. I don’t believe this is the right way to do business – it creates an extremely tense working environment and leads to the backbiting and underhand tactics which often give estate agency a bad name. At Horton and Garton we have systems in place to ensure that our staff work together, not against each other.

Consequently this high staff turnover also means that corporate agents are rarely working in a branch long enough to develop an in depth knowledge of the area that they are working in. Our combined local experience of over 50 years means we don’t just know how to realistically price and market properties, but we can also advise on the finer points and details which are equally important to anyone moving to a new area. Things such as school catchment areas for example – only the other day I was told by a prospective buyer that we had been the only agent on King Street able to tell her the specific catchment areas for the local schools.

One thing which many people are often unaware of when it comes to corporate agents though is the complete lack of choice. Whilst it may seem that there is an array of different branches and brands operating in any given area, if you scratch the surface you will quickly see that they are often all one and the same. For example, Thames View are a name that many of you may not have heard of, but they are in fact the company behind Dexters, Robertson Smith and Kempson, Fletchers and a host of others. 

This means that whilst it may seem that there is some consumer choice on offer, these are all actually just different faces for the same corporation. And it is underhand tactics like these which mean I will always fly the independent flag as one of Horton and Garton’s best features – we don’t hide behind a myriad of names and pseudonyms, we stand alone to be judged and win our clients’ business on our results and our local approach.