The home truth? Keep it local

As we approach our fifth year of business at Horton and Garton, the biggest lesson I have learned is that nothing in the west London property market remains the same!

Thinking back to opening day in 2008, we had a mission to be the best local estate agent in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush. I knew we had the knowledge, the team and the desire to be straight-talkers that would win us customers.

However, I would never have predicted the degree of our success. Or how much our world has changed around us.

We live in the middle of one of the most dynamic boroughs in west London, with an dazzling array of major developments on the drawing board. Some are more popular with local residents than others are, but there’s no doubt that the landscape is changing in W6 and W12. And fast.

The biggest scheme in Earls Court could see a new development the size of Canary Wharf built on our doorstep. Then, there is the new Hammersmith Town Hall buildings, a new-look Shepherds Bush Market, the vast new Imperial College London buildings in the north of the borough, plans to redevelop Fulham’s riverside, and the small matter of the spectacular expansion of Westfield.

All of these changes mean big shifts in our traditional local knowledge of what buyers, sellers and tenants want from their properties and their neighbourhoods.

New tube and rail stations in Shepherds Bush and Fulham have also dramatically changed the way Londoners view our borough – and has created an even greater demand for local properties. And with a high-speed rail hub coming to Old Oak and better connecting the borough with the Midlands and the North, there is no time to rest on our laurels. 

Recent research from Brook Green agent Marsh & Parsons shows that there are no less than 16 buyers chasing each home that comes on the market. This adds greater issues of timing and strategy for buyers and sellers, and requires our experienced, calm heads to win the day.

Despite this whirlwind of activity, there is one thing that hasn’t changed – which is our focus on keeping it local.

Whether it’s finding the best local contractors for our managed properties, recommending trusted businesses to new customers, or even just using Twitter and our new website to better communicate with our growing family of tenants and landlords, our corner of the world is a great one.

Most importantly, we are doing our best to offer the same quality service with the same healthy smile.

After all, some things are just too good to change.