“The amount of estate agencies that are set up in the UK every year, there is a real homogenous approach to setting an estate agency up…and it’s not what consumers want.” – Paul Clarke
In our latest episode of devcast… Andrew Deverell-Smith – Global CEO & Founder at deverellsmith and Hintel was joined by Paul Clarke, the Mr behind the discerningly different estate agency, Mr and Mrs Clarke.
Paul and Alex Clarke founded the estate agency after feeling detached and undervalued when part of the property selling and buying process, and they soon realised they were not alone. After selling their London home, they knew they could do better and create an estate agency that was positively different.
From meeting at university, Paul, and Alex both set out on separate careers, Paul in professional sports and Alex the luxury events space. After becoming a P.E. teacher, Paul found a mentor in a student’s father who ended up becoming their trusted business partner.
Following this, Paul and Alex began their first endeavour together, setting up an events business for children. After successfully running the fast-paced and reactive business for 4 years, a competitor acquired the company, and the couple were left to consider their next move.
In the process of selling their London home and buying their next in Sussex, they were left unimpressed with the experience they had with the estate agency. From valuation to launching the house on the market, they were left uninspired and felt as if the job was not done to a standard they expected, especially considering it is usually the biggest asset a person can transact on.
Both Paul and Alex saw an opportunity to not only make the experience consumers had with estate agents more enjoyable and fulfilling, but ‘discerningly different’. Taking buying and selling a home to something deeper, creating a story and sense of belonging through every step of the process.
Mr and Mrs Clarke was then born, setting up their estate agency in Warwickshire.
The first phone call
Back to the basics, Mr and Mrs Clarke gained their first client through direct marketing, a handwritten letter delivered by post (yes that still happens) reaching out to residents in Warwickshire. The letter simply introduced themselves as a brand-new agency and ‘if you are thinking of selling your home, let’s meet for a coffee, or even better a G&T’.
From this, Paul and their first client met, and she loved the vision Paul had for selling her beloved home. From creating the story around their home, talking about their local school, taking pictures of her gorgeous dog in the back garden, and styling the house for beautiful pictures, she instantly wanted Mr and Mrs Clarke to sell her home. Since then, she has generated around £3million for the business through referrals of friends and family.
Mr and Mrs Clarke founded the agency because they held the belief that estate agency could be done better – with the customer at the heart of the process. Paul shared that they started the agency with the desire to do estate agency in their own way, with what people want from an agency at the core – someone to hold their hand through the whole sales process.
Paul states they went from little milestones like selling the first house to building their reputation and realising there is more opportunity out there. Mr and Mrs Clarke’s brand and people are most important to them, leading them to their unique mixture of experience, creativity, and honesty.
After being approached by a fantastic estate agent in London, Paul explained how he came to him wanting to run his own business, but not having the funds to do so on his own. After coming to an agreement, Mr and Mrs Clarke gave him everything he needed to do this, allowing him to be an estate agent with everything from marketing and lead generation support from Mr and Mrs Clarke.
From there things snowballed, and Paul had more people saying they wanted to work with the agency, wanting to be self-employed estate agents, with the brand and support of Mr and Mrs Clarke.
And the rest is history…
If you would like to learn more about Mr and Mrs Clarke and their opportunities, click here!