“Agency is a function of knowledge. Knowledge about your buyers, knowledge about the properties, knowledge about the market, and understanding what is doable and what is not.”
In our latest episode of devcast… Andrew Deverell-Smith – Global CEO & Founder at deverellsmith and Hintel was joined by Gary Hersham, arguably the most famous and successful estate agent in the UK and owner of Beauchamp Estates.
Gary Hersham has been in the business for 43 years and shared with Andrew the wealth of knowledge he has built over the years, what he believes it takes to be a world-class estate agent in today’s market, and how the game will change in the next 10-15 years.
The makings of a world-class estate agent...
Gary shared that in his opinion, various things help you become a great estate agent.
Firstly, knowing the market inside out, year in and year out. Being able to understand what’s available in the market, the prices, what stock there is and who are the potential sellers and buyers.
Secondly, is being able to manage a lot of enquiries. How do you decide which to look after, pass on, or ignore? You need to be able to hear a name and know who this person is and whether they are capable of buying, and you must know that almost instinctively.
Agency is a function of knowledge. Knowledge about your buyers, knowledge about the properties, knowledge about the market, prices per square foot and understanding what is doable and what is not.
How will the game change in 10-15 years?
With the dollar being strong against the pound, Gary remarks that the industry has an exceptional advantage currently. This is historically one of the best periods for dollar-based buyers to buy property in the UK.
To highlight the first-rate market, Gary shared that he has 4 properties and one just exchanged under offer to dollar-based buyers. Pre-Brexit you were talking $1.80 to the pound. A sale of £20 million would have been $36 million. Now a $20 million asset is selling for £19 million.
The most complicated deal in Gary Hersham’s history...
Avenfield House comprised 128 Park Lane, Avenfield house itself, offices, shops and residential.
Gary paints a picture for us. Imagine a block of flats, with offices squeezed in between two residential buildings, that was 128 Park Lane, and Gary was asked to sell it. Surprisingly, when Gary received the copy of the documentation, there was no separate lease for 128 Park Lane and Avenfield House.
Gary had to negotiate with the short leaseholder of 111 Park Lane, Grosvenor Estate and others to simply extract 128 Park Lane, which Gary eventually sold for £3.3 million.
"When we get a copy of the documentation, it was an overall lease, no separate lease for 128 park lane and no separate lease for Avenfield house... all we wanted to do was buy 128 Park Lane."
The deal itself, and the complexity of it was Gary’s most interesting deal he’s ever done, and that was in the mid-’80s. He disclosed it has stuck in his mind 40 years later.
Listen now to hear the full interview and more about what Gary Hersham looks for in his agents...