It’s 66 years since the launch of our first Henry & James office in Belgravia and the family-owned estate agent has never been more popular. As the London agency approaches its busiest time of the year, we explain why people choose us.
For some, it comes down to local expertise. For others, it is the personalised service. But for Olivia Rae (Sales Negotiator) and Richard Gunning (Lettings Manager) of Henry & James, it is a combination of all these factors. Here they describe what customers value most, whether they are buying, selling, renting or letting their properties.
A team that cares
Our philosophy is to put the customer first. This principle was paramount when Henry Brahm launched his lettings agency in the 1950s. Today, we stay true to our founder’s principles. “Customer service really is our number one priority,” says Olivia. The Henry & James business is built on three “Rs”: “Relationships”, “Recommendations” and “Referrals”. We thrive on community spirit.
Moving home is one of the biggest and most important decisions that many of us make. Henry & James has operated across Chelsea, Belgravia and Knightsbridge for nearly seven decades. The staff know the properties, the people and personalities. “Anyone can learn the streets on a map or find out where Starbucks is located, but we have established community connections that stretch back decades. These connections know and trust us,” says Richard.
It is always tempting to choose an agent who values your home with the largest price tag. But that’s not us. We assess market factors, research what others properties have sold for nearby, then agree a realistic price with the vendor. It is a winning strategy. “This generates greater interest, viewings and ultimately, happier customers. That is our approach,” adds Olivia.
Anyone can sell a property, but it takes a special kind of agent to give solid market advice. We consider the economic and political forces, look at future predictions and guide our clients in the right direction. Advice is at the heart of our business.
“We are not a giant corporate chain with hundreds of offices, but tailor our service to clients’ needs,” adds Richard. “Our customers want solutions and that’s what we bring to vendors, landlords, purchasers and tenants. Clients over the years have included everyone from film producers and fashionistas to musicians and artists.”
Location, location, location
Our original office in Motcomb Street is still thriving, but we have a friendly younger sister in Cale Street, Chelsea, too. The offices are within the heart of SW3 or SW1X. “Customers know that our properties are some of the best on the market, so come to us for something special. That might be a pretty Chelsea cottage, a town house or mews house, bursting with character,” says Richard. Experience counts.
The Henry & James brand has never been more visible. Marketing, advertising, quality brochures, public relations and professional photography, all play a key role. But times are changing. We have embraced the digital revolution. Our news, blogs, picture galleries and market comments are full of insights to help customers on our website (www.henryandjames.co.uk). We are active on social media too, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
There is one remaining factor that sets us apart from our competition. It is a positive attitude. “James Bailey [Chief Executive of Henry & James] instils this across the business,” comments Olivia. “We always see the positive side – we don’t dwell on the negative. Customers pop in to our offices, particularly Motcomb Street for an upbeat chat. They might stay five minutes, half an hour or longer. It is these strong relationships that make us special.”
- Don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few testimonials from our customers over the past 66 years – http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/testimonials
- Henry & James Belgravia, Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JX (020 7235 8861; firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Henry & James Chelsea, Cale Street, London SW3 3QU (020 7581 5011; email@example.com)