Estate agent David Harris & Co is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The firm, in Finchley, north London, opened on August 1, 1989.
David Harris, principal of the firm, recalls that because of the terrible economic conditions in the late ’80s, the timing could not have been worse.
“Interest rates at the time were 13.5 per cent, home owners were having to live with very expensive mortgages and inflation was very high,” he says. “Thousands of people were in arrears with their mortgage payments and many people were facing repossession orders. Although it wasn’t an ideal time to open up an estate agency business we knew that we would either sink or swim. Fortunately, the latter happened and although the first six months were tough, we soon became very successful.”
David Harris claims that 50 per cent of its clients have been with the firm for more than 10 years and 80 per cent of clients who use it for the first time give repeat business. “We know that our success ultimately depends on how clients perceive the level and quality of service they receive from us, which will in the long term determine whether we will continue to be as successful as we have been over the last 20 years,” says Mr Harris.
Since its birth, the firm has seen the rise of the internet. It has embraced internet advertising and now appears on portals including www.rightmove.co.uk, www.findaproperty.co.uk, www.primelocation.co.uk and www.propertyfinder.com. It also values its membership of the National Association of Estate Agents and the Ombudsman Scheme for Estate Agents.
And the party is non-stop at David Harris. “To thank all our clients and help celebrate our 20th birthday, all of our clients, past, present and new, are invited into our office to have a glass of champagne with us,” says Mr Harris. “Here’s to the next 20 years.”