Interview: Boss of leading estate agency reveals expansion success

Entrepreneur and owner Mark Coulter wants to amplify business, appointing Stephen Mackenzie as its first consultant for Perthshire and Fife.


Mark-Coulter-and-Ellisons-team image

Scottish property firm Ellisons has secured its first listing North of the Forth and appointed Stephen Mackenzie as its first consultant for Perthshire and Fife.

Coulter (centre, main pic) founded Ellisons in February 2020 and the firm accounted for 10% of all of Edinburgh’s super-prime sales last year, selling over 20 £1m+ properties.


He has 28 years of agency experience, starting with Savills’ London Docklands branch in 1996.

He told The Neg: “It was my first job and I was promoted quickly – I was fortunate in terms of timing. This culminated in increasing the turnover of the department by 2.5 times in one financial year in 2000 and the office becoming the third most profitable office for Savills in London.”

Coulter moved to other director roles, first at London agency Hurford Salvi Carr, then Chestertons in the north of England, Savills again in Scotland and managing director of Scottish agency Lindsays.

He founded Coulters in 2013 but after five years and after a small management fallout he left the company with his own name and set up Ellison & George, a Mayfair-based boutique property broker, leading to the formation of Ellisons in February 2020 in the midst of the pandemic.

To secure his first clients he printed out 2,000 letters and travelled mostly by foot to deliver them.”

He says: “My biggest costs so far have really been Rightmove. In the first six months I turned over £200,000, then it was £400,000 and now we’re aiming for £600,000.

“We’ve got five consultants now and offer a much more bespoke service than any other agents up here.

“Big agencies have become commoditised. Yes you have to build volume but the problem with streamlining a business is that property doesn’t behave the same way – it’s not like attracting iron filings to a magnet.”

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