RH & RW CLUTTON
RH & RW Clutton has been at the forefront of land agency and estate management for almost 245 years and is one of the South East’s leading independent property consultancies.
The business goes from strength to strength as tradition and a lengthy lineage, along with a willingness to embrace modern techniques and, increasingly, technology, have created the successful business that exists today.
Two important acquisitions over the last twelve months have allowed RH & RW Clutton to offer extensive knowledge and advice on all aspects of property to the South East – Estate Management & Land Agency, Professional Services, Estate Agency and Commercial Property.
In May 2016, RH & RW Clutton merged with the West Sussex estate agency, Peter Hughes Country Property, creating a third office in Petworth and a stronger estate agency division for the business. Twelve months on, Head of Residential Agency, Peter Hughes, and his team have advised on a wide range of transactions across sales and lettings – from large country houses steeped in history to picture postcard cottages.
Another merger followed in April 2017, with East Grinstead’s leading commercial property expert, Philip Baker and his company, Park & Bailey Commercial. The addition of their portfolio of clients and properties in and around East Grinstead has allowed the commercial department to increase substantially as a result.
The business goes from strength to strength as tradition and a lengthy lineage, along with a willingness to embrace modern technology, have created the successful business that exists today.
These recent additions have enabled RH & RW Clutton to grab a foothold in new country for their estate management and land agency department too, growing the whole business with new clients looking for alternatives to the larger national firms. 2017 highlights for Professional Services include consulting on farm acquisitions and development for a new biogas company and a report on how best to resolve family disputes in a farm partnership.
MARKETING AND PROMOTION
Other changes this year include a rebrand, to reinforce its rural roots and continuity of service, but also to illustrate its position in the modern property world. The new logo has been rolled out across all offices, encompassing the firm’s original brand colours of blue, white and red which includes the original red and white of the Clutton Coat of Arms. In addition, there is a Royal Blue background to represent trust and responsibility which incorporates a striking red nova, originally used in Peter Hughes Country Property’s logo.
Understanding that traditional agents must adopt the latest marketing techniques, RH & RW Clutton has also invested in Marketing and PR to help promote land and properties. Unique for an independent firm is their press office, which is led by a highly experienced property PR expert.
This ensures widespread exposure of sellers’ homes in national publications and online, having had recent successful exposure in the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times, the Times and the Daily Telegraph, whilst land and agricultural dwellings are regularly advertised in farming titles.
RH & RW Clutton also takes great pride in investing in a highly astute and vastly experienced team. Over the past year, the business has recruited a number of individuals, from Partners through to young professionals and support staff to ensure clients are successfully guided through the many changes and challenges the property world is constantly faced with.
In addition, RH & RW Clutton is sponsoring more events than ever before to include local point-to-points, the Sussex Heritage Trust and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
THE WORD FROM THE TOP
Senior Partner, George Back, says, “What a year it has been for us. With our roots dating back to 1743, we have worked hard to stay at the forefront of our land and estate management specialities. To now be able to extend our offering further allows us to continue to support present and future clients, strengthening our position in the market. I am delighted that our clients are seeing the benefits of the additional expertise and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings.”
RH & RW Clutton is the area’s oldest surviving firm of independent chartered surveyors and now operates from three offices – East Grinstead, Guildford and Petworth. Expertise includes diversification, farm grant applications, strategic estate reviews, forestry, residential sales and lettings, investment, lease advisory, financial and tax planning, renewable energy, building surveying and property management.
The firm is currently run by Victoria Back as Managing Partner and George Back as Senior Partner. Current Partners comprise; Peter Hughes – Residential Agency; James Tillard – Rural Agency; Oliver Harwood – Rural Professional Consultancy/Services; Robert Windle – Estate Management and Richard Grassly – Commercial Consultancy.
Ex-Chestertons agent, Nick Carter, has recently launched a brand new estate agency company, Harding Green, with offices on Kensington High Street, which delivers an innovative business model to the Prime London property market. The firm will provide all the services of a traditional estate agent from a high street location, but it has a unique internal structure which, they say, better suits vendors’ needs, whilst offering property professionals the opportunity to be self-employed, with slim overheads and attractive commissions.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR TALENTED ESTATE AGENTS
Harding Green offers talented estate agents the flexibility of working for themselves either individually or as a pair, to maximise their earnings through increased ownership of a refined property portfolio with commission structures ranging up to 70 per cent. Everybody will be known as an Associate or Associate Partner.
Most estate agents currently have multiple staff working on all properties, and with all clients. Spotting a gap in the market, Carter’s new structure provides leads and support to individual professionals, who will solely manage 15-20 properties for sale or to let, giving them greater responsibility and more control over their potential earnings. Alternatively, associates can work in pairs, functioning as a cohesive team and managing 30-40 properties.
Consequently, the individual (or pair) will remain the sole contact for each client from start to finish, dedicating more time to both the client and the property, facilitating a new level of client service and a higher conversion rate of instructions.
There are a number of commission structures available at Harding Green, ranging from a salary and 20 per cent of the commission banked to self-employed options, which offer up to 70 per cent. Pairs will be presented the same salary/freelance structures as individuals, but commission will be split equally. Either way, Associates can potentially earn much higher and more reliable earnings under this new real estate model.
Furthermore, says Nick, Harding Green will provide all the required support – a well located office, admin, IT and marketing tools such as targeted campaigns and national and international PR exposure, to generate buyer and valuation leads.
Of particular note is the website featuring sophisticated design and a clean user interface, onto which associates can upload properties from the office, home or on the move. The site is fully responsive and facilitates effortless browsing of properties, providing a fantastic user experience and therefore increasing the likelihood of conversions. Each property will have a picture and full contact details of the associate, meaning potential buyers will immediately get through to the most relevant person.
THE WORD FROM THE TOP
Managing Director, Nick Carter, has twelve years’ estate agency experience and a thorough understanding and in depth knowledge of the Prime Central London market. He has transacted on over £500m of residential property, and became one of the most successful Directors at Chestertons, a London and international residential property specialist.
He says, “All too often I have heard sellers’ frustrations of being passed around the office, having chosen the company based on the likeability and expertise of the professional they initially met. I have also seen the industry change substantially over the years, in some cases beyond recognition, where pressure on fees, salaries and service is a race to the bottom. Agents are not generating the level of commission they used to and agencies are struggling to turn a profit.
All too often I have heard sellers’ frustrations when passed around the office, having chosen the firm for the expertise of the professional they first met. Nick Carter, Harding Green.
“My aim is to therefore attract the best property professionals across London by offering unlimited earning potential for our associates, their own portfolios, flexible working arrangements, attractive commission structures and slim overheads. We can then deliver exceptional personal service from valuation to completion. I’ve been delighted with the positive feedback I have received so far and strongly believe this is the future of estate agency. I’m looking forward to seeing how we progress.”
Harding Green’s services will cover residential sales and letting across Prime London and is now inviting property professionals to join the company. A minimum of five years of London experience is required, along with a strong track record on selling and valuing properties, as well as having a self-motivated attitude. Only the very best and most professional of agents will be employed.