Property. It’s a subject we British never seem to tire of. As a nation, we love to watch and dream of the house we might one day buy. Just switch on the television and there’s bound to be a property mogul of some description talking about their latest project.
For those lucky enough to be blessed with deep pockets already, Hamptons International offers The Wealth Partnership: a bespoke service for just a handful of clients, providing personalised advice on investments in the prime property market. Andrew Phillips heads up this exclusive offering, applying more than 25 years of experience within the industry – in some of London’s most affluent boroughs. The Wealth Partnership process begins with an initial one-to-one meeting, where the time is taken to really understand the client’s needs. Then, having gained valuable personal insights, The Wealth Partnership experts will propose an on-going, personal strategy to effectively manage property wealth. It’s a new benchmark in estate agency and property wealth management and a far cry from Hamptons International’s humble beginnings in 1830, when William Hamptons first opened a shop in London’s Cranbourn Street, selling furniture.
The journey from a furniture shop to an international property business clearly isn’t your average A to B. But then Hamptons International doesn’t consider itself to be your average estate agent. In the 1920s the successful auction house arm of Hamptons International was involved in the sale of luxury liner, The Mauretania; sister ship to the fateful Titanic. Not something many estate agents can boast. Nor can many claim to have the abundance of experience or exceptional reach that gives Hamptons International the edge.
At the risk of over-egging the Titanic link, it’s fair to say that the property market in the UK hasn’t always been plain sailing, yet Hamptons International has continued to grow and flourish despite some dramatic peaks and troughs. They have firmly established themselves as a leading residential estate agent and property services organisation, with more than 140 years’ experience in the property market. They boast an impressive list of award-winning property services, including UK and International Sales, Lettings, Property Management, Corporate Services, Residential Development, Development Land, Valuation and Property Finance. All services are delivered across an expansive network of 87 offices nationwide and a further 7,000 affiliate partner offices throughout the world, giving Hamptons International an unrivalled reach, with 250,000 properties on offer, at all price points.
Hamptons International prides itself on offering world quality property and finding vendors and landlords, buyers and tenants. Which is just as well, given that we’re now set to climb a fresh property peak, according to The Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender. At the beginning of November they announced that during October 2015, house prices rose by 1.1 per cent, following a decline of 0.9 per cent in the previous month. This increase brought the average price of a flat or house across the country up to £205,240 – a record high.
One man looking to firmly plant his flag on this latest summit is John Denney. He joined Hamptons International as a junior straight from school in 1968 and is now Head of the Country House department – one of the largest specialist networks in the South East.
John can remember a time when ‘you couldn’t give country houses away’. Not so now. Although, the rise in London property prices does continue to outpace those in the country, meaning anyone selling a London property to make the move to the country often finds they have formidable spending power. John and his department know exactly how to help these clients make the most of any equity gained on their London homes, and find their dream country escape. Specialising in country homes priced at £2m and above – in the Home Counties and throughout the south of England – John offers a discreet bespoke service. There’s a growing preference amongst country estate owners not to advertise their wish to sell openly, meaning the relationships John has built over his 35 years in the business are invaluable. Also key is the supporting network of offices across the southern counties, such as Surrey, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Sussex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Gloucestershire Worcestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset.
John’s specialist department, dealing with prime country residences, is flanked by other specialist departments, including Waterside, International and Equestrian.
Alasdair Hedley runs the International department, which can help you find a property somewhere further afield, such as France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Cyprus, the US, South Africa, Oman, UAE or the Caribbean. Alasdair is passionate about his offering: ‘We pride ourselves on being able to help a buyer almost anywhere in the world… at any price point. We have properties on our books from £40,000 to £70 million-plus.’ Once again, it’s the extensive network that Hamptons International has established that offers this ‘unique platform for us to meet new and existing clients with international requirements’.
We’re so often told by those property experts we love to watch on TV that it’s all about having a clear vision. The Hamptons International company philosophy is simple: to be the leading residential property company in the UK (working across local and national markets) and continue to compete internationally. As with most company philosophies, how they deliver this is very much dependent on their staff, so it’s refreshing to see that Hamptons International has an employee engagement score of 93 per cent, significantly higher than the UK average of 74 per cent.
This galvanised team of property experts all aspire to one shared vision: to be leaders in the industry. They like to work hard but without ever losing sight of fun, which all adds up to exceptional levels of customer service. Looking at this characterful group of people, with a passion that goes beyond bricks and mortar, it seems to us that a film crew could well find a fascinating new property programme: behind the many doors of Hamptons International.
HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL UK HOUSE, 180 OXFORD STREET, W1D 1NN, +44 (0)207 7588 488