Lester Hurst launched a personal estate agency of the well-known property group Hunters back in September, covering the Ilkley, Otley and Guiseley areas and is now looking for office premises so he can expand further.
“I had been involved in property for 15 years but as an investor rather than an estate agent,” he explains. “What prompted me to open this business was that each time I either bought or sold a property I was let down. It made me convinced that I could do a better job and six months on other people seem to be agreeing. “There’s no point pretending that this is an easy market but old-fashioned hard work and personal service seems to be paying off. All my clients have my mobile telephone number and it’s not unusual for me to be talking to them at nine o’clock at night and before eight in the morning.
“If I say I’ll return a call I do - that was one of my biggest complaints with estate agencies I had used previously - and the buck is never passed to someone else. It’s my business and I deal with the client every step of the way; they’re not passed on to somebody else.” As a seller of property Lester says he often found himself chasing his estate agent; asking if they had got any feedback from viewers or spoken to solicitors to help push a sale through. “It annoyed me that I was paying for a service but always seemed to be sorting things out myself,” explains Lester, who currently has 16 properties on his books and three sales agreed. “I pride myself on always being one step ahead. Nobody has to chase me.”
September was a busy month for 36 year-old Lester. Not only did he open his new business but he also got married.
“I’m in this for the long-term,” he said. “I’d like to thank people for their support in these first six months and urge others to give it a try. Building a reputation takes a long time but through hard work - I’m eating, breathing and sleeping property - I am convinced that business will go from strength to strength. In the current economic climate a personal agency and all the one-to-one service it offers - backed by the national mailing lists and exposure of a team like Hunters - makes sense.”
Lester Hurst, Hunters of Ilkley, Otley and Guiseley.
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