We recently carried a particularly inspiring story of an Essex estate agent who believes that at 21 he is currently the youngest in the business in terms of owning his own firm.
The story of Fergus Harding struck a chord with many of our readers who felt it epitomised the best of the agency industry in terms of determination and business courage.
How we have another example of an agent who started his own business at an even younger age - just.
Robert Brinkley who is now managing director of Brinkley Estate Agents in south west London, which he set up back in 2006 at the age of 20, a few years after becoming an apprentice in an agency in Epsom to learn the industry ropes.
Here's what he's told Estate Agent Today:
“I started Brinkley’s Estate Agents in 2006 as a Sole Trader at the age of 20, and the good grounding I receivedhas served me well in my own business, which has been rated as one of the market leaders in SW19 for the past few years despite being in competition with the major firms and franchises.
"The first Brinkley's office was opened in Wimbledon Park, where I traded on knowledge gained in terms of marketing, good practice procedures and straightforward selling techniques on the back of a competitive fee structure.
"A year later saw the opening of the second office in Wimbledon Hill. By now I had a staff of six administration, sales and lettings personnel.
"In 2008 the Putney branch opened. The High Street position allows a very high footfall and despite being one of many (42 agencies at the last count) in the Putney area, this branch has gone from strength to strength. During this time, the original principles haven’t changed and to this day, the company still offers competitive rates.
"In 2010, the Company moved from its original Head Office to a more prominent position, much more suited to Brinkley's standing in the estate agency business and the community and in 2011, Brinkley’s become a Limited Company and underwent a major refurbishment programme - the fresh new look brought the company up to date and ready to take on the next stage of its history."
During the financial downturn Robert says he had to make "firm decisions" about the business, its structure and its future. As a result, he says it thrived where some others failed.
"This was attributed by many as having an ‘old head on young shoulders.’"
"Our market position is something that I am proud of as Brinkley’s is a small independent agency in an arena of major agencies and franchises. Our flexibility and reasonable rates are the keys to our success – that and hard work.
“I do like a challenge and I believe that no Managing Director can afford to ‘rest on his laurels’. Although I have recently turned 31 years old, I have achieved a great deal in the last 10 years and I look forward to taking on new projects in the future.”
Do you have an inspiring story of how you set up your agency? If so, please let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org.