Steve Wood has been appointed help keep its lawyers in peak performance and to promote wellbeing throughout the business. The appointment is thought to be a first for the industry and comes at a time when mental health remains a real concern for many conveyancing lawyers.
Wood will host individual sessions with each of the firm’s ‘elite lawyers’ on a monthly basis to help develop methods for managing stress and staying positive when working in a stressful environment. He will also be involved in the strategic development of the business to help maintain the firm’s focus on delivering service excellence.
Carl Brignell, chief executive of Elite, said: “Our intention has always been to be recognised as being the best firm in the market, not only from the perspective of clients and referrers, but also by our own lawyers.
“We challenged ourselves with getting the lawyers to actually enjoy conveyancing again and whilst we can’t change the legal process, improve other firms or take away all anxieties of our clients, we can change our mindset and our approach towards each of these areas.”
Wood, who has previously worked with several major blue chip companies including News Corporation, BAE and Hewlett Packard, said: “Elite Lawyers are high performing individuals working in a stressful environment. Similar to elite sports people, there comes a point when peak performance becomes as much about mentality than it does technical ability.
“I’m proud to be part of the team and excited about what we can achieve over the coming months and years.”
SO Resi: Affordable housing provider SO Resi, the shared ownership arm of housing association Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing, has appointed its group head of sales Kevin Sims to the newly created role of director of sales and marketing.
The new position forms part of SO Resi’s mission to inform and educate the market on shared ownership, where Kevin will be responsible for leading SO Resi’s sales and marketing function across the UK.
Kevin, who joined SO Resi in the summer of 2019, has a 35-year-long background in the property and mortgage industry, having worked across a number of sectors including new homes development, estate agency and shared ownership. Before joining SO Resi, Kevin held regional sales and marketing director roles for national housebuilders including McCarthy & Stone, Wilcon Homes and Prowting Homes, and was also Regional Director for Countrywide.
He said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be a part of this exciting new chapter for SO Resi, and this brand new role feels like the natural next step in our mission to continue the necessary conversations about shared ownership.
“Marketing is an incredibly valuable tool for informing, educating and supporting people about the benefits of affordable schemes. I’m determined to change the way that shared ownership is perceived within the industry, and by first time buyers, many of whom don’t understand the benefits that the product can offer.”
George F. White: Property specialist George F. White has welcomed Stewart Hamilton as an equity partner to lead on its growth strategy across Yorkshire.
Stewart grew up on a farm in Scotland and has spent his career working in the rural property industry.
He brings moer than 15 years’ experience to this new role, which will see him join George F. White’s senior management team for Yorkshire. He will be based in the company’s Bedale office, working with the rural team and clients in Yorkshire.
Pursuing opportunities to grow its client base across central and East Yorkshire is a key priority for the business as part of its plans for continued growth this year, which Stewart is well-placed to drive forward, having been based in the county for the last three years.
Stewart specialises in farm sales, estate management, valuation and securing finance, bringing strong relationships with organisations like AMC with him, further enhancing George F. White’s offering to rural businesses.
He said: “This is definitely an exciting start to a new year – stepping into the role of Partner at a business that is so well respected in the property industry and with big plans. I’ve found my people here.
“You work somewhere because you want to enjoy your job and the culture here is excellent. As part of the senior management team I’m looking forward to feeding into this and the direction of the business as a whole.
“I strongly believe that people deal with people, not companies. It’s all about relationships and adding value by offering the best services. George F. White has this same belief and it’s all about the people. This is why the company’s growth has been so successful and how we’ll continue to grow this year. Yorkshire will be central to this growth and heading up our focus here suits me down to the ground. I’ve loved living here for the last few years, seeing first-hand the fantastic range of farm businesses across the county whilst my family and I have been made most welcome. There’s a lot of opportunity.”
George F. White’s managing director Sally Hart added: “Stewart’s experience in the rural space is second to none and we’re delighted to welcome him into our partnership.
“His local knowledge of Yorkshire will be invaluable to our clients in the area and support our plans to grow our client base further across the county which we’re very excited about.”
Grosvenor Billinghurst: Cobham-based Grosvenor Billinghurst has appointed ex-Savills heavyweight Ian Camplin to head up prime sales – the estate agent’s dedicated exclusive property team.
Ian, who has worked in property for more than 40 years, was behind Savills’s successful Sport & Entertainment division, which catered for sportspeople, celebrities and high net worth individuals across the globe.
The national department launched in 2016 after he carved a reputation for working with high-profile sportspeople following Chelsea Football Club’s decision to move its training ground to Cobham in 2005.
He also spent 12 years running Savills’s flagship Cobham office, which he launched in 2008.
As head of prime sales, Ian is responsible for expanding Grosvenor Billinghurst’s market share of the premium market and establishing the 20-year-old property firm as the go-to independent agent for exclusive property services in Elmbridge and the surrounding areas.
He said: “I’ve always seen Grosvenor Billinghurst as the best of the independents. Their presence, marketing and offering has always been great, so I’m delighted to now be a part of the business and excited about what lies ahead. We want to be the default choice of the independent estate agents when it comes to the prime market and with this team, I’m looking forward to establishing that reputation. It’s great to be back in Cobham and I now look forward to working with clients, old and new.”
Gareth Davies, managing director at Grosvenor Billinghurst, added: “No estate agent currently operating in Cobham and the surrounding villages is more experienced than Ian.
“Moreover, there’s nobody better placed to navigate the prime market in this area. It’s an absolute privilege to welcome Ian to the team and we’re delighted to have him on board. Estate agency is about establishing a partnership between the agent and homeowner, and with such an enviable reputation there is certainly no better partner to have than Ian.”
Crest Nicholson: Housebuilder Crest Nicholson has made two new appointments to its expanding Yorkshire division.
Andrew Sanderson has been appointed as build director and Paul Thornton as head of land and planning.
Previous regional director, Guy Evans, will now move into the role of managing director.
The Crest Nicholson Yorkshire division, which was established last year, forms part of the company’s growth strategy expanding into Northern England.
It oversees North, West and South Yorkshire as well as the East Riding. In September 2022 the new division celebrated its first major land milestone, acquiring a site in Sprotbrough, on the edge of Doncaster. In 2023 the business expects to expand this further, with plans to build 600 homes annually.
Paton & Co: Borders-based estate agency Paton & Co has appointed former TV presenter Fiona Pagett as Partner.
Pagett joins from the well-established Rettie & Co, where she was a senior sales negotiator and valuer.
Based in the Borders village of Broughton, Pagett brings a wealth of experience to Paton & Co, where she primarily covers the Peeblesshire area.
A former broadcast journalist with Grampian TV and STV, Pagett went on to be Head of Communications for Business in the Community Scotland, and developed and led BITC Scotland’s Rural Programme.
Pagett started her career in property working with Purplebricks and more recently Rettie.
Patrick Paton, director at Paton & Co, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Fiona to the team. She brings a diverse wealth of experience to her role and is extremely like-minded in her approach to selling property; committed to doing things differently – and better. We are looking forward to a busy 2023.”
Pagett added: “I’m over the moon to be joining Paton & Co and look forward to working with a team committed to providing a consistently professional and top-notch service. I am also thrilled to be working in my local area and helping to grow the business in Peeblesshire.
“I’ve lived in Broughton for 22 years; it’s where I’ve brought up my children, and I’ve been involved in lots of community organisations and initiatives over the years. I enjoy the benefits of living in a close rural community and am a huge advocate of country life.”
Savills: Prime agent Savills has launched a dedicated residential lettings office in Hyde Park.
Headed by industry heavyweight Guy Spencer, the experienced team - including many long-standing agents in the area - will cover the breadth of W2 lettings from one-bedroom flats through to grand stucco terraced houses.
Guy joined Savills in September 2022 to launch the Hyde Park residential lettings office which opened in January 2023. He brings 11 years’ experience in the real estate industry to the role and prior to joining Savills he headed up Hyde Park and Queens Park lettings at Knight Frank.
Guy will oversee the day to day running of the office, manage key clients and be a key contact for The Church Commissioners for England. Savills has recently been appointed as the residential agent acting on behalf of The Church Commissioners who own a portfolio of both residential and commercial properties on the Hyde Park Estate.
Meanwhile, Savills has promoted Dan Fox to head of sales at its Islington office. Dan, a director in the Islington sales team has been head of department since joining Savills from Knight Frank in 2020.
After graduating from university, Dan started his property career as a negotiator at Foxtons in Shoreditch before joining Knight Frank’s sales division in Islington in 2016.
Dan has more than 13 years’ experience in the property industry and will oversee Savills multi-disciplinary Islington office, which handles many of the best properties in the area, as part of his new head of sales role. Responsible for the office’s day-to-day management, Dan will lead the team handling property sales across the full spectrum of the market as well as growing the office’s profile and its prime residential market share.
Property veteran Paul Williams who has been with the firm for 18 years remains head of office. His long career with Savills has seen him advise on some of Islington’s highest value and high-profile sales, building up an enviable book of contacts over the years.
Paul has been working in the Islington property market for over 35 years and his depth of experience and local knowledge in the area is unrivalled.
The Buying Solution: UK-based buying agency The Buying Solution has appointed Theo James-Wright as a partner to cover the southern Home Counties –Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
Theo joins The Buying Solution from Savills where he specialised in selling premium £5m+ country houses across West Sussex, Surrey and East Hampshire, from their London Country Department.
Prior to joining Savills, Theo was a buying agent in London working for Crown Mayfair, having moved from Carter Jonas Barnes, following a first job in property agency with KFH.
Jonathan Bramwell, head of The Buying Solution, said: “We are delighted to welcome Theo to our strong country team further strengthening our offering to the south of London and down to the coast – he has a tremendous book of contacts and excellent knowledge of the prime country market here especially with him living in the centre of his patch so will be a huge asset to The Buying Solution.”
Theo added: “I’m thrilled to join The Buying Solution and it is really exciting for me to move over to the buying side again, having previously been focused on country house sales.
“ I am seeing a lot of people follow the same footsteps I have firstly living in South London (I was in Clapham and Battersea then Barnes for a number of years) and moving out to Sussex and surrounding southern counties down to the coast.
“I am passionate about helping people on their journey as a purchaser and have years of experience in the southern counties countryside to put into practice. It’s often more difficult to buy than to sell and I am really excited to guide people through this process, working with such a brilliant and experienced team.”
Connells: Estate agency Connells has appointed Adrian Pitt as Midlands divisional managing director.
Adrian’s experience in estate agency spans almost 30 years, starting out as a Negotiator at Countrywide in 1993. Adrian transfers internally from Countrywide, where he was Regional Director for the Midlands region.
He replaces Elizabeth Brown following her retirement at the end of 2022, after an impressive 42 year spell with the company.
Adrian’s objectives are to build on the already strong foundations of the business’ offering, strengthening its all-encompassing service to customers.
He will develop Connells’ offering to sellers and landlords, and work closely with the area management and specialist new homes teams to offer customers and industry partners the very best products and services.
Adrian said: “I am delighted to have this new opportunity whilst staying with a business as successful as Connells Group.
“With most estate agency businesses, the core day-to-day jobs stay the same, customers are always at the forefront of your mind, and you are always thinking about how you can improve, but my priority is always my people. I’ve had the privilege to work with a range of brilliant people over the past 29 years, building so many long standing relationships, and I am looking forward to making many more within the extensive Connells network.”
Davidson Estates: Birmingham estate agency Davidson Estates has appointed two of its longstanding associate directors as partners to assist with the company’s continuing growth.
The two new partners are Melissa Petros and Andrew Love, and they officially take up their new positions from January 2023.
Both will now have shareholding interests in the company and will become responsible for all staff, ensuring that the firm’s targets, policies and processes are adhered to.
Ben Davidson, the founder and managing director of Davidson Estates, said: “I am delighted that Melissa and Andrew have both agreed to step up to becoming partners at the firm.
“With the steady and ongoing growth of the business, I felt it was time that they acquired real stakes in its future success.
“Their enthusiasm, positive attitude and vast experience has already helped me to develop the business to where it is today, and it was only right that this was reflected in their new positions.
“As partners, we will continue to drive the company forward and maintain our high level of customer service and expertise in new home and resales, lettings and property management.”
Petros who is now in her eleventh year at Davidsons and is the head valuer for the company, said: “I am thrilled to have become a partner at Davidson Estates and am looking forward to continuing to contribute to the company’s success in 2023 and beyond.”
Love, who is in his seventh year at the company and runs the property management, lettings and sales departments, said: “This appointment is a great moment for me and reflects just how closely Davidson Estates operates as a team at the most senior levels.”
The Country House Department: Specialist country house estate agency The Country House Department (TCHD)has appointed Liz McLean as a director to cover Wiltshire, South Oxfordshire, West Berkshire and North Hampshire.
Amassing more than 25 years of experience at some of the top agencies in the Wessex Area, Liz has huge experience of selling prime country homes, latterly taking on the role of Head of Residential for Savills in Newbury.
She said: “Demand continues to outstrip supply in the country house market, with this, attention to detail on presentation, service and delivery is mission critical to selling our homes and getting the best deal – which is why it’s great to join The Country House Department who place a huge emphasis on this from day one.
“There are some superb homes ready and waiting to come on the market, and I look forward to working with our clients on their next chapter.”
Since launching in June 2020, TCHD has agreed sales/sold in excess of £160m worth of property, with the average sale price being £2,050,162, achieving 100.9% of the guide price. A third of homes sold by TCHD had previously failed to sell with another agent, the brand said.
Andrew Russell, co-founder of TCHD, said: “We wanted to disrupt the prime country house market, and we have done that. We are tenacious with detail and service, as we know that moving isn’t simple.
“We’re delighted to be expanding our team further with the appointment of Liz, who is a superb addition with new skills, experience and someone in tune with our values as a business. Liz will be working closely alongside Nick Loweth (formerly Knight Frank Office Head, Hungerford) and together we believe they are the strongest team in the area.”
Preston Baker: Yorkshire company Preston Baker has just appointed Kirsty Burrows as a property marketing director in Doncaster.
Kirsty, who lives in Braithwaite, Barnby Dun, with her husband and two young sons, has been an estate agent for 16 years, after changing from a career in law following working for an estate agent while studying.
She said: “I am passionate about helping people move and really do care about getting the very best outcomes for them.
“People move for all sorts of reasons and I see it as a privilege to be part of this process and to help people move into a new chapter of their lives.
“The Preston Baker way of selling properties is proven to attract more viewers and a significantly higher price than more traditional methods of selling; in the last 90 days this figure stands at an average of £8,900 more.”
The brand has also appointed William Swallow as its new land manager.