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By Nat Daniels

CEO, Angels Media


Property Natter – the who’s who of the industry

The property industry is fortunate in including many great people, doing great work across a range of businesses – from traditional agency to PropTech, and consultancy work to training.

It’s hard to narrow it down to just one list, but here is my who’s who of the industry.

Feel free to agree/disagree/put forward suggestions in the comments!


Without further ado…

A is for Adam Day – the one-time founder of Hatched, one of the UK’s early online agencies, is now eXp UK’s Growth Expansion Leader.

And Adrian Gill – the former Connells, LSL Property Services and Leaders Romans Group man is now the chairman of Autoenhance.ai and non-executive director at various firms, including CRM provider Reapit. He also regularly contributes articles to the press, including for the Today sites.

B is for Bryan Mansell – a former agent who held high-profile roles at Spicerhaart, Foxtons, Countrywide and Your Move, Mansell has turned his attention in recent years to PropTech, consulting and coaching. He is the owner of The AllStars Group and the co-founder and CEO of Gazeal, specialists in upfront information and digital reservation agreements.

Ben Beadle - chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), Beadle was previously the operations director at Touchstone, part of the Places for People housing group, and was also the managing director of a leading deposit scheme in Northern Ireland.

Beth Rudolf - Director of Delivery for the Conveyancing Association, Rudolf is a leading protagonist in the campaigns to create a positive home moving process. A former estate agent, she quickly moved into the legal world becoming a qualified Legal Executive and later a Licenced Conveyancer, working in both high street and high volume practices. She regularly appears in print, on TV and on the radio.

Michael Bruce - one of the industry's biggest and most divisive names of the last decade, Michael is best known for his involvement in Purplebricks and Boomin with brother Kenny. He also helped to establish industry charity Agents Together. He previously worked mostly in property law.

And Bob Scarff – something of an industry titan, Scarff was a major player at Countrywide – then the biggest agency group in the UK – for more than 16 years. He is now managing director at Callwell, helping agents to make the best first impression, and non-exec director at leading North West agency Farrell Heyworth.

C is for Chris Watkin – the man with the video cam has become one of the leading video interviewers in the industry in recent years, although I hear that two young upstarts going by the name of Nat Daniels (who’s he?) and Lee Dahill are seeking to challenge his crown. Away from grilling the industry’s key stakeholders, he is a property ghostwriter, a trainer and heavily involved with industry charity Agents Together.

D is for David Cox – the former chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, and a well-liked and respected figure, Cox now holds the role of Legal and Compliance Director at Rightmove.

Nat Daniels - forgive me a moment of self-indulgence, but has to be some perks to writing this column! Daniels is the founder and CEO of Angels Media, the owners and operators of the Today sites, and also created leading PropTech product The ValPal Network. I think I got away with it!

And Dorian Gonsalves – Belvoir’s CEO since 2012, Gonsalves has steered the company's ship brilliantly, shown by the continued growth that the franchise agency has experienced over the years. Widely regarded as one of the best in the business at what he does.

E is for Eddie Goldsmith - one of the conveyancing industry's biggest names, Goldsmith recently founded YouConvey and is a former chairman of the Conveyancing Association.

Ed Mead - an ex-agent who is now the co-founder of PropTech platform Viewber, Mead also sits on the TPO board and owns his own advisory company. He was previously a director and non-exec director at Douglas & Gordon, as well as a non-exec at Agents Mutual, which founded OnTheMarket.

And Eddie Hooker - Hooker is Group CEO of Hamilton Fraser, which has a whole range of recognisable brands, including LandlordZone, Landlord Action, mydeposits, The Property Redress Scheme and Client Money Protect, as well as being chairman of inventory firm No Letting Go.

F is for Glynis Frew – the doyenne of Hunter for more than 20 years, Frew is one of the best-known and most-respected figures in the industry. She recently stepped down as managing director of Hunters and from the The Property Franchise Group board, but has taken on a new position as franchise training and development director at the Group. 

G is for Graham Norwood – the esteemed editor of Letting Agent Today and Landlord Today, and until recently Estate Agent Today, as well as a well-respected freelance property journo, Norwood has a great knack of condensing down the key issues of the day into snappy, engaging, sometimes hard-hitting copy. He has his finger on the pulse of the industry more than anyone I know, backed up by a Twitter following of more than 23,000 who turn to him for the latest news and views.

Kate Gregory - currently sales director at Agent Rainmaker, Gregory started her career in property in the early 00s with roles at Foxtons. She also worked abroad in Canada for a time, and has been a leading campaigner for better levels of training and qualifications in agency. In more recent times, she worked as a Regional Manager at the Guild and a branch manager at Urban & Rural.

And Gareth Samples - the CEO of The Property Franchise Group, Samples has 30 years’ industry experience across estate agency, financial services and digital marketing. He had a 21 year career at LSL, where he was appointed managing director of the Your Move brand, at the time the largest single brand agency in the UK.

H is for Sam Hunter – an Aussie who has fully embedded himself in the UK property market in recent years, Hunter is an impressive and likeable figure, who also isn’t afraid to rock the boat a bit and ask difficult questions of the industry to progress change. As well as being COO at fast-growing data company Homesearch, he’s also one of the finest advocates for mental health and a better work-life balance in property.

Henry Pryor - one of the industry's most prolific commentators, Pryor is a buying agent and pundit with nearly 40 years in the business. He's a regular on TV and radio, and appears in the trade news too. His Twitter bio describes him as the BBC's favourite property expert.

And Helena Marston - the recently appointed CEO of Purplebricks, whose official appointment was mired in controversy over an apparently undeclared bankruptcy. She faces a tough task to revive a tainted brand which has lurched from scandal to scandal lately, but has plenty of experience in big roles in other industries. 

I is for Iain McKenzie – the CEO of the Guild of Property Professionals since 2017, and before that managing director of Countrywide for more than five years, McKenzie has been involved in the property sector for more than 30 years in various roles. 

J is for Jason Tebb – the CEO of OnTheMarket, Tebb – a former agent himself – has done a fantastic job of turning the portal around and getting more agents on board. The figures and growth since he arrived speak for themselves, and he’s a fine example of why appointing someone with experience in their industry can sometimes pay real dividends.

Jeremy Leaf - property's answer to Simon Calder on travel. In other words, the go-to person for quotes on property issues, Leaf was housing spokesman for RICS for more than 23 years, and is also principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, an independent chartered surveyors, estate agents and development consultants, established in 1979, with offices in North and East Finchley.

And James Munro - the lead figure at the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team (NTSELAT), which has been in the news plenty of late as a result of the announcement of changes to upfront information on property listings. A calm and well-respected figure in the industry. 

K is for Kristjan Byfield – the property industry’s very own Viking Agent, Byfield runs lettings agency with a difference base property specialists and PropTech body The Depositary, as well as being one of the market’s most articulate and innovative thinkers and speakers.

Kenny Bruce – the younger brother behind the duo who launched Purpblebricks and then Boomin, Kenny is in the limelight less often than Michael but has certainly played just as key a role in two companies who have shaken up the industry – for good or ill, depending on your viewpoint – like never before.

And Kirstie Allsopp – a sometimes controversial figure who has caused a fair few Twitter storms in her time, Allsopp is nonetheless probably the best-known female figure in property. Famous for her partnership with TV husband Phil Spencer, her straight-talking persona divides opinion, but her influence in the industry isn’t in doubt.

L is for Sally Lawson - the founder of Agent Rainmaker, which focuses on letting agency business optimisation, she is also an author, an international speaker and a former ARLA president. Further to this, she is the co-founder of her own property franchise company.

David Livesey - group CEO at Connells Group, which he joined in 1990 as Mortgage Services Director, since 2008, Livesey has been credited with helping to grow a number of the Group's core businesses. 

And Liana Loporto Browne - president of NAEA Propertymark since June 2021, she is also the owner of Liana Loporto Browne Powered by eXp. She was formerly a sales director at London Residential and Foxtons.

M is for Marc Shoffman – recently appointed as editor of Estate Agent Today, Shoffman previously wrote for Property Industry Eye and is an expert in all things property and finance. He also co-hosts a finance podcast, In For a Penny, and writes on a freelance basis for a range of national publications. 

Rebecca Marsh - the current Property Ombudsman, arguably the most important regulatory position in the sector, Marsh took on the role in October 2020 and was formerly Chief Ombudsman at the Legal Ombudsman and the Deputy Ombudsman and Executive Director of Operations and Investigations at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Michael Gove - deeply divisive, but also the longest-serving member of the current cabinet by some distance. Seen as a shrewd and effective Whitehall operator, there has been criticism that his role of Secretary of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is too broad, and that housing has been relegated downwards in importance again. Eddie Hughes, the housing and homelessness minister, has taken the lead on rental reform, while the recently named housing minister Stuart Andrew has so far kept a largely low profile.

N is for Nicky Stevenson – one of the most high-profile female voices in the industry, Stevenson is currently Managing Director at Fine & Country UK. She previously worked for Keller Williams and spent a number of years working for the Property Academy and Estate Agency Events. 

Nathan Emerson – a former agent who has steadied the ship as Propertymark’s CEO since he took over in March 2021. He previously had a long association with Pygott & Crone, where he ended up as a partner. He is also a director at Agents Giving and a property industry consultant. 

Nic Budden - CEO at famously Marmite agency Foxtons since 2014, he originally joined the company in 2005 as its COO. In a company that has proved volatile and changeable over the years, he has been a constant. 

Nick Leeming - the vastly experienced chairman of Jackson-Stops and Bamboo Auctions, as well as being a non-executive director at Belvoir, Leeming was previously a director at Zoopla and propertyfinder.com, and before that a partner at Humberts for 15 years.

And Neil Cobbold – PayProp UK’s managing director, Cobbold is one of the most thoughtful voices in the industry, offering opinions on everything from lettings legislation and rental reform to broader property topics. A regular speaker at conferences and roundtable sessions, Cobbold has been involved in property for most of this working life, and has plenty of wisdom to impart as a result.

P is for Phil Spencer – property TV royalty, EAT columnist Spencer is the best-known property personality of them all. He’s best known, of course, for presenting Location, Location, Location with Kirstie Allsopp, but he’s also the founder of MoveIQ and the go-to man for hosting property awards and other bashes.

Paul Shamplina – star of Channel 5’s 'Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords', Shamplina is also the founder of Landlord Action and Chief Commercial Officer at Hamilton Fraser, as well as an advisory council member of the Property Redress Scheme. A powerful and articulate speaker, he regularly appears on podcasts and industry videos, and is a regular speaker at leading conferences.

Polly Neate - the bête noire for the landlord sector, Neate has been CEO of housing charity Shelter since 2017. Before that, she was CEO of Women's Aid. She is one of the most effective communicators in the business, even if much of what she says rubs landlords up the wrong way in particular. 

And Peter Knight – one of the industry’s best-known coaches and speakers, Knight founded Property Academy, which 'exists to improve business performance and service standards', in 2007. He is also the founder of Estate Agency Events and has been a long-time chairman of Agents Giving.

Q is for Russell Quirk – provocative, divisive, opinionated and thick-skinned, Quirk is perhaps the most Marmite figure in the industry. Formerly owner of online agent Emoov, Quirk is now a regular on the conference circuit and an expert property speaker, and has also kept a hand in agency through Keller Williams.

R is for Robert Gardner – Nationwide’s chief economist, he frequently appears in commentary regarding property as a result of the lender’s well-respected monthly house price index.

Richard Rawlings - an award-winning estate agent trainer and marketeer, he has been an estate agency trainer, consultant and writer for more than 22 years. He also ran the successful Rawlings Roadshow a few years ago.

And Rob Hailstone – the industry’s top conveyancing guru, he regularly comments on issues relating to property law and the home buying and selling process. With more than four decades experience behind him, he also founded the Bold Legal Group in 2010.

S is for Sarah Edmundson – the CEO of Agents Together, a keen mental health advocate and an agent trainer, Edmundson has become one of the most influential female figures in the industry in recent years.

And Sarah Beeny – after Phil and Kirstie, probably the most high-profile property name thanks to her many TV shows – mostly on Channel 4 – over the years. She was also the founder of online agency Tepilo, which ran for nearly a decade before being swallowed up in Emoov’s demise.

T is for Ben Taylor - Taylor has been CEO of Keller Williams UK for more than five years, trying to grow the self-employed brand in Britain. Previously, he was managing director for John D Wood and associated brands (part of Countrywide) for many years, before making the switch to a different model of agency.

And Grenville Turner - a former CEO of Countrywide, when it was the biggest estate agency group in the country, Turner has in more recent years turned to the hybrid model and PropTech, with chairperson roles at YOPA and, most recently, BidX1. He was also a founding director of Rightmove and a past director of Zoopla. 

V is for Craig Vile – The ValPal Network’s director, Vile has worked in property – both here and abroad – for a number of years, and is the go-to person for lead generation solutions for agents.

W is for Rowan Waller – an agent with a skill for lyrical poetry and snappy videos, Waller has made great use of social media – in particular LinkedIn – to grow the profile of himself and his agency. His witty, self-deprecating and sometimes very moving posts regularly generate lots of hits, comments and engagement.

Z is for Zoopla's Andy Marshall - Marshall is the COO of Zoopla and the Managing Director UK&I Go To Market of Experian. He has in recent years become Zoopla's go-to spokesperson and media man.


Phew, that's that.

Until next time...

*Nat Daniels is CEO of Angels Media, publishers of Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today. Follow him on Twitter @NatDaniels.


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