Success Story Posted 11 April 2024

Adrian’s experience paying dividends as part of Hunters

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Adrian Lawrence may have come into estate agency “late” but it’s fair to say his first year in the industry was a lively one.

“I was a late starter, in my mid-twenties,” reflects Adrian, “and my first year in the sector was 1989 – which was an interesting year to do it thanks to the recession that hit in the late 1980s and kept going until the early to mid-1990s.

“That period included one of the worst house price crashes in recent times and prices, especially in and around London where I am, halved over a four-year period.

“In 1988, the year before I started, the government had removed Mortgage Interest Relief (MIRAS) for unmarried couples and young people went on a mad rush to buy property before it ended, so prices rose 35% in that year.

“It meant thousands of young people who weren’t ready for homeownership over-borrowed, many with 100% mortgages, and then when interest rates rose to 15% and MIRAS ended, it was like switching off a light.

“Buyers ended up in negative equity when the bottom fell out of the market and so many people struggled, with lots of repossessions and that went on until around 1992 when things started to turn a corner.”

Fast forward to the present day and Adrian has soaked up more than 30 years of experience – good, bad and, in the case of those early years, very ugly.

“It was a great training ground for me,” he smiles, “because only good agents survived in that sort of climate.

“And while the recession we’re in now at the start of 2024 is clearly not at that level, that experience has enabled me to spot the signs and also know what to do and how to adapt.”

And ‘adapt’ Adrian has, thanks to his first lettings portfolio acquisition early in 2024, after eight years as Hunters’ Bromley and Chislehurst franchisee.

That acquisition saw Adrian take on the managed portfolio of nearby Hunters Sidcup – growing his business by a huge 200% in the process.

“An acquisition was certainly something I was keen on and being able to take on the portfolio of a fellow Hunters office really worked very well for the branch at this time,” says Adrian.

“There’s only a very small distance between Sidcup and Bromley and with both branches being under the same brand, it was a great match for me as a first acquisition.

“This is where being part of a larger network like Hunters and The Property Franchise Group really pays dividends, because internal opportunities such as this one come up and it’s all very straightforward to get over the line.”

Adrian took on the Bromley and Chislehurst branches in 2015, a time he says was “perfect” for him.

“I was with another estate agency group at the time and there was no direction and no real management,” reflects Adrian.

“Trying to co-ordinate anything between offices was really difficult and I had a huge amount of respect for the Hunters brand.

“So, when they approached me about the Bromley and Chislehurst franchise, it was the perfect time and it really made sense as I got the opportunity to concentrate on the business while the marketing, compliance and training was all taken care of.

“Now we’re part of a 930-strong group with The Property Franchise Group and there are really exciting developments ahead for all of us.”

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