Thu 05 Aug 2021
Dewhurst & Co has officially been around for 25 years. We’re the same age as South West Trains, Cineworld, EasyJet, and Jimmy Choo shoes. All British institutions - and in the locale of Swindon, we’d like to think we’re an institution too.
When we started out, the average price for a detached house was just £93,894, and £56,585 for a semi. The Spice Girls were number 1 most weeks. Dolly the sheep - the first mammal to be successfully cloned - was born. And much of the area around us was still open, undeveloped countryside.
We’ve been here for so long that North Swindon was quite literally developed around us. We watched as Abbey Meads, St Andrew’s Ridge, and Priory Vale were built. In more recent years, we saw the construction of delightful community-orientated Tadpole Village Garden development, and the newer Blunsdon developments.
Once known as the industrial birthplace of the railway systems, and then as something of a small-time passing-through place, Swindon has become practically unrecognisable in the past quarter-century.
Swindon featuring in The Times’ top 20 places to live in 2008 was a windfall for the property market, and coincidently was the precursor to two decades of major-scale development.
At the time, only Warrington’s house price to household income ratio was lower. Swindon’s average incomes were among the highest in the country (due in part to the large commuter population to cities along the M4, due in part to large employers such as Nationwide, Intel, WH Smith and others investing in headquarters and large offices here), while its house prices remained affordable and accessible.
A place on this prestigious list, fantastic communication links, the large scale regeneration plans and (more recently) the electrification of the railway to London has meant a lot of big fish started making their way to our not-so-little pond. And the phones haven’t really stopped ringing since.
From the experts’ perspectives, major changes have brought big challenges over the years.
Manda Cunningham, Associate Director for Lettings, says, “I would say since starting with Dewhurst I have found the biggest change is in the amount of legislation and regulations which have been put in place for lettings. The biggest challenge would be COVID, and putting in place procedures to keep the team and the business safe.”
Meanwhile, Associate Director for Sales Richard True says, “I would say that the biggest challenge of my career at Dewhurst & Co was working in a sales office through the recession of 2008-2009. At this time (as you can imagine) every property sale had its own challenges. My biggest personal achievement would be my promotion to Associate Director, which came after 14 years and a lot of hard work with the company. If I could go back and speak to myself at the beginning of my career with Dewhurst, I would tell myself that all the hard work will be worth it.”
Turning to Chris Dewhurst, Director of Sales, and he says: “Some people think working in property is a simple desk job, but that really couldn't be further from the truth! It’s long hours, hectic viewings schedules, handling negotiations, and knowing how to manage difficult situations (after all, while most people are moving for happy reasons, some are moving because of things like divorce, financial struggles, or going through the probate process).
“In fact, while you’re dealing with the sale of bricks and mortar, you quickly learn that to be successful it’s really about reading people and ensuring they feel at ease. When you’ve been in property for this long, you develop a lot of very valuable emotional skills - and these are just as important as the sales and numbers stuff. But getting to be a part of that resolution, and being part of the happy days where the keys are released and the champagne is popped, makes it all so worth it.”
Although much of Swindon has changed around us, our philosophy stays exactly the same. We believe in expert local knowledge and old-fashioned customer service.
For Lettings in Swindon, we said it 5 years ago, and we’re still saying it now: happy tenants = happy landlords. It’s a simple formula, but it’s one we’ve used to replicate success time and time again.
Mike Dewhurst, Director of Lettings, says: “Happy tenants pay their rent on time and stay long term. Where many agents fall down is that they neglect their tenant relationships and treat only their landlords as valued customers. We’ve always been ahead of that curve, and this is why we’re known not just for getting lets agreed, but making sure those lets are quality, long lasting, and easy to manage.”
Join the thousands of homeowners that have trusted us and our 25 years of experience. Get your property valued by our team of experts here for sales or rental, or if you have a query, email email@example.com for Lettings or firstname.lastname@example.org for Sales.
Ready to sell? To find out how much your property is worth, please contact Richard True for a FREE valuation: 01793 701111
Ready to let? To find out how much your property would rent for, please contact Manda Cunningham: 01793 709090
DEWHURST & CO. 1996 - 2021. 25 YEARS AS INDEPENDENT PROPERTY EXPERTS IN SWINDON.