Propertydrum...

It was a treat to receive this week's copy of Propertydrum through the post this morning - flicking through the pages to the News section and we saw this little beauty! And editorial on our office. This month's most exciting new office apparently. We'll take that...

"Ashton & Charters Estate Agents in Billericay, Essex is headed up by Mark Reeve and Lee Charters who have worked together closely for seventeen years. Mark founded Keith Ashton in Brentwood in 1987 with Keith Ashton Junior. After building up one of the town’s most successful agencies, he has broken away from the typical estate agent image with Lee to do something totally different. Not only have they had to break the mould of the last twenty-seven years in the business, they have had to do so by appealing to a vast audience.

Billericay is a diverse town and not an easy one to stereotype. The town is complete with a high street of boutique-style shops, some excellent schools, and a great sense of community with many town events that are always warmly received. You name it, Billericay has it; young city workers, small business owners, retired couples, families… all ages, all backgrounds.

So how do you make a substantial change to the image of your agency, big enough for people to notice, but that appeals to every type of person imaginable?

As the high street remains mainly unchanged in layout for the last 500 years, it felt only right to keep with the heritage of the town and have an old fashioned shop front. With a heavy wooden door under a grey canopy with box plants out the front, it’s like looking back at Victorian Britain.

Yet inside the office offers a completely different feel. Nothing about the office suggests that they are an estate agent. They have a gorgeous Karndean white wood flooring which is most striking as you open the door. The front half of the office is pure customer space; a TV broadcasting the news or any sporting events that are on sits on a media board which plays good music opposite a coffee machine that serves delicious coffee, which is offered with a biscuit from their well stocked biscuit tin. Bowler hats hang from the ceiling as light fittings, a brightly coloured Chihuahua sits on the wall watching the TV and umbrellas are next to the door on the way out if the good British weather is up to it’s usual tricks.

People are welcome into the office for a chat and a coffee – it’s far more friendly and community based than any other office and word is getting round that they’ve got a stunning office with a fantastic atmosphere."