Celebrating 50 years in the Estate Profession
In 1968 at the tender age of 17 my first job was with a firm of Chartered Surveyors in Teddington, a contact of my Father who was also a Chartered Surveyor. I spent 6 months there and decided I wanted to be in the London market and so went to work with Knight & Co, a property management Company owned by Sir Cyril Black, the then MP for Wimbledon. Five months of tube strikes over a very hot summer told me this was not for me and I was offered a Junior negotiators position at Farr Bedford Chartered Surveyors with 7 offices from Ealing out to Uxbridge.
This was a very fortuitous move and where I experienced an excellent grounding in the estate profession spending three very happy years there ‘learning my trade’. I attended college for day release and evening classes and sat my Surveyors finals in 1972. Not easy holding down a very busy day job and then up to Town for evening classes several evenings a week but successfully qualifying justified all the effort. During this time I would be selling the classic 3 bedroom semi for £4,000-£5,000. 1972 was that first year of ‘boom and bust’ in the property market that we still talk about today. In just 12 months house prices rose by a staggering 100%. The inevitable happened and bust followed boom, a pattern that we still live with today 45 years on.
By the end of 1972 I was looking for a more senior role and joined Edward Gray & Co to run the sales team at one of their Wembley offices. I spent the next 7 years expanding and opening branches for this Company. A very hectic period in my life, meeting and marrying Hilary and even found time to rebuild a 1939 MG TB, a classic 2 seater MG.
In 1973 I bought my first flat for the princely sum of £4,500 which 4 years later I sold for £9,000 and bought an 1888 two bedroom cottage for £12,000 which I then restored. With my marriage in 1980 a larger home was sought and we moved to Hatch End and a three bedroom detached house for all of £65,000. A fortune in those days!
In 1980 I was offered an opportunity to join the Pinner agency of Wrethams as an equity partner. I expanded this Company with branches in Pinner, Rayners Lane and South Harrow and in 1987 sold the residential sales side off to The Prudential when they were actively pursuing sales offices countrywide. I carried on the ‘professional’ side of the business for a further two years from our Pinner High Street offices but my forte is agency and so in 1990 I set up Baker Pearce here in the Pinner Harrow areas. Five offices handling residential sales, lettings and Commercial property. By 2010 and after 20 very successful years the Directors decided it was time to pursue slightly differing directions and I kept the Pinner office and rebranded as Andrew Pearce Property Consultants Ltd PLUS the Commercial side of the business which I named Andrew Pearce Commercial Ltd. This change taking place at the beginning of 2011.
Over the last 5 years we have expanded the Companies through new offices and last year, having outgrown our existing premises at 10 High Street, took 9 Bridge St (the old Monkey Business shop for those that can remember them) for the RESIDENTIAL SALES department with LETTINGS, COMMERCIAL & MANAGEMENT remaining at 10 High Street.
When I first started in the profession selling a house for £10,000 was a watershed. These were the biggest and most expensive houses in the area. Today that same property would be £3 or £4,000,000. In those early days it was almost impossible for a woman on her own to find a mortgage. Printed details were from a Gestetner ink roller machine that used to leave more ink on my fingers than on the paper! Photocopiers were still to be invented and as for Computers and mobile phones they were the stuff of Si fi films and for the future.
Times certainly have changed and, I have to say, for the better. I have and continue to thoroughly enjoy my work and look forward to a few more years here in Pinner High Street.