This month, The Guild of Property Professionals caught up with Simon Etson, our Residential Sales Manager. He tells #TheGuild about the history of Drivers & Norris, the property market in #NorthLondon and his idea of a dream home
Simon, tell us about yourself…
I am the Residential Sales Manager for Drivers & Norris. I was fortunate enough to join the company a year ago. I have worked in estate agency for seven years, originally with a construction background, and I will shortly attain a Building Surveying degree. I aspire to be known for my extensive market knowledge and my devotion to our clients.
Tell us about Drivers & Norris
We can trace back our origins to Mr. Driver, an agricultural agent in Tufnell Estates, who established his business in 1852 practising as Driver & Co until 1870. The business originated from the Northern Estates Office corner of Seven Sisters Road, Islington, London.
In 1919 Mr. Driver and Mr. Norris merged their respective companies to become Drivers & Norris, now one of London’s oldest estate agents.
We are a multi-practice business offering Residential Sales, Residential Lettings, Property Management, Block Management, Commercial, Auctioneers and Surveys.
We are proud to support and are trusted by our community since 1852.
Why do customers choose Drivers & Norris?
Our clients choose Drivers & Norris because of our innovation, customer relationships and astute recruitment practices. We know our people are our brand and we have created a culture built on intelligent, friendly people.
We try to utilise inventive technology, but without straying from the traditional values of service and customer care.
What is next for the property market in your area?
There is a lot of negative press surrounding the property market and much of the downbeat forecasts and pessimism is blamed on the lack of clarity surrounding Brexit.
Lack of supply and affordability will continue to affect the market, but in North London we are still experiencing good instruction levels with motivated vendors. Whilst the market is reporting a lack of new buyer enquiries, (which fell for a sixth month in a row in January 2019) we are seeing positive signs in North London, with buyer registrations remaining solid.
If you became the Housing Minister for a day, what would you change?
There are no easy fixes, but we need to remove the uncertainly over Brexit. We need a clear plan, regardless of the eventual outcome of Brexit. From releasing more land, relaxing planning laws, and stamp duty changes to speeding up transactions.
Describe your typical day
We start the day with an effective morning meeting that drives the pace of activity, structuring the day and focusing on maximising opportunities and sharing knowledge.
Most days I carry out Market Appraisals, but I still contribute to canvassing, call out sessions and conducting viewings.
A great part of being an estate agent is that no day is the same. There are always different people, responsibilities and properties to keep you engaged.
Can you give six tips for anyone who wants to work in the property sector?
1. Excellent customer service – service is the cornerstone of any agent’s success
3. Patience – buying and selling property is a stressful process that can result in high emotions
5. Appetite to for learning – constantly looking to improve yourself and your knowledge
What makes the perfect home for you?
Location will play a big part for my perfect home. Being within walking distance to a park, local pub or restaurant would be ideal.
I also like open-plan living, which is great for entertaining, but with a separate reception room. I would like generous bedrooms with a master with en-suite, a large rear garden, off street parking and a double garage are all preferable!
What charities do you support in your local area?
Our business is authentic, and we try to show shared goals and values. We speak to people and businesses in our community, ask them questions and tell them about our staff and our business.
Some charity fundraisers and community activities we did in 2018 include: Beacon Festival, Virgin 5k Run, Manor Gardens Street Festival, Tufnell Park Summer Fair, ULHS Housing Fair 2019, Tufnell Park Winter Fair, Whittington Park Christmas Lunch, Whittington Park Big Day Out, Christmas Jumper Day, National Jeans Day, #DoItForDom - Huntington's Disease Association, Agents Giving #AgentsGotTalent, Agents Giving #OneThousandItemsOfFood, Children with Cancer, MacMillan Cancer Support – Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning, MacMillan Cancer Support - Sober for October, Agents Giving - #DonateACoatCampaign, Tufnell park Primary School Calendar and Tufnell Park “Race Night”.