New estate agency launches in central St Albans
PUBLISHED: 07:30 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:28 21 March 2018
One of St Albans' longest-serving estate agents has taken the plunge and set up on his own.
After 20 years of working for various local firms, St Albans-born Paul Barker has established his hybrid agency – essentially a traditional high street firm but without the shopfront.
Instead, Paul Barker Estate Agents is based at an office in the Maltings – and the money Paul saves will be passed on to his clients via more competitive rates.
Paul believes this cost-effective approach is the future of estate agency, saying: “The high street’s changing – everyone’s online and these days I don’t think you need a big office.
“People can come in and see me but I don’t have the overheads and the associated costs of running a shop so I can pass that on.”
Ultimately Paul, who lives in the city with his wife, Charlotte, and young family, says it’s the personal service he’ll be offering that sets him apart from the competition.
“There’ll be a dedicated director managing each property which I think is very important – and I am going to be contactable seven days a week.”
Luckily Charlotte is on board with this – she’s co-director in the business and will be supporting Paul on the lettings side.
For now, Paul is glad to be operating under his own name – even if it’s not above the door: “In 20 years, I’ve sold lots of houses. If you’ve got a lovely house for sale, buyers will find you.
“15 years ago that was a bit different because you didn’t have the internet to find buyers. Now if you’ve got a nice house there’ll be plenty of people showing interest in it. All that’s needed is an approachable, hard working, experienced agent.”