Gordon & Rumsby

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Gordon & Rumsby's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Gordon & Rumsby is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Success at our recent Macmillan
Coffee Morning, with Julie
Gordon (left)
One of our properties for sale
in Holditch, near Axminster
Estate agency has a poor reputation on the whole, according
to Julie Gordon, director of Gordon and Rumsby, and is listed
as one of the least trusted professions, alongside lawyers
and second-hand car salespeople. She maintains that it can be
misunderstood and that if carried out fully and well, it can be
a service to be proud of. Addressing the inaccuracy of media
portrayals of the housing market and the growth of online estate
agency services, Julie explores the establishment of her own service
and the peculiar requirements of working in a rural environment.
It may be old-fashioned, but I still believe that top-level customer service is essential
for any business. It certainly has set us apart in our industry and is the reason that
much of our business comes from recommendations.
Having been one of those people who never had a clear career path, I finally found
my niche at the age of 40 when I started working for an estate agency in East
Devon. It was a revelation to me and I wondered why I had not done it before. I
began part time but rapidly changed to full time and began studying for exams.
That was 15 years ago, and now I am a member of the National Association of
Estate Agents and running my own business. I operate a small independent estate
agency based in the pretty and historic town of Colyton, East Devon, and employ
five people. From small beginnings and working from home, initially seven days a
week, I now have a small office.
Having a strong moral conviction and treating people with respect and
consideration have meant that growth has been slower than it might otherwise
have been. I cannot help but provide my clients with all they need and more.
»Director: Julie Gordon
»Founded in 2009
»Based in Colyton, East Devon
»Services: Estate agency
»No. of employees: 5
»No. of clients: 80
Gordon & Rumsby
Highlighting best practice
Legislation seems to increase year on
year, both for us within the industry
and for our legal colleagues. The legal
process for buying and selling homes
in this country keeps getting longer.
The fall-through rate, where sales are
agreed but fall through before the
exchange of contracts, stands at a
third of all deals.
In order to reduce this number,
we have put in a great deal of
work progressing the sale from its
agreement through to the exchange
of contracts and eventual completion.
As a result, each sale is a challenge.
This, coupled with difficult market
conditions over the years, means
that we sometimes have very long
relationships with our sellers and
buyers. The average time from the
agreement of a sale to the exchange of
contracts is currently 18 weeks. Much
of our time is spent reassuring clients
and explaining the complications of
the process. At times, we feel more
like counsellors.
Variety is the spice of life
The great thing about my job is that
every day is different. I get out of
the office a great deal, I meet lots
of people and I get to visit some
fascinating properties. We are lucky
to be operating in a picturesque area
with many historic buildings, and much
of what we sell is unique. This makes
the job much more interesting, if
challenging at times.
For example, we recently completed
the sale of an isolated and quirky
property for repeat clients. The clients
were in the process of selling this
property in order to purchase their
dream home. As there was significant
time pressure to secure this new home,
they felt compelled to agree to a joint
agency with a larger estate agency
firm. We were enlisted to help with the
sale of the original property. Compared
to this larger competitor, we were able
to provide far more viewings, more
open communication channels and a
Recently sold in Uplyme,
Lyme Regis
The fall-
through rate,
where sales are
agreed but fall
through before
the exchange
of contracts,
stands at a
third of all
more personal service overall. Mr and
Mrs Johnston-Hyde, the clients during
this process, confirmed this, saying:
“The larger agent offered a network of
offices and London links, although we
do not feel these made any difference
at all. The exercise of joint agency just
proved how Gordon and Rumsby’s
standard of expertise and experience
far exceeded their larger competitor.”
Inaccurate reports in the media
Challenges come from many different
directions. The media can swiftly
persuade the general public that the
property market is in trouble with
a shocking headline that often only
presents half the story. The focus tends
to fall on the London market, as well
as other large cities across the UK,
but rural areas get overlooked. Things
are very different in rural parts, where
the market is generally much slower
and the rules of the city do not always
apply. As a result, sellers can be prone
to resisting selling because of what
they read, watch or hear.
Another challenge in this day and
age is technology and the changing
face of estate agency. Online agency
models have been around for more
than ten years now and seem to
finally be taking a greater percentage
of market share. Some sellers seem
happy with this more impersonal
method. However, in my experience,
sellers still want to be able to visit the
office to have face-to-face meetings
and feel that our years of experience,
enthusiasm and training are providing
a far superior offering. We work
closely with many local solicitors and
work as a team towards the right
outcome for the customer. We know
our patch well and can answer any
questions our buyers may have about
the local area. We can enthuse about
the place where they may want to live
because we love it too. I believe that
there will always be a place for high-
quality service.
“Julie and her team were
amazing from start to finish.
Communication was excellent,
and they were the voice of calm
and reason among a fraught chain
of stress! I would thoroughly
recommend anyone wondering
whether G&R are as good as the
larger players to give them a try –
they are better in my experience,
having now used both Julie’s firm
and larger national companies.”
Compared to
this larger
competitor, we
were able to
provide far more
viewings, more
channels and a
more personal
service overall
The stunning view from a
sold property near our office


This article was sponsored by Gordon & Rumsby. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister