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
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 Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy