Robinson Jackson

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Robinson Jackson'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 Robinson Jackson 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

Co-founder Alan Robinson
High street branches remain
relevant to customers,
alongside new technologies
Founded in 1993, Robinson Jackson is an independently
owned estate agency with 25 offices across London and
Kent. Built on a 50-year partnership, Robinson Jackson
works well with buyers and sellers and sells properties with an
average price of around £350,000. Founder Alan Robinson
discusses the knowledge he has picked up and explains what
sets Robinson Jackson apart.
I became a trainee negotiator aged 17 in 1967, and during my 50 years I have
valued, listed and sold property. I have worked for and with my business partner
Pete Jackson, and in 1993 we established Robinson Jackson. We celebrate our 25th
anniversary this year.
Innovative approach
As Jackson Property Services, Peter and I were always looking to be innovative
in our approach. In the past, buyers complained about queueing in banks and
building societies in order to begin the process of applying for a mortgage. In
response, we employed mortgage arrangers, who organised appointments every
weekend. Within a month, we had to double our mortgage arrangers and add
appointments on weekdays.
We introduced longer opening hours, from nine o’clock in the morning to seven
o’clock in the evening, seven days a week, and we utilised our receptionists’
property knowledge by introducing them alongside vendors during transactions.
We titled them sales progressors and our Robinsion Jackson clients now expect
it. Clients also expect our offices to be open long hours, with lights blazing from
»Co-founder: Alan Robinson
»Founded in 1993
»Based in London and Kent
»Services: Sales, mortgages and
»No. of employees: 250
Robinson Jackson
Highlighting best practice
high street window displays. This is
supported with a cutting-edge website
and access to Rightmove and Zoopla.
If people want to view property online
at 2am, our services allow them to
dothat. That’s what 24/7 means.
Client-based service
We own 25 branches across London
and Kent and we view our company
culture as the key to our success.
Currently, we employ 250 staff and
we take a common-sense approach,
based around the fact that our buyers
and sellers need a combination
of experience and enthusiasm. In
a “no sale no fee” environment,
charging fair commission rates for a
great service is crucial. Clients want
a sales company that achieves the
best price, from a quality buyer, and
that provides a dedicated member of
staff to progress the sale through to
completion. We do not receive any
payment until the job is done, which
proves highly motivational for our
sales and progression team.
Our experience comes from our
partners, who all have a controlling
interest in their respective branch
offices. Below that, we employ
passionate and ambitious branch
managers and enthusiastic, motivated
and rewarded teams of younger
diverse sales staff. We have an
excellent in-house training structure,
enabling our colleagues to fulfil
their roles, alongside 30-minute
daily morning branch meetings
and quarterly partners meetings.
If standards need to be raised,
this is achieved through internal
discussions within the branch. Our
approach is relatively laissez-faire,
but always supportive, and we trust
our staff to resolve issues in an
Many of our partners are members
of the National Association of Estate
Agents and subscribe to regulation by
the Ombudsman; however, buyers and
sellers want to work with sales staff
and qualifications do not necessarily
matter. Legislators need to understand
that a pass mark in a property exam
does not mean anything to a seller.
They want to be sure you can sell their
house. While there are rogues in all
businesses, my lifetime in agency has
shown me that they will be found out,
and solid, reputable agents will always
look for culprits.
Helping our sector
The most disappointing trend in recent
years has been the way that the British
dream of buying your own home has
been nearly destroyed. Previously, no
more than five per cent of sales in
our market were made to investors.
Recently, it can be as high as 50 per
cent, with individuals who are getting
no interest on their savings turning to
property. That means that 50 per cent
of property is not being bought by
the young families that need homes.
While the target of building 200,000
new homes a year is valid, thousands
of second-hand properties have been
lost to new landlords. While mortgages
facilitate buy-to-let investors, young
Our sales progressors
play a huge part in
pushing a sale through
to completion
We do not
receive any
payment until
the job is
done, which
proves highly
for our sales
first-time-buyers were being sent away
to save for a deposit.
The panic-fuelled reactions of UK
mortgage lenders to the failures of
the US sub-prime market have been
a disaster, especially with the removal
of up to 100 per cent mortgages
for first-time-buyers. Those without
substantial deposits or family money
to fall back on are now forced into
the private rented sector and face
paying more in rent than they would
for a monthly mortgage payment.
Some government schemes are valid,
but the government has failed to
discuss the issue with those at the
forefront of the industry.
The media creates a furore when
high property prices prevent people
buying locally, but young people have
historically often had to move out to
afford cheaper property. In the past,
we sold hundreds of properties to
young Londoners in Kent for under
£4,000. Today a two-bedroom flat
in Clapham might sell for £650,000,
while a two-bedroom house in
Chatham might sell for £250,000.
Young people will have to wait a long
time if they sit around in city suburbs
waiting for house prices to fall.
The housing minister’s recent
comments regarding the possible
reintroduction of sign of good faith
deposits is misguided. Any deposit
paid by a buyer will have to be subject
to contract and is therefore valueless.
The potential to change one’s mind is
inherent in the psyche of house buyers
and sellers.
Two key issues facing the property
market include the onset of online
selling and the speed of transactions.
Our approach has always been
pioneering, and we have never been
afraid to introduce new practices to
benefit the house buying and selling
public. With regards to the onset of
online solutions, once a vendor has
paid a £1,000 non-refundable fee
up front, it is unclear what incentive
the listing agent has to find a quality
buyer and monitor that sale through
Whether transactions should be
speeded up is already a contentious
issue in the City, and Jeffries Bank
concluded that Purple Bricks’ listing-
to-completion ratio was 50 per cent,
while Purple Bricks’ argue it is 88 per
cent. At Robinson Jackson, our ratio
has worked out at about 70 per cent
over the past three years because
selling and buying a home is not
simple. Whether it should or can be
speeded up is questionable. Buyers
and sellers change their mind and the
public won’t give up that right easily.
We could take any number of our
recent cancellations and there would
be numerous reasons why the sale
fell through. Transactions cannot be
speeded up without digital advances
that allow processes to be completed
more quickly. Until such point, the
process will remain labour intensive.
currently lag
behind the
Savvy first-time buyers
priced out of London
are looking at commuter
towns that offer fantastic
value for money

This article was sponsored by Robinson Jackson. 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