With 413 years combined residence locally and 235 years property industry experience, no one knows and serves Chiswick better…
According to James Matthews, co-founder of Whitman & Co estate agency, there’s no secret to the company’s consistent success in the local market: ‘Our aim has always been to build a close-knit team that focuses solely on Chiswick and, most importantly, knows the area street-by-street. It’s a simple philosophy, but it has stood us in good stead.’
Taken together, Whitman & Co’s 13-person staff has clocked up 413 years of living in the area – it helps that six of them are West London born and bred – and over 235 years experience in the property industry. ‘It was only recently that we sat down to do the maths,’ smiles Sales Director, Chris Chalmers. ‘I must admit, we were surprised by the totals.’
No one better epitomises the ‘keep it local’ philosophy than Chris himself, who joined the company in 2002. ‘My great-grandparents bought our family home in Prebend Gardens in 1926; my grandmother moved in when she was eight years-old, my mother was born there and so was I.’
James and co-founder Russell Savage met at long-gone estate agency Tyser Greenwood and bought Whitman & Co in 1995 (the company was founded in the 1920s by Colonel Whitman, who was also a coal merchant). Today, together with Chris and Jeremy Day, the newest team member and a Grove Park resident for 29 years, they lead sales, letting and commercial departments from the same office on Turnham Green Terrace.
The Whitman & Co approach clearly still delivers impressive results. According to the latest verified Rightmove statistics, the company is the Chiswick market leader for sales – a position that it has held for over three years – and, since last August, it has also been number one in lettings.
‘With valuations, we are always realistic,’ says Russell. ‘Over the years, I’ve seen countless examples of properties being valued astronomically to secure an instruction. If that’s the case, we pass. We quote figures that we’re convinced we can achieve and that pays dividends in the long run. Also, we’re transparent; we don’t put clients under pressure, we flag up issues and we try to solve them without fuss. If you’re straightforward, people will come back to you.’
Since he started off in the lettings department, Chris has seen the same clients return time and again. ‘What’s fascinating is that you catch up with them at different stages of the property-buying cycle – from rentals to buying a first home and then moving into a family house. Over the last 18 years, I’ve been a part of their lives. That also epitomises what we’re about; customers know that they’ll see a familiar face and receive a friendly service.’
As a successful business, Whitman & Co has always believed in investing in the community, increasing its involvement year on year. ‘We’re always delighted to help if we can,’ says Chris. ‘Currently, we sponsor Chiswick Cricket Club and Chiswick Rugby Club juniors, support the Bedford Park Festival, school fetes and street parties, choirs and charities and, last year, we were delighted to assist Abundance London with the hugely successful Turnham Green piazza project.’
‘The Whitman’s way is all about building relationships – that’s why people often pop into the office for a chat and advice about the market. No matter how busy we are, we keep it personal. Longevity is at the core of our business.’