John Horton will soon return to the same Hammersmith premises – 172 King Street – where he started his property career 23 years ago
John Horton founded Horton and Garton in May 2008 with a clear vision in mind. ‘I wanted to create an independent business that provided the best service. That meant treating every client as an individual rather than a potential sales figure and building enduring relationships – and doing it with a smile.’
Clearly, the formula has worked. Horton and Garton is the market-leading estate agent for sales and lettings in W6 and W12 and a Chiswick franchise opened in 2016. With the company about to move two doors down to a new office at 172 King Street, here John looks back to his first day in the industry which, by coincidence, was in the same premises.
‘Roll back the years – or decades – to 1996. I turned up for my first day working at the Hammersmith office of Barnard Marcus at 172 King Street. I was wearing my smart blue blazer and grey trousers. The manager, Barry, took one look at me, duly raised the fashion “yellow card” and marched me down the road to Moss Bros. He bought me my first pinstripe suit and said: “Now you look the part – remember that you’re in Glamour-Smith!”
‘Whizz forward to 2019 and 172 King Street currently looks like a building site as we prepare for our move. Over the last 11 years we have developed a strong business and, inevitably, outgrown our current premises. Our new home has been an estate agency for over 50 years, before that it was a branch of Barclays Bank and, back in the early 1900s, a gift and novelty shop. The surroundings have certainly altered since 1996 when I started there: the cinema has gone and, with four years of works due to begin at the Town Hall, the view will change even more dramatically…
‘The success of Horton and Garton has been based on achieving consistent positive results. We have an experienced team who have worked here for many years and they know every pocket of Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush, Brook Green and West Kensington like the back of their hand.
‘We’re always transparent, we flag up issues and try to solve them without fuss. Naturally, many clients want to hear the highest price and the lowest fee; but what they need to hear is an accurate valuation and a clear strategy for realising the best price in the market. If you’re straightforward and clients have a positive experience, they will come back when they are trading up or downsizing. Longevity is at the core of our approach.
‘I also believe that a successful local business should invest in its community. That’s why we’ve sponsored Hammersmith Food Bank, Artists at Home, the Petros Singers and many other charities and school events – it’s little and often and I try not to turn people down.
‘We will be opening our new office later this year. In the meantime, if you are considering selling, letting or renting in West London, make Horton and Garton your first call.’
Horton and Garton
176 King Street
Hammersmith W6 0RA
Archive photographs: LBHF Local Studies and Archives4