Happy Birthday Aspire Residential! It's hard to believe that it has been a year since we opened the door to our office in Goring-by-Sea. In that time, we have had Brexit, a General Election and the Coronavirus outbreak. It has certainly been a challenging time for many, but with the support of clients, family and friends, we are proud of what we achieved in our first year.
Here are our highlights:
Who we are and why we set up Aspire .....
In late April 2019, we formally launched Aspire Residential, an independent estate agency based in Goring by Sea and providing services to clients in Worthing, Ferring and the surrounding areas. Our goal is simple - to deliver outstanding client results by combining deep industry expertise with unparalleled customer service.
So why did we decide to set up a new agency in what already seemed like a crowded market and why did we call it 'Aspire'?
The answer to 'why a new agency', is because we believed that local estate agents have lost the emphasis and focus on client service. The sales and lettings industry is going through a period of considerable change, with ever increasing regulation and legislation which is putting more pressure on agents financial performance and margins. Unfortunately, a by-product of this is that many agents are increasingly focused on numbers and statistics, and losing the "customer service" mentality. At the end of the day, while we transact in property, we deal with “people” and we think that clients just want to receive good old-fashioned customer service. We help people make one of the biggest financial decisions of their life and as far as possible, we want to provide expert advice, take the stress out of the process and ensure we are empathetic.
In terms of the name “Aspire”, the choice was kind of obvious in a way. The Cambridge dictionary describes Aspire as “a desire to achieve something or be successful”. We think this reflects what we are about as a Company and how we want to make our customers feel, irrespective of their position as a buyer, seller, landlord or tenant.
When we set up Aspire, it was important that we built it on the foundation of solid values - being Service, Expertise and Accountability.
Service is the cornerstone of what we are about as a Company, as everything we do is fundamentally about dealing with people. While you can teach an agent to make a cold call or undertake a viewing, you can’t teach someone to “care”. Caring has to be part of a person’s DNA and at Aspire, everyone that we employ has to have service deeply engrained into the core of who they are. Our team have all previously worked with agencies who wanted to “care”, but were so heavily driven by data and statistics that they eventually lost sight of client service. At Aspire, we put people first. We believe that If we look after people, the numbers and the statistics look after themselves!
For us, expertise is about ensuring clients have good quality information. Our team has an average of over 10 years local market experience per person, so clients know they are getting quality advice. We believe that people make the best decisions when they are “informed” decisions based on quality data and market knowledge. Estate agency should not just be about showing someone around a house or flat, or putting a listing on Rightmove. Quality estate agency is about recognising that clients are about to make one of the most significant financial decisions of their life and acting as a trusted advisor in support of that decision.
In terms of accountability, it’s pretty simple. At Aspire, our clients get to deal with the owners and Directors of the business. We don’t shy away from accountability, the buck stops with us.
And we were off with a bang.....
Notwithstanding market uncertainty due to Brexit, we started with a 'bang'. On the 7th May, barely a week after opening our doors we announced our first sale of a 3 bedroom semi detached property in Henty Road, Worthing. We quickly followed that up in the second week by announcing our second sale of a 2 bedroom flat in Harsfold Close, Rustington. We were delighted to have found buyers for the properties so quickly and that both transactions went on to successfully complete.
Going from strength to strength, we even sold one property before it went live on Rightmove or our website, and within just 1 hour of the board going up!
Over the course of the year, our reputation for exceptional service seems to have certainly got out and into the market. As the year went on we started to receive a considerable amount of interest from new landlords and sellers based on what they had heard about us. For us, having referred business makes us realise that we are doing our jobs according to our core values and that those values are appreciated by our clients. Within one year, we are incredibly proud that the number of 5 star reviews that we have on Google is already over 40.
We also seem to have developed a reputation for being able to deal with some challenging situations! We are delighted by this as it demonstrates our commitment to expertise and accountability. Over the last twelve months we have successfully;
- Sold a residential flat situated above commercial property that other agencies had been unable to sell in over 6 months.
- Dealt with retrospective planning permission for clients.
- Negotiated lease variation terms to facilitate the successful closing of a difficult leasehold transaction.
- Sold a property on first viewing after being instructed. Three other agents had previously failed to sell the property after 40 viewings.
- Managed the transition from a new development to a buy to let investment for an overseas landlord.
The year culminated in the closing of a significant transaction for the sale of a large 10 bedroom house in the town centre. Again, far from being straightforward, the sale required a 'change of use' application to the local council. Our clients were sufficiently happy with our performance that they posted the following on Google reviews:
"We cannot recommend these guys highly enough! They sold our property, which our original agents had failed even to get any viewing on. We had many viewings via Aspire and this lead to the successful sale of our large property. We could not have asked for a more interactive group of people to work with, communication was brilliant with regular updates and always an answer to questions. If your looking to sell or buy we would say these are the only guys to use. Really invested in selling properties not just get you signed up"
At Aspire Residential, we believe we have a responsibility to contribute and give back to society. We support diversity, choice and equal rights for everyone and we are passionate about doing all we can to help sustain the environment and promote the health and well being of the local community. Some of the highlights of our community involvement over the last 12 months include:
August 2019 - Aspire Residential became a sponsor of Worthing Football Club. The club has a long history and association with the Worthing area having been established in 1886. Aspire Residential Lettings Director Rob Gamon commented that “our sponsorship of and association with Worthing Football Club was a natural choice for Aspire. The club has strong links to the local community and a rich history. We are pleased to be able to support them in the current season and hopefully for many more to come”.
October 2019 - We announced our support for Worthing FoodBank, a system of collecting and distributing basic food and sanitary items for those in need and at times of crisis. Rob Gamon commented that “we are so very proud to be supporting this charity. As a business that deals with the public on a daily basis, we get to witness how people can be hit by a sudden crisis or longer term hardship. We recognise that people can go through some tough periods and we want to do anything we can to help. We hope this is the start of a long term relationship between Aspire Residential and Foodbank.
November 2019 - In support of the Royal British Legion, the team set themselves the goal of cycling the distance of a round trip from our office in Goring-by-Sea to the beaches of Normandy, a distance of about 500 miles in total. With the amazing support of clients, friends and the general public, we achieved our target and averaged over 100 miles per day. Mike Jones, Aspire Residential’s Director of Sales commented that “the figure of 500 miles didn’t sound like a long way at first, but when you break it down, we had to cycle over 10 miles for every hour the office was open. Luckily, we received a huge amount of support”.
January 2020 - We announced that Aspire Residential was to be one of the main sponsors of Pride 2020, Worthing’s annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) festival. Mike Jones commented that “Aspire supports diversity and choice for everyone and we are incredibly proud to be associated with one of Worthing’s premier events and a major sponsor of Pride”. Alas, due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the event has been cancelled for 2020. However, as a demonstration of our commitment to the event, we have already agreed our sponsorship 2021.
The future ....
As we kick off year 2, it's with the challenge of the Coronavirus pandemic looming over society. While the Government is gradually lifting lockdown restrictions, including those involving the transacting of residential sales and lettings, we are very conscious that the health and safety of employees, clients and the public's remains paramount. The last few months have been hugely challenging for everyone and, as we start to get back to a level of 'normality', we appreciate the importance of our business and personal values even more. As people emerge from lockdown and start looking for a new home, we want to do everything possible to make it as 'stress free' as possible and ensure we deliver an exceptional outcome for everyone of our clients.
After a couple of months of having the property market on hold, it feels a little like "we are starting all over again". But, the good news is that this time around, word is already out and about that Aspire Residential offers something a "little different". Service, Expertise and Accountability!
As we start our second year, we are also reconfirming our commitment to the local community and, once it is safe to do so, look forward to announcing our further involvement in a number of community events.
Thank you for your support through our first year and we look forward to potentially assisting you with your local property requirements in the future.
The team from Aspire Residential