Philippa Sole discusses her business 2 years on and how to find the perfect property in BH13/BH14.
For those who don’t already know of you, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you started the business?
We are a bespoke sales, letting and search agency business based in Lower Parkstone. I provide 20 years’ worth of in-depth local knowledge, alongside a very personal service. When I set up two years ago, I wanted to create an agency with a difference offering clients choice. I work with my clients personally from start to finish and go the extra mile to get the job done properly.
I’ve noticed your brand throughout the BH13/BH14 postcodes grow significantly in the last 12 months. Where do the majority of your clients come from?
I have been overwhelmed at the support I have received from previous clients. My agency has grown mainly from repeat business and client recommendation.
I hadn’t appreciated how many people I helped who have come back to me or are now ready to move again.
Do you think not having a high street office is a positive?
Yes, very much so. Gone are the days when people should have to visit their estate agent and sit in a formal office with a desk dividing the conversation. My clients are so much more comfortable discussing their property in the privacy of their own home or informally over a cup of coffee. The saving in overheads has allowed me to invest directly into the marketing of my properties, ensuring I can showcase them in the best possible light.
When I spoke to you two years ago, it was just you running the business alone. How many people are in your team now?
I have been so fortunate to surround myself with a team of 4 very talented individuals, with a wealth of different skillsets, handpicked to complement one another. Together we deliver a wide breadth of property knowledge, dedicated to delivering a friendly and professional service. With their support I am able to continue being the face of the business.
Your Lettings business really seems to have taken off. How have you grown this side of the business?
I have been fascinated by how closely connected the sales and lettings world are, especially in this area. Many of my previous sales clients have approached me to manage their luxury homes. They have peace of mind knowing that I personally vet all of their tenants. As a result, we are now recognised as a specialist in letting premium homes.
Tell me about your Whisper Listings…
In essence, it’s the very discrete and potentially very profitable way to sell your home. If you would prefer to sell under the radar, there is no need for pictures or brochures, in fact no marketing at all. Interestingly, my most successful property sales progress not by listings on Rightmove and endless viewings, but by discrete phone calls to my network of qualified clients. This has become a core part of the business with approximately 1/3 of the sales I conducted last year never reaching the open market.
How has Brexit affected the property market for you?
Brexit has been proving difficult for a number of industries, not least property. That said, given the lovely area we live in, we have still remained busy. I have found that due to the political uncertainty, many people don’t want to openly market their properties and I have been fortunate to agree a number of off-market sales as a result. Whilst a number of people are pausing the marketing of their properties due to the time of year and Brexit, we are encouraging our clients to remain on the market as Christmas is the busiest time for searches on Rightmove. The flip-side has been that the lettings side of the business has been exceptionally busy, with many clients choosing to sell and go into rented while they wait to see the results of Brexit.
We see you have won a couple of prestigious awards! How did this come about?
We were so delighted to learn we were a winner of ‘Best Estate Agent Single Office Dorset’. Especially given The UK Property Awards are the largest, most prestigious and acclaimed industry award throughout the region, judged by a panel of 80 industry experts, chaired by members of the House of Lords.
I am particularly proud to be a finalist in the Venus Awards category for Customer Service. This is open to all industries, so to be recognised as a business that offers exceptional service, is a testament to the quality of my team.
What is the future of Philippa Sole?
I am so happy and proud to be where we are just two years into the business. We will strive to continue to be recognised as the leading agent in the BH13/BH14 area, known for exceptional service, our credibility and working for our clients around the clock. The keystone to the business will remain going the extra mile for my clients.
t. 01202 747999