Before we look at the next steps, let’s first look at what got them this far…
Rowan Waller began his Oxfordshire property career working for a corporate estate agent. Things were going well and despite working his way up through the ranks, the impersonal approach adopted by many such agents never sat right. “Everything was geared towards what suited the agent, not what was right for the homeowner, buyer, landlord or tenant”, explained Rowan. “I had to try to change the way things were done”.
In September 2014, Rowan set upon a journey to create a family run Estate Agency service that was truly local, personal, and dedicated to putting its clients’ interests first. Starting out in his spare room and shortly a serviced office in Summertown, Wallers’ reputation for customer service grew rapidly. It was this reputation that led to an impressive portfolio of properties on the market in a short period of time which in turn resulted in Wallers being noticed at a national level.
In 2016 they were named as the Best Estate Agents in Oxfordshire at the ESTAS: National Estate Agent Awards and the Best in the Southern Region of the UK at the British Property Awards. Rowan himself was acknowledged as one of the Top 5 Property Professionals in the country that year. 2017 saw more acknowledgements. Firstly, again at the ESTAS before being shortlisted in the maximum of 4 categories at the Negotiator Awards last November. Wallers Estate Agents has now gained the ‘Exceptional’ class rating in the Best Estate Agent Guide for 2018, classed within the top 5% of UK agents at the most recent EA Masters Awards.
Wallers’ first branch opened in June last year and if you’ve never visited, then you should. It’s not an Estate Agent as you would probably expect. The friendly team are usually sitting on the sofas working on their iPads or chatting with clients while enjoying a latte at the coffee bar. It’s far more of a relaxed and comfortable place to be than the usual Estate Agent office where everyone talks to you from behind their desk and over their computer screens.
The higher profile that came from the high street presence has grown the business even more. The Lettings side of the business in September with the fresh approach of No Tenancy Fees. “We just never thought they were fair”, said Rowan of this ethos. “Agencies make money by exploiting their tenants. Admin, contract, reference and renewal fees are unnecessary. We want to make sure that we match the right tenants with the right landlords. If we do that, we make the long-term relationships that are best for everyone”.
This is a typical approach for this refreshing local business.
So what’s next?
“We’ve just teamed up with Oxford United to become an Official Club Partner. If you’ve been to a match recently, or seen one of Oxford United’s games on TV, you won’t have been able to miss our new ad at the Kassam. I think it’s one of the biggest there and has a fairly simple, yet honest statement about our business – Oxford, and proud”
This month also sees the opening of Wallers’ second branch. This time on Rose Hill on the east side of Oxford. “We’ve always done a lot of good business in OX4 and it’s time that we open a branch to service our clients in the area directly rather than managing it from OX2. We’re very local centric in most things that we do so our aim is to have a local presence all over the city”, says Rowan with his typical smile.
Does that mean that there are more branches in the pipeline? “Ha! You’ll have to watch this space…”