Set up in 2002, Charles McDowell Properties has been a fixture of the property landscape ever since. ‘We’ve always sold and always bought, so we’ve seen a lot of fluctuations,’ explains McDowell. The firm is noted for off-market deals – an approach he knows is sometimes pooh-poohed. ‘They work because the market is quite random and people don’t want to have their properties seen hanging around,’ he counters. It’s a nimble, and personalised offering – and it’s working. ‘My criticism of the bigger agents is that they’re not so readily available. Clients will call us at the weekend, and at night,’ says McDowell, who is extremely connected in the Middle East and Far East.