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As capital growth over the years has facilitated property values reaching stratospheric levels, estate agency has become more akin to asset management or wealth management, says the immaculately dressed sales director, son and protégé of property legend Alan Russell (see opposite), who founded the firm 38 years ago. He stresses that advice, including market analysis and intelligence to ensure correct pricing, is vital in a complex and inconsistent marketplace where deals fall through all the time.
Yet again, the firm has remained seemingly impervious to tough market conditions, trebling flat sales in the third quarter of 2016 from the same period the previous year, in spite of a slowdown in sales across the board. ‘By virtue of our independence as a relatively small company, we have been able to offer a different, dynamic and flexible approach which has allowed us to prosper in these difficult times,’ Russell explains.
Specialising in house sales, Russell says Notting Hill, Holland Park, Kensington and Chelsea are in consistently high demand from both British and overseas buyers, and picks out Battersea Power Station as one to watch among new builds.
A highlight of the year was the off-market trade of ‘a very private, 7,000-square-foot house in Kensington that was spread over only two floors, and had the most incredible garden’.
Born into the company, Russell did his first day of work there at the tender age of fifteen.