Alex Goldstein featured in the Ackrill Newspaper Group!
In a nutshell, what does your business do and how did it start?
Formerly an estate agent for some of the biggest names in the business, I spotted a niche in the market which wasn’t being filled. As a property consultant, I now help clients buy and indeed sell their homes across the whole of Yorkshire and London, by giving them the inside track on the property and estate agency sector.
What’s the most surprising thing about it?
When a client involves me in the sale of their home, they pay me nothing! My fee is paid out of the appointed estate agent’s standard commission. I add value to the owner, without the cost.
What do you do?
One can split my business into two – buying and selling property. Plus, I operate across Yorkshire and London.
On the buying side, clients approach me with their search criteria and budget. I then liaise with my property network which I have built up over the last 18 years in the industry, approaching vendors who I know, agents or those properties in the off-market sector (ie they are not online or in the public domain). I then negotiate and secure the property on the best possible terms for my client.
The selling side of the business is rare in the industry. Having been an estate agent, I know how the system works and I ensure that my clients sell for the best price with the least stress. Advising them for instance how to maximise the value of their home, which agent to instruct and the reasons why. I stay on board throughout working alongside the agent and orchestrate the sale, ensuring that all those little tricks behind the scene are being carried out.
How did you end up here?
At university, my parents’ neighbour had a reputable local estate agency group and I asked for some work experience. What was meant to be two weeks, turned into three months! When it came to applying for my first job on the graduate schemes, I was way in front of any competitors, as I knew more than them at the time. I started at Cluttons in central London advising on country houses nationally, plus The Crown Estate and The Church Commissioners. I then moved to Harrogate and worked for Strutt & Parker and Knight Frank, before leaving the corporate world and setting up on my own.
If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?
Unquestionably it would be property related.
What motivates you?
When you exchange and complete on a transaction for a client, the outpouring of emotion from a client can be amazing and it’s a privilege to be part of their lives for this. It’s a great feeling to know that it was a super result for the client and they go on to recommend me to their friends.
What one thing do you wish you had known when you started out in business?
Despite your fears, it is remarkable how many people want to help you succeed. Your network and community really do have your back.
What excites you about business?
I enjoy the risk of being in business on your own and without having a safety net. I relish challenging people’s perceptions of estate agents and property for the better. Being small means that I can make a decision about my business in an instant, without running it past anyone else.
What advice would you give to people just starting their careers?
Find an industry that you love, get to know as much about it and get the experience. You must continually build your professional network, as this will always stand you in good stead no matter what you choose to do.
Who in business do you most admire and why?
My father, grandfather and great grandfather. Like myself, all three of them started their businesses from scratch and all went on to be great successes in their fields. There must be an entrepreneurial gene in the family!
What moments of your career so far stand out?
Helping various sports stars, Google employees and National Lottery winners – one always gets a thrill, plus advising on some of the best property in the UK. Being featured on BBC1 and BBC2, plus interviews on Talk Radio and BBC 5 Live. Having my own property radio show at the former Stray FM, has to be up there as well.
What sets your company apart from the competition?
There are very few people indeed who do what I do – advising on both the buying and selling of property, plus working across Yorkshire and London.
Over 18 years’ continuous experience in the property sector, 100% five-star Google reviews, 160 glowing client testimonials and 89% of business last year was through word of mouth referrals, which is probably all you need to know.
What is the most difficult challenge your business has faced?
There have been some extremely difficult transactions I have dealt with since I set up on my own, which have been the most demanding of my career. The world seems to be getting increasingly more complicated. Throw emotions, significant amounts of money, solicitors, banks, surveyors and estate agents all into the mix and you can get some very extreme situations!
…and what challenges are you experiencing at the moment?
Trying to get properties from Under Offer to Exchange remains significantly challenging and the amount of time it takes is getting ever longer.
Have you got a five-year goal for the business?
To expand my presence and recognition across Yorkshire and London, as the go-to property expert.
Why is it good to do business in Harrogate and Wetherby?
You really can have it all – great amenities, schools and relaxed surroundings to raise a young family. Super transport links to London and northern airports. A genuine local business culture, whereby everyone wishes to help each other. You don’t get that down south!