Tenth anniversary for Carlisle property firm
Ringing the changes on his career was the best decision ever for Gordon Adamson.
As a senior manager with telecoms giant BT, Gordon was flicking through a franchise magazine when he saw a business opportunity which caught his eye.
That was 2007 and this summer sees Gordon celebrating ten years as owner and managing director of Northwood property sales and letting agents based in Warwick Road, Carlisle.
“I suppose it was a turning point for me when I saw the advert looking for people to take over one of their franchises,” said 50-year-old Gordon.
“Northwood at that time was a family firm and I met chief executive Andy Goodson after answering the advert. Everything fitted the bill and we took it from there. I now wish I'd done it earlier.”
Today Northwood is the biggest letting agent in Carlisle with 25 per cent of the rental market and 700 landlords on its books.
Lettings make up for 70 per cent of Gordon's business with property sales standing at 30 per cent compared to a letting to sales ratio of 50/50 ten years ago. At the time of the credit crunch it was 90/10 lettings to sales.
“I put the success of Northwood down to the fact that we have very good staff and offer a guaranteed rent scheme which means landlords don't have to accept vacant periods or rent arrears on their properties. We will cover their costs under this scheme,” Gordon explained.
“It cuts the hassle for landlords and is ideal for those who may be risk averse. Our processes are watertight and we are known for our good service.”
Northwood employs 11 members of staff including a core of three who started work with the business ten years ago.
Gordon added: “I have an excellent team working with me and I would say the success of our business is down to the staff and our customer service.
“We won the British Property Award last year for our sales and lettings service which was judged by mystery shoppers. They looked at how quickly the phone was answered and how long it took to respond to emails.
“We also won the All Agents award for Best Agent in Cumbria two years running again based on customer service.”
Last month Northwood launched a new online property auction service which means sellers don't pay any costs. Instead any sales carry a buyers' premium.
“It is a bit like a traditional property auction but online. It is a good option where properties are in need of improvement,” he said.