Saturday, 25 September 2021

Town’s ‘newest’ estate agents have years of local knowledge

Last week’s party to launch Henley’s latest addition to its estate agent offering went down well

Last week’s party to launch Henley’s latest addition to its estate agent offering went down well with LUCY BOON who was happy to talk shop with the agency’s three employees — Charlotte Mellor (lettings), Libby Oxberry (co-ordinator) and James Donigan (office director)

AFTER enjoying success with its other offices, Penny & Sinclair — the company’s directors are James Penny and Wendy Sinclair — decided to open its fourth Oxfordshire branch in our home town last Friday. And Standard Property was there to toast its prosperity.

The company has branches in Burford, Oxford city centre and Summertown (on the outskirts of Oxford), with an associated office in Park Lane, London, through the Guild Of Professional Estate Agents.

Managing director James Penny said: “The company was founded in May 2009 to specialise in the Oxford, Oxfordshire and Cotswolds market. Our team advises on all aspects of the property marketing, putting your interests first, even if this means we do not earn our fee.”

The other good news about having a new agency in town is that it has moved into the long-empty Speaker’s House — otherwise known as 44 Hart Street. The shop has been empty since defunct estate agency Sotheby’s, moved out a few years ago.

Lettings manager Charlotte, who previously worked at Romans on the same street in Henley, called it “a beautiful office and a brilliant location from which to work from”, adding: “We’ve only been open a few days, and it’s been a real rush of excitement.

“So many locals keep popping in to wish us luck or enquire about properties. We’re on such a high about our new branch. We’ve had huge support from the other offices — it feels like we’ve joined a family.

“Our company is renowned for letting some of the finest properties in Oxfordshire, and it prides itself on flexibility.

“We offer two main letting services which can be tailored to meet each individual landlord’s needs, whether that be full management or rent collection.”

Henley office director James Donigan, who went to school in Henley and previously ran Davis Tate’s Henley office in Bell Street, said: “We couldn’t have had a better first week — it’s been so positive. Within a day of opening we took on seven new lets and have had a number of strong sales leads including one that won’t even be advertised on the open market.

“Having a Henley branch of Penny & Sinclair is a strategic move. It means we now cover north, central and southern Oxfordshire. Plus, Henley is a great place to do this from.”

James said of his colleagues: “We’ve all gelled so quickly — it’s a really good, experienced team that knows the town inside out.

“I have worked in Henley for four-and-a-half years, Charlotte for eight years, and Libby also spent time working at Knight Frank on Thames Side.

“Between us we know the majority of Henley agents, how other agencies work and, importantly, what kind of property is located where — there’s a great deal of crossover, which is really positive news for our clients.

“I keep referring to ourselves as the ‘known unknown’ — hundreds of locals have known us as individuals over a number of years, but this is the first time we’ve been all brought together under a relatively ‘unknown’ agency.”

Libby adds: “I’m Henley born and bred and I love this town. Joining Penny & Sinclair feels very much like coming home. It’s a real pleasure to work here and if our first week feels as good as this you know you’re on to a winner.

“As the latest Penny & Sinclair team, we will constantly strive to make the buying and selling of homes as painless as possible. It’s safe to say we are committed to putting a client’s interests first with superior service and a satisfied client. We all agree this is far more important than a quick sale.”

One guest at Friday’s launch event — notorious local quipster Roland Willcock — said he was excited for the team, having known Charlotte for many years.

“I’ve had 2,000 properties in my time all around Oxfordshire, as well as Reading and Henley,” he said. “Without wanting to criticise other agencies, it has always been obvious with Charlotte that she’s on the case and ‘gets’ what some other agents don’t seem to ‘get’ — that for Henley people who rent out their Henley properties, we’re usually renting out our own homes. It’s personal.”

As a nice introductory touch, Penny & Sinclair is currently offering £100 of John Lewis vouchers just for instructing them to take on your property.

But to find out more about what this new agency with well-known faces can do, you’ll have to pop in to the branch on Hart Street and find out for yourselves.

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