WHY I STARTED DARREN BARTLETT REAL ESTATE, MY APPROACH AND GROWING A BUSINESS
I WAS DOING WELL AND RUNNING MY OWN TRADITIONAL HIGH STREET AGENCY, SO WHY DID I LEAVE AND START A BOUTIQUE AGENCY?
When I first walked into an estate agents looking for a job in my mid-twenties, they took one look at me and immediately said I had got the job. I’m not sure what it was they saw in me, but clearly I fitted the bill. I started on a measly £14k salary whilst I learnt the ropes. I was able to quickly build up knowledge and experience as it came naturally to me and before long I was at a senior level. I really enjoyed the hands-on side to the work I was doing. I am a people person, so being around people and helping them to move into their dream home was what fuelled me.
MOVING INTO RECRUITMENT
After 16 years, I moved into property recruitment. I was recruiting for estate agents looking for people who could market homes and conduct viewings. Unfortunately, this role was not what I was expecting and there were a lot of no-shows and I can’t tell you how many times I was told that someones car had broken down on a Friday afternoon… dealing with estate agents, I was always let down.
It was in this role whilst I was working long hours and finding that it wasn’t really fulfilling me that I had a seizure due to my stress levels. My other half Anna reminded me of my dream to be independent and start my own boutique agency, and I took this as a sign that things did need to change and it was now or never.
I also work with a Business Coach and I’m taking an online course called ‘The One Thing’ where I’m learning in detail about time-blocking, management my time effectively and growing a business from scratch. It’s certainly been an eye-opening experience, and whilst it’s been hard work over the last year, my business is now growing exponentially with so many recommendations coming in on Google and Facebook that people are phoning me asking me to market their property.
GROWING THE TEAM
Due to such rapid growth, I was able to bring on two new members to the DBRE team. Lauren is our resident Marketing and social media expert, Lisa is my amazing Virtual Assistant, and I’m also hiring a Buyer Agent who will be working closely with me and local buyers looking for properties before they even come to the public market.
GROWING THE NETWORK AND SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES
I'm passionate about supporting local businesses in the Richmond-upon-Thames area. So I’m now running a local Directory for businesses to be promoted in, and ensuring my clients can easily find great local services. If you are a local business in the Richmond-Upon-Thames area. Apply to join this directory and I will be promoting businesses in the directory through social media and word-of-mouth recommendations, and soon in-person charitable events in the area too.
BUSINESS GROWTH TIPS
I was recently asked by a local Richmond start-up business support scheme to write about my top 3 tips for business owners so I thought I’d also share them here as for an insight into how I’ve built my business so far.
Top 3 tips for Business Owners
My success ultimately comes down to these key points :
I set long term targets and then break down into monthly, weekly, daily targets. I regularly check in on progress and I block out my time to ensure I am working towards them.
I write out an economic model- break it right down even down to the small things. I ensure I am aware of exactly what I have to spend and where I allocate funds when they come in.
Business based on genuine connections - I keep in regular contact with people, I phone people up just for a chat and to keep in touch. I sponsor the local schools donating £250 every time a property is sold via a school connection. I ensure my network know what I offer, as at some point everyone needs to move home, and I'm able to make that a much better experience!
I hope these tips are useful, and please do feel to get in touch if you’d like to know more.
I’m not here to help sell your home, I’m here to help you move.