An estate agent that has branched out into the East Midlands through its national auction network is celebrating 40 years in business next month.
Pattinson, which has its head office in Newcastle upon Tyne, was launched by Keith Pattinson on July 4, 1977.
The company has this year partnered with estate agents in Derby and Leicestershire including Belvoir Derby West and Scoffield Stone, and is in the process of joining forces with more agents in the East Midlands. Pattinson has been holding auctions for 20 years, including at Nottingham Race Course, and has around 200 members of staff, as well as 14 business development managers across the country.
Justin Beckwith, auction director, said: “Keith has always been an innovator and has led the way rather than followed, trying new things and supporting his staff.
“When he started the business 40 years ago he came up with the idea of offering free valuations. We got busier in a matter of weeks and from there the business grew. In that time estate agency has changed a huge amount and we have been proud to be leading the way. It’s hard to imagine that an estate agent would charge for a valuation now, but when Keith first offered ‘Free Valuations’ other agents laughed at the idea.”
Fifteen years ago Keith came up with a way of getting first time buyers to buy at auction. The conditional auction (now the common method auction) essentially gives people twice the timescale to complete the transaction and get a mortgage. Soon after its implementation other estate agents started doing it, so in 2009 Pattinson started to offer a buyer’s premium where people could sell free of charge and charge a reservation fee to the buyer to cover the cost. As with previous ideas, it wasn’t long before other companies started doing the same.
In 2017 it is the company’s online auctions that are proving most popular with today’s buyer.
Justin said: “The online auctions are absolutely flying and is now our key area of success. I think this is because of the speed and flexibility an online auction offers. Buyers don’t have to wait for a date and travel to the auction room. It’s very much like EBay; they can buy a house from the comfort of their home and still get the same service.”
Keith’s daughter, Caroline Pattinson, is the current managing director of Pattinson. She has been involved in the business from a young age. As a child she had to photocopy the property details and stick on the photographs, open the post and help out with filing.