£100m investment programme catapults Dexters into the big league

Jeff Doble speaks to PrimeResi about the independent estate agency's ambitious expansion plans

Independent estate agency Dexters has revealed the results of an eight-year, multi-million pound investment programme that’s transformed the high street stalwart into one of the biggest names on the London property scene.

Jeff Doble, juggling

Since 2008, Jeff Doble’s firm has quietly been acquiring well-established outfits like Chard and Field & Sons, as well as opening up new offerings of its own, building a formidable network with more branches than any other central London agent.

A sharp new look was debuted last week, but the impressive numbers have been kept under wraps until today: a full £100m has been reinvested back into the business, with consistent year-on-year growth of 26% achieved; annual turnover has risen to £70m with an operating profit of £15m on the cards for 2016; in eight years the office tally has been boosted from 16 to 60 and the staff count to 1200; the firm is selling over 3,000 London properties annually and has around 20,000 landlords as clients.

Not bad from what started out as a single-branch operation in Twickenham in 1993.

The consolidation means that instructions now go all the way up into super-prime territory, with current listings including a fifth floor apartment in One Hyde Park (£19.5m), a new-build townhouse on Mayfair’s Chesterfield Street (£12.995m) and a house on Belgravia’s Eaton Terrace (£9.65m). Top rental stock includes a house on Chelsea’s Durham Place (£12,950 pw) and a penthouse on St James’s Place in SW1 (£10,000 pw).

28 of the branches assembled as part of the new, expanded network are in central London, having taken over prominent locations in Westminster, Marylebone, Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea. New outposts have also been set up in the City and Docklands. All the new offices and acquisitions are being rebranded as Dexters and will sport the updated dark blue, white and shocking pink livery.

The full gamut of services are being offered across the board, including sales, lettings, property management, land and new homes, investment management, corporate and international relocations, and professional and surveying services; and that’s interesting, given what we’ve been hearing over the last few weeks. But while the online contingent may be making all the noise right now, Doble told us he couldn’t be more confident about the future of full-service agency: “The world of online Estate Agency promises a cheap solution, but most people want their important property assets to be handled by experts with local knowledge and our success and plans for continued growth reflect this. We genuinely believe the future of selling and letting homes is with professional companies like Dexters who represent clients’ best interests and work hard on their behalf.

We now have more offices than any other central London estate agent

“I set out to do things differently and change people’s perceptions of Estate Agency. I wanted to build a strong business with a great name built on brilliant people. Our continuing growth and success has meant we really can be altogether better across London and we now have more offices than any other central London estate agent. I know that our clients notice the difference – our people are better trained, work harder and go the extra mile and we are proud to be professional partners for our clients.

“We are in an exceptionally strong position to continue our growth and we will continue to work hard to deliver the very best professional services to reflect the changing needs of the market. For example, our lettings business has expanded significantly to respond to the demand for more rental homes in London. Looking ahead, we are excited about our future prospects.

“A key element in our success is that we train all our own staff and are committed to continuous professional development of our people. In fact, we spend 10 times the industry average on training all our 1,200 staff at the company’s London Training Academy. We are London’s only major Estate Agency which is regulated by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and we uphold their worldwide reputation for integrity and professionalism. Given all of this, it’s no coincidence we get such positive feedback from our clients and that over 70 per cent of Dexters’ business comes from recommendations and referrals.”



Main image ©Vicki Couchman