INITIATIVE and ethics are qualities that Harlow’s Guardian Estate agency always puts first. Paul Andreotti, one of the six owners claims ‘Customers come first and our motto is fair fee for a fair job. I believe in helping people.
Andreotti began working as an estate agent back in 2004, after meeting David Coltman the founder of Guardian. There are 19 people working for the company, which aims to make a turnover of one million this year. It manages 800 properties in a 20 mile radius.
Despite Guardian being one of the most popular private estate agents in Harlow,
it takes in 50% less than the corporate run agencies, showing the value of honesty and integrity.
The term coined ‘Generation Rent’ explains the difficulties that young people currently face to get on the housing ladder. Over the last 13 years Andreotti has seen a dramatic increase in the age group of first time house buyers. At the start of his career, the normal age for first time house buyers was around mid 20s, it is now between 30 to 32 year olds.
The ability to save is becoming more difficult due to high deposits and mortgages, the rise of rent and housing prices do not match current wages, meaning that people now have to save for longer to afford housing.
Andreotti explains; ‘Prices are falling throughout the country but not in Harlow. The average rent is now around £1100 a month, four years ago it was around £850.’ Since Paul has started he has seen a 15percent rise in the percentage of money spent on housing, this means now that on average 50percent of an individual’s wages are spent on rent.
What makes Harlow in such high demand where new properties are concerned are its connections to London including the M11, the M25, the A414, and national rail, making Harlow a desirable location for commuters.
Harlow has undergone major expansion with a current plan to build 15,000 new houses in Gilston Park just north of Harlow. This demonstrates a direct link between the rise in housing within the last few years; seven per cent increase in 2013, nine per cent increase in 2014, 12 per cent in 2015 and in 2016 the housing price inflation levelled back out to eight to 11 per cent.
During the current political climate, Paul expresses his concern for what Brexit will mean for the large quantity of clients he has from other places in the world and says ‘I don’t want them to go anywhere.’
His philosophy for life is ‘never fail to summit’. He encourages feedback from customers and thrives off helping people secure adequate housing in such a difficult time and marketplace.