From a cosy cottage in Cowes to a family home where no-one can hear you scream...

Frank Townsend, Savills Hampstead

Frank Townsend, Savills Hampstead - Credit: Archant

After nearly four decades in the business, Hampstead’s exceptional mix of 300 years’ of property keeps Frank Townsend, director of Savills, interested.

What’s special about your agency?

We’re all things to all people. We act for our clients in their best interest. We’re a professional outfit who’ve worked together for a long time and roll our sleeves up and get the job done.

Where do you live and with whom?

I live with my wife and two grown up children in north west London.

Why did you buy your current house? What’s your favourite thing about it?

We bought the current property because we were upsizing. We had kids who were playing ball games cricket and rugby in the garden so we needed more space. My favourite thing about it is that it’s detached so we can scream at each other and no-one can hear.

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If you weren’t an estate agent what would you be?

I think I’d have liked to have been in the law. In this country we’ve got more than a thousand years of common law to draw on, it’s fantastically interesting.

When did you buy your first property and what was it like?

I was 24 and it was a two-up two-down cottage with thick walls, lovely and cosy, semi-detached in Cowes in the Isle of Wight, which is where I come from.

What’s your dream house?

It would be quite contemporary, ecological, with fantastic insulation and wind-generated electricity (which I could also sell on to my neighbours).

How long have you been an estate agent? What’s the most shocking/surprising thing you’ve seen on the job?

I’ve been an estate agent for 38 years. I became one by accident when my brother-in-law bought an estate agent and he threw me in there. I’ve seen a lot of quite grisly things on the job but none of them are suitable for a family newspaper!

How has the local property market changed since you started out?

I think that the property market is very much more dynamic than it used to be, clearly to do with the speed of technology and communications that we’ve got at our fingertips.

What are the most common mistakes clients make?

Asking too much money for their property at the wrong time.

What are your top tips for the local area?

The people and the property. We’ve got the best property mix of any inner London suburb stretching through every single generation of property for the past 300 years right up to the ultra modern. It’s a very interesting market.