Meet the estate agent who always plays by the rules

Chris Fairclough, Martyn Gerrard

Chris Fairclough, Martyn Gerrard - Credit: Nigel Sutton

This estate agent has a passion for restoration and dreams of a home in the sun - complete with an infinity pool and a ‘man den’. Just don’t try to cheat at monopoly when he’s around

What’s special about your agency?

Martyn Gerrard is the biggest family-run estate agent in North London, we have been going for over 50 years. We care about all the people we work with offering a professional and personal service. I realise the responsibility that has been placed in my hands to ensure we help our clients to the best of my ability and to provide what the consumer expects from an estate agent in the 21st century. I proud to say my branch in East Finchley is the market leading agency in the area, selling more properties than any of our competitors and have been doing so many of years now. Building a great reputation takes many years and I’m proud when clients & customers I helped move come back to me to help them move again. There is no better feeling.

Where do you live and with whom?

I live in the borough of Islington with my fiancé, my 4 year son and 2 year old daughter.

Why did you buy your current property? What’s your favourite thing about it?My fiance and myself grew up in the same area so we wanted to stay close to our network of friends and family. We managed to find an end terrace 3 storey Victorian property, we love the high ceilings, character and the potential it gave us to make it our own and bring up my family.

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

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If I was not an estate agent I would be a property developer. I love refurbishing, developing land or restoring character properties. The transformation of before and after is very rewarding, showing family and friends and their facial expressions when they cannot believe it’s the same place... gets me every time.

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

I bought my first property in 2012 in an aggressive rising market. It was in Hampstead Garden Suburb, It was completely run down giving the perfect opportunity of a restoration project and its close proximity to Hampstead Heath and Brookland Primary school was very appealing to me.

What’s your dream house?

My dream house would be in a warm climate, built on a hill with amazing views and the sea beyond; have a lot of glass so I could enjoy the views including a section of glass ceiling so I could see the night sky. The infinity pool would overlook the sea view; my man den would be fully equipped with all the ‘boy’s’ toys. The property would be surrounded with sufficient land to have beautiful flower gardens to the front, fruit trees and vegetable garden at the rear. It would be eco friendly with solar panels. One can dream :)

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

I have been an estate agent for 15yrs. I started off working for a friend of my father’s managing his portfolio. I later joined Martyn Gerrard as a junior negotiator progressing through the ranks working in various officers in North London where I finally settled in East Finchley working alongside the Gerrard family. Having the founders of the company mentor me is very rare in this industry and the knowledge I gained was invaluable. Ever day presents different experiences. There is not much that surprise me now. I’m always available to provide advice and solutions to any challenging circumstances.

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

I started in 2008 in East Finchley during the recession which was not a great time for the industry however the market has been going from strength to strength since then and I have seen property prices increasing every year and market becoming more competitive for buyers due to high demand and the lack of supply.

What are your top tips for the local area?

Fantastic location to raise a family, with open space close by, fantastic primary & secondary schools and great transport links into the city (northern line). If you are thinking about selling or renting your property ensure you engage a reputable agent with NAEA qualifications to access experts advice on the market and changing legislation.

Are you good at Monopoly?

I’m very competitive, therefore I would have to say yes. However, I have good competition; playing against my brother who is definitely one the best negotiators on any subject or game I know, who hates loosing and often makes up his own rules in his attempt to keep me on my toes. But I have the rule book close bye. Nice try!

Martyn Gerrard