Show House: This Month - Shaun Peart
Fri 01 Feb 2013
This month: Shaun Peart
Regional Managing Director, North LSL Land & New Homes
Rather than taking up his place to study sports science at Loughborough University. Shaun Peart chose to become an estate agent in London instead. His parents needn't have worried though, as Peart is now regional MD (north) for LSL Land & New Homes, one of the UK's largest estate agents.
"Ultimately, my parents are really proud but I'm from working class stock and my mum had never ben to London before she visited my flat there." Says Peart, who has since returned to his Yorkshire roots.
His first job, at Winkworth in Shepherd's Bush, included sticking photos onto property details and photocopying before working his way up the ranks over the following six years. "I had the best time there, cutting my teeth on the London market using my Yorkshire charm. I've still got my original contract from when I earned 8,000 a year."
After moving back up noerth, he joined Halifax Estate Agents, managing branches in Sheffield and Doncaster before transferring to their corporate business, handling repossessions, auctions and land & new homes.
"The most important lession was TCF - Treating Customers Fairly," explaing Peart. "The ethics of handling repossessions involved working out what was really fair for the customer (the lender) and the person whose home was being repossessed. I try to run those same ethics and transparency principles alongside new homes clients now."
When LSL bought Halifax estate Agents in January 2010, Peart found himself in the right place at the right time. "There's a certain culture in financial service institutions and a certain culture in estate agency, and it's fair to say I embraced returning to estate agency with open arms."
"The investment also meant we were able to step up a gear and since then we've massively invested in the team. We've grown the people and kept overheads tight."
LSL have focused on ensuring branch staff understand the specialist area of maketing new homes, as Peart explains: "Years ago, many developers just wouldn't work with agents; it was like mixing oil and water. But our changing circumstances have pulled the two together. It's now about partnership relationships where each business model needs to fit together and understand the other partner's critical points."
The education of staff in high street offices, under brands such as Marsh & Parsons, Reeds Rains and DAvis Tate, included the introduction of the LSL Land & New Homes PX Hub and part exchange charter, initiatives close to Peart's heart.
"To use part exchange as an incentive, developers need to filter the leads to make sure they're concentrating on the right people. We now have our own PX Hub in Eastwood, Nottingham. With our branch network and strategic alliances in areas not covered by our 540 offices, our coverage spreads far and wide."
LSL's PX Hub provides an initial part exchange summary within 30 minutes. Site sales staff can contact the Hub seven days a week, so while potential buyers get enthused touring the show home, staf are busy preparing a feasibility snapshot before the developer decides whether to progress to the full part exchange process.
Peart has also been instrumental in tapping into the value of data held by the group's chartered surveyors, e-surv.
"We use our vast amount of data to help our developer clients to make the right decisions at any stage - when they buy land, how much for, what they build and what it should sell for - right down to the new build premium in a set location as well as rental yields." Potential investors are also contacted through leading UK telling agent Your Move, also part of the LSL group.
Peart operates alongside land & new homes colleagues Paul Warren in the south-west and Andrew Bill in the south-east. The team took silver for the Best New Homes agent at the recent Estate Agency of the Year Awards and, having won bronze in 2011, they now have their sights firmly set on gold.
Even when not on the road visiting clients, staff and sales, Peart's passion for new homes never fades. He and his wife, Joanne, have a weekend retreat near the Yorkshire coast, which they try to escape to as often as they can with their three children, but since LSL has launched a development nearby, he can't resist dropping in. A 'mad keen' Manchester United fan, he tries to get to Old Trafford whenever possible and on the golf course plays off a handicap he describes as a 'steady 18'.
"I still have the same buzz and ambition I had as a 19-year-old trainee," says Peart. "I'm constantly looking at how the business can evolve. There's always something new around the corner."