Bycroft Estate Agency celebrates its silver anniversary of 25 years
- Credit: Nick Butcher
In an age when some estate agents are here today, gone tomorrow, to be operating after 25 years in the business is somewhat an achievement. So there is much to celebrate at Bycroft Estate Agents in Great Yarmouth as property editor Caroline Culot found out when she visited Charles Bycroft and his son, Daniel.
Charles Bycroft, 68, who started his own business all those years ago with his wife Julie, has a lot to celebrate.
Not only is Bycroft Estate Agents still going strong on Regent Street where it has a residential, lettings and commercial division, but it has also seen father and son work together there for 12 years.
Daniel Bycroft, 43, joined the estate agency in 2006 to run the commercial arm of the business - so he and his father haven't been working quite side by side, just a flight of stairs apart!
But it was 25 years ago, that Charles, a chartered surveyor with already a quarter of a century's experience in estate agency behind him, decided to go it alone, leaving the Black Horse Agencies Charles Hawkins to open up in Great Yarmouth further up the road from the current Regent Street office. Charles had all the right credentials to start up his own agency, having followed in his father's footsteps to qualify as a chartered surveyor and by 21, was managing an estate agency arm of Charles Hawkins & Sons.
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By 1983 he was running six offices. 'But then the market crashed in 1989 and by 1991, the fun had definitely gone,' he recalled. 'Head office was running around like a headless chicken and the whole atmosphere was pretty miserable.' So that was the catalyst for starting his own estate agency - growing it from just he and his wife to four directors and 11 staff.
Later, came something Charles had never imagined; he was joined in the business by son Daniel.
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Daniel had initially wanted to work in forestry and farming, but then also qualified as a chartered surveyor and opened up Bycroft's commercial division, quickly expanding it with a property management/lettings department.
'There was never any pressure from me to follow me into the business,' said Charles. 'But what he brought was his technical ability which complemented my skills and experience, making it a real marriage. I'm really proud of him.'
Daniel, who took over as managing director on January 1, joked that he and his father hadn't always seen eye to eye but that working in different divisions had helped them not clash too often. 'If there's one word to describe my father, it's integrity,' he said. Charles agreed, saying: 'Having done this for a quarter of a century, we know our patch pretty well and have been fortunate in getting together an extremely knowledgeable and experienced team who provide a fantastic level of service to our clients.
'In some larger companies the focus is much more on making money, sometimes to the detriment of the client. My mantra has always been to give the very best service possible.'
Long may it continue!
Bycroft Estate Agents can be contacted on 01493 844484