Estate agency is a people business, that is core belief of Dafydd Hardy, who has just celebrated 25 years in the industry in North Wales.
He and his partner Richard Thomas have built one of the leading agencies in North West Wales, and to underscore this success they have won the best Estate Agent in Wales award for the past two years.
Mr Hardy, who hails from Bangor, said: “When Richard and I set out we were just two local lads with a passion for property, belief in customer service and an interest in the latest technology. That was a long time ago and now we employ more than 50 staff across five offices.
“Back then we were the first in Wales to introduce floor plans in our brochures. The idea came from Richard and went down well with clients. It set us apart from other agents making us stand out.
“Now we use professional photographers, aerial drones, produce videos and offer a mobile app, we have a presence on Rightmove and On The Market property portals.
“But the heart of our strength remains customer service For example we ensure our team is easily available to clients. We are happy to host accompanied viewings seven days a week and our lettings team are contactable 24 hours each day. This says a lot about the culture we have developed.
He added: Like all enterprises we’ve had our ups and downs, however the only real problem we’ve had was the recession of 2008 when all businesses suffered. Then the emphasis switched from sales to lettings and thank goodness that was already part of our business. Our property management portfolio got us through. Now we have a broader based business,
“We take our responsibility to our staff very seriously, and we did back then in 1992, we worked with our staff, kept them well briefed and that developed a bond between us.
“This is a people business, it would be nothing without people.”
Looking to the future Dafydd Hardy is toying with the idea of becoming a hybrid agent, offering a range of services, from a solely on line agency up to a traditional estate agency.
One characteristic which has remained throughout Dafydd Hardy’s 25 years in business is his strong sense of community responsibility.
He has taken on roles outside the business, including becoming a trustee on the Board of Hospice at Home; and a director of Carelink, a social enterprise which runs a day centre for dementia sufferers.
“We’ve always tried to support local charities and businesses. I run charity auctions and the company has a adopted the charity, Mind for Gwynedd and Anglesey, each of our offices takes on raising funds for it.
”We’ve helped many organisations in the past but have had a real focus on Awyr Las and Team Irfon cancer charity and Hospice at Home over the past few years.
He added: “I just like helping people, I just want to do it, and in the company it gives the staff something to feel good about, and that is very good for morale.”