Exquisite Essex has been going for six years, and Beresfords has been going for 50 years – what are your secrets to its success and longevity?
I think the quality of people you work with is the most important thing and staff is definitely our biggest asset. I definitely believe that continuity is key to success.
How did you take over the business from your parents and what was it like working with family?
My father operated a successful office but unfortunately, he became unwell, so I offered to help him out and 43 years later, I am still here! We are still a family business now and it works well. You have to give people space and you have to give everybody ample opportunity to demonstrate their skills. The problem is when you all get together; dining room talk is about business!
Was the vision always to create the size of the company you have now?
Yes totally. If you are going to do something you have to do it well, especially for your clients. I’ve always believed in being the best at what you do. People are surprised that I still work many weekends and rarely leave the office until 7pm but it is because the business is a real passion of mine and I have high hopes for its future.
With more and more people using online property services, how does this affect your business?
When the housing market gets tough, it suits our business because we have experienced local staff that know the client database and know how to sell and let someone’s most valuable asset - their property. I have been through a few recessions with the company now but we have overcome them as people buy into the confidence of a member of staff more than just through using the internet for listings.
Technology is a big tool for us especially in terms of spreading the word; however it is ultimately only a tool. Whilst we have evolved out of a one office operation family business, our core values are the same. I have seen lots of business get to a size where they lose their values. Some people are on their 6th or 7th move with us and it means a lot that people keep coming back.
It’s Sunday afternoon, where would we typically find Paul Beresford?
I really like The Lot in Shenfield and The Cricketers in Fryerning. There are lots of nice gastro pubs around Ingatestone and Ongar. Smiths is famously good, and The Lounge in Ingatestone is a great Sunday brunch spot. I’d like to play more golf too.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
There are some lovely areas to visit in Essex. We are very fortunate as Essex is a convenient county to live in and we have London Southend Airport close by if we want to get away for the weekend.
MILESTONESThe first Beresfords office opened 1968 in Upminster
The company is now based out of 16 locations with the head office in Chelmsford
Beresfords employ over 200 local people, many of whom have been in the company over a decade
They have raised over £45,500 for Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAA) in the space of just two years
QUICKFIRECountry or coastal?
Last App you downloaded?
Pinterest – It is great for architecture, and I get involved with design a lot
Last restaurant you visited?
The Cricketers in Fryerning
Best Brunch in Essex?
The Tearooms in Blackmore or The Lounge in Ingatestone.