The Richard James Story
Richard James Estate agents opened in 1992 operating from a small office in Wroughton.
Four years later, the business was established as the agent of choice in Wroughton and our second premises in Commercial Road, Swindon were acquired to cater for the Swindon Market.
In 2006 Richard James made a decision to concentrate on the core business of Estate Agency and a contemporary 3 storey building with glazed curtain wall was acquired in a prominent Old Town location. The refurbishment was a break from the Traditional Estate agency format and this coincided with a re-brand for the company, moving away from a traditional style and incorporated an easily recognisable image of a daisy.
2007 started strongly but trading conditions worsened to an extent we had never experienced as the credit crunch took hold. A decision to close the Commercial Road branch was taken and we restructured with costs trimmed to a minimum but we took a decision to see the recession as an opportunity to increase the Market. New technology was introduced enabling our work force to be sales dominated with admin reduced significantly through the use of the new software packages.
Our lettings business had grown quickly and was continuing to flourish, However, we shared a view with another local company that combining our lettings business with theirs would improve customer service, produce economies of scale and present a better opportunity to flourish in a growing market than continue to compete with each other. A merger with local company Swindon Homefinders went ahead in 2010 and the impact saw our market share and brand awareness increase in line with expectations and afforded us the opportunity to have a presence back in Commercial Road.
The estate agency business continued to grow throughout the recession with the decision to attack the market as opposed to wait for the recovery proving a successful formula. In 2011 we incorporated a local business based in West Swindon and re-branded producing outstanding results more than quadrupling the previous turnover.
In 2013 we opened our Highworth Branch, the premises we had been offered were at that time being operated as a coffee shop which we decided to maintain as the local community expressed a concern about the loss of a local coffee shop and the owner was happy to stay on, so we refurbished the shop for the existing tenant and moved in upstairs – since then the coffee shop tenant has moved on and mid 2014 we re-furbished the ground floor and moved our agency staff downstairs so we have more space for our clients to visit.
We opened our sixth branch within the East Swindon area in October 2014, our office is based on Grange Drive in Stratton and since our move to the area the office has been thriving!
We continue to expand with our seventh office opening on the High Street in Royal Wootton Bassett in the summer of 2015, taking over the reins from Select Properties who’s former owners are now enjoying retirement. Not only that, towards the end of 2015 Paul Vitti Residential joined the Richard James team in our Royal Wootton Bassett office brining his portfolio of lettings properties with him, further expanding our existing portfolio.
In November 2015 we joined forces with Marriotts Estate Agents to open our eighth office in Faringdon, located in a prominent position on the Market Square. The office comes with new branding and is known as – Marriotts with Richard James.
Exciting times for 2016 as we launch our new headquarters in North Swindon. This central hub houses our dedicated sales progression, lettings admin and maintenance team, along with our marketing and management departments. Not only that, we have our experienced negotiators providing North Swindon coverage for both sales and lettings.
We will continue to concentrate on developing our online presence and we are looking forward to 2016/17 with an enthusiastic dynamic, motivated and loyal team.