WELDON BEESLY TURNS 10!
10 years ago, I opened the door to the spare bedroom and started a new phase in my career. I had been frustrated in my previous role and wanted to take more control over the direction and tempo of my working life – and to spend more time with my children. I had long dreamt of starting my own business and so, after considerable thought, Weldon Beesly was born. Weldon was my mother’s maiden name and Beesly my paternal grandmother’s maiden name.
I spent the first three years working from the spare room until I could afford to rent a small office in Bishop’s Stortford and think about growing the business. The first target was a former colleague at Savills, Charlotte Balaam who finally agreed to join Weldon Beesly as a Director in 2016. Charlie specialises in rural estate management and whilst in the early days she was doing a bit of everything, she now leads our estate management business and runs four varied and complex rural estates.
Later the same year, Tom Banks, scrum half for the Bishop’s Stortford Rugby Club (who we are very proud to have sponsored for many years) approached us looking for work experience. He is a quick learner and soon settled in, so we offered him a permanent position. He now has a massively varied role and is a key member of our team who will shortly qualify as a Chartered Surveyor.
We changed the business structure in 2017 from a limited company to a limited liability partnership to make it easier to bring in new partners.
Sarah Tuck joined us in 2018 as Finance Manager to provide book-keeping and accounting services to our estate owning clients and to oversee the Weldon Beesly business accounts. She also oversaw the implementation of our specialist property management system, Landmark, and her arrival also meant we could open a client account so as to better serve those clients where we do not have direct access to their estate bank accounts.
After almost a year of discussions, I persuaded Jack Panton to join Charlie and me as a partner in January 2018. Jack was Partner and Head of Agency in St Albans for Bidwells. He leads our property sales and lettings business which has grown significantly over the last three years.
In Spring of 2018 we had the opportunity to take on another former Bidwells partner, Tim Starkey. Tim was Head of Valuation in St Albans for Bidwells. His workload includes estate management, valuation, BPS and countryside stewardship and he was able to bring many of his clients with him. Tim is a very active member of CAAV and CLA and we can now provide services we could not offer before.
Jack and Tim’s arrival meant our business footprint grew significantly and extended from Bishop’s Stortford to St Albans, Luton and beyond. To help deal with the increase in general calls and enquiries, Lynne Randall also joined us in 2018.
With the increase in estate and general property management work, Emily Margesson joined us in 2019 as a Property Manager. She previously worked with Tim and Jack at Bidwells in St Albans and now works with Charlie and Tim to deliver our rural property management service.
In 2020, Emma Westoby, who also has past experience in property, joined us to support our busy valuation practice and also to help as needed with sales and lettings.
Throughout these last 10 years, we have been very fortunate to have fantastic clients with who we very much like working. Many of them say they like to deal with a small business where they have a single point of contact who is responsive and able to make decisions. We also have very good relationships with local, regional and national firms of solicitors and accountants, where we often work together as part of a professional team, helping to formulate and implement client’s objectives.
Even before the pandemic, we invested in systems to allow agile working and many of the team work routinely from home, coming to the office as needed or preferred.
As I personally reflect on the last 10 years, not only has Weldon Beesly increased my enjoyment of life as a land agent (who thought it could be any better), it has given me a series of opportunities to learn new skills and share in the development of a growing business. This would not have been possible without the fantastic people who have joined and helped shape the business and the great clients we act for. It has been all I hoped it would, and more. I am very proud of where we have come and excited by the plans we have for the future…