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A profile of Andrew Berry, Managing Director of Spicerhaart Residential Lettings

publication date: Jun 20, 2008
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berryThe new Managing Director of Spicerhaart Residential Lettings, Andrew Berry, relishes challenges, and even though he only joined Europe’s largest independently owned estate agency group in November, he has already got his eyes focused on growing the company even further.

Andrew, a youthful forty two year old, was appointed MD of the company’s lettings division after spending fourteen years working for Countrywide plc, latterly as Operations Director (Insurance) for Countrywide Residential Lettings.

He finds himself at the helm of an increasingly successful and dynamic business. Spicerhaart operates the haart, Felicity J Lord and Darlows agencies in England and Wales. It currently has thirty six residential lettings branches and is growing fast. The latest haart branch recently opened in Leicester.

Despite reports of a bleak outlook, Andrew is extremely optimistic about prospects for the lettings industry as a whole, forecasting continued growth in the sector.

He said: “I believe the outlook is very positive. What we are finding across the board is that renting is b e c o m i n g a lifestyle c h o i c e now, in addition to those t e n a n t s w h e r e circumstances dictate, and this is extremely good news for the industry. 

“People are much more flexible when it comes to moving location for work. There are also increasing numbers of divorced and separated people so many more people are living alone and choosing to rent. I also think we should not underestimate the fact that the influx of workers from Eastern Europe has meant that there is a very high demand for private rented accommodation. I believe we are starting to see a new era in the rental market as more and more people start to appreciate the flexibility and benefits of renting a property and this is very exciting for all us working in this sector.”

Andrew’s optimism is backed up by the fact that Spicerhaart Lettings has had an exceptionally good start to this financial year and is already well ahead of budget, not that this means he is complacent. He is very much results orientated and with lettings branches stretching from Swansea to Colchester, and Leicester to Taunton, Andrew who lives in Peterborough, takes very much a hands-on approach to his new role, even though this hasn’t left him much time to pursue his love of football, golf and outdoor pursuits.

He recently spent a day carrying out market appraisals with the lettings team in Reading and after this interview was travelling down to Cardiff where he was looking forward to joining the team there for a day to carry out viewings.

“I am on a learning curve myself and it’s really important that staff see me roll up my sleeves and experience this side of the business. I enjoy visiting our branches and it’s gone down very well with the staff. It’s been great to meet the dedicated staff we have and take clients by surprise as well!”

Andrew is a firm believer in encouraging and rewarding staff and believes that to help keep them motivated training is crucial. He is proud of the fact that Spicerhaart runs what is regarded as one of the most comprehensive personal development schemes in the lettings industry enabling its staff to achieve consistently high standards in both the ARLA Foundation and Advanced examinations.

Said Andrew: “We map a development course for all our staff to equip them with both the skills and expertise that enables them to be the best they can be at any point in their career. This in turn allows us to offer an uncompromisingly high standard of service to our landlords and tenants and it is this which has helped us build a strong reputation as one the UK’s leading letting agents. We constantly strive to be the best at what we do.” Membership of ARLA is key to Spicerhaart Residential Lettings’ success, believes Andrew.

“There are huge benefits for us and also for both our landlords and tenants. Our membership of ARLA certainly contributes to our service offering.”

Andrew began his career as a Sales Manager with Western Trust & Savings Ltd, and has a background in mortgage services and general insurance. He has stepped into the shoes of former Spicerhaart Residential Lettings MD Stephen Nation after he was promoted to Managing Director of Spicerhaart’s Professional Services Division, and is the first to acknowledge Stephen’s impact on the success of the business.

“Both Spicerhaart Chief Executive Paul Smith and Stephen Nation are very inspirational people and the group is not only hugely successful but has a very innovative and fresh approach to doing business which I really like. I had a fantastic time at Countrywide gaining broad ranging experience, but I was ready for a fresh challenge and a change of direction and this role is both exciting and rewarding.

“Spicerhaart is already at the forefront of its market so my aim is to significantly widen its competitive advantage. I will be looking to achieve this by analysing existing operations as well as exploring new opportunities for growth.”

With his drive and determination to succeed, Andrew is looking forward to making Spicerhaart Lettings even more successful as a new era in the rental market dawns.