Selling home was such an awful experience it inspired us to launch Porter & May with a mission to become the sort of estate agents we wished had handled our sale.Â Neither of us had been in that business before but had a clear idea of what house sellers and buyers, landlords and renters needed from an agent.Â We did have lots of the skills needed. Tracy had been a senior p.a. and admin manager and Shaun had been a graphic designer and art director – between us bringing admin and creative input.
But our key spur was the belief that we could look after customers better and make the whole property process less stressful and much smoother than the established norm.Â Our experiences leading up to our house sale and the launch of Porter & May also had a big influence on our business philosophy.
Tracy explains: â€œHaving worked in large corporate organisations for many years we decided to try something new. Â We bought a franchise business in 2011. We invested our lifelong savings into this new venture and set off believing working for ourselves was the â€˜way to goâ€™. Â Â â€œIt wasnâ€™t long before it became very apparent that this wasnâ€™t quite what it seemed. We worked very hard for some 18 months before deciding to hand it back.Â â€œThis was a very tough decision to make and cost us dearly financially. The structure of the Franchise Agreement meant it cost us a lot of money to walk away.â€
It meant that Tracy and Shaun had to sell their home of 10 years. Â â€œThe whole experience of selling our home was awful, an emotional roller-coaster – not helped one iota by the lack of help or communication offered by our Estate Agent,â€ said Tracy.
â€œOur house received 17 viewings in two weeks, the majority of which we were expected to carry out and with many of the prospective purchasers not in a position to proceed to sale (often their own property was not yet on the market). Â I felt that I was being bullied by the agents to accept an offer from a purchaser that didnâ€™t sit well with me. Â Anyway the long and short of it is it ended up going to a bidding war which was stressful in itself.
â€œOnce the terrible ordeal was over, we decided that there had to be a better way of selling homes for people, especially when the reasons for selling were so emotional – so we decided we would open up a â€˜service ledâ€™ estate agency.â€
We had always had a great interest in properties and spent the next 6 months planning and training and in May 2014 Porter & May was born.Â â€œWe felt it would be dull, uninspiring and not reflective of our brand to have a veneered desk in a beige office on the High Street!â€
Shaun explained.Â â€œWe wanted our office space to be different and a comfortable space for the best customer experience. So we decided to showcase our brand, style and passion in the unique office space just a minuteâ€™s stroll from High Street, Oakham at 21 Northgate.
â€œAlthough it takes a little more effort to find us (we didnâ€™t deliberately hide, we promise), weâ€™re sure youâ€™ll find it well worth the looking â€“ it is truly a hidden gem and we are always welcoming.â€Â The office space has been designed to be a great space to work from but an equally relaxing and inviting space for clients to come and visit.
Shaun added: â€œAt Porter & May our office space is reflective of our brand, style and about making our clients feel at home â€“ after all thatâ€™s what we sell and let!â€