We took part in Huddersfield Hub's 'Into the spotlight' series, a weekly business feature which highlights lesser-known businesses that generally go under the radar.
In case you missed the original article, you can catch up below.
INTO THE SPOTLIGHT… APPLEGATE PROPERTIES, A TRADITIONAL AGENCY WITH A MODERN APPROACH
Taking pride of place in a recently renovated office on the high street of the busy market town of Holmfirth is Applegate Properties — a modern estate agency which prides itself on honesty, integrity, and communication at all times.
The organisation was launched back in 2010 by managing director, Amy Wray, after she spotted a gap in the market to create a lettings and estate agency that goes above and beyond clients’ expectations. Now in its 11th year, the Yorkshire team believes that their business model can rival that of much bigger competitors throughout the region.
Starting out with humble beginnings as a team of one, Amy launched Applegate Lettings from a spare bedroom with just a borrowed printer, her dad’s camera, and an old laptop. Within a year, she had grown a portfolio of properties, upgraded to a garage, and employed her first apprentice.
In 2013, she then launched the sales side of Applegate and by 2014 had opened the organisation’s first high street premises. Today, it is the fastest-growing agent in the area and employs eight members of staff — spanning both sales and lettings services.
Explaining her decision to start up on her own, Amy said: “It’s no secret that estate agents are some of the most untrusted professionals out there — alongside salespeople. I believe an overall lack of communication and poor customer service are the two main reasons for this stereotypical view of the industry.
“So, when I founded Applegate Properties, I wanted my business to be the antithesis of this. That’s why I’ve always been a champion of three simple ‘rules’ – always answer the phone, always be honest and always be yourself.
“This ethos means that both staff and customers alike feel valued.”
As was the case with organisations up and down the country throughout 2020, the Holmfirth team was forced to abandon its offices during the various UK lockdowns and explore new ways to carry out ‘business as usual’. Thanks to the flexibility, organisation, and commitment of the workforce — as well as some savvy investment in technology — Applegate was still able to successfully progress sales and even introduce the online valuation tool and virtual viewings.
Turnover and profits have increased every year since being established and it continually reinvests into training, marketing, digital solutions and new business opportunities.
Commenting on the impact of the pandemic, Amy added: “We’re experiencing a mini-boom and are busier than before the first UK lockdown, so there’s significant demand out there — for both sales and rentals.