Elizabeth Hall - three decades of selling Lancashire’s most prestigious properties
PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 June 2014
After 30 years in business, client security is more important than ever for Elizabeth and Philomena Hall
Elizabeth Hall and daughter-in-law Philomena feel that their time has come. Their property business, Elizabeth Hall Country Houses Bureau, was founded on the premise that people value their privacy, and it has now been selling the finest properties in Lancashire – discreetly – for 30 years.
Neither has been surprised by the growth in their market share over the past few years, as privacy has become an increasing concern for us all, and they see no reason to change the business model that has served them well for three decades.
‘If anything, our focus on discretion is even more relevant today than it was in June 1984 when, after four years with Clitheroe estate agents Geoffrey Taylor & Co., Elizabeth founded the Bureau,’ says partner Philomena Hall.
‘You can’t open a paper without reading that some company or government agency has lost millions of people’s personal records or bank details. I think we all feel more exposed now by the amount of our personal information that is out there on the internet.’
So, in spite of – or perhaps because of – the dramatic developments in technology in recent years, the Bureau’s way of working remains largely the same as it has always been – to deliver a highly personal, confidential and discreet service to each individual client, taking the time to match the requirements of its registered purchasers with specific properties on the Bureau’s register.
‘In our sector of the property market,’ says Elizabeth, ‘the number of purchasers who are able to buy and the number of available properties are both limited, so we simply do not see the need for people to tell the whole world that they are selling or to publish information on the open internet that may put their family’s privacy at risk.’
Philomena adds: ‘Of course, we do advertise in Lancashire Life.’ In fact, the Bureau is Lancashire Life’s oldest property advertiser . ‘And we have a website; we also use property portals such as Zoopla and Primelocation because they enable us to reach a wider market, but that does not mean we have to compromise our clients’ privacy.
‘Rather than change the way we work in order to fit their business model, we have negotiated terms with the portal operators so that we are not required to publish photographs and we are able to take steps to obscure the precise location of our clients’ properties on the maps so as to help protect our their security.’
Protecting their clients’ security is high on the Bureau’s agenda and is the principal reason why they request proof of identity from registered buyers before arranging a viewing. For more practical reasons, they also request independent confirmation of available funds to check that the buyer is in a position to buy without relying on the sale of another property, thus avoiding chains which so often cause both stress and financial loss to the parties concerned.
Elizabeth Hall Country Houses Bureau
T: (01200) 440988
M: 07930 379377