Opening the Babbacombe office
- Credit: Poppy Jakes Photography
Ridgewater Sales & Lettings Director Neil Tozer gives us the inside story to the acquisition of their new office on the corner of Babbacombe Road and Reddenhill Road.
“For the last two years, we have been looking to move the St Marychurch office, purely because it is too small for our growing business,” said Neil. “We love the location on the precinct but need more space.
“We wanted to stay within the Babbacome and St Marychurch area. It was a case of waiting for the right opportunity to arise and that led to a chat with John and Mike Lawton from Torquay Real Estate.
“It turned out they were looking to retire and were happy for us to take over the building. It is a fantastic location, a perfect corner office in a beautiful area of Torbay.
“Laura has stayed with us from Torquay Real Estate and brings 30-odd years of experience. Mike Lawton is also staying with us, bringing his wealth of experience and knowledge to the team, so we are delighted to be keeping that continuity.
“I know that John Lawton would like to thank all of his customers and friends across the community. Torquay Real Estate has been in this office for around 50 years, as the business was started by John and Mike’s dad.
“It has been their family business for half a century and the Lawtons have been a special part of the Babbacombe story. It is a source of great pride for Ridgewater that we have been entrusted with their legacy to provide a respected and trusted service to the community.
“For us at Ridgewater, we used the example of our office in Preston as a roadmap for the type of building we wanted to take on in Babbacombe. We were at the old office in Preston for four years but it was only once we moved that people began to really recognise Ridgewater as a local agent.
“We wanted to replicate that corner location in Babbacombe because, as a business, you can often be overlooked when you are in a line of buildings. On a corner site, people can’t help notice your presence.
“We are in an area of high visibility, we are easily accessible and we are very much part of the community in this position. Ridgewater is now part of the main shopping area in Babbacombe, which means people can come and see us as part of their normal visit to Reddenhill.
“As an estate agent, we want to be part of the daily rhythm of people’s lives in the Babbacombe and St Marychurch area. We get a lot of footfall from our site in Preston and that is even greater here in Babbacombe, simply because of where we are located.
“When we established the Preston office, it was a little touches like a proper high quality coffee machine, so visitors could come in and have a chat about their property requirements, while enjoying a delicious cuppa.
“If you just want some advice about your house, we are always here. Whether it is decisions about upgrading your kitchen in readiness for a sale, advice on current letting trends, or popular areas to purchase, we want to be known for building relationships by offering advice to the community.
“It is after that relationship has been developed that we hope people think of us when it comes to making the big step of placing their house on the market.
“One example I can provide is a customer who came in just to ask about whether they should bother with buying a new front door, as the plan was to sell the house the following year. Our advice was to spend the money now on a new front door because that first impression is so important when it comes to selling the house.
“From that initial discussion and developing a relationship, we were delighted to later sell the house for this customer and they have settled into their new family home. It is about building trust through friendly, informative and impartial advice.”