David Turner Property is a private property consultancy based in Mayfair. Formed in 2018, the company provides expert advice, sales and acquisitions in Mayfair and around London. We catch up with founder David Turner
How did you start in property?
I started by accident when I took a temporary job on a new development near Canary Wharf in the late 1990s. I had previously worked in the Merchant Navy, local government and for my brother’s furniture restoration business. My big break came when I walked into Knight Frank in Knightsbridge and asked if there were any sales roles in a London office. There was a position in Mayfair and I started in Mount Street in 2004. I left Mayfair briefly in 2008 for two years and worked for the owner of Quinta Do Lago in Portugal, which was a great experience. I moved back to London in 2010 as part of the new Savills Mayfair office where I was made Director in 2014.
Why did you decide to start your own consultancy?
The experience I gained at Knight Frank and Savills was invaluable, and it was while working for these firms that I forged many of my close contacts and friends in the industry. However, I became frustrated at how thinly I had to spread myself and wanted to be able to concentrate more of my time on individual clients and offer a more dedicated service. I had always wanted to run my own business and be able to do things my way so, in 2018, I decided to make the move – and haven’t looked back. I knew that going out on my own was a big decision but I was confident that I had the knowledge and contacts to succeed. Working for myself allows me to allocate more time to fewer clients and provide a real bespoke service.
What services do you offer?
We sell properties and help buyers with their search. We are also able to recommend experts in other fields such as finance and lease extensions. One of the most important things we do is to offer impartial and honest advice and, often, we provide a valuable second opinion – clients like the fact that we work jointly with other agents.
How has the industry changed in the last few years?
I started in Mayfair in 2004 so have witnessed a number of changes. Ultimately, the process of advising a vendor and helping a buyer remains the same but estate agency has changed dramatically. Since the credit crunch, the market has had to deal with many challenges.
One of the most notable changes has been the number of experienced property professionals who have decided to leave large estate agencies and set up on their own. This has been likened to the broker model in the US. I noticed that over my career, many clients had chosen to work with me personally regardless of the company I worked for. It is the trust that people have in an individual that has become more important than ever in such a complex market.
Clearly, the internet has changed the way we do things, but it can’t replace expert advice based on years of experience. Ironically, this may be one of the reasons that has fuelled the increase in independent agents. It is probably more important now than ever for buyers and vendors to seek professional advice.
Do you just cover Mayfair?
No – we are not confined to central London or the UK and are happy to help where we can. Over the years, I have sold properties in Notting Hill, Belgravia, Marylebone, Soho and St James’s. Recently, I have acquired a number of houses outside London and a large house on the Hyde Park Estate. The flexibility of being able to offer a bespoke service allows us to help our buyers wherever they are looking.
Of all the sales that you have worked on, which ones stand out?
The first flat I sold in Mayfair was above the C London restaurant on Davies Street so I will always remember this transaction. That development raised the bar in Mayfair. I sold the first property over £10 million in Mayfair post Lehman Brothers collapse which took a lot of effort and skill. I have been involved in the sale of a charming house on Bruton Place on three occasions – it is a beautiful house rich in history. My favourite property in Marylebone is a grand townhouse on Upper Wimpole Street which I sold in 2009. This property is currently for sale and I am pleased that the owner has decided to put his trust in my company to help sell it.
More recently, the sale of the Penthouse at the Mandarin Oriental Residences on Hanover Square was a special sale and I can’t wait to see it when it is completed. No sales are ever simple and the rewarding part of my job is the relationships that I have forged with the buyer and the vendors over the years.
Since starting David Turner Property I have been involved in sales from £85,000 to over £20 million. I have been able to give the same level of service to each transaction which is a key factor in how I conduct my business.
What advice do you have for someone looking to buy in Mayfair?
Do as much homework as you can and work out what you really need. London property is a hot topic in the international press but the reports can be out of date and misleading. Don’t expect to see any bargains despite what is happening economically. Most people who own property in Mayfair do not need to sell and if they feel the market is tough they will not consider selling. If you really want to know what is happening in a particular area, you need to speak to an expert who can give you genuine advice on what is happening and what has happened over the past few months.
How has Covid-19 affected the property market?
It is, of course, a challenging time, but doing deals in Mayfair is never easy and the market fluctuates for lots of reasons.
The Prime Central London property market is performing well and this is helped in Mayfair by the number of new developments that are under construction or close to completion. The new developments are bringing a new dimension to Mayfair so I feel optimistic about the future. There have been a number of sales post lockdown which proves that Mayfair and London remain as popular as ever.
07340 010 080
12 Hay Hill, Mayfair, London, W1J 8NR