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Selling Dreams

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Spence WillardSpence Willard emerged as market leaders in 2013, probably selling more houses over £400,000 than any other Island agent.

They specialise in the best – large or small, ranging from period houses, contemporary properties, spectacular waterfront homes and farms. Whatever your taste, you can bet your dream house appears on their books!

Charles Spence, Managing Director explains, “Our business covers sales and rentals across the Island, but at the top end of this market people expect a certain service and we make sure we do our best to provide it. What we do, and how we do it, has been very well received so far.”

With over 200 properties currently on their books, clients come to them because of their friendly professional service, valuable connections and years of experience.

Charles spent his childhood here on the family farm, but when he left, he always knew he’d return. Eight years ago he moved back to Calbourne with his family to run the well-established Christopher Scott Estate Agency, eventually working alongside Duncan Willard. Two years ago he and Duncan bought out Christopher Scott and Kingston & Grist Estate Agencies, and Spence Willard was born. Charles reflects, “I’d reached a time in my life when I wanted control of my own destiny, to take on the challenge and finally do it my way. Duncan and I have a similar background and view of how things should operate. We both wanted to be working on the Island and were passionate about extolling its virtues to the outside world. We also felt our experience in agencies on the mainland gave us a slightly different outlook on how we provide our service.”

To ensure their properties are marketed to potential buyers worldwide, they work with international agency Knight Frank and link up with ‘The London Office’ to showcase what’s on offer here. Around 75% of their houses are sold to mainland or foreign buyers.

Charles continues, “It’s our role to tempt buyers with the attributes of Island living, often by educating them about the benefits of areas they hadn’t considered. There’s a healthy balance of people moving across here and we’re definitely seeing the Island gain a wider international appeal. The trend of working from home has increased the diversity of buyers, usually attracted by the great outdoors and what the Island can offer.”

Charles loves the business; “The Island’s full of hidden treasures and you never know what you’re going to see next. I enjoy the initial challenge to get an instruction, but the important part is giving realistic good advice to the client that will actually deliver a sale. We deal with people, money and emotions all tied up together and it takes careful management to reach a successful conclusion. At times last year we had more sales agreed over £400,000 than all the other agents on the Isle of Wight combined. It’s always changing, but still very satisfying to see our business model working as it’s not an easy market here. The ultimate reward is when a sale goes through, the keys are handed over, and we end up with another happy client.”

Name: Spence Willard

Location: Offices in Cowes, Yarmouth and Freshwater

Employees: 10 full time and several part-time

Business: Estate Agents and Letting Agents

Contact:  01983 200880