30 years on the High Street

February 10, 2022

Back in February 1992 was the year it all started, Mackenzie Smith opened on Fleet’s High Street, founded by Chairman Ed Mackenzie Smith who had been in the industry since he was fresh out of the Army, now heading up an independent estate agency.

Fleet was an obvious choice to start the business for Ed Mackenzie Smith, who was already familiar with ‘the patch’, something he believes is paramount to success when opening in a new town or village.

“Starting the company in a recession market was, in hindsight, the perfect opportunity, not that it always felt it at the time. Looking back, it’s a particular highlight of mine, and a real testament to the team involved. We’ve built a strong, sustainable brand and even through the tough times, the great people we’re fortunate to have in the company have got us through.”

Ed Mackenzie Smith, Chairman

30 years later, and the company has continued to evolve, and grow; with branch premises in Fleet, Hook, Farnborough, Hartley Wintney, Ash Vale, Yateley and most recently, Aldershot. The business has grown to incorporate departments covering lettings, new homes, land and marketing, supporting all aspects of the property world with expert professionals in their dedicated fields, but representing homeowners for 30 years has not been without it’s challenges, Ed comments that there are “too many to go into, but the banking crisis of 2008 was particularly tough.”

But what led to Ed making the career change from estate agent to business owner?

“I always wanted to run my own business and build a company in an industry I’m passionate about. Over the years, as tempting as it was, we’ve never taken any shortcuts; every single client must feel that they are our only client. Saying you believe in good customer service just isn’t good enough, you must deliver it. There have been plenty of changes and challenges over time, not least the last two years of the pandemic, but through it all, we’ve had the ability to change and react to market conditions and trends quickly and decisively, something which has helped us to not only stay afloat in rocky waters, but to succeed."

With 30 years behind the company, there are no signs of slowing down and when it comes to Ed’s thoughts for the future, he adds “It’s an intensely personal business and despite many clever people trying to find an alternative or easier way to sell and let property, it comes down to a lot of hard work, obsession with customer service, and keeping it personal. And, for anyone thinking of taking the route of starting their own business, don’t forget to delegate.”

Subscribe to our