For this week’s spotlight article, we’re introducing one of our newest recruits, Hartley Wintney’s new Branch Manager, Darren Allett. Darren joined us just a few weeks ago, but is a familiar face in the Mackenzie Smith ranks. 

Darren has joined our Hartley Wintney office alongside Senior Client Manager, James Webster, and our Sales Director Steve Tetlow. Whilst Darren may be new to the branch, he is a returning member of the Mackenzie Smith team and brings over 25 years of industry experience with him.

“When I left the Licensed Victuallers School back in 1989, I initially worked in pubs for a couple of years, before moving to the Canary Islands and opening my own bar in 1993. After 2 years of working 24/7, I returned to the UK and started my career as an Estate Agent at Mann & Co in Windsor. I remember at the time thinking that I would try it for 6 months or so and then look for something else. In my third month I had become the top sales negotiator within the company in the Thames Valley and was completely hooked on the buzz of securing a sale for a Vendor. Except for a gap of 2 years where I went to work in Florida, I spent the next 15 years of my career working for three local agents, one of which was Mackenzie Smith where I worked in the Ash Vale office. I then took a different route when I was invited to join a corporate company as a Sales Director running the Devon and Cornwall region; another great challenge.

Moving home is said to be one of the top three most stressful things to do, and I still get a huge amount of satisfaction from working hard to ensure my clients move with as little stress as possible. One of the main reasons I returned to Mackenzie Smith is the fact that you remain “hands on” throughout the whole process; from the first point of contact to handing the keys over, there are no sales progressors taking over a file once the sale is agreed, who potentially have no knowledge of the client or their personal situation, which can have a huge influence on the process, and there are no valuers who promise the world only to never be seen again. Mackenzie Smith have a structure whereby the Client Manager deals with the entire process from start to finish and is accountable if the desired results are not achieved. In my opinion, at the time of writing, this is one of the main reasons that we are in the top 10 most trusted estate agencies in the UK, as voted on Trustpilot

Working in Hartley Wintney is fantastic fun; house prices are always a hot topic of conversation and we regularly have people coming into the office for a chat about the local market conditions. That’s my favourite aspect of working in a village location, in most bigger towns this face to face interaction doesn’t happen so often, if at all, as people rely, too heavily in my opinion, on web portals for their information.”

When Darren isn’t immersing himself in village life or helping clients to achieve their moving goals, he is a Dad to two daughters, 12 and 18, often being the taxi or, when he finds the time, enjoying the odd game of very badly played golf (his words!).

If you’d like to speak to Darren and our team at Hartley Wintney about selling your house, or would like any information regarding our services, please contact the Hartley Wintney branch on (01252) 844015 or e-mail