You may have noticed in more recent editions of The Thistleblower, that we have featured various members of the Mackenzie Smith team. In this edition, and to tie in with our 25th anniversary celebrations, we thought it was the perfect time to turn our attention to our Managing Director, Ed Mackenzie Smith.
Although Mackenzie Smith is celebrating its 25th anniversary, Ed’s time in the industry goes back a little further and starts slightly differently.
In 1972 Ed left school and joined Mann & Co in Camberley as the office junior. The role was slightly different back then, working 60-70 hour weeks for £5.30. After a couple of years Ed decided that he needed to spread his wings and joined the army serving in various locations including Northern Ireland. On re-joining the world of estate agency, with his former boss and mentor Roger Carson, he developed his skills, but over a period of time realised he wanted to run his own business. “Although I was incredibly lucky to work with and for Roger Carson, I knew that at some point I had to take a risk and move on.”
After starting Mackenzie Smith in Reading in 1984, he sold the business to a competitor and re-joined the New Homes division of Carson & Co in 1986. Although this experience proved invaluable, the desire to run his own company again proved irresistible. Recognising the Land and New Homes skills he had developed, he re-launched the company in 1992 based in Fleet.
Over the years Ed has established the company you see today, running out of 5 branches along with an experienced Lettings team and reputable Land department. Ed now oversees the Land department, as well as his role as MD, but has never lost the love for the job. “My favourite aspect of Estate Agency? There are many, but I’d say whether its solving a business problem or sorting out a difficult issue for a client, for me it’s coming up with a solution when none seemed possible.”
Ed finds it difficult to pick out one particular moment or event, but one that does stick in the memory happened earlier in his career. “In 1978 I was selling a home in Camberley when the Vendor took a great risk in exchanging on their purchase as the sale wasn’t in a position to exchange simultaneously. Inevitably, their sale fell through, so I made it my personal mission to sell as quickly as possible. I tried everything I could over the course of a week but had not delivered, when out of the blue, a family came in to the office looking for a home. Although they initially dismissed my client’s home, I knew instantly that they were the buyers. They went on to complete in 3 weeks. The gratitude from the Vendor was wonderful, and the satisfaction in knowing you’ve helped someone is probably the greatest thing about this job. This business isn’t just bricks and mortar, it’s people, family and their lives.”
Ed has always had an affinity with the area we operate in after his parents settled in Fleet. It was always important for him to remain in the area. “As an agent, I think it’s essential to know your patch; it’s one of the reasons that the majority of our team live locally. When I set up Mackenzie Smith for the second time I didn’t consider another town. I opened our first branch in Fleet in 1992 and still successfully sell and let houses here today.”
When he isn’t spending time running the business, Ed looks to various physical activities to occupy his time. He enjoys a range of sports from fly fishing to road biking. He also supports Spurs and being a family man.
With 45 years of experience and 25 years running a business, there are a million memories and highlights, though when asked to pick one, Ed thought back to a particularly difficult time. “It was 2008, during the banking crisis. People were telling me it was all over for the industry as we knew it. At the time I was working out of our Fleet office in late September, and was certain we had turned a corner, regardless of what others were saying. All I knew was that our phones were ringing off the hook and business was back on despite what the media and press were reporting. I trusted my instincts and 2009 turned out to be a fantastic year for the firm; I felt an inordinate amount of pride that we had faced the challenge and battled through. My thanks to all my colleagues but in particular to my co-director Steve Tetlow; without his support we may not have made it through.”
When planning our celebrations for 25 years, as a newcomer to the business I looked to Ed for how he wanted to approach it. His key focus is to never look back, but forwards. With that in mind, we are not celebrating the last 25 years, but where the last 25 years has got us today, and where that will get us tomorrow. This brought about our 25th logo, “celebrating 25 years of experience”.
Ed remains confident about the future and has decided to open our new Yateley branch this year.
If you would like to benefit from our local knowledge and years of experience of selling homes, feel free to contact your local branch for a conversation without obligation.
Ash Vale – firstname.lastname@example.org – 01252 353030
Farnborough – email@example.com – 01252 375999
Fleet – firstname.lastname@example.org – 01252 812121
Hook – email@example.com – 01256 764666
Hartley Wintney – firstname.lastname@example.org – 01252 844015