Ashford property expert Richard Stafford is celebrating the first anniversary of his chartered surveyors business, with success attributed to loyal clients, hard work, great staff and the benefits of being located in the county’s most dynamic business location.
Richard set up Stafford Perkins 12 months ago after spending the last 30 years working in Kent. His expertise earned national plaudits – commercial property magazine Estates Gazette recognised him as a top deal maker in Kent for four years from 2012 to 2015.
Richard, a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, launched his own business in 2016 after a decade spent as a Director with Taylor Riley Stafford.
Richard says: “The last 12 months has been incredibly hard work but hugely satisfying. I started out on my own but now I have two fantastic members of staff and I’ll be looking to recruit more in the near future. We will hit our turnover target in year one and business growth in year two is looking very encouraging as we continue to expand.
“When I set up Stafford Perkins, 91% of established clients I had at the time decided to come with me, which I found to be quite a humbling experience.”
Richard says the easiest decision he had to take was the location of his fledgling company. “There was never a doubt that I would choose Ashford. It’s a dynamic and vibrant town that is really going places. Nowhere else in the region has the advantages that you find here – business confidence is high, investment is pouring into the town and we have unbeatable road and rail links to London and Europe,” adds Richard.
To underline his point, a report this autumn by investment agency Locate in Kent has named Ashford as the most improved business area in Kent over the past five years.
A focus of this autumn’s anniversary celebrations is the new office that Stafford Perkins now calls home. Richard has taken a 90-year-old shop in Ashford and returned it to its former glory. He bought the freehold to number 11a in Park Street in February and has since painstakingly restored the front of the building to its original design.
Originally opened by a well-known local family to sell produce from their dairy farm, the premises had a varied history before Richard and his team came along. “We want to portray an image of tradition, stability and professional competence and I feel like this new shop-front gives that image,” he adds.
Richard has particular expertise in working with agricultural and rural business clients, assisting landowners to maximise their business interests across rural Ashford and surrounding districts. He is a former chairman of the Ashford Chamber of Commerce.
His services include lettings, valuation, real estate development, property management, rent reviews and lease renewals, land acquisition and contract negotiations. Richard has been involved in transactions spanning a range of values, from small standalone retail units to large multi-let industrial estates.
A strong interest in planning also allows him to advise on local planning matters and make planning applications for basic change of use on behalf of clients.
The company prides itself on its strong community ties – it sponsors and supports Ashford School and Norton Knatchbull School, Pilgrims Hospice and Ashford Citizens Advice Bureau.
Richard, who lives in Stowting with his wife Jane, has an 11-year-old daughter and is a fan of the great outdoors – when he’s not out shooting or fishing, he has enjoyed navigating the deserts of Iceland and Morocco in his beloved 1972 Land Rover.
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