A History of Hudsons - Our Timeline as London Estate Agents
Jonathan Hudson, founder of Hudsons Property, saw a unique opportunity in the market as he observed an increase in searching for properties online, rather than via more traditional ways. Wanting to leverage this opportunity, Jonathan founded his own agency embracing the emerging technology. Focussing on how this could play a major role in allowing property consultants to enhance the customer experience, with a genuine and thoughtful approach, combined with years of invaluable local knowledge and experience, Jonathan and his team became the go to agent for property advice in London’s West End.
However, starting a business is never easy and requires tremendous commitment – Jonathan sold his investment property in Bloomsbury, along with his car (!), to establish Hudsons Property. Read through our timeline below to see what makes our journey unique.
We open our doors in July 2002 and launch a new website which is ahead of its time. Utilising technology in a new and innovative way sets Hudsons apart from other agents and establishes Hudsons as a market leader locally.
Our first employee, Nicole, joins Hudsons as a Property Assistant and Accounts Manager, helping us increase our exposure as well as our expertise. Nicole is still proudly here with us to this day, gaining various promotions over the years, she is now Head of Accounts!
Due to increasing local demand from buyers looking to live more centrally, we launch our sales department enabling us to more effectively service our customers.
We move to our present home at 24 Charlotte Street in the heart of Fitzrovia – an area adorned with elegant restaurants, stylish boutiques and a hub for media offices. Our office now spans over 2 floors and is equipped with a welcoming reception and private meeting rooms.
The sales market is on an upward curve and we see an increase in buy-to-let landlords using our service, enabling us to build upon our compelling lettings offering.
Just prior to the financial crash, the sales market is at an all-time high. Clients are confident, and due to the high demand, there is a distinct lack of properties available to sell. To keep up, we launch a new website to provide a better user experience and keep up-to-date with ever changing technologies.
The financial crisis hits, and the new world of quantitative easing ensues. It is a difficult year for all, but down to the hard work and dedication from our excellent lettings, sales and property management teams, Hudsons continues to build market share under very challenging circumstances.
We experience signs of market growth as investors recognise the opportunity for physical investment in property due to the low interest rates offered by banks. We employ new staff to deal with the uplift in business.
Our share in the market significantly grows this year. After being in operation for 8 years and successfully coming out of the other side of a financial crisis, this helps build our reputation as one of the leading property agencies in central London.
We undergo a total rebrand as we look to continually innovate and stand out from our competitors. We use classic and timeless gold and navy colours, as well as bespoke artist drawings of characters that represent the Hudsons client base enjoying what London’s West End has to offer.
We celebrate 10 years in business we host a party commemorating this significant milestone with all our past and existing clients. Along with this, we launch our commercial agency department, specialising in office rentals and investment.
We win our first new home development site on behalf of UCLH Charity Trust in Warren Street. Our pitch wins and we launch. The rental market at this point is still strong but is under some pressure due to the limited selection of stock available on the market. We are also awarded the Silver Award for Innovative Marketing at the Sunday Times Property Awards.
The sales market is really flourishing this year and prices are increasing above the norm. We head overseas to interact with buyers from Asia. However, increased stamp duty levels start to slow the upper-end luxury market. We win another award, taking the accolade of the Sunday Times Property Management Company of the Year.
Our second new homes scheme launches, The Corner House developed by Derwent London. It is a beautiful, modern apartment building that really stands out in Fitzrovia. The flats go under offer quickly. Jonathan is asked to join the board of NAEA – an organisation for its professional members to train and be the best in their field, as well as ensuring adherence to a redress scheme so we are all accountable to the consumer. Jonathan helps advise on the future of the organisation and looks after all the members in London.
We revamp our website to maximise the latest technology. The Brexit vote causes a few months of uncertainty but is soon followed by a steadier flow of business across all sectors.
We celebrate 15-years of servicing our customers and clients! To mark the occasion, we refurbish our office to amplify our customers’ experience. The market remains under pressure from a snap election which brings Brexit back in to focus. In addition to all this, we are awarded the NPS Branch of the Year for our customer service.
Being in our 16th year, we have confidently and professionally navigated the market challenges and we are well placed to use our years of expertise to provide our customers with an unrivalled level of market knowledge and insight. However, we always recognise the need for continual growth and improvement; we continually strive to listen, so we can learn and innovate. This year a focus for Hudsons and an area we are looking to grow is our block management offering. We continue to take advantage of technological advancements to improve the customer journey for our clients. Ultimately, our aim is to build on our reputation of being an innovative, award-winning, professional and boutique property agency with a personal touch.
A year with limited expectations can sometimes lead to unexpected surprises. The rental market remained strong as we expected, with the seasonal high demand from May through to October to produce a record breaking year in terms of number of units let and managed. Some exciting new office buildings have completed which have brought in new corporate tenants to the area which has helped improve rents. The residential sales market has surprised most, with a resurgence caused by pent up frustration from buyers and sellers just wanting to get on with it after a period of inactivity and low transactions during 2018. New developments like Derwent’s Asta House, which has sold 50% pre-launch are holding up well on price for eager buyers from across the world. Such developments have led to a much improved sales performance which is great news for our sellers and makes 2020 an exciting prospect. Block Management and our in house outsource option for PRS clients has also proven very popular with residents and developers alike.
Well this was a year to forget as Covid 19 hits all of us across the world. Our industry was one of the lucky ones as we were deemed essential and reopened in May after being closed from mid-March. This was the year when a lot of tenants left central London and returned to their homes around the world. Short let properties also flooded the long-let market and with fewer tenants created a huge downturn in rents achieved. However, it wasn’t quiet as many from zones 2 and 3 looked at making the move to zone 1 by taking advantage of the cheaper rents. Sales too were under pressure as the trend was to move out of the city and look for more space, outside space and/or a change of lifestyle. The Government’s Stamp Duty holiday incentivised buyers to purchase new homes, this ran from July 2020 through to September 2021.
Started off much the same as 2020 with lockdown Covid uncertainty but we remained open and able to serve our customers. The second half is when things started to change – many tenants and buyers were looking to return to London after some time away. Students returned to colleges for in person learning and there was more of a feel of confidence returning as jab 1 and jab 2 were dispensed to those willing to try and get back to some normality. As travel reopened this meant many apartments returned to the short let market. This helped boost long let rental prices as stock was in short supply buoyed by 80% of tenants wanting to renew their stays in their central London homes. Sales too continued to react well as more international buyers started visiting again and UK buyers looked to purchase London pied a terre’s
Our 20th year – No lockdowns so far but the interest rate rises have made some buyers double check their numbers before proceeding with purchases. Rentals however continue to achieve record rents as stock is in short supply, partly due to many landlords selling over the past 18 months.
Our experience working with Hudsons was excellent. From our first meeting to completion (which was unusually swift!), we had a harmonious, mutually respectful relationship. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them.
We have used the services of Hudsons for nearly 20 years. Robert Burwood, one of the Directors, kept the flat leased for virtually all this time and so, when it came to sale they were the natural choice. The Company has been so impressive that they have been appointed as block managers. Simon Bray was tasked to sell the flat which he accomplished with great professionalism. He worked with both sides and the legal teams to bring the sale to completion. We highly recommend the team.
I have used many estate agents down the years and I have not always been impressed. Hudsons and Simon Bray in particular have been something else.They provided honest , informed advice and maintained excellent communications throughout. They found a buyer in a difficult market (from Singapore) and nurtured the buyer ensuring the sale went through even when things became difficult. They liaised outstandingly well with other professionals on both sides. I am immensely grateful.
I am so impressed by the property management service that Hudson's are providing me with. As it was the first time I was using a property manager for my rental investment I was nervous about who to go to. I am currently living in the US so I wanted and needed a company who were really on the ball and who made sure my tenants were always looked after, if and whenever they had a question or problem. I have come to believe that Hudson's is a highly professional property management company with a very polite and hard-working staff. I would recommend them to anyone looking for help with their rental property.
I take the opportunity of this email just to let you know that Sandrine Locatelli is a great value employee in your agency. She helped me to find my first flat very quickly - and she was absolutely amazing during the last three weeks, in an emergency situation. I complain when I m not happy (French origins) - but I think it's also important to emphasize people's qualities when they're efficient. Great service is high value and she offered me great service, in complicated conditions.
We recently put a bid in on a property but were unfortunately unsuccessful, nevertheless I just wanted to write a big thank you to Margaret and to let the Principal of the Company know how great she was. Throughout the process she bent over backwards to help us, opening the property at various times and was always very knowledgeable and very helpful. She even stayed late one night beyond her finishing time at the property so we could get some measurements done. I was really impressed with her work, and when the time does come for me to buy a property, will have no hesitation in approaching Hudson's first as a result of her efforts. I am really very grateful for all her help.
In the buying, selling and letting of property in London: Covent Garden and Fitzrovia particularly, none can compare to the personal attention of Hudsons. In well over a decade, the wise guidance, knowledge and accessibility of it's founder Jonathan Hudson has been to me a constant. His loyal staff are polite and prompt in response, with Hannah Copues and Sandrine Locatelli impressively informed and helpful with regard to maintenance and lettings; keeping me in the loop at all times. In other words they inspire trust. A vital ingredient if one is unable to be on hand. As with Sherlock Holmes, Hudsons are always on the case.
Unlike any other, Margaret has been professional, transparent, and realistic, in helping me to find and buy a property. She was pivotal in the on-going transaction between me (the buyer), my solicitor and the vendor and his solicitor towards the purchase of the property. As a mediator between buyer and vendor and their solicitors, she was never intrusive but always kept everyone engaged, professionally, a very distinctive feature as most other estate agents tend to be pushy and down right rude! It is people like her who will always shine in your business given most things now can be retrieved from the internet; she has something extra to offer in ways I have described above that an internet website can never do. This survey does not accurately explain the excellent service provided by Hudson’s Margaret Connerty.
I was happy to use Hudson’s as I have lived in the area for many years and so got to know the area and the companies I would wish to do business with and Hudson’s was one of those companies. As they are a local company, and have been here a long time, they know the area and its specific details, it’s history along with its future and character. When you’re looking to sell a property there are so many factors to take into account and Hudson’s did tick all the boxes as far as I was concerned. So I sat back and let them do all the promotion and selling and my flat sold quickly. I have no hesitation in recommending Hudson’s to potential buyers and sellers.
It is my pleasure to recommend Hudsons as a lettings agent for any individual or company searching for the ideal location in the West End for their business situation. As a member of the Finance Committee for a church in Marylebone it was imperative for me to find new tenants for our investment property following the vacation of a long term tenant