In conversation with Hannah Aykroyd, of Aykroyd & Co

By Hannah Aykroyd
May 05, 2021 12:28pm

As many of our clients are evaluating how they’d like to shape their lives as we venture into the ‘new normal’, we’ve been installing fine art in home offices across London and moving clients into new residences with access to outside space and large living areas to accommodate a more flexible lifestyle. With this in mind, we thought it useful to chat with a friend of Queen’s, Hannah Aykroyd, founder of London-based prime property buying agent Aykroyd & Co, to discuss the importance of representation when buying prime property in London and predictions for the market across 2021. As is customary in our partner spotlights, we asked Hannah a few questions. First up;

Who are your typical clients?

Around 70% of our clients are private clients. They’re often looking for family houses, apartments for their children or a pied-à-terre. We also work with a number of investors looking to build significant, diverse portfolios to hold for the long term. We pride ourselves on our deep understanding and intuition for what clients are looking for and offer the utmost discretion and professionalism.

Why is working with someone like yourself so important?

We are a fully independent boutique advisory firm, providing impartial, objective advice. We remove much of the stress of what is a highly emotive process to ensure our clients are buying the very best property to suit their requirements. Often, these properties are firmly off-market and so having a trusted advisor representing you to access these properties is crucial.

We provide transparency on pricing by referencing up-to-date recent comparables, negotiating firmly to achieve the best possible price, and carefully overseeing every element of the legal process until we safely exchange and complete. A huge part of our role is about introducing the right trusted team of professionals throughout the entire process, from a private banker to your lawyer, to a surveyor, through to Queen’s to help with the moving. We’re there for our clients through every step and we remain on hand long after a client has moved in.

What do you find is most important to your clients when moving? 

We have a tried and tested team of property professionals to help us safely execute each purchase with minimum fuss. Clients really value having peace of mind that all belongings are safe and secure at all times, and for the process to be as seamless and straightforward as possible. Aftercare is also a huge part of our service and we are available well after completion to advise clients on all property-related matters.

Which London villages do you see as being the best investment right now?

Bayswater has been undervalued for some time and particularly in comparison to its neighbour Notting Hill. Queensway has been in desperate need of regeneration, and it’s really exciting to see the £1 billion project in this area underway. There is a collective effort to carefully curate this street into a go-to shopping destination with interesting independent retailers, cafes and restaurants, with the benefit of excellent transport links. The surrounding area has already seen huge investment and prices have of course increased to reflect the regeneration scheme, but we predict this to continue over the coming years.

Another area is Earl’s Court. The Earl’s Court development covers 25 acres in Zone 1, although it has been delayed after the initial Phase 1. Once this is fully underway it will have a hugely positive impact on the surrounding areas. More generally, we’re not such big advocates of buying new build property and particularly in a large scheme where there is no rarity factor. So our advice would be to buy on quiet roads within RBKC near to this scheme on long-term hold.

Equally, there is such strong demand for family houses that if you focus on best-in-class properties in highly desirable residential pockets of PCL, such as those on the best side or end of the best roads with a south or west-facing aspect, you should do well.

What services do you offer? 

We mainly focus on search and acquisitions, but we also advise clients on rentals, which we find to be popular for those relocating to London. This enables clients to find a base and then we can focus on the acquisition once they’re ready.

We also act as advisors on a managed sale. To be clear, we never sell anything, but this is where we provide unbiased advice on how best to maximise the investment on exit. We are always in full control of the narrative, which is so key in a gossipy and complex prime London market. We appoint the most appropriate sales team, ensure the pricing is correct, and marketing strategy is appropriate, negotiate any offers on the client’s behalf and oversee the entire process. This is particularly popular with clients who are based abroad, or who simply do not have the time.

Looking for a specialist moving service? Your single point of contact will work with you to determine how best to pack, ship and store your belongings depending on your needs. Find out more or email and we’d be happy to assist. 

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