The first branch of JP & Brimelow opened its doors in Didsbury Village in 1998 and from then on, the future was purple. John Pratt (JP) and Nick Brimelow wanted to create an independent estate agency which focused on customer service, rather than targets and bottom-lines. By the time they’d finished their drinks, the plan was in place. And the famous purple branding came from the back of a certain purple and white cigarette packet.
The agency is still going strong, over 21 years later. Nick retired in 2017, closing the Didsbury branch to run a coffee shop in Cheshire, while JP and Eddie Ellis run their own successful branches in Withington and Chorlton. They’ve extended their reach over the years and now market a diverse range of properties across South Manchester and in Trafford.
“Our high street presence is vitally important to us and a key part of our offer,” says Eddie. “Listing homes online is easy, but offering that all-important customer service is something you can only really do properly in person. Buying and selling your home is stressful enough without unnecessary hassles and communication breakdowns. You need a single, friendly point of contact who is always there for you – easy to find, easy to talk to.”
“We’ve been seeing something new in Chorlton / South Manchester in the last few months,” says Eddie. “Given that prices are so buoyant, older people are making the decision to downsize and build a nice nest-egg with the proceeds. It’s certainly a smart plan, but what it means in broader terms is that we have some fantastic houses coming onto the market that we’ve never seen before. There really are some rare finds to be had – gorgeous, unspoilt properties with their period features, including original cast-iron fireplaces, intact.
“The first quarter of the year is a fantastic time to sell. People’s lives often reach a turning point with the new year, which means there are lots of potential buyers out there, keen for a new start. Vendors often tell me they want to wait until the spring before putting their property on the market, so it means there are more buyers than sellers just now. That’s got to mean it’s a sellers’ market – less competition, plenty of demand – and maybe a quick sale.”
Eddie’s words are backed up by Rightmove, the online shop window for property. In the first two weeks in January, they recorded 143m visits – that’s 4.5m a day – an increase of 5% on last year. People are looking for homes in huge numbers.
The area – and the property landscape – has changed a lot in the last two decades, but the ethos at JP & Brimelow has not: estate agency is about homes and it’s about people. That comes first and always will.
JP & Brimelow, Chorlton & Didsbury – 430 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton. 0161 882 2233
JP & Brimelow, Withington – 420 Wilmslow Road, Withington. 0161 445 9700