Mervyn shakes hands with another satisfied customer back in the early days of Mervyn Smith & Co
Mervyn shakes hands with another satisfied customer back in the early days of Mervyn Smith & Co.

Our History

Mervyn Smith is an independent estate agency offering sales and lettings and specialising in the area between Richmond and Kingston on the Surrey side of the river. The business has remained continuously in the same family ownership since Mervyn first opened the Richmond Road office in 1975. In the early days, Mervyn Smith became particularly associated with the Wates Estate in Ham and with the North Kingston Tudor Estate. At that time we were also a Woolwich Building Society Branch and many of the workers from the then British Aerospace factory (now the Royal Park Gate development) were weekly visitors to the office to deposit their wages. However we have always been truly independent - we are not owned or part owned by any bank, insurance company, financial company or any other institution. So unlike many other estate agents, we have no vested interest in cross selling other products to our customers. We like to think we retain the old fashioned values of customer service alongside our love of the most up to date technology. For example we were one of the very first agents in the early 1990s who originally went onto the groundbreaking findaproperty.com website. We realized right from the start that being a local independent business was suddenly no longer a restriction, because we could reach any buyer anywhere anytime 24 hours a day with as much penetration as a big international conglomerate. So we have always been diligent at keeping our site and our properties on the major property portals more current, more detailed and more up to date than other agents. At the very least this means visitors to our property pages spend more time on them than looking at our competitors' sparse and perfunctory details. But more than that, research from www.rightmove.co.uk shows we have a very high 'clickthrough rate' because we provide much more information in the first place, meaning viewers are more likely to carry on to request viewings of our properties.

In later years we undertook a major contemporary rebranding of the business. The office interior was revamped with a new computer system and specialist lighting. Our window displays are an unusual form of very high intensity but very energy efficient lighting. We've redesigned an updated fully responsive website which intuitively adapts its layout depending on whether you open it out on your phone, your tablet or a desktop monitor or TV. We hope you will find this even easier and more comprehensive to use. But we're always looking at new ideas and new products, so keep an eye out for even more future developments from Mervyn Smith.

On the letting side of our business, we used to manage everything 'in house' from the Ham Office for many years. But over time our portfolio of rented properties grew so large, and the man hours became so onerous, that we had to outsource some of the administration. Initially of course we chose to partner another business much like ourselves, which was an independently run lettings business in Mortlake then run by its owners Sargent and Young. In later years this business was acquired by another independent estate agency at Boileaus.

Then in 2014 this was acquired in turn by Carter Jonas. We had some initial reticence about outsourcing to a major national property consultancy like Carter Jonas but they appeared to have more traditional professional values than other larger companies and had a much wider expertise in management, planning and surveying than typical high street estate agents. So an agreement was struck and Carter Jonas now look after much of the referencing, deposits and day-to-day administration and management of our rental properties. But of course Mervyn Smith lead all marketing, viewings, and access arrangements into our local rented properties. The tie-up has benefitted both parties and Carter Jonas opened a new state of the art lettings office at 70 White Hart Lane, Mortlake in December 2016 and this is now the hub for our lettings administration and management. We also benefit from the additional experience and expertise of manager Charlotte Godley and her team at the new office. Like Stan Shaw in the Ham office, Charlotte is also a qualified and accredited member of ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents).We enjoy an ever-expanding roster of properties and corporate tenants in the local area and beyond. Many of our landlords have retained our services over many years, and some of them now have multiple properties managed by us.

The other widening aspects of our services in recent years have come about from the widening expertise of our managing partner Stan Shaw, who has acquired a number of other qualifications which allow Mervyn Smith to offer services which other estate agencies have to farm out or pass on. This development began with the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) in 2007 as a legal requirement for properties being sold or let out. Stan qualified himself to produce certificates and our vendors and landlords have found it an invaluable resource that we can inspect properties as part of our usual work. We can produce certificates quickly without them having to search for an assessor themselves or having to organize access to their properties. We also save our vendors, landlords and tenants considerable time and trouble by shooting and editing our own property photographs and floorplans in-house.This also means we can have full property details ready and actively loaded onto websites much more quickly than other agents who have to arrange third party photographers and energy assessors.

Finally the range of valuation services offered by Mervyn Smith is much wider than typical estate agency market appraisals. Stan qualified for Associate membership of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and although there is a now a Real Estate pathway into RICS, Stan undertook the more rigorous Residential Survey and Valuation pathway, which has allowed him to become accredited as an RICS Registered Valuer. We can therefore offer bespoke formal valuations when a property is not going to be marketed at all, such as valuations for legal settlements, Inheritance Tax or valuations for charities.