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 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 traditional 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 to trailblaze internet property marketing on the groundbreaking website. We realized right from the start that a local independent business was suddenly able to reach any buyer anywhere in the world 24 hours a day with as much visibility as any big conglomerate. So we have always been diligent at keeping our content on our site and on the major property portals more current, more detailed and more up to date than other agents. Visitors to our property pages spend more time on them than on our competitors' sparse and perfunctory details. Statistics from show we have a very high 'click-through rate' because we provide much more information and more photos and this leads to a higher proportion of website visitors requesting 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. 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 decided we could offer a fuller service by outsourcing lettings administration and management. Initially of course we chose to partner another business much like ourselves, which was an independent 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 the referencing, deposits and day-to-day administration and management of our rental properties. But of course Mervyn Smith still cover marketing, viewings, and access arrangements into local rental 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, SW13 in 2017 and this is now the hub for our lettings administration and management. We also benefit from the additional experience and expertise of Charlotte Godley who is part based with us in the Ham Office. Like Mervyn Smith managing partner Stan Shaw, Charlotte is also a qualified and accredited member of ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents).

The other widening aspects of our services in recent years have come about from the widening expertise and accreditations of Stan Shaw, who has acquired a number of other qualifications. These 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 as an Accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) and our clients have found it a very convenient resource that we can register EPCs for them on the government database. We can produce certificates quickly without them having to search for an assessor themselves or having to organize access to their properties. Stan also then 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, lease extensions, Inheritance Tax or valuations for charities.