From Saturday boy, to the owner of Sims Williams

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Please join us in celebrating Richard Moores’ recent anniversary of 40 years in the property industry, and 25 years at the helm of Sims Williams.

Bridget Cordy sat down with Richard to discuss his journey to this milestone and has written a bespoke article, published in Showhouse magazine, p.24. and included below:

 

This year marks the 40th year in estate agency for Richard Moores, who started as a Saturday boy aged 15. He’s also celebrating 25 years at the helm of Sims Williams. With colleagues Antony Bush and Michael Lynch, in the daunting late 1990s market, Moores approached Tim Sims Williams to buy his business with its south coast offices in Chichester, Walberton and Bosham.

As an agency owner, he moved away from the corporate aspect of agency. “You were only ever as good as your next mortgage lead and, while I understood the importance of that, it wasn’t where my passion lay. I wanted to sell houses.”

Over the past 25 years, Sims Williams has added offices in Arundel and Bognor, both from cold starts. The company now incorporate sales, lettings, land and new homes. A strategic partnership with KTS estate management has enabled end-to-end services for developers, from sourcing land to managing completed residential estates.

“It’s the idea of being able to offer the complete package right away, right the way through,” says Moores, who is always on the lookout for the next opportunity. “I didn’t set out with a plan, but as opportunities present themselves, you’ve got a decision to make. It was the same with our land & new homes offering. We know the landowners because we’ve been around for a long time, so it was only right that we upped our skillset, employed the right people, and set up a specialist department.”

He’s especially proud of his 30- strong team across the company. “We don’t just sell houses; we sell lifestyles and locations. Having teams who know their patch is hugely important for local knowledge. Many of our staff have been with us for a long time, which in itself speaks volumes. Our team understand the nuances, from schools and bus routes to the hidden gems that make a location unique.”

The Sims Williams database is shared between all branches and all departments to cover every opportunity. “Our new homes department will send emails to any new applicants who register. When we explain the benefits of brand new and some of the latest schemes that are out there, it can certainly turn a few heads.

“New homes is a separate department, but it’s the same company. So everybody is incentivised to offer and to sell new homes. So we’re all pulling together and we all get rewarded accordingly.

“Some of these larger house builders who just sell from the site and just pop their properties on Rightmove are missing a trick if they’re not engaging with local agents. They’re not seeing people who may initially have decided against buying new, or who have preconceived ideas about where they want to live. It’s having the ability to be able to get a development in front of those people.”

Estate agency has undergone seismic changes over the 40 years of Moores’ career, from posting photocopied details to video walkthroughs and social media interactions.

Back in the 1980s, Richard Moores wrote to local agents asking for a Saturday job. At £1.50 an hour, he joined Brian Dodd, where he began a full-time job on leaving school a year later. “Brian was a wonderful chap to work for. He would ask you a question and if you couldn’t answer, he’d say ‘Lose your memory, you lose your job’. It didn’t half make you realise you’ve got to be on top of everything you do.” When the company was taken over, Moores joined competitor Whitehead, Fox & Sons. Then, still in his early 20s, he set off on a year-long backpacking adventure exploring Thailand, Australia, and New Zealand. “At 55 years of age, I’ve still got the travel bug,” he admits, having settled back in his home town of Worthing, where he now lives with his partner Nicki. “Returning was also about wanting a career and to get on the property ladder, so I knuckled down. I’ve got two boys and I encouraged my eldest to have six months of travel time, which he thoroughly enjoyed. He’s just finished university and is now a civil engineer while his younger brother is studying aeronautical engineering at Leeds. Neither of them are going to be selling many houses but they’re both enjoying life.” After his travels, Moores returned to Whitehead, Fox & Sons, this time as a manager. When the agency was taken over by a financial services firm, it prompted his acquisition of Sims Williams. He now enjoys working in the business as well as on it, with the ethos that there’s always something new to learn, particularly through advanced technology and AI. “You need to be prepared to sit down and learn from anybody and to embrace everything,” he says. “I know the top to bottom of what we do, which makes it easier for me to pass that on to others and I wouldn’t change that for anything. I’ve never wanted to micromanage. If you employ sensible, level-headed people who know the job, you’ve got to give them responsibility and allow them to go and do it.”

The Sims Williams team has worked with numerous small and medium sized house builders over the years, building long-term relationships with an eye on future growth. “Looking forward, what an exciting year this is going to be for us with some high-quality developments coming forward,” says Moores. “It’s good to get back to a market that is waking up after a quieter year. The market is always price-sensitive, but providing prices are sensible, sales will follow. We’re looking forward to a busy year.”

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What our clients say

Happy House Buyers

We genuinely couldn’t have been happier with our house purchase and the unwavering support we received from Sims Williams every step of the way. We purchased a new build property and Sims were a fantastic conduit between us and the builder. We are now settled in our new home and look forward to spending many happy years ahead enjoying our new space made possible with Sims Williams support.
Lauren O’Malley - Buyer - Oct 14th, 2022

Constructive Development Advice

Sims Williams have always provided constructive development advice on various schemes for us. Their local knowledge on both house type demand and suitable blends, together with their extensive research of comparable prices, gives me great confidence in the information they provide.
Jason Osborn Developments Director - Driftstone Homes -

Professional and highly recommended

We have been with Sims Williams (Chichester branch and recently Bognor Regis) for many years and they look after our rented properties very well. The property/ Letting managers (David, Nicola, Jo & Sheila) are professional, helpful, good communication, excellent follow up and always put us at ease. We are very happy with their service and highly recommended them. Thank you for looking after us.
Gee- Landlord - Aug 18th, 2023

Excellent Letting Team

The Chichester team has been managing our seven West Sussex rental properties for the last few years and we highly recommend them. Efficient, knowledgeable, organized, and pleasant to deal with. The service they offer is great value for money and leaves us confident that our tenants and properties will be well looked after.
JB Properties - Landlord - Dec 13th, 2023

Faultless Service

A big thank you to David Vawdrey and his team for there hard work and tenacity to get my flat rented to quickly and at such a great price. Nothing was too much for the team to deal with and I am very grateful to them for looking after the process so well. I would give them 6 stars if I could and would encourage anyone looking to rent a flat in Chichester to use Sims Williams, and David Vawdrey in particular.
Alex - Landlord - Apr 22nd, 2022

Excellent Service

Richard and all the girls in the Walberton office provided an amazing service, supported me through various setbacks, and always remained positive about the eventual very successful outcome. The viewings went smoothly, the feedback was good, and everyone in the office worked as a team to make the sale a success.
Susan Sargeant - Vendor - Oct 14th, 2022

BRILLIANT SERVICE

From the moment we first called we knew they were a professional outfit. Towards the end of the move the service was still first class and the after care was there too. Can’t fault anyone who works there! Thanks again.
Mark S - Tenant - Jul 28th, 2020

Finding new home could not be easier.

We been in a search of a new home and living in West Sussex our way led us to Sims Williams. We fell in hands of David who professionally guided us towards our new home. From the beginning, communication was excellent from David who was very helpful and made our rental process easy and hassle free. With David’s knowledge and professionalism we found a perfect new home and the whole story remains a pleasant memory. We will definitely recommend and call again! Thank you David and Thank you Sims Williams.
V&B - Tenants - Aug 21st, 2023

Exceptional Service

Sims Williams provided an exceptional service throughout the purchase of our new home. Calum was extremely professional every step of the way, would highly recommend.
Guy & Teresa - Buyers - Dec 3rd, 2021

Couldn't of been happier with the team

John and all the team were fantastic so helpful all throughout the sale highly recommend
Mr & Mrs Haimes- Vendor - Aug 12th, 2022