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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BRILLIANT SERVICE

Would highly recommend Sims Williams. Recently moved into a rental property in Arundel with my other half. It's absolutely perfect for us. When things got a bit tricky financially, David was so helpful in pushing the move through. They were always happy to help whenever I called. Thanks so much!
Ricky - Tenant - Oct 8th, 2020

Excellent

Excellent letting agent, Jo has been brilliant and lovely to deal with, the communication from her has been fantastic. The whole process of viewing the property to signing the tenancy was quick, efficient and smooth. Would highly recommend Sims Williams.
Rachael - Tenant - Oct 7th, 2022

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

EXCELLENT SERVICE

Jo and her colleagues are managing two rental properties for me and the service has been fantastic from start to finish: providing me with very helpful advice prior to letting, finding high quality tenants and managing all ongoing matters. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Jo and her team to others.
Will H - Landlord - Dec 14th, 2020

TOP CLASS SERVICE FROM A TOP CLASS TEAM

Throughout the 10-month process of selling during two lockdowns, we received a totally professional, helpful and friendly service from everyone at SW at every stage.
Flis Salmon - Vendor - Jan 26th, 2021

Sims Williams Performance Was Far Superior

We recently instructed Sims Williams New Homes on the marketing of one of our new home developments in Climping, West Sussex. It is very fair to say we were extremely impressed with the performance and feedback. and their proactive sales teams were able to find buyers for the remaining units. Richard Moores has a very hands-on approach to his company and is very professional. Their sales progression department kept me fully informed at each stage, from reservation to completion. We would, as a company, recommend Sims Williams New Homes and look forward to delivering more sites which we have coming up.
Michael Hartnett - MJH Executive Homes -

Excellent Service

Megan was so helpful with helping us purchase our first home. She answered any questions we had and quickly, and kept us informed through the whole process. I would definitely recommend Sims Williams, we felt really looked after and Megan ensured we had a smooth purchasing process.
Lauren - Buyer - Nov 16th, 2022

The fastest ever

What an amazing experience from initial valuation through viewings to selling/buying and moved in a smidge over five weeks, professional and supportive throughout, would heartily recommend, many thanks.
Rich & Yvonne - Vendor - Mar 31st, 2021

The Long and Winding Road

It was a long 18 month slog! Sims Williams stood by us all the way. Updates and constantly in touch every week. A special mention to John Wyatt, couldn’t have done it without him. Thank you !!
Pete & Karen - Vendors - May 10th, 2021

Local Knowledge - Proactive Marketing - Regular Updates

We instructed Sims Williams to market our Church View development of 6 Village Homes. Their local knowledge and proactive marketing together with regular updates on each of the transactions kept us fully informed throughout the entire process. I’d be happy to discuss any aspect of their involvement personally with anyone concerned.
Tony Harrison - Managing Director Globe Estates (Southern) Ltd. -