Christophers Estate Agency opened for business on the 21st of October 2002.
Up until that time Garry, Sheila and Alan had been working in Helston for, what was then, the leading estate agency in the district. Their contracts prohibited them from operating from Helston for 6 months and so they first opened in Mullion in a small premises in the village centre. They were joined from day one, on a part time basis, by Alan's wife Patricia.
In March 2003 the Helston office was opened. Sheila and Alan transferred there and were joined by Beverley for the opening day. MP Andrew George,a personal friend of both Alan and Garry, carried out "the ribbon cutting" duties as he would do for the next Mullion and Porthleven offices.
Back in Mullion Garry was joined by his wife Lisa to make the Company a real "family affair". Soon Patricia was able to devote more time to the business and we quickly established ourselves as a major force in the district.
In early 2004 Mullion relocated to their current large, prominent office in the very centre of the village. With business increasing the Porthleven office was opened in November 2006 and office manager Verna has been there from the first moment.
Business continued to increase so early in 2007 we appointed Helen to help and assist in all three offices.
In 2009 it was necessary to have extra manpower in Porthleven and Louise, who had worked on an occassional basis previously, became our "Saturday girl" combining this with her A level studies.
It was decided in early 2010 to appoint another "Saturday" person for the Company. The calibre of applicants was so high that we ended up appointing two! Kate and Anita, who both now work many more hours and are an integral part of the team.
In April 2011 ETS, a large local independent electrical retailer, unfortunately closed and we were quick to move for the Helston shop manager Ian Jones who had developed an enviable reputation built on product knowledge and customer service. We were delighted when he jumped at the opportunity to join us.
In the autumn of 2011 we were joined by local boy Tom Bassett who had just completed a masters degree in music in London.
2012 was a year of maternity leave for the Company with Kate starting hers in March and Sheila in early summer. With the safe arrivals of Millie and Isobel shortly after. Just before Sheila's departure Debbie arrived to cover the work load and quickly became a valuable member of the team.
In October we had a wonderful night out to celebrate our tenth anniversary including a presentation to Garry in recognition of his magnificent contribution to the Company from the first day it opened.
At the start of 2013 we decided to expand our lettings department which had been in existance since our first few months of opening. With Kate's immenent return and Sheila due back soon after, Debbie, who had previous experience with another local letting company, stepped up to become lettings co-ordinator.
In March we were delighted to present Beverley with a gift to mark 10 years with the Company.
In April it was Anita's turn to become our representative at the maternity department and she left in April and soon after Megan arrived!
In September it was Sheila who received a gift to thank her for 10 years service.
We are delighted to report that 2013 turned out to be our third most successful year and we thank everyone who trusted us to sell their properties and wish everyone who bought through us every happiness in their new home.
Anita returned in the spring of 2014 and shortly afterwards we had our best quarter ever. In September we were delighted that Naomi Tostdevine who had spent a week's work experience with us when she was at school joined us as a "Saturday girl" to combine with her secretarial work in a local school.
Although our sales towards the end of the year were not as great as earlier in the year we still enjoyed our most successful year to date.
In 2015 some highly regarded local letting agents decided to leave the rental company they had help set up and start their own business. We had been considering passing our rental portfolio to a specialist company and this was a golden opportunity for our landlords to be handed over to people with an excellent reputation so at the end of June our lettings were transfered. We would like to thank the wonderful landlords and tenants we have dealt with.
In the summer the team had a very enjoyable evening at the Black Swan in Gweek to celebrate a particularly impressive sale.
In September Kate started a part time degree in education and in late October a vacancy arose in a local school which she applied for and got. So at the end of the year she left us taking with her our thanks and wishes of good luck.
Sales wise 2015 was something of an opposite to 2014 being slow to start but ending well.
The market for the first quarter of 2016 was very busy due mainly to the fact that stamp duty was to go up on the 1st of April for anyone buying a second home. Purchasers of such properties would have to pay 3% more than the standard rate including the zero band up to £125,000. As this is a considerable amount more tax there was a rush from such buyers to acquire a buy to let or holiday home before the deadline.
After the 1st of April the market went quieter and this continued up until the European Referendum at the end of June. The fact that the result surprised just about everyone led to a further period of uncertainty and slow trading.
However when the schools went back at the beginning of September the market started to move forward again and the final third of the year was one of the busiest we have experienced. So overall 2016 proved to be an "up and down" year but overall we are pleased to call it a sucess.
In October Naomi found that the work load at her main job was increasing and decided that doing viewings for us an a Saturday as well was proving to much. So with our massive thanks for all her efforts she left although we were delighted she was able to join us for our Christmas meal.
In Novemer we celebrated the tenth anniversay of our Porthleven office and it was Verna's turn to be presented with a gift to mark her 10 years with the company having started when the Porthleven office opened.
December brought the end of an era as far as the company is concerned as Beverley decided the time was right for early retirement. She had joined Christophers in time for the opening of our Helston office in March 2003 and consequently had been there with us since the first day and subsequently contributed much to our reputation. We will all greatly miss her positive attitude and smilling face and wish her a long and happy retirement.
We entered 2017 in the knowledge that there would be no referendum or general election in the year and as both of those events tend to slow the housing market we were pleased. However as we now know there was an election in June and subsequently it did cause the market to slow.
Once again the property market started briskly with a bouyant first quarter. To bolster our team we recruited a new "Saturday" person and we were delighted to appoint Carole, a local lady who had just bought and sold properties through ourselves. After the election things got quieter but unusually the end of the year was very active and we had our most sucessful December ever. But it was not all celebrations in the month as Sheila, one of the original team, decided it was time for her to have a career change and she left, with our grateful thanks, to join a new industry.
With Sheila departed we decided to appoint an new administrator to the team and were delighted with the quality of applicants. As we had done a few years before we decidede to take on two and Hilary and Demelza became members of the team.
The property market got off to a great start and the momentum, despite Brexit, continued through the year. So much so that we ended up having our most successful year to date. The summer of 2018 was one of the best for a long time, however those of us with long enough memories will be able to testify that 1976 was better! Of course the evening chosen for the company bar-b-que was one of the few wet nights. Anita's husband Andy did a great job cooking in the rain while the rest of us ran for cover.
During the summer we were delighted to welcome Joyce to the team as an extra 'viewings' lady. Joyce had grown up in Helston and her father had a business in Porthleven and now she was returning to the county. In the autumn Demelza announced she was expecting her second child and would be off on maternity leave in the new year. As we entered December Debbie decided that she would like to retire so, for the fourth year in a row, our Christmas lunch was tinged with sadness as we said goodbye to a colleague. Debbie took with her our thanks for all she had done for the company.