Successful auction bid leads to advice from The Fixer

Every business can benefit from a spot of expert advice and for John Henderson it came from the very best.

During the summer, the Managing Director of Acorn Properties (Jesmond) Ltd of Tyneside bought a business consultation with Alex Polizzi at an auction at a fete at the Holy Trinity Church on Clapham Common, when he was visiting family.

The purchase granted him an hour with Alex, who is the granddaughter of Rocco Forte and is best known for television programmes such as The Fixer and The Hotel Inspector. Alex made the offer to help raise funds for the church where she attends with her family.

John, who travelled to the Rocco Forte Headquarters in London, for the consultation, said: “My meeting with Alex Polizzi went extremely well. She was thought-provoking and made some very pertinent and useful suggestions which added some practical and interesting ideas of how to further improve our business. She was extremely complimentary about the way we operate as a company. It was clear that she had researched the company and prior to the meeting she had requested a considerable amount of information about Acorn Properties and its market.”

Acorn Properties, which is a leading estate agents that specialises in both Professional, Executive and Student lettings, is expanding with its second office in Durham City and John said: “Alex complimented Acorn on our strategies, including our new expansion programme, and commented that we appeared to be doing everything right in respect to the initiatives we had instigated to support both our landlords and tenants in what she described as a very overcrowded and difficult market place. She also was pleased by the way that we had included both the police and universities to endorse and sponsor the Good Neighbour Agreement, part of our tenancy agreements to give our landlords, tenants and guarantors a feeling of added security in their Acorn tenancies.”

Some of the discussion centred on regulation of the sector. John said: “Alex is a landlord herself so she identified with a number of the comments I made and appeared very interested in recent changes in legislation. She was quite surprised that in an industry that is regulated by 50 acts of Parliament plus a further 70 regulations you do not have to be regulated to be a letting agent. She advised that where it was important for a company to strive to change the marketplace in which it operates, suggesting that we should concentrate more on the way we operate within existing legislation rather than hope for Parliament to address something they have continually failed to do in the past. Overall her approach was extremely inclusive and supportive and she approved of the way we operated as a business, both internally towards our staff and externally towards our clients and customers. I have taken away a number of points and will start to address them and look forward to seeing improvements in my organisation.”

Alex said: “‘On meeting John, I was extremely impressed by his desire to offer the highest levels of professional service both to landlords and tenants. I absolutely agree with him that the industry should be better regulated so that the lettings industry can gain a better reputation. John is going above and beyond his legal requirements in order to show best practice.”

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