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Estate agents Gascoigne Halman celebrate 25th anniversary in charitable mood

PUBLISHED: 00:00 10 February 2015

John Halman of Estate Agents, Gascoigne Halman in Wilmslow

John Halman of Estate Agents, Gascoigne Halman in Wilmslow

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Who ever heard of an estate agent giving money away? Cheshire's John Halman has pledged to give away £25,000 to local charities and good causes this year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Gascoigne Halman

Gascoigne Halman 25 years agoGascoigne Halman 25 years ago

Most of us share a passion for our homes but one man has more reason than most to claim that his passion for bricks and mortar shines brighter than most, and that man is estate agent John Halman who opened Gascoigne Halman’s first office in 1990.

So that means that the company behind the distinctive red and black for sale boards, so familiar in the Cheshire area is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

To mark this occasion, Gascoigne Halman’s have come up with a very generous idea. They have launched a £25,000 Community Challenge which invites local groups and charities to apply for a slice of the fund.

The applications can be made until July 17th. John and his team are excited about the Community Challenge and are keen to hear from as many local groups as possible. Speaking about the Challenge, John said: ‘We are always looking for new ideas and wanted to do something different and significant to mark our 25th anniversary. Rather than fundraise for a selected charity we thought of the Challenge idea as it would enable us to reach out to many more groups and organisations – perhaps ones that don’t receive as much publicity and are operating at a real grass roots level.’

John Halman of Estate Agents, Gascoigne Halman in WilmslowJohn Halman of Estate Agents, Gascoigne Halman in Wilmslow

The company has been active in the local communities it serves raising an impressive £64,200 since 2006.

One of the company’s ideas, used to raise funds for Children in Need, was to run a competition to get school children to redesign the ‘For Sale’ board. This was won by a little girl in Didsbury whose design then replaced the company’s boards for a month. For every board, the company donated £10 to the charity.

Commenting, John said: ‘The initiative caused such a stir that people who hadn’t yet had their boards replaced with the new design were calling up and asking when they were getting their Children in Need sign.’

John, a qualified chartered surveyor, had worked in estate agency since leaving university and after 17 years decided to go it alone and set up a new, independent estate agency.

Over the years many have wondered about Mr Gascoigne but there isn’t one although John did have a silent partner, John Thornhill, until he passed away in 2013.

John, who lives in Mobberley, opened the first Gascoigne Halman at 52 Alderley Road, Wilmslow, on January 1st 1990 and was shortly after joined by Philip Chadwick and a second branch in Prestbury. Philip is now the firm’s Lettings Director.

At the time you could buy a smart, 3-bedroom detached house in Wilmslow for £130,000 and John recalls: ‘Anything priced over half a million was unheard of!’

From these beginnings, Gascoigne Halman has grown to have 18 offices and a string of awards confirming the agent’s status in the world of property.

Interestingly, the company’s newest branches in Holmes Chapel and Heaton Moor were added during the recent recession when others were closing down branches.

The company now employs 200 staff and John calculated that since their formation the company has sold in the region of 33,000 properties.

John said: ‘We have always believed in investing in great staff who have strong local knowledge and we also invest heavily in our branch network, technology and marketing.’

The company, which issues a customer satisfaction questionnaire to all clients, boasts a 97% satisfaction rating. It is Mr Halman himself who responds to any client who express dissatisfaction.

The company has recently won a coveted Silver award in the Sunday Times and Times Estate Agent of the Year awards. They also collected two awards at the Relocation Agent of the Year awards Best Agent Cheshire and North Wales and Lee Tickle, who works at the company’s Stockton Heath office won Employee of the Year. n

Factfile

John Halman was born, March 4th 1952, and raised in Lower Peover

Family: Wife, Jill, and two grown up sons from a previous marriage – one who works in Vancouver and the other at Gascoigne Halman

Favourite Cheshire beauty spot: Marbury Mere, Great Budworth

Likes to dine at: ‘anyone of Alderley’s fabulous eateries’

Favourite holiday location: currently Vancouver – home to his grandsons, aged two and seven.

Favourite pastime: Round of golf at Wilmslow Golf Club

How to apply

If you would like Gascoigne Halman to consider giving some of their £25,000 to your local charity or good cause, visit www.gascoignehalman.co.uk where you will find an online application form. Alternatively email community@gascoignehalman.co.uk. Entries open on February 16th and close on July 17th.

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