Founded in 1985 by Pollack and Richard Bernstone, Aston Chase is widely recognised as the leading independent residential agency operating in central and north west London.
Their traditional strongholds are Marylebone, Regent’s Park, St John’s Wood, Little Venice, Primrose Hill, Hampstead and Highgate, a niche which has continued to serve them well in large part because of the educational institutions, such as the London Business School, Regent’s College, the American School in London and the string of brilliant independent schools in Hampstead, which are a constant draw for HNWs and UHNWs from around the world.
Under the same ownership as it was when it started, Aston Chase prides itself on the niche nature of its operation, while continuing to expand its reach. ‘Our vision was always to be the best in class’, says Pollack, and the model has certainly stood the company in good stead in the tough political and economic climate of late.
While the bigger property businesses have been feeling the effects of Brexit, changes to stamp duty and general political uncertainty across the world, Aston Chase has continued to thrive and evolve says Pollack. ‘In a more difficult market when things are harder to sell, people like a more personal, dependable and versatile service. The fact that we specialise in certain areas of north west London, as opposed to attempting to cover the whole of prime central London, has also been to our benefit,’ he explains. He’s positive that despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit, that London is still an appealing destination for international buyers.
Based on the edge of Regent’s Park near Baker Street, Aston Chase is a 20-man operation with a difference. Turnover of staff is remarkably low resulting in a highly experienced team with unrivalled market knowledge and a sales record which is second to none reflecting the hands on leadership and an entrepreneurial culture. ‘The philosophy is quite different to the traditional UK agency,’ he explains. ‘We’re great believers in the sharing of information as reflected by our open plan set up (since inception) which encourages cross fertilisation and prevents vital leads/information falling between offices and departments which is often the case with larger corporates. As a result of our passion for marketing and our ongoing development of the Aston Chase corporate identity we have created a brand which is seen to add value.
Today the agency’s footprint is increasingly diverse and Aston Chase have grown to become a strong, multi discipline business. This has been thanks in part to its emergence as a serious player in the new homes sector. ‘Unusually for an agent of our size, we are being instructed on some of London’s best developments,’ he says.
Pollack notes an increasing demand for lateral flats in upscale developments which have amenities which were traditionally available in private houses, such as swimming pools, private screening rooms, and gymnasiums. As for London’s hottest locations, ‘if you’re looking for established areas where there’s value for money’, consider Hampstead Garden Suburb, which sits adjacent to Hampstead Heath and is regarded as a paragon of garden suburbs. The southern end of Queens Park, Kensal Rise and the northern end of Maida Vale all forming part of the Brent regeneration plan are also areas to watch for those looking to invest.
Pollack is a Trustee and Chair of Fundraising of Norwood, a leading UK charity whose patron is Her Majesty The Queen. Pollack is also on the Boards of both The London Magazine and Fabric the two leading freely distributed lifestyle and property magazines in London.