When thinking about properties which are centuries old, and will hopefully become centuries older, it is easy to get stuck in the past. However, Thomas van Straubenzee is absolutely focused on preventing his company VanHan from making the same mistake. While others are either preoccupied with the Russian withdrawal from the market or the vast uncertainties swinging around due to the political shenanigans underway at Westminster, Straubenzee sees only opportunities. Even now, he recognises that there will always be chances for growth: ‘I’m excited by the Indian market as we’ve seen quite a few wealthy Indians, with their country growing and making a lot of money now, saying that London is the capital of the world — not just the capital of England.’ Thus, even as he expects the market to flatten over the next few years, the irresistible pull of London will still bring clients here. Van Straubenzee cites, with what one feels is a certain degree of personal authority, the social scene in London as a huge driver of demand. The clubs of Mayfair, St James’s, and Belgravia are still ‘the place to be’, and it is this which keeps London above the competition, even more so than the culture, history, and education available. He maintains that the company’s sense of responsibility sets it apart: too many competitors are just ‘hoping to make a quick buck’, while VanHan focuses on long-term client relationships. At this rate, the company might outlast the properties it sells.
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Thomas van Straubenzee