‘I don’t mind telling you in 2008 we actually only did one transaction.’ In an industry often as self promotional as it is self deluded many would happily mask such performance but for a man as passionate as Tryon it is ‘probably the single proudest moment…that was exceptionally hard, I got married in 2008, bought a house off the back of a very good 2007, when the credit crunch struck there were no deals, we had to lay off staff, move to smaller office, I didn’t pay myself a salary for a year’. From such adversity the triumphant rise, in 2012 Lichfields won the Spear’s award for best property adviser and last year completed five (from a London total of 106) £10 million plus deals including a £22 million penthouse secured from the open market at 10 per cent under value and with a complete interior redesign. ‘When I first proposed that to the developers they laughed…so going from no chance to getting an agreement was something I was delighted by and the result is my client ends up with exactly what he wanted.’
After the crisis things picked up quickly for Tryon who last year completed deals worth £82 million, Lichfields closing a total of £109 million. Such an upsurge is impressive given that he always pursues the best deals for his clients. One large Chelsea town house was bought for a client at £17.5 million, down over 30 per cent of the £26 million price tag the seller had previously put on it.
It’s heart on the sleeve stuff that comes from a meeting that effervesces with Tryon’s character and drive. It’s clear he sees the capital as his oyster –‘the eyes of the world are here, it’s London’s time’- aware of the demand for housing from rich and poor alike ‘The government should be encouraging developers to build more affordable housing, certainly my cab driver this morning was quite vocal on this point’ but for the self made legend commercial viability takes precedence: ‘Nobody has an automatic right to live in their chosen location that’s the free market economy…I’m pretty unapologetic about it.’
His enthusiasm is infectious, the keen cricketer admits he’s ‘happy to go up against anyone’ thrashing out six hour deals to resolve every concern a client might have. Equally, when a client’s parents wanted to downsize he obliged: ‘I personally wouldn’t do any transactions at that level but he was an extremely good client of ours and his parents were lovely people…he asked me if I could help and I was very happy to.’
‘I love meeting our clients and going through the journey with them…there’s nothing I’d rather be doing, apart from winning Ashes tests for England.’ One leaving his Kensington office Spear’s is grabbed at the door – ‘We’ve just secured another deal, £5.2 million down from £6 million, and the buyer hasn’t even seen it!’