Founded in 1985 by Pollack and his friend Richard Bernstone, Aston Chase is widely recognised as the leading independent residential agency operating in central and north west London.
Pollack is proud of the 30-year old establishment, and has previously told Vantage how several members of staff have been with the firm for over 20 years: ‘We’ve never had a high turnover of staff because we are very much a team – more of a family.’
Routinely handling the type of properties more often associated with its multi-office, international rivals, Aston Chase is renowned for its sophisticated marketing and has a reputation for delivering precisely what is says it is going to, which is why it had weathered the financial crash in 1980’s and continued serving clients ‘with pride and dynamism’. In this spirit the company has recently portrayed itself as having ‘letiquette’, which it says is an attribute encompassing the finer points of letting and property management.
‘Boutique agents are arguably more commonplace today but when we opened Aston Chase our level of specialisation and emphasis on high quality, indulgent marketing was quite novel’ says Pollack. ‘Many of our competitors would take instructions on anything and everything simply to achieve a perceived foothold in the market, but we were very selective and had a clear vision as to what we were trying to achieve.’
Today the agency’s footprint is far more 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. The firm’s new development activity continues to expand well beyond its traditional strongholds of Marylebone, Regent’s Park, St John’s Wood, Little Venice, Primrose Hill, Hampstead and Highgate.
The internet was a game changer, enabling Aston Chase to compete with the ‘foreign desks’ offered by the global brands. This is reflected in the firm’s research, showing that 72% of all activity to date in 2015 has been with international clients.
According to Pollack Russian UHNWs have taken to the area in a big way, perhaps appreciating the strong period architecture with historical connotations, the abundance green open spaces and the feeling of calmness that comes from being just outside of zone 1.
However, they are not alone, the areas covered by Aston Chase have become increasingly attractive to all international buyers, many of whom are looking for better value, more lateral space whilst still retaining the proximity to both the west end and the city.
Pollack is also a Trustee and Chair of Fundraising of Norwood, a leading UK charity whose patron is the Queen. The charity supports vulnerable children, families and people with learning disabilities.
He has also Co-Chaired their annual property lunch for the last ten years which attracts 600 of the ‘great and the good’ of the property industry (both residential and commercial) and has participated in international cycle challenges for the last 17 years and run two marathons raising substantial funds in the process for both Norwood and other worthy causes.
Pollack is also a director and Board member of London’s two leading property/lifestyle publications: The London Magazine and Fabric.