Operating from an office on Lansdown Road, Stonier Hobbs boasts a small but knowledgeable team with over 30 years of experience in the property industry.
Duncan ventured into the industry whilst still at King Edwards School in the City, although harbouring ideas to become a pilot he was invited to try a few days work experience at one of the surveying Firms in Bath. With his interest in property sparked, he studied estate management in Southampton and the rest as they say is history with not a plane in sight!
Having decided to stay in residential property, his employed career took him from Bath towards Bristol, then over to Wiltshire, down into Dorset and finally back to Bath in the early 1990’s. He watched first hand the expansion in large corporate agency, the daft periods of boom and bust in the 1980’s eventually working for a private firm on George Street. This also introduced him to the booming ex-patriate market that was taking an interest in the City and allowed him to make numerous visits to Hong Kong with many of the contacts made then still Clients today.
As the saying goes, he liked it so much that in 1998, he bought the company and Stonier Hobbs was born. He relocated the business to the current premises in Fountain Buildings in 2000 remaining fiercely independent of the corporate approach to agency he dislikes so much.
You’ll often find him answering the telephone or in reception, hiding behind the name is not his style. He prides himself on a can-do approach and expects the same of his whole team. ‘To me’ he says, ‘Property and people matter. Whenever we’re involved, I expect the Client, buyer or tenant to feel we care. Our industry has a terrible reputation (often deserved!) and I’m determined that we don’t need to be part of that. We want to give good advice, provide excellent service and be proud of what we do, if we can achieve that, I’ll be very happy indeed!’. Many of his Clients have been using the firm from the late 1990’s and the business thrives on recommendations.
Away from the office, Duncan busies himself with family life, he’s been married for over thirty years and has two grown up boys. Recently retired from his passion of driving rally cars, he now helps organise motorsport events and has developed more than a passing interest in boats and motorcycles. He freely admits it’s a stage of mid-life crisis but he’s not apologising for it just yet!
Always happy to talk to new Clients, Duncan won’t sugar coat what he has to say or give you some corporate line but rest assured, it’ll be based on considerable experience and a genuine desire to ‘do property’ properly!
Simon entered into the industry in 1998, in Perth Western Australia. Like many others his adventure started out with a pack on his back exploring the world but ending up in Perth pursuing his love of windsurfing.
He joined a local firm and gained his real estate license and took the plunge working for a commission only agency. It was clear it was ‘sink or swim’ never looked back. Western Australia offered an outdoor lifestyle and when he wasn’t working he was on the water. Latterly he renewed his interest in motorbikes and the excitement of the racetrack but the pull of the UK and Europe took him back in 2002.
Arriving back in the deep midwinter from a scorching mid summer was a bit of a shock, but he soon found his feet and heading to London working for Foxtons in their Wimbledon branch. You couldn’t imagine a different environment having gone from selling 5 acre lifestyle homesteads and houses on poles to Victorian Terraced houses. The UK windsurfing conditions didn’t offer the sort of paradise he had been used to so he got into mountain biking which opened up a world of adventure, riding the French Alps, Sierra Nevada mountains and not for getting the welsh hills. His other sports and activities include enduro motorcycling and off-road touring, squash, skiing, cycling and sailing not forgetting the fabulous walks around Bath.
Simon joined Duncan at Stonier Hobbs in the autumn of 2011 having worked for Cluttons and Winkworth since 2004, setting up Stonier Hobbs Residential the sales arm of the established letting and property management business. Being the social type Simon’s side of the business comes in mostly from referrals as he goes the extra mile to make sure there is good communication between all parties and taking away the stress of moving. Even though he is a car and motorcycle enthusiast he cycles to the office and all of his appointments on an e-bike which is often quite a surprise to house viewers as he arrives in all weathers on the bike.
Simon is married to an equally active lady and they share many outdoor pursuits together, living locally they cycle everywhere which is a great way to get around the city.
Between Simon and Duncan they have over 50 years of property experience and are always happy to help and offer advice. The sales business is in its 10th year and what is really nice is the number of people coming back to us and asking us to help them move on. Many of our properties never reach the public market so it is always worth contacting us as you never know what is coming up.