ONE of York's longest established estate agencies is under new ownership.

Naish Estate Agents, which is a residential sales and lettings business in High Petergate, and traces its trading roots as far back as 1939, has been taken over by Matthew Hendry.

James Naish, who took over the business from his late father Nigel in 2005, is taking a step back from the agency to concentrate on other interests, but remains a minority shareholder.

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He said: “I’ve known Matt socially for some years and knew that he’d reached a point in his career where he was keen to take control of his own professional destiny. In turn my career as a solicitor has taken me in a different direction and I was looking at succession planning for the estate agency. 

"So this makes perfect sense for both of us. Matt is mature enough to have significant experience in the industry, but young enough to have the drive, enthusiasm and ideas to carry the business into the future. I am absolutely thrilled that Naish will continue as a reputable family enterprise in Matt’s capable hands.”

Matthew, 36, said: “When James mentioned the idea to me in passing, I immediately felt it was one of those opportunities not to be missed, so he and I have worked fast to make this happen. I have some fantastic plans for the business and intend to build on its existing solid reputation through a mixture of operational changes, hard work and complete dedication to client care; and rebranding will follow at some point to match the companies community values.

"I was considering changing the name but after careful consideration and feedback from clients, the Naish brand both James Naish and his father, Nigel Naish who sadly, recently passed away, built, and excellent reputation, I feel it would be a shame to change it.

"A change to our logo will happen to represent our deep roots on High Petergate and I have already started tinkering with logos that incorporate Bootham Bar where our office has been since the 70’s."

Matthew left the UK aged 18 and travelled the world with his partner Lauren, who he met abroad when he was 21. Together they travelled and worked in countries including Spain, New Zealand, Australia, and others returning when he was 29, and the couple now have two young boys together.

"I returned to the UK when my mother received some news that she was ill, myself and Lauren moved home to spend time with her before she sadly passed away in 2015," said Matthew.

"In 2015 we attempted to sell the house that she had left and used three different large corporate estate agents and they all provided terrible service and failed to live up to what they had promised.

"I genuinely felt I could do a better job and started applying for a job as an estate agent at different companies in York and, I was given a chance by Preston Baker and Ian Preston.

"I went on to sell my own house and progress through his company learning my trade and within eight years become a director of my own estate agency business associated to Preston Baker.

"I have always had a dislike towards estate agents so it's ironic and poetic to find myself now owning one of the oldest and most reputable ones in York, my dislike clearly stems from the terrible service I received, and I promised I would never mislead, lie, or deceive clients.

"Not everyone likes to hear the truth about their own property, but I always find it works better for everyone on a 100 per cent honesty basis rather than using the sales tactics many agents use to win clients."

According to Matthew, Naish Estate Agents will continue to operate from its existing premises at High Petergate, and plans are already in motion to make arrangements for Argyll Drummond Financial Services to be based there as well, with both businesses set to benefit from cross-referrals.

Director of Argyll Drummond Financial Service Ian Leyden, said: "Having worked with Matthew previously I know him to be exceptional at what he does, something we also strive to be at Argyll Drummond. This exciting new partner will hopefully be beneficial to both business’s but more importantly should benefit our mutual clients.”