IT started with two members of staff in an estate agent’s back room in St Ives ... 15 years later Move with Us is a leading property specialist aiming to employ 500 people.
The business was started as Partners in Property by brothers Sean and Robin King with Nigel Higgins, Russell Cade and Richard Jeffery in April 1997, when they spotted the opportunity to set up a network of estate agents.
It started in a room at Robin King’s Homequest office, in Bridge Street, St Ives, but within two years had moved to Broadway. The company adopted the name Move with Us 10 years ago.
Robin King said: “We saw that agents were working in isolation. Our network enabled agents to know that someone, looking to buy a home in another area, would also probably be looking to sell and put them in touch.
“Our customers choose us because we offer them advice on the price of their home and manage their expectations, but also because we can sell their property about two per cent higher than normal and we can do it quickly.”
The company moved into its office in St Ives Business Park five years ago just as the recession hit, but Move with Us has more than doubled its workforce and in 2010/11 was operating with a £60million turnover and £5.5million profit.
Sean King said: “It’s better for us when times are tough as agents can rely on our network to generate sales, but our success is due to our constant ability to adapt and the fact we hire the right people.”
The brothers, who both attended St Ivo School, maintain their links, helping the school to get extra funding.
Robin King said: “We think Move with Us should be involved in the town and not in isolation which is why we have supported the Corn Exchange and St Ivo.
“By helping out, we have a venue in the town we and the community can use, and we employ students when they leave St Ivo as they have a great education.”
By their next landmark birthday in five years time, the brothers hope Move with Us will have grown to more than 500 staff, growing its corporate sales and lettings department.
To celebrate its anniversary, a giant jigsaw will be unveiled on Monday and will be gradually pieced together as employees raise £250 for charity as part of the company’s scheme to donate £75,000 to good causes. There will also a Champagne lunch in the staff cafe.