‘None of us came into this to be brokers,’ says Richard Rogerson. ‘I want to be trusted by the client.’
Perhaps the selfless sentiment is unsurprising, given the husband and wife were both partners at law firm Macfarlanes. That’s something that helped bring in Lord North Street founder William Drake as an adviser who credits their ‘natural instinct to protect clients’.
With their private office model, the instinct isn’t just protection but full facilitation, from location research to light fittings. They speak to Spear’s in the midst of a transaction process overseen by Richard, who has managed to solve a planning breach with the property in just under 36 hours: ‘That’s a level I’m very comfortable with, understanding an issue, understanding all the bits that relate to it and advising the client.’
It’s Sophie who finds the properties: ‘Few people, if any, combine [her] levels of energy, intelligence, commercial insight and client-handling abilities,’ says one peer. Although she believes that’s not the only reason to take her on: ‘I do think women make better buying agents because of that intrinsic empathy, and some of the softer skill sets do come into play when you’re acting for end users trying to find a home.’
The Dachshund-owning couple point to their work with one client family whose life they became ‘heavily vested in to make it work’. Having identified the dream home, RFR structured a deal to incentivise the corporate client to leave and then took over the running of the refurbishment project. ‘They’ve now become a really good friend, having directly been a client. We have quite a few stories like that, where we’ve looked after them from beginning to end. In a few years’ time we’ll be looking for investment property for their children,’ says Sophie.