our company

Welcome to Underhills

Underhill Real Estate Agents have been in business since spring 2004. The business was created to offer high quality real estate agency services to Exeter and its environs.

Why We Were Founded

As Exeter’s ‘local’ firms grew increasingly ‘corporate’, local Conveyancing solicitor Tim Underhill realised that more and more of his clients found that their estate agents were struggling to deliver the levels of services expected.

With this in mind, he left his practice and created a new business specifically to offer the levels of personal service that people need and want to guide them through the difficult and challenging process of buying or selling a home.

New Directions

In late 2004, a consortium of directors accepted Tim’s invitation to take over the running of the company. Mark Newbery is an experienced estate agent who had grown frustrated with corporate sales targets based around mortgage referrals and insurance policies, and not about helping families to move home. Joe Catcheside and Melinda Fonda are seasoned business professionals with several years’ experience as real estate investors.

All four partners found a common desire to build an estate agency business based on a very high service quality. The new management team have already begun developing the internet presence of the company, making sure that the dedicated service of a local agent is combined with the global reach of a high-technology market leader.

Set your own fee – Changing the way estate agency works

Underhills ‘set your own fee’ scheme shows exactly how its approach is different to any other agency. Clients using Underhills services don’t fix their fees before the work begins. Instead, the client decides the fee only after the work is done, and contracts have been exchanged.

Underhills took the decision that if we were going to make promises about providing excellent customer service, we had so show faith in our promise – and in our customers – and leave them in control of the final bill until the client knows whether we have done what we said we would do.

We are the ONLY agent in Exeter that is confident of its own service quality to offer this unique fee system. Tellingly, our average fee is significantly above the minimum that clients could choose to pay.

Growing reputation demands second city office

The vindication of our new approach has come through our growing reputation, and with it our growing client base. By 2007, it had become clear that Underhills needed a second office to maintain its levels of service to the local community.

A new partner, Tracey Davies, joined the company specifically to head up the new Cowick Street office. Tracey began her agency career twenty years before at the old Black Horse agency office, less than 50 yards from the new Underhills office that she now runs.

Next… to the seaside!

In quick succession, the opportunity came about to take on the old Wilson’s Estate Agency in Dawlish. There, the excellent customer-focused staff were happy to adopt the modern approach and design of the Underhill’s team. Again, Underhill uses innovative strategies and new technology so that the people-centred agents have more time, and can concentrate of delivering a great, personal service.

Our Ethos

There are two underlying principles that underpin everything we do.

The first is that we will conduct all our business with absolute integrity. This is our personal commitment, and how we would want others to treat us. We also believe it to be good business: we would rather give people good advice, even if it means turning down work in the short term, because we want to build a reputation as the best and most trustworthy estateagents in Exeter. This commitment is outlined in our promise to our customers.

The second is that we are an estate agency. Unlike other companies with ‘estate agent’ above the door, we do not sell mortgages, or insurance, or solicitors’ services. We do not make money for contractors or a corporate group that uses its estate agency business to make work for its financial services company.

We are not tied in or committed to anything other than being the best estate agent, which means we are free to help you find the best broker and the best solicitor for your unique situation.

The Future

It is our aim to be seen as Consultants and Advisors, not sales representatives. We are determined to offer the best service, the best advice, the most professional and efficient delivery of real estate provision that our customers could wish for. We believe that, if we can consistently deliver excellent service with absolute integrity, then the future of the company is assured.