Together, they have a profound knowledge of the industry and an experience combined of over 75 years, this Plymouth-based estate agency is quietly establishing itself as the name to trust in the property sector. With Becki currently nearing the end of maternity leave, we took the opportunity to speak to Mark & Heather to find out more about them, their business, and why their formula is so appealing to sellers and landlords.
Mark began his working days on the M&S shopfloor in Plymouth, a place where he believes he learnt his core values in customer care. After a few years on the shop floor and a nine-month trip to Australia under his belt, he wanted to move away from retail, and in 1999 he was offered a job at Constables Estate Agents on North Hill in Plymouth. It didn’t take long for him to realise that with his combined customer care background and a keen interest in property, estate agency was an industry which provided huge opportunity in which to build his career.
During the next 6 years, Mark worked hard to learn as much as he could about the various ways in which a property can be marketed, sold and transacted. With a handful of stints appearing on BBC Homes Under the Hammer, managing two offices for another corporate firm within the city, and being integral in advising many developers in Plymouth on new build schemes, Mark was a genuine asset to those who wanted good honest advice on all property matters. It didn’t take long for him to be noticed, and he was offered a senior role in a large and much respected independent estate agency which operated across Plymouth and the Tamar Valley. Little known to him at the time, this would be where he met his now described ‘Keane & Parker’ family, being Neil Parker, Heather & Becki.
Working in independent estate agency was different, Mark found his individual flare and desire to focus solely on the customer and their journey was taken far more seriously. He enjoyed the process of helping people move and seeing their next chapter unfold, which was most rewarding. During his time there, Mark became a Director of their New Homes Department and expanded the business into the South Hams where he sold luxury waterside and country homes.
Mark had employed Neil Parker during this time, and they became a brilliant team and good friends. They both recognised that estate agency was evolving, and that you were able to offer a much greater and more personal approach than your traditional 9-5 business. Mark wanted to put his skills to the test, and knew he wanted to do it with Neil.
In 2017, Keane & Parker was born. They set the company up with a mission for it to be a customer care-driven business. The first 6 months are challenging for any estate agent start-up as it usually takes around 6 months to see any income, but Mark had an excellent reputation and was well respected amongst his peers, it didn’t take long for the business to evolve with Neil at his side.
By complete coincidence, Heather also began her career in property at the same Constables office as Mark on North Hill in 1988. Since then, her roles have varied within the industry from valuing property, company administration and managing sales through to completion.
During her career, Heather took an opportunity to work within a local law firm within their conveyancing department. This gave her valuable insight into the legal practice and a far better understanding of the process, which is now key to her role in supporting their clients through the sale, which is often a most demanding and stressful period for anyone buying and selling. It was in 2006 that she then joined the same company as Mark, and they became firm friends and colleagues.
It was a natural step that when Mark & Neil wanted to bring someone in to support them, that Heather was their first choice, and she joined the Keane & Parker family in late 2017. In 2020 Neil decided it was his time to retire, having had a career of over 40 years in the business and being there to support Mark on his journey, Neil knew the company was being left in good hands.
By complete fate, Mark saw the opportunity to bring another former colleague Becki Lewis, into the ‘family’ and the perfect time to embark on expanding the business into residential lettings. Becki had been busy working in the lettings sector for the past 10 years and was looking for an opportunity to work alongside people she trusted. Becki knew instantly that she could grow her portfolio of rental property within the safety of a strong team and with people that knew the business. In a short space of time, Becki has created a portfolio of over 50 managed properties, typically being luxury and modern homes across the city, waterfront, and the wider area with a number of premium clients such as Urban Splash at The Royal William Yard.
Keane & Parker think of their business as ‘Plymouth’s friendliest agent’, with their constant flow of excellent customer satisfaction and feedback for being, approachable, empathetic, knowledgeable, and hassle-free.
When selling or letting a home via Keane & Parker, no matter the value, you are assured of the same exemplary service. They are passionate about attention to detail and offer bespoke marketing and tailored services to their clients. Every bit of extra detail is attended to.
All of their properties are marketed across the nation’s most popular websites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation. They cover a wide area extending across Plymouth and into the South Hams and Tamar Valley, and you can arrange a free market appraisal for Mark to visit your property with no obligation.
We asked Mark & Heather what the current market was like, and what changes they might foresee in the future; We know the property market is currently experiencing major shifts with increasing values and diminished stock levels. Whilst this has been good for sellers obtaining high sale prices, it has been very difficult for buyers and renters all fighting over a smaller number of available homes. It has also led to more owners deciding against selling after agreeing a sale, as they themselves have struggled to secure a new property to purchase.
The average house price has risen 9.8% from March 2021 to March 2022 and currently stands at £278,000 for the UK. This value increase is forcing people to compromise more on things like spare bedrooms, garages, parking and of course, location.
The property market is especially strong in the Southwest, the pandemic created an opportunity for traditional city dwellers to perhaps reconsider where they could live if commuting was no longer required and technology allowed them to work from home. This realisation has driven a desire for a change of lifestyle, and homeowners and tenants have both sought a more idyllic setting in which to perhaps start a family or simply enjoy the outdoor life more. The West Country has also been a haven for those looking to retire and second homeowners, so with this combined with local demand, there is complete reason as to why there has been such a strong demand on property stock.
Either way, the property market appears to reflect the mood and strength of our economy,
With Mark’s knowledge, Heather’s down-to-earth approach and Becki’s expertise in lettings, you can always trust Keane & Parker to guide you through the process. They offer free market appraisals with no obligation, so we invite you to contact them and find out more about their services in the details listed below.