As head of our Estates and Special Projects department, Tom works on a wide range of briefs. In 2021 alone he identified and acquired a number of UK properties, a skiing chalet, and an estate in Ireland, advised on staffing and security arrangements, and appointed sales agents on behalf of legacy clients.
After an early foray into the travel industry, Tom quickly moved into the industry that, he acknowledges, was always going to be his calling. More than a specific sector, however, the ambition that motivated him to set up Sporting Holidays Ltd at the tender age of 21, was to be in the driving seat; to run his own business.
“I was in a real hurry to have my own business,” he says. “but, at that age, it could never have been in property. This business is so much about experience and depth of knowledge and that takes time to acquire. I loved the whole process of setting up a business, creating a proposition, a product and a brand. That experience stood me in good stead when it came to establishing Middleton Advisors in 2008, but I knew fairly quickly that I would need to serve a bit more of an ‘apprenticeship’, if I was going to create a really solid, sustainable business.”
In 2002, Tom went to work for Property Vision, and quickly realised that prime property was where his career lay. “It was a small, innovative business. The market was entering a period of rapid growth, and it was just a lot of fun. I particularly loved the bespoke nature of taking on a buying brief and always felt that we could apply that attention to detail across buying and investing. You’re always helping someone achieve a dream. And very often you’re shaping the actual dream, because sometimes I’ll know about a property which my client wouldn’t have thought about. There’s a bit of match-making involved. You’ve got to really know your client, understand their lifestyle, their motivation, their family. And that applies to both buyers and sellers.”
Tom did the hard yards at Property Vision, kept on building his experience, his knowledge and his contact book, and when he and Mark Parkinson felt the time was right, took the plunge.
“Even though the market conditions in 2008 weren’t exactly encouraging, we did both feel pretty confident.”
“One of the first houses I worked on for a Middleton client really sums up why I love being in the prime property sector,” says Tom. “They had initially refused to even go and see the property, but I was so confident it was the right house that I asked him to return early from a trip. It’s not about the power of persuasion, it’s about really knowing your client. And I love being in a position where our judgement is implicitly trusted – that is key to everything for Middleton.”
Having spent as long now at Middleton as any company he has ever worked for, Tom is thrilled to see all his ambitions align. “Mark and I have had the best time, building the company and creating a rock-solid business. The stability of our core buying business has enabled us to branch out into London sales, international work, and running a really significant Special Projects office offering advice and support – primarily to our legacy clients – on their property portfolio and related briefs.”
“Now that Middleton is such an established and respected brand, our job is to ensure the service ethos continues at every level.”
Tom is also a Trustee of the Hampshire Medical Fund.