As head of our Estates & Special Projects department, Tom works across borders and timescales, providing long-term, strategic property advice.
In recent years he has identified and acquired a number of UK farms and sporting estates, apartments in Europe and an estate in Ireland. The department that Tom heads up will advise on the broadest range of residential property matters, from acquisition through to staffing and security arrangements, development advice and divestment. With a formidable book of contacts, Tom can also bring in trusted, specialist advisors whenever necessary.
After an early foray into the travel industry, Tom soon moved into property – 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 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. “It was a small, innovative business. The property 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 – and even more so now that we have extended our services beyond borders and timescales.”
With Middleton having moved from ‘young disruptors’ to a team of 30 established professionals, Tom is thrilled to see all his ambitions align. “Mark and I have had the best time, building the company. The stability of our core buying business has enabled us to branch out into international work, sales work and high-level consultancy.”
“Now that Middleton is such an established and respected brand, our job is to ensure the unique service ethos on which we built our reputation remains uncompromised.”
Tom is also a Trustee of the Hampshire Medical Fund.