December 1992 was a significant time for a number of reasons, John Major had recently succeeded Margaret Thatcher as British Prime Minster, while a certain Tiger Woods became the youngest PGA Tour golfer in history at just 16 years of age, amongst other notable happenings. But for Christopher Haley and business partner David Mason, things were about to get even more interesting, as they purchased property sales specialist Maitland Selwyn from Birmingham Midshires Building Society who had acquired from founder Frank Maitland Selwyn a few years earlier. Chris and David then embarked on a journey that would prove equal parts exhilarating, and equal parts exhausting!
25 years later, on the eve of the anniversary of that fateful venture, Chris and his team – plus David (who left his active role in the company some years earlier) – descended upon The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield for an evening of merriment to mark the occasion.
Since 1992, the company has seen significant change, expanding from handling property sales to offering a range of services to property developers; including the provision of both permanent and temporary sales staff and an industry-leading training programme both for sales professionals within the new homes sector and new entrants without prior experience. Look how the company has grown; 9 regions, 350 temporary sales consultants and over 250 permanent placements a year.
Commenting on the growth of the company since Chris acquired ownership in 1992, David said “Chris and I have been through tough times, and great times, which closely reflects the industry as a whole, but what always shone through was a determination to do the best by our clients and our people, and nobody exemplifies this ethos more than Chris.”
The evening was a great success, with guests arriving to a champagne reception and catching up with colleagues past and present amidst the finery of the Belfry’s Ryder Room. A mixture of guests were in attendance, including long-standing clients – some of which had previously worked for Chris in a different role – the diversity in the room echoed a testament to the commitment of the company to not just running a business and looking after its clients, but first and foremost looking after its own people. As Chris says, “they are our customers too”.
As guests took their seats and the first meal course arrived, Chris offered a formal welcome and was soon informed of several guest speakers that would be offering a few words throughout the night, much to his own surprise!
Following some apt words by David Mason, it was the turn of financial controller Martin Luck to take the floor. A natural on the microphone, Martin entertained effortlessly with anecdotes from throughout his time with the company (over 21 years) and with Chris, highlighted by the revealing of a theatre programme from his youth that featured one of the early Maitland Selwyn adverts – from 1975! Did Maitland Selwyn have to advertise when they were formed in 1950?
As the evening wore on, successive team members delivered messages of thanks by way of a pre-recorded video montage, and gifts were presented to mark the anniversary of Chris’s ownership of the company. Chris appeared emotional though remained composed throughout, and offered words of thanks to all his team members, past and present.
It came as no surprise that, after Chris had been put in the spotlight for much of the night, he chose to end proceedings by doing what he has done best for 25 years – recognising the efforts of his people – as team members were presented with milestone certificates for their years’ service to Maitland Selwyn.
Commenting on an emotional evening, Chris was in reflective mood: “It’s been humbling at times tonight, and I can’t thank everyone enough for attending what has been a fantastic celebration not just for me but for everyone who has contributed to the success of this company, past and present. I couldn’t have done it without every single one of them. What a night!”
As team members said their goodbyes and left the venue for the evening, it was apparent that these are people not just working for a company, but as part of a family, and with the success of the last 25 years brought so sharply into focus on this night, it’s not hard to see that continue over the next 25 years.
For more information on training services for new homes developers, in addition to other services offered by Maitland Selwyn, visit www.maitlandselwyn.co.uk or reach out via social media.