49 Years at Lingfield Office – Martin Cundey Reflects
49 years ago to the day the door (not doors) of Howard Cundey and Company opened for the first time at 6 East Grinstead Road, Lingfield.
In those days the telephone exchange was manual and the number was Lingfield 2255/6. We lifted the receiver and were asked “Number Please”.
Petrol cost just under 5/- a gallon that’s the equivalent to 5½ p per litre today and by the end of June we had agreed sales on two properties at Bakers Lane at £4,100 and at Crowhurst at £7,800. Commission in those days was 5% on the first £500 then 2½ % on the next £4,500 and 1½ % on the residue “ it was a scale laid down by the RICS and the Chartered Auctioneers and Estate Agents Institute who later merged with the RICS; there were no real fee wars in those days .
In our first year we sold a total of 75 properties at an average commission of £100 per sale (most of the sales were in conjunction with other agents so we only got 50% of the commission) and made a profit of £1,500 although neither of us were taking any money out of the firm.
Bakers lane would be worth £250,000 now and Crowhurst around £475,000 and petrol at well we know only too well! Mind you the first pocket calculators emerged in the early 1970’s and cost the equivalent of £500 in todays money so some things have changed for the better and I paid £1,500 for my first mobile phone in 1984.