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He’s still got it! A Torbay property veteran with a reputation that precedes him

Posted: Wednesday 23 May 2018

With an illustrious property career already behind him, there’s not much left for veteran estate agent David Jenkins to prove. But after being lured out of retirement, he’s rediscovered his love for property sales, and now heads up the Hotel and Leisure sector for Devon-based commercial property agents, Charles Darrow.

As a seasoned pro of some 20-odd years in the business, David Jenkins is something of a property legend across South Devon. Born and bred in Paignton, David still lives in Torbay with his wife, Mary. So how did this unassuming gent from Torbay, with no formal training, get into the property game in the first place?

“I’d been in sales practically all my life, but I’d never thought of estate agency work. I got the chance to join a firm and it just grabbed me”. So, a natural born estate agent from the start? “The first time I ever made a sale, I had no idea what to do! Luckily, a colleague guided me in the right direction and we completed in no time.” But as David points out, that was a long time ago.

The next 20+ years saw David at the same local firm focusing on hotel and self-catering property sales in the Bay area. It was a role that saw him become a trusted friend and salesman to buyers and sellers alike, as well as his colleagues in the industry. But after the company saw new owners, David decided to retire from the property game. “I was asked back by the new owners, but it wasn’t right for me, so I bowed out gracefully.”

Unbeknown to David, his career and reputation had been followed by Charles Darrow Directors, Jon Clyne and Paul Heather. Looking to grow the hotel and leisure sector of the business, they knew that David had a vast amount of local knowledge and expertise. Was David aware of Charles Darrow? “I’d never heard of them! The first I knew about them was when they managed to wrangle a property away from my old firm and sold it in double quick time. And then they did it again, so I quickly became aware!”.

Luring David out of retirement became Charles Darrow’s top priority, so did he feel his reputation preceded him? “Basically, yes. I got a phone call asking whether I’d be interested in having a chat. And after 15 minutes talking with Jon and Paul, I knew I wanted to work with them”. 

So, what does the future hold?  “I’m pleased with what’s happening in the commercial property market. Average sale prices are up and we’re attracting more enquiries from people in the UK and Europe looking to run a hotel or B&B. But there’s still a certain amount of confusion in the market, with all the political and economic uncertainty”.  

“As far as Charles Darrow is concerned, the only way is up! We’re looking ahead all the time and with the new website and CRM system going live, we’re able to hit new levels of customer service. 

So it looks like David’s found the ideal team to work with and Charles Darrow are certainly reaping the rewards. But at almost 74, does he have any regrets? “None whatsoever! It’s a crazy job to be in, but it’s a job I love, I really do.” And when he says it with such sincerity, it’s hard not to believe him.