Leading Northern Ireland estate agent Templeton Robinson celebrated its 20th anniversary at a special event on board the SS Nomadic earlier this month.
The successful estate agency, which has five branches provincewide including Holywood, Bangor, Lisburn and two in Belfast, first opened its doors to local house-hunters 20 years ago at its Lisburn Road branch and will mark the event at a celebratory bash on board the famous White Star Line vessel.
Templeton Robinson was formed by a group of estate agents who wanted to provide an indigenous agency for Northern Ireland, following the withdrawal from the market of several national chains. The new estate agent launch also coincided with the first of the province’s historic ceasefires which heralded a new era for the people of Northern Ireland.
Beth Robinson, Director at Templeton Robinson, said: “The decade after the ceasefires were announced meant the end of the Troubles for many people and that brought prosperity. People originally from Northern Ireland relocated back to the province so the market began to grow in terms of buyers, with the arrival of a thriving rental market and the emergence of new build developments in a bid to cater for the demand.”
Meanwhile, wider economic growth over this period which included the relaxing of EU borders and new business opportunities for the province, such as the growing film industry, have also created an increased demand for housing and rental accommodation in Northern Ireland, according to Beth.
Two decades after Templeton Robinson opened its first office, two of the original four founding members, which included Denis Templeton, Beth Robinson and Keith Mitchell, now run the estate agency network with its most recent office opening in Lisburn last year.
Beth Robinson adds: “There was a four-strong team of us 20 years ago and we did everything. Now we have 50 members of staff at branches in Belfast, North Down and Lisburn.”
As a fledgling estate agent in 1994, Templeton Robinson found itself as something of a pioneer in the Northern Ireland housing market and were the first to experience house-hunters queuing to buy desirable properties in South Belfast.
Beth added: “We opened our doors on May 1st 1994 with 6 properties. The response was excellent, helped initially by having a development of 10 luxury new homes on Balmoral Avenue. This was one of the first times people in Northern Ireland had queued to book a house, and for two days potential purchasers sat outside our office.”
The event was so unusual at the time, Templeton Robinson found itself on the news and in the papers for its achievement. The estate agent was also the first to sell a house online when the internet was in its infancy – to a Northern Ireland buyer living in Bangladesh.
Templeton Robinson has also been involved with several of the most notable large scale and iconic developments in the province, including The Residence at Victoria Square, St Anne’s Square, Cathedral Quarter and The Boat, Custom House Square all in Belfast.
Despite a housing market which has grown and evolved very much in tandem with Templeton Robinson, the estate agent says its motivation is the same today as it was 20 years ago – to provide a quality service to Northern Ireland: “Our core philosophy is to be specialists in all aspects of residential property throughout Northern Ireland’