Ian is celebrating 40 years working at Dacre, Son & Hartley and during his long and successful career it’s estimated that he’s been involved in approximately 10,000 transactions in the town and its surrounding villages.
Ian Bradbury, who is the area director in the Aire Valley, grew up in Haworth and Riddlesden and joined Dacres in 1983 after completing sixth form at Holy Family Comprehensive School, during which time he also had a part time job at the local Morrisons store. The supermarket giant then suggested he apply for a supervisor role, but a friend who Ian played cricket with worked at Dacres and told him the firm was also recruiting.
Ian went for both interviews on the same day and when Dacres offered him the role, he gladly accepted it. Two years later he progressed into a sales role and in 1991 he was promoted to branch manager of the North Street office in Keighley town centre. Four years later he became a shareholder in the business and was made a director in 2002.
Ian said: “I’ve only ever had two job interviews but accepting the role at Dacres was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn the trade from several very good and experienced people, who always took the time to offer me help and advice, and it was five years before I did my first solo valuation!
“The most important thing they taught me is that estate agency is a people business. Buying and selling a property is usually the biggest financial transaction people make, so buyers and sellers want to work with people they trust, and this is something I always instil on the next generation of estate agents and our new starters.”
Commenting on how the market has evolved over the past 40 years, Ian said: “A key thing about the UK’s housing market is there are lots of ups and downs but it’s very resilient. Even though I started in 1983, it wasn’t until 1989 that I sold a house for £100,000 and that was a big moment. However, during most of the 1990s things went backwards and at some points we had hundreds of homes listed for sale, which made it a genuine buyers’ market.
“Then in the run up to the credit crunch things changed dramatically and between 2005 and 2008 we would regularly agree sales on several homes every day. Some of these market conditions were replicated during the pandemic, when stamp duty giveaways, staggeringly low interest rates and huge numbers of people relocating to different parts of the country all combined to create a perfect storm in the housing market.
“Even now, with rising interest rates causing a degree of uncertainty, the market remains buoyant in and around Keighley, which is partly due to it being a relatively unique location, where you can still buy houses for £50,000 close to the town centre, but equally you can pay upwards of £1million in its surrounding rural villages.
“Crucially though, several things have remained constant over the past four decades. Firstly, it’s extremely difficult to predict how long each cycle will last in the housing market. Secondly my advice to sellers, which is that a correctly priced and well-presented home will always sell.”
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential, said: “Ian’s track record in Keighley’s property market over the past 40 years speaks for itself. He’s undoubtedly sold far more property than anyone else in and around the town and has sold many homes several times over. One client recently phoned the office wanting to sell and specifically asked for Ian because they’d bought the house off him and remembered what a good job he’d done even though it was 20 years ago.
“Ian is a key reason that we’re so successful in the Aire Valley. He’s lived locally all his life, so knows the area very well and he regularly supports local events and community initiatives with his time and office sponsorship. He’s the consummate professional and we’re delighted to celebrate his 40 years with Dacres!”