The desire to succeed
Who is Alex Clark, the man behind one of Cheltenham’s most successful lettings agencies?
Born in HestersWay and educated at Arle School, the Alex Clark we meet today is testament to the fact that a strong work ethic combined with a desire to succeed is all you need to achieve great things in life. The Alex Clark offices are certainly impressive. Based in Cambray Place they consist of a suite of penthouse offices with floor to ceiling windows giving breath taking and far reaching views over the Cheltenham hills.
At 26 Alex secured himself a position as a negotiator with an aggressively ambitious estate agent, which brought him into close contact with individuals of high net-worth and instilled in the young Alex a desire to have more, to live the dream. 1992 saw him opening his first estate agency, covering both sales and lettings, but Alex saw the gap in the market, sold the estate agency part of the business and focused his entire attention on the local lettings market.
It proved to be a shrewd move. To date Alex Clark Lettings has just under 1000 properties on their books in Cheltenham and 18 months ago they began developing the new business, Alex Clark Lettings Franchise, which was eventually launched at the end of 2011. The brand now has franchisees in Gloucester and Weston-Super-Mare with Kingston-upon-Thames and Hoddesden coming soon and various London outlets in the pipeline.
Alex has ambitious growth plans for the business and wants to have 150 Alex Clark Lettings Franchises across the UK in the next 10 years. Does he see this as a financial gamble in economically ‘challenging’ times? Far from it; having been involved in the lettings market for over 20 years Alex says there is a greater demand for rental properties now than ever before.
There are a number of factors that back up this statement; the average age of first-time buyers is now late thirties as young professionals struggle to get on the housing ladder and banks are unwilling to lend money; there are more contract workers than ever before meaning people are moving all over the country on short term contracts to find employment; statistics report that the divorce rate is on the increase and just weeks ago the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said that it will be another ‘half a century’ before house prices recover; given those facts it is unsurprising that Alex says there has never been a better time to get involved in the rental property market.
In rare moments when Alex is not ‘head down’ in his Cheltenham office, he regularly supports American motivation guru Anthony Robbins at lectures as far afield as Fiji and San Francisco and when closer to home, he is a committed supporter of local charity Winston’s Wish and has supported an orphanage in Cambodia for several years.
Now 51, there seems to be no let-up in Alex’s ambition and when he is not focussing on his businesses he relaxes by spending time with his two grown up children, scuba diving and following National Hunt Racing. Alex Clark is very happy and content in his life; his hard work has afforded him the luxury of choosing how he spend his time... he just chooses to spend it working and probably will do, until he has signed the contract on his 150th franchisee in the UK.