Local entrepreneur Oliver Herington thinks he has found a gap in the property market providing a property search service for young professionals who lack the time and skills to search for a flat themselves.
"Property search has really only been for those who could afford it: company directors, celebrities looking to maintain a low profile and wealthy international buyers," explains Oliver Herington.
"Until now younger buyers didn't really have the opportunity to get involved, put off by the prohibitive fees and the rather staid image when compared with London's youthful sales agents."
Herington hopes that his business will tap into a new market for property search with the retainer fee for a private property search set at £300 and a success fee of one per cent ("probably the lowest in London") or a month's rent.
"It's all about changing young peoples perception of what property search and buying is, it's not just something that they might have heard about or seen on the television, it's a service that's now within their reach. It's about the young person with £1,200 per month looking for a funky apartment, not just the chief exec with £2.5 million to spend on a Chelsea pad."
Herington – who lives at the Elephant & Castle – is an enthusiastic advocate of the regeneration of the area: "It's massively exciting, there's new developments going up all around, improved transport links, new shops and restaurants all on the way. It's just another example of how diverse and exciting this area is."
It is clear that SE1 Relocation's in-depth local knowledge is a key selling point: "We know the area inside out, we live here and we know what's around the corner, the bars, the restaurants and the new buildings, you can't buy that sort of knowledge."
"People just don't have the time to look for a new flat now. The closest they want to get is a sneaky look on the Internet during work time at the endless pages of properties online, most of which are already gone by the time they ring up and enquire with a sales or lettings agent."
SE1 Relocation is able to handle all aspects of the conveyancing, seeing a search through from the initial meeting between search consultant and client to the exchange of contracts and completion.
"A lot of young people don't know where to start when it comes to buying a property, liaising with solicitors, surveyors, financers etc; it's a minefield out there. We'll handle it all for them though; we'll do the leg work and the paperwork."