How Monroe Estate Agents are making a million-pound mark in the north Leeds property market
Since launching just one year ago Monroe Estate Agents has become a familiar name in the north Leeds property market.
Co-founded by Leanna Corban and Jordan Yorath in October 2020, the specialist agency focuses on selling premium homes.
Having grown up in Shadwell, the idea for Monroe and returning to north Leeds had been forming in Jordan’s head for several years, as he worked in the city centre lettings market.
When Leanna, who worked as a business consultant for two of the Big Four accounting firms, lost a work contract during the pandemic, the couple, who have been together for three years, decided to take the plunge and found the business.
Combining Jordan’s 20 years of estate agency experience with Leanna’s extensive background in business proved successful, with the couple taking on two employees and selling £25million of property in July alone.
Leanna, 38, said: “As soon as my contract ended, Jordan asked if I wanted a week off. I said no and we set up business together the next day.
“We spent lockdown formulating ideas.”
Jordan, the son of former Leeds United footballer, Terry added: “It took a good six months to get the right infrastructure in place such as investing into the technologies such our software system, getting accounts set up with various portals, plus the website.
“We found the place where we are now in Alwoodley which was the perfect location just before Christmas last year.
“From there on we geared up to get the office open. Our focus is on the higher end of the north Leeds market and therefore we wanted the space to represent that”.
Video production proved a key way for the pair to make their mark on the industry.
Inspired by the success of shows like Netflix’s Selling Sunset, the pair decided to focus on creating high-quality videos to show off their client’s properties at their best.
They bought in expert videographers and used drones to get the best shots of the homes, quickly establishing a reputation for going that extra level in their marketing.
Jordan, 35, said: “We just wanted to try something different and offer something extra that other agents out there did not.
“Last summer was when everyone was watching Selling Sunset and of course we've had our British versions of that over the years.
“Video media, in terms of Google optimization and people's engagement when they're looking at a property online works better than anything else
“We had to grab people's attention and we used video as part of our pitch.
“It very quickly worked because it built up thousands of views on our YouTube channel and people identified us as being different.
“It also put our names and personalities out there so people realised we are a transparent, honest brand because you don't put your faces and name on marketing unless you are out there being credible and reliable.
“Without the video, I don’t think we would have had as much exposure”.
Jordan was more of a natural in front of the camera, Leanna says, whereas it took her a few tries to grow in confidence. Thankfully she was able to get some top tips from Jordan’s sister, BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan.
Leanna said: “I think for Jordan it probably came naturally as he has done lots of videos previously whereas, for me, the first one was quite awkward and I have had to learn the new skill and get more confident.
“But it was important for me to be the face of the business - there are a few funny outtakes though.
“My mum and dad watch all the videos on YouTube”
Jordan added: “Gabby gave us some good tips on what to do which were useful because it's now formed a big part of our presence in the market and what people know us for.”
The video aspect of the business is not the only thing that has differentiated them from other agents. Part of what they have become known for is their tailored approach to each property and personal service they offer to clients.
Jordan said: “Every vendor and every property is different therefore one of the things we offer is that we don't have a blueprint.
“We tailor every single property to the marketing campaign.
“Most agents go into the evaluation and tell them a photographer will be round the next day. We will do the evaluation but also give them advice and a ‘tip sheet’ on what they can do to help us sell directly, whether just removing clutter or trimming trees.
“Then we have our marketing day where we'll have all the people there to do the photography and video, and we will both be there to make sure everything is taken at the right angles and that everything is presented “
Leanna added: “We're always there, if you send an email or a call, it's not a case of 'we'll get back to you in a few days', there's always someone on the end of the phone
“It's about making them feel comfortable, talking people through the whole process, whether it's arranging a cleaner for them, helping present the house in the best way, finding removal companies, or getting something fixed in the house. We are there throughout.”
Looking to the future, the couple hopes to continue to grow the business and build on the great relationships they have built in the area.
Leanna said: “We've had great support from our business network and family which is so important for any new business.
“I think part of that is becoming part of the community and growing organically that way.
“We’ve had a very significant period in the last four months or so. It has sort of snowballed.
“In July this year, we sold £25million worth of property, which for a team of two who just became four over that period is quite a significant amount,
“We have had quite a lot of vendors who recommend us and we end up working with a relative so we seem to have built good, positive relationships with our clients.
“We always give our clients a gift on completion, but recently they’ve been coming and giving us a bottle of wine to thank us first!"
Leanna added: “We are very grateful for the support that we've had.
“Our second year is very much about cementing into place the fundamentals we’ve established. We want to carry on growing the business but in a way, we can continue to provide the same effective service.”