Dominic Wertheimer Interviewed After Dubai Trip
Private Client Dining Club interviews Dominic Wertheimer
Lornham is an independent multi disciplined property consultancy with its Directors having over 30 years experience in the Central London property market. Dominic Wertheimer was one of the first buying agents who recognised that there was a niche in the market to encompass a property management and private office service within the company offering which has led to the company building longstanding relationships with both homeowners and property investors. We sat down over a coffee to find out more.
PCD: You run your own property services business for HNW clients, what made you start Lornham in the first place?
DW: I always wanted to start my own business and it started off the back of a client whose trust I had earned. He had recently acquired a rather large and public facing business in the sports world and needed a safe pair of hands to be his eyes and ears. The responsibility came rather quickly as he added that he just purchased a substantial home and could I look after it. When you find that home has a bigger dressing room than your flat and 2 cinemas along with a pool and a gym you learn rather fast!
PCD: What is the best aspect of running your business?
DW: The excitement of building a Company by way of a long term project. I work harder than I have ever done in my life – often working 6 days a week – but thoroughly enjoy the role and especially the interaction with people; one day I can be at a client meeting in Dubai and the next I could be back in London speaking with a plumber.
PCD: You run Lornham with your brother Rupert, how did you come to work together?
DW: We started our careers in the same company, Chancellors. I was in Sales in St. John’s Wood and Rupert in Lettings, Richmond. We then both worked in various property roles before I founded Lornham and Rupert joined 3 years later. My background was very much transactional (Property Sales/Acquisition) and private client focused whilst Rupert was more experienced in Lettings and Property Management. Before joining Lornham Rupert’s most recent role was leading a team for an independent block manager so he started our block management business which has really grown in the last 3 years.
PCD: How do you perceive the difference between the Lornham offering and those of larger brand name providers?
DW: Between us, Rupert and I have over 30 years’ experience and Laura, our newest member of staff, came from the Portman Estate. Therefore, though we may not have a large brand, we can certainly assure clients that we are competent. Rupert and I are client facing and, though we have a team behind us, we ensure that clients can always speak directly with one of us. It is the personal touch that is most important.
Many clients have become fee sensitive over the years, and that is why our fees are fixed so the client always knows where they are.
We also invest in long term client relationships. One of our clients is from Hong Kong and, having started with 1 property, we have since helped him build his portfolio to comprise over 10 units. Last year I made a personal visit to see him in Hong Kong. There was no expectation of additional business but it re-enforced that we like to see our clients and continually build on those relationships.
One of the areas in which we have seen growth is property management on behalf of the trust companies and, again, we usually visit Jersey and Guernsey each year to sit down with the Trust officers. Email, WhatsApp or even WeChat (for China!) are great modern business tools but in our opinion will never replace a face-to-face meeting.
PCD: What is your favourite destination for business travel?
DW: Dubai. It is a very easy place to get around and most contacts are located within the DIFC. There are also some nice restaurants to relax in at the end of the day when work is over.
PCD: What do you like to do outside the office? On a weekend, PCD members are most likely to find you …
DW: Panting around a Squash Court in Barnes followed by church on Sunday, ideally sandwiched with a nice meal out in between. Rupert usually cycles out to the Surrey Hills in preparation for an endurance race.
If readers would like more information about Dominic Wertheimer, please visit www.lornham.com or give him a call on 020 77244777
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