The New York Minute

Interview Series: Fascinating Engel & Völkers Colleagues from Around the World

Alexander Broadfoot

Paul & Vince would like to welcome to the conversation Alexander Broadfoot from Engel & Völkers London, England.
I had a job when I was younger in the Highlands of Scotland as what’s known as a ghillie…like a hunting guide…it’s all about countryside management…It’s a planned process of maintaining a healthy wildlife population… you only ride horses. So I’d take clients out, and then we’d find ourselves in the most beautiful terrain imaginable.

Alexander Broadfoot has lived in London since 2008. Working in high-end real estate from the outset, he provides both private and corporate clients with independent property advice. Having established brokerages in London and Hong Kong, Alex’s work has taken him across Asia, mainland Europe, and the United States.

A large part of Alex’s childhood was spent living in various countries. Born in Germany and educated in Scotland, he also spent five years with his family in Kenya. He lives in Hackney with his spouse and two children.


Paul & Vince: What are the best things about living and working in your city?

Alex: Well, London is a spectacular place. It’s regularly voted a top destination and one of the best cities in which to live. And it’s got so many layers. You can see the city’s architectural history all the way through to the Victorian era, the grandeur of the Georgian age, and all the way up to the steel monoliths that we see today.

Paul & Vince: And the street grid is also left over from centuries ago, right?

Alex: Absolutely – you have these meandering paths that close off buildings, which are funny shaped at funny angles. You can walk around and see the most beautiful things from around the corner. Never take a map in London; wander around.


Paul & Vince: What did you do before entering real estate?

Alex: Well, I had a job when I was younger in the Highlands of Scotland as what’s known as a ghillie, which is a deerstalker’s apprentice, like a hunting guide. It was an incredible job to have.

Paul & Vince: Sounds amazing…Hunting in the Highlands. Is that regulated at all?

Alex: Yeah, it’s all about countryside management…It’s a planned process of maintaining a healthy wildlife population. The hills are so rough you can’t use cars – you only ride horses. So I’d take clients out, and then we’d find ourselves in the most beautiful terrain imaginable.

Paul & Vince: You must have had a lot of self-reliance at a young age.

Alex: Yes, of course, and solitude is a wonderful thing for a young man, to give him time to think. And there’s a moment when you’re just left on your own…I was given responsibility, perhaps, for the first time in my life…I think I rose to that challenge. It was a tough job, but I enjoyed it.


Paul & Vince: So, what’s happening in the London real estate market right now?

Alex: Well, like any market in the world, there’s caution, of course. But then we’ve got people ringing us up who suddenly think it’s time to start cleaning up on all these incredible deals! I tell them they are going to be waiting a long time. One statistic I love is that, in the first half of 2022, we sold more properties over 10 million pounds than we have since 2012.

Paul & Vince: That’s impressive.

Alex: And the Bank of England’s pretty much indicated that the interest rates are stable for now, so we’ve seen a new confidence in the market. Regarding legislation, a big change this year is the Register of Overseas Entities. There’s been considerable press about people investing in London real estate and hiding that money behind a series of offshore companies. To remedy this, you now have to declare beneficial ownership. And if you don’t do it, fines can be up to five thousand pounds a day!


Paul & Vince: What do you like most about your career in real estate right now?

Alex: Well, I love being around interesting people and meeting many of them in the real estate game. Of course, I love chasing the deal…figuring out that jigsaw is a lot of fun, too. But it’s the relationships you build that are most fulfilling. There’s nothing better than sharing that joy when it’s all gone through; the idea that you and your clients celebrate the victory together.

And I think we’re blessed at Engel & Völkers to have such an abundance of talent and personality…There isn’t a real estate network like it in the world.

…and one more, Just For Fun

Paul & Vince: Ok, now it’s time for our Just For Fun question. If you could have a cartoon character assigned to you as your personal assistant, whom would you choose?

Alex: Well, a childhood hero of mine from a storybook is Sir Cedric, the Knight. The book was read to me over and over again as a child. He lives in a world where they have these enormous horses, and he goes around and eats cucumber sandwiches and drinks cups of tea. He’s got his massive sword and his fair maiden that he goes on to win.  He’s a man of the people!… We’d obviously be incredible friends. [laughs]

Paul & Vince: And he will work for you, right? He’s your assistant.

Alex: Yes, but I’m friends with all my colleagues! We would ride around London on his horse. Maybe he could take pictures to fill up my Instagram feed.

Paul & Vince: Really? Do you think Sir Cedric could help you with Instagram?

Alex: I’ve met agents who have sold properties through Instagram. But it can also be validation, another way to connect with people. So, I’ll ask Sir Cedric to set up a profile like @londononhorseback. We’ll have millions of followers.

Paul & Vince: You’ll be top influencers in both the people AND cartoon world!

Original artwork by Jolisa Robinson, Gavriani-Falcone Team Marketing

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