Residential real estate search and love? Unexpected parallels!

10 Feb

Alex Newall is the Managing Director and founder of Hanover Private Office - a Mayfair based firm that manages the investment, enhancement and realisation of real estate - and a selection of other asset classes - on behalf of some of the world’s most affluent individuals. He recently met with Rachel to talk about the world of matchmaking, where she explained the parallels between their businesses.

wooden house

Rachel, tell me about your clients at Vida and why they seek your service.

We cater for some of the most affluent men and women in the world. They are typically high achievers in all areas of their lives and expect the best in everything, whether it be the home they buy or the partner they seek. 

How does the service work?

Just like with property search, our clients come to us with a specific goal: finding the right partner – someone who is truly compatible. A successful match will shape the entire future of our client, so we must get it right. At Vida, our skill and expertise as matchmakers is two-fold: firstly, we must make sure our clients understand what sort of person they would be compatible with – this is where the psychological profiling comes in. Secondly, we have an extensive ‘black book’ of over 6000 of the most eligible men and women in the world. This allows us to tap into our network and make the best introductions to each client, leading to a 80-90% success, depending on the demographic.

How specific are your clients about what they seek in a partner?

Everyone comes to us with a ‘wish list’. We take time to understand their preferences, then I bring in my expertise as a psychologist and experienced matchmaker to review and often redefine my client’s criteria. The key is to assist each client in defining their goal accurately. When it comes to a partner search, the goal should focus on finding someone with shared values and long term aspirations. Similarly, in property search, the goal should hone in on how the home will influence their lifestyle, including family time and social life. As experts we need to recognize the emotional impact of the investment our clients are making. It takes time and skill to extract the essence of what a client needs, and not just what they say they need. And of course there needs to be strong foundation of trust. 

What advice do you give your clients to increase their chances of success?

My first piece of advice to anyone seeking to make a long term and high value investment is to choose your expert carefully.  The world is rife with dating apps and property websites. These are fine for the masses who have fairly generic criteria. However, the clients at Vida Consultancy and at Hanover Private Office are in a league of their own – discerning individuals who strive for the best, and who require a personal and discreet service. It is therefore paramount to seek a specialist service that delivers at the very highest level. 

My second piece of advice is to work in partnership with your expert. I fully respect the viewpoint of my clients and spend hours listening to their individual needs so I can build up a psychological profile. My clients then place a lot of value in my interpretation of their needs, which often results in realigning, or redefining their expectations. 

Vida deals with clients all over the world. How do cultural differences impact the work you do?

It’s very important to have an open conversation about this as part of the initial profiling. Culture plays a huge role in selecting either a life partner or a home. A future life partner should have similar values; this does not mean their cultural upbringing needs to be the same, but the way they choose to live their life as adults should be aligned. This is where I explore attitudes towards family, education, health, religion etc. Culture can also impact choosing a family home, for example the layout, open plan vs separate rooms, style and location. I never make assumptions or stereotype. 


by Alex Newall

Managing Director and Founder of Hanover Private Office

Alex Newall is the Managing Director and founder of Hanover Private Office - one of the UK's leading private offices. Alex is recognised as one of the top real estate advisors in London and has some of the world's most affluent individuals as clients. He has transacted in excess of £1 billion worth of client assets and currently advises on a further £2 billion of real estate across Europe. Alex sat on the board of Charlton Athletic FC for the 2011/12 season during which time the club was successfully promoted to the Championship League. Prior to setting up Hanover Private Office, he was an Associate Partner at Knight Frank LLP. Educated at Harrow, Alex also has a degree in Business Management from Newcastle University. For further information about Hanover Private Office, please contact Alex here - by this author