London House

The Knowledge

Interview with Founder, Alex Bourne

May 24th 2024

This month we speak to one of our founding partners, Alex Bourne, for a unique edition of The Knowledge.

1. Let's start from the very beginning. Can you tell us about your experience in prime central London real estate, and the path that led you there?

I grew up in a family that worked within property. My father has been in the industry for over 40 years, and I started off working as an actor. To support my acting career, I was seeking out off market deals and acquiring properties for people. My acting gave me vast opportunities to meet lots of people and allowed me to connect them with properties. After acting for so long I decided that working with property was what I wanted to focus on, it was a natural progression. Richard and I were friends from our acting days, and he was already working within the industry. He encouraged me to join him at the company he was working for, and it was there that we discussed starting own business - we thought the industry was still in the dark ages. We both felt strongly about building relationships on trust rather than seeing clients as a transaction. We were determined to change the way people perceived the luxury property market and believe we have been successful in doing that at London House.

2. What is your ethos and approach and how is this now reflected at London House?

Our ethos is all about honesty, listening, trust and discretion. I enjoy following a client’s personal journey when purchasing or selling a property. I think this is also reflected in the team here at London House, who don’t necessarily come from a property background, but have a vast wealth of life experience and know how to build lifelong relationships. People sell to people; people sell the property, and our team is great at this.

3. London House is featured on Netflix’s Buying London. What is your favourite part of the show?

Showing off London and being able to showcase our clients’ properties was a joy. I loved that we could share a glimpse of what our days are like, as no day is ever the same. Showcasing my relationship with Daniel and the other agents on the show was also a really fun opportunity.

4. Has your career as an actor enabled you to empathise and understand your client base on a deeper level?

What drives me the most is meeting amazing people from all walks of life and being involved in their lifestyles and passions. It’s a privilege to do this and connect with people on an emotional level. Buying or selling a property is a really vulnerable time for most, so these relationships are key, and we often end up becoming friends with our clients at the end of the process. Regardless of people’s wealth, we are all the same.

5. How do you come to understand the client and their needs, to make sure they are purchasing the property most suited to them?

It’s a process of listening to their requirements and asking plenty of open-ended questions. People don’t always end up buying what they were looking for originally, so listening intently is key. It’s important to understand what their driving points are, what they want from the property and the lifestyle they aspire to. We sometimes have to show properties that aren’t completely perfect, but it does help us to understand more about what the client wants and ultimately, gain their trust.

6. Tell us about the scope of your little black book of contacts?

I don’t shy away from meeting people, so my contacts book is very wide ranging. I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life. I learnt very quickly from the acting world that everyone is important, whether they are makeup artists, set designers, or playing the lead. You learn something new from every single person you meet, and you never know what opportunities can arise from speaking to them and treating them how you wish to be treated yourself. I once read a book “The Celestine Prophecy” it said, “everyone that comes into your life, comes into your life for a reason” and this is always in the forefront of my mind.

My London - Area – Marylebone

Favourite coffee shop: I love Monocle on Chiltern Street

Favourite restaurant / or somewhere you are keen to visit: My all-time favourite restaurant is The River Café. I am really eager to visit Arlington in St James. I’m so inspired by Jeremy King and have a lot of admiration for the way he runs his restaurants. The level of service he provides is beyond exceptional and everybody is made to feel like the most important person in the room. I aspire to provide the same level of service at London House.

What three words would you use to describe your area to someone who has never been:
Cosmopolitan, fashion, food.