#20YearsOfLiFE - LiFE Residential celebrates 20 years within London residential property market
Updated on: Oct. 9, 2020, 4:54 p.m.
We're celebrating 20 years of letting, managing and selling new-build homes for our clients throughout London. It all started in November 2000 when LiFE was founded by Managing Directors Jonathan Werth and Jason Dienaar, later joined by Director Nigel Carter in 2011. Further highlights of these 20 years include our 2014 partnership with City & Docklands, and 2013 merger with Galliard Homes, both high-profile London developers.
And what a year to turn 20! We certainly didn’t think we’d be celebrating our 20th birthday in the middle of a global pandemic. That said, it’s been an even busier time for us this year than usual, as we tried to help all of those people trying looking to make London their home. We’ve strived to provide the same service to clients that we’ve provided for the last 20 years. We’re so grateful for the continued loyalty from our clients, not just throughout the course of this challenging year, but also over the last 20 years.
LiFE came to LiFE over lunch and a glass of wine overlooking Tower Bridge between the two founders Jonathan and Jason back in November 2000. The two now-directors were introduced to each other by Gary Sacks, now CEO and Chairman of City & Docklands. They both decided they had a spark with each other, “We just clicked, there’s some people you know you can work with. And the rest is history,” says Dienaar.
LiFE began operating out of an apartment at Parliament View Apartments in Vauxhall, with just 3 members of staff, and 183 apartments in the portfolio.
“That year was fundamentally the most defining year for me, because it was the millennium, a defining year in itself, and I realised I was uncomfortable at the job I was doing and wanted to leave. I also got married that year, then about four or five months later, I started the business," LiFE Founder and Managing Director Jonathan Werth looks back on the challenge of setting up the business in the year 2000.
“It was such a rushed year that you were just getting on the with the next day as soon as one finished, making sure that you were able to get the challenges of the day out of the way.”
Our managing director Jonathan Werth sealed LiFE's first deal on 2nd November, 2000, letting a 2 bed in the Baynard Building in Notting Hill for £500 per week. Werth felt confident that he had made the right decision to start LiFE.
“The first deal I did cemented what I had thought, which was ‘I’m capable of doing this, I’m capable of doing it on my own. It was a quick confidence booster,” remembers Werth.
20 years later, we’ve grown to over 150 members of staff, 10 London offices and 2 international offices in Asia, and over 4,500 apartments across the capital and beyond in our portfolio.
20 years of dealing with new-build residential properties across London zones 1-6 has given us the knowledge we need to exceed our clients’ expectations. Whether it’s lettings or sales, our industry-qualified teams apply their knowledge to ensure our clients receive the best service possible.
Jonathan Werth has worked in the London property industry for 30 years, having previously worked for property developer Galliard Homes before setting up LiFE Residential in 2000.
“The glossy office we're in now is one thing, the fact we’ve got a successful business is another thing, but to know that I am responsible for others because of an idea I once had, that I am responsible for employing people who are able to provide for their families and themselves - that’s the biggest reward of it all,”Jonathan reflects on the success of LiFE Residential.
Jason Dienaar, LiFE Co-Founder, adds,“Every time I walk through the office and see where we’ve actually got to, I feel immense pride to where we are as a company. We have such great people working for us, such great teams and managers now. I’m really proud of all we’ve achieved. It’s all been a team effort."
We’ve also been lucky enough to partner with high-profile developers like Galliard Homes, City & Docklands, Vabel and many others. Our relationship with them has gone from strength to strength, helping us to build up an in-depth knowledge of the new-build property sector. Gary Sacks, CEO and Chairman of City & Docklands, who also played a pivotal role in the early days of LiFE, comments on the partnership with LiFE: “It’s pleasant working with them, which is the grounds of a successful business.”
In 2013, LiFE merged with the residential arm of Galliard Homes, setting itself up for years of expediential growth.
“There was never a second or an ounce of issue doing a merger with Galliard that made any of us nervous. We were able to fulfil what we’d promised with a handshake,” Werth talks of the partnership with one the most established London developers.
LiFE is better in a team
LiFE directors credit their business relationship as one of the things that has propelled LiFE forward into 2020, all still working well together and making collaborative decisions to benefit clients, the company and staff.
“We’ve always played to each other’s strengths. Jon was always more outgoing and out there, getting things let, and I was more in the back office making sure things were happening there and I think that’s what’s made LiFE successful. We kept to what we were good at and when it came together, we agreed on a lot of things because we knew that one knew better on one aspect. It turned out to be a good decision,” says Dienaar.
One of the highlights of the second decade of LiFE was when director Nigel Carter joined LiFE in 2011, bringing with him 15 years prior experience within the residential property industry in London. On joining LiFE, Carter says: “Having come from quite a big corporate background, it was quite refreshing to come to LiFE... I wasn’t looking to be a guy just going to do his job, I wanted to make a difference. I got my mojo back when I joined LiFE.”
Two decades down the line, LiFE directors continue working as one team.
LiFE in the future
Continuing to weather the challenges of 2020, Werth is sure “we’re going to come out of this period in a much more organised way, we’re very cautious but we’re very thankful and appreciative of what we have.”
As LiFE looks towards the future, Werth adds: “We’ve got a lot in the pipeline in terms of future projects and developments which are really exciting, and that will help the business to grow.” Stay tuned!
Your city. Your LiFE.
Our staff bring with them over 395 years of combined experience, so we can help you find your dream home to buy or rent, manage your property asset so you don’t have to worry about it, or get your home sold when it’s time to move on.
What’s more, the LiFE teams don’t just work in their market locations, they eat, sleep and live in them too. Our teams will bring this area knowledge to the table when helping you with all your property needs. One thing’s for sure: we know London inside out, and we’re here to make it your city, your LiFE, too.
As LiFE continues to grow, we plan to build on the 20 years of experience in letting, managing and selling new-build property, striving to provide the best service we can for our clients. Thank you to all our clients for helping us to make the last 20 years such a great success. We’re excited to see what the next 20 years will bring!