The headquarters is right next to The Monument, the 200ft high memorial to the Great Fire of London, and it’s a fitting setting for Beeny’s monumental ideas.“We wanted the office to be in a really inspiring place that kind of says a lot about us,” she says.
Despite her tawny mane, blue eyes and a neat figure that seems perfectly formed for the baby pink leather jacket she’s wearing, Beeny is no media diva.
It doesn’t mean it’s more work.“There are efficiencies you could make, giving a customer a better service, and that is what we are trying to do: give a top-quality service for a reasonable price.”Online estate agencies still only account for five per cent of the homes sold in the UK but more than 70 per cent of us are aware of the option to buy or sell online and 39 per cent have recently indicated that they are likely to go online for their next house sale.“It is such a fast-growing business.
For the past year we haven’t had time to breathe so moving to this central office is a real gear change,” says Beeny.
Are you going to be crushed by your failures in life? Or are you going to say, ‘I’m going to get on with the next thing?
’ All the way through life you’re going to have things that you fail at and disappointments.
No one wanted it and it was empty for 10 years, and now it is one of the biggest employers in the area.“It has a future and is a profitable business.”Since meeting her husband when they were both in their late teens, Beeny has followed an enigmatic career path including a window cleaning business and sandwich business.
Like many overachievers, Sarah Beeny is very hard on herself. Every day you disappoint someone and yourself by not quite managing to do what you meant to do.
It’s just a matter of who it is.”Sarah and her artist husband Graham Swift own a string of businesses – they’re property developers, owners of online estate agency Tepilo, dating website mysinglefriend.com, wedding and events venue Rise Hall and a home interiors range.
Beeny lives in Streatham, south west London, with her husband and their four sons aged seven, eight, 10 and 12, who are already showing an interest in property and her television work.“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” suggests Beeny, and that’s true for her, too.
Her father was “a practical architect” and she explains: “I was brought up with a peripheral understanding of planning and of a practical level of how you build.”It was Beeny’s father who provided the inspiration for Tepilo’s name: “Dad used to tell us stories when we were little, really bizarre stories about monkeys eating chocolate, and one was about Tepilo Castle where knights lived,” says Beeny, whose mother died of breast cancer when she was 10.