Marc Schneiderman

I embarked on my property career at the very young age of fifteen. It was the summer before A levels, and a family friend who owned a well-known estate agent took me on to help out in their head office. The offices were a beautiful stucco building in Manchester Square, off Marylebone High Street. I was photocopying, sorting out the post, answering phones and taking lunch orders. Just before I was due to leave and return to school, the two managing directors asked if I might like a full-time job. I weighed up the options of going back to school or not, and quickly decided to say yes to the job!

Some months later, I was offered the opportunity to work in one of their residential sales offices in Bayswater. I spent a couple of years there and absolutely loved it! I knew that I wanted to do this for the long term, and do it well. So, I called up a West End firm that I admired and that was well-known in the top end of the market, to see if they had any positions. Luckily, they did, so I joined their team, and spent six and a half years there, gaining invaluable experience in the luxury market. So much so, that I felt confident enough to set up my own business – Arlington Residential. A funny story is that I had to choose a name fast, so I ran my finger down the A-Z and as you can see, landed quite quickly on Arlington!

That was 1994, and I had a clear vision then of what type of business I wanted to create which remains unchanged to this day. I operate from a single office in St John’s Wood which is an early Victorian three-story house with a garden. I purposely avoided having a shop window on the high street, as it didn’t align with my aim of creating a boutique agency. I have a small team, and we focus exclusively on certain price points and areas, successfully carving out a niche in the top end of this market. We haven’t grown so big that clients meet me and then are passed on to more junior members of the team. I’m still very involved and available.

Another factor contributing to our success is our discretion. Early in my career, I might have thought that shouting about my sales was a way to generate business. But I realised that the opposite is true in this market. Handling high-end properties means that on a very frequent basis, I am in contact with people who are well-known in the world of business and entertainment. Maintaining their privacy is paramount and I pride myself on discretion and confidentiality.

We have had the privilege of managing the sales of some truly remarkable properties. My favourites tend to be the historical homes with large grounds, hidden from view. They are often passed down through generations, so rarely come on the market and are steeped in art and heritage. We work with breathtaking modern mansions as well. We have seen so much variety!

Over the last 30 years, we have also seen a lot of changes. One huge shift has been the profile of buyers in north-west London. Now over half of the transactions we’re involved with in Regent’s Park, St. John’s Wood and Hampstead are to overseas buyers, with the demographic constantly changing. We’ve sold to over 90 different nationalities!

Technology has also drastically sped up our ways of doing business from when I started. Social media allows us to reach tens of thousands of would-be buyers in seconds. But it has also taken away the anonymity of buying and selling. You can find who owns what and who paid what with a simple search on the internet.

Then, Covid further changed the way we conduct our business, including my own working habits. Interestingly, I believe the impact of Covid will allow me to happily continue working for many years to come. I am not considering retirement at all. I now have a really good work/life balance and I don’t have to be in the office all the time. I can work from a laptop anywhere which gives me the freedom to pursue other interests such as boxing, golf, walking on the heath with my dog, being outdoors in nature, and going travelling with my family. I don’t need to stop working to enjoy these things!

Circle Square Member Q&A

What 3 words best describe you? Diligent. Authentic. Grateful.

If you could offer your younger self one piece of advice, what would that be? To have stretched myself and made financial investments earlier on in my working career (and not to have sold anything- stocks, shares, or properties!)

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Having three, good-natured, grounded children.

Which person (dead or alive) would you most like to invite to dinner? It would be lovely to have dinner with my 4 grandparents and to ask them all questions about their lives that I never thought to ask when they were alive.

How has age strengthened your advantage? It’s given me the knowledge to know how to deal with people and taught me the value of discretion.

What inspired you to join Circle Square? Having the opportunity to connect with a community of like-minded people.

Stay up to date

Don’t miss out on the exciting developments from Circle Square by signing up to our email newsletter.