Meet Tom Hudson, founding partner Middleton Advisors
12th May 2016
After an early foray into the travel industry, Middleton founder Tom Hudson quickly moved into the industry that, he acknowledges, was always going to be his calling. More than a specific sector, however, the ambition that motivated him to set up Sporting Holidays Ltd at the tender age of 21, was to be in the driving seat; to run his own business.
“I was in a real hurry to have my own business,” he says. “but, at that age, it could never have been in property. This business is so much about experience and depth of knowledge and that takes time to acquire. I loved the whole process of setting up a business, creating a proposition, a product and a brand. That experience stood me in good stead when it came to establishing Middleton Advisors in 2007, but I knew fairly quickly that I would need to serve a bit more of an ‘apprenticeship’, if I was going to create a really solid, sustainable business.”
In 2002, Tom went to work for Property Vision, and quickly realised that buying was where his career lay. “It was a small, innovative business. The market was entering a period of rapid growth, and it was just a lot of fun. I loved the bespoke nature of taking on a buying brief. When estate agents sell a house, there can be negative reasons why the property is being sold. With buying, it’s never a negative. You’re always helping someone achieve a dream. And very often you’re shaping the actual dream, because sometimes I’ll know about a property which my client wouldn’t have thought about. There’s a bit of match-making involved. You’ve got to really know your client, understand their lifestyle, their motivation, their family. And you have to understand the seller too.”
Tom did the hard yards at Property Vision, kept on building his experience, his knowledge and his contact book, and when he and Mark Parkinson felt the time was right, took the plunge.
“Even though the market conditions in 2007 weren’t exactly encouraging, we did both feel pretty confident.”
“One of the first houses I bought for a Middleton client really sums up why I love being on the buying side,” says Tom. “They had initially refused to even go and see the property, but I was so confident it was the right house that I asked him to return early from a trip. It’s not about the power of persuasion, it’s about really knowing your client. And I love being in a position where our judgement is implicitly trusted – that is key to everything for Middleton.”
Having spent as long now at Middleton as any company he has ever worked for, Tom is thrilled to see all his ambitions align. “Mark and I have had the best time, building the company up. We were always clear that we wanted steady, controlled growth and now, with 14 people, we feel as though we’ve got a fantastic offering for clients who want to acquire prime property in London or the country. The team is really strong and I think much of that is because we’ve established a very clear ethos and proposition. It’s easy to explain to people at interview, and it’s always very obvious whether they ‘get’ that or not.”
“Now that Middleton is such an established and respected brand in the buying market place, our job is to keep up the controlled growth of the business, ensure that we’re keeping our finger on the pulse.”
“Having been through both scenarios, I’d rather be an experienced operator in a challenging market, than an inexperienced kid in a bull market,” says Tom when comparing his experience launching Sporting Holidays and Middleton Advisors.