By Daniel Baron
Please can you introduce yourself, and tell us how long you have been at DeVono for?
My name’s Luke Philpott, I’m a Chartered Surveyor and one of the Partners at DeVono. I joined what was a 3-year-old, 3 person business back in 2006 and have been here ever since.
Tell us a bit about your background and family – it could be culture related, religion or anything else?
I grew up near Sandwich, Kent and attended Sir Roger Manwood’s School before leaving home for university, whereupon I met and married my wife Wahida. After 12+ years in London, we now live in Berkshire with our children, 11-year-old Sonny-Raphael and 8-year-old Imani.
What does your culture / background / religion mean to you?
It is not lost on me that I grew up with the luxury of a fairly comfortable, even privileged upbringing. I was aware of it growing up and my parents were careful in regard to how this influenced the attitudes and behaviours of my sister and I. We lived geographically close to the continent, and my school was half boarding, half day, which meant that overseas children attending as boarders brought with them a significant amount of diversity (of background, nationality, religion and race) to my day-to-day life, so much so that I grew up quite unaware of the tensions in society that these differences are capable of influencing. On the other hand, my wife grew up in an altogether different situation as an immigrant Indian via Kenya, living in Leicester. Her experiences of racism whilst growing up in the UK from the age of 3 has given me a radically different perspective of how life can be in less overtly privileged areas in a country like the UK. Our children are obviously of mixed British/Indian/African ancestry and preparing them for adulthood with the awareness and empathy of what this means for them - and for others who may be more or less privileged, and more or less empathetic than they are – is really important to us.
What was it like growing up, were you always in the UK, or did you live abroad at all?
I grew up in the UK, save for one year where I lived in France during my time at university. Life was generally good – dominated by sport in our family, which suited me just fine.
What brought you to where you are today?
Curiosity, hard work, determination, empathy and awareness.
And finally, how would you summarise DeVono in one word?
"“We are delighted have found a home at Seven Dials Warehouse and commercial real estate framework that is not just fit-for-purpose now, it enables us space to grow in the future. DeVono has helped us to realise our ambition of providing a sustainable and ‘appropriate’ long term home for the business.”"
"I must also comment that the service received from DeVono has been exemplary. In what I have experienced to be the unpleasant world of estate agency it has been a real joy to work with you. You have been driven, proactive, reliable and extremely quick and responsive. The fact that you are pleasant to work with has been a bonus. Working with DeVono has been one of the very best customer experiences of my business career."
"We’ve worked with DeVono for several years through various stages of our evolution. We’ve had to meet the challenges of COVID-19 head on including adjusting our real estate strategy. To understand our options, and how best to progress we turned once again to DeVono. They were always there, ready to guide us to ensure we got the best outcome for the business."
"With the myriad tools available to brokers, for me, the key ingredient to a successful partnership is how acutely our needs are heard and translated into action. The entire team at DeVono deciphered our ambitions with patience, pragmatism and good humour. Not only did they present options that answered the questions I had, they provided alternative directions informed by their local expertise, which, being based in the USA, was vital for me to be able to make solid, well-informed decisions. I would not hesitate to recommend."
"We have used DeVono as our property advisers for a number of years. Their greatest strengths lie in their ability to understand quickly what is required and to grasp all the relevant issues. They regularly ‘think outside the box’ and offer creative solutions to complex problems. We have no hesitation in recommending them."
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