Building on the local knowledge of experts in each branch office holds the key to creating worthwhile relationships between estate agents and developers.

That’s the view of Siobhan Staunton, who has just started work as head of new homes for
Marsh & Parsons in London.

Siobhan, who is based at the office off Kensington High Street, has good connections, coming from the developer St George, and having previously worked for Ward Homes (part of Barratt) managing the marketing of luxury developments in London.

She has also worked as an estate agent area manager, with clients including St James, Crest Nicholson and Shanly Homes.

Welcoming the appointment, Marsh & Parsons said: “Siobhan brings invaluable experience and knowledge of working in prime areas of the capital, and I am looking forward to seeing our new homes department continue to go from strength to strength.”

Siobhan herself said she has always loved the “vibrancy and diversity of London property”, in particular the fast-moving new homes market, from consultation at the development stage though to the purchaser moving in.

The success of the developer/estate agent relationship is, Siobhan believes, offering informed advice about market needs and pricing levels.

“What is worth building varies from area to area, even within the same postcode,” said Siobhan. “Our branches feed back to me; they know what there’s a need for. I have a fairly good idea for most areas, but our negotiators actually chat to people, and know what people are asking for.”

Among the Marsh & Parsons new-builds currently on the market are Southville, a project of 10 high-spec two and three-bed apartments in SW8, overlooking Larkhall Park near Battersea Power Station.

Opportunities in Chelsea are limited because of the lack of sites, but Siobhan knows new opportunities will appear, even though Kensington & Chelsea Council has secured one of the few opt-outs from a relaxation of rules governing the conversion of redundant offices to flats, announced last month by planning minister Nick Boles.

“We’re determined to cut away unnecessary burdens and paperwork and provide a simpler, swifter planning system for all,” pledged the minister in a clear indication that the government aims to create more openings for developers.

“The difficulty in London is that there isn’t enough space, so people have to think outside the box,” said Siobhan, who lives in Clapham.

Marsh & Parsons has its Chelsea branch at the junction of Rawlings Street and Milner Street, SW3 (020 7591 5570).

Picture - Siobhan Staunton, head of new homes