James Hickman MRICS FAAV


I am a Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor and a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.

Qualifications like these might sound dull but rural and agricultural valuing is far more complex than many people think and the knowledge base is vital.

I joined Hobbs Parker in the late 1980s as a trainee surveyor and auctioneer after working in a similar role in Chelmsford, Essex

The business has changed considerably over the years but I really loved those early days.

For nearly 30 years I have specialised in the sale of farms and land, and a wide variety of rural properties, including smallholdings and equestrian properties. If it sounds like an interesting job, that’s because it is.

As a Director of The Hobbs Parker Group, I have additional responsibilities across the business, but I am often found in the livestock market discussing prices or weather conditions with our many farmer clients.

My day-to-day work takes me across Kent and East Sussex valuing properties and advising people on a multitude of different rural property types and no two rural properties are the same, it’s this variety, along with meeting so many people that makes my job so personally rewarding.

Over the years, I have sold properties in lots of different ways including by formal tender, informal tender, and auction, and use my experience to advise clients on which is the most suitable for their property. Advice on lotting is also very important in land agency to make sure that the property has the best chance of selling for the very best price. I find the method of sale can be key to generating better than normal prices.

I have been the property auctioneer at Hobbs Parker for many years, which involves not only conducting the auctions but also organising the sales behind the scenes.

I was fortunate enough to learn to ride as a child and spent nearly 25 years riding and taking part in events and point-to-points. This knowledge and experience helps me in my role as the main equestrian property valuer.

I enjoy working as part of a friendly and busy estate agency team and working closely with my colleagues in our property and planning consultancy team.

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have two small grandchildren who remind me that I am not as young as I used to be. With this in mind, I like to walk a few miles a day, weather permitting, in an attempt to keep fit.

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Outlook Summer 2017

By Sam Snart

In this edition: We look at how owners of brownfield sites looking to bring forward housing-led development could be given permission in principle (PiP) after new planning legislation came into force on 15 April, according […]

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