New chapter begins as agents celebrate 15 years

North Devon Gazette

An Ilfracombe letting and estate agent is marking its 15th anniversary amid an unprecedented demand for homes but continues to try and put the community first in everything it does.

A new chapter is unfolding for Douglas and Dean as it celebrated 15 years on February 14 as well as a move into new larger premises in Church Street and the launch of a new website.

Director Nicola Draper said she and colleague Tracey Langham have just worked through the busiest January they have ever seen in rentals and sales.

But they continue to work with prospective tenants daily to try and find them homes as well as encourage those with property to enter the rental market.

Nicola, born and bred in North Devon, founded the independent business aged just 25 after working locally as a letting agent since the age of 18.

It all began in Fore Street, but the business has seen steady growth and has put down very strong roots, now offering a full service of lettings, sales and property management.

In January this year they made a long-awaited move to their new home at Number 3, Church Street – and have been rushed off their feet ever since.

Nicola said: “There’s a huge demand in the rental and sales sector at the moment. New lettings are starting to improve, but it has been the biggest demand I have seen in my career.

“If there is anyone with an empty property or are thinking of renting it out as a holiday property, please consider letting first.

“There are many local families who live here and whose children go to school here who need housing and are able to pay good rates, but just can’t find anywhere.

“We are here for tenants too, so please do come in and register with us – we are doing everything in our power to get more properties on the books.”

Tracey helps with viewings and runs the applications and maintenance side as well as the office and Nicola said: “She is the backbone of what we do and makes it run smoothly.

“In time we will be taking someone else on and I want to give a local young person the same opportunities I had.”

She concluded: “I want to thank all my clients for sticking with me over the years to make the business what it is today – I am looking forward to the next chapter!”

If you have a property to rent or sell, are looking for property or need a new home, visit the new Douglas and Dean website at or call Nicola or Tracey on 01271 866100.