In the beginning...

September 1982
A property legend is born….

In 1982 a spotty 16 year old boy called Stephen Burns left his working class home in Rochdale and took his first ever train journey to Folkstone in Kent and joined the Armed Forces.

Five years later, the same albeit much more mature and decorated young man, began a career in Estate Agency in Bury, Lancashire, with a highly regarded multiple office independent firm.

Over the ensuing few years, Stephen literally flew up the promotion ladder and worked in both corporate and privately-owned firms at the highest level. Picking up qualifications along the way, he really was at the top of his game. Already he had made his mark…

February 1996
The early days…

Valentines Day of this year was the start of Stephen Burns the legend. Just him and one team member worked tirelessly to prepare the company’s first floor office, right in the centre of Bury.

Well, it seems it was just what the property minded public were after. Within weeks the company, aptly named Stephen Burns & Co, had a massive selection of properties for sale and were already ringing the sales bell regularly even in those very early days.

Service was the key. Within a few months a prime high street office location became available and the move was made. Now they were really on the map.

May 1997
The signs of things to come…

With encouragement from clients, the company entered the most prestigious competition in the estate agency business. The NAEA Awards that year received over 18,000 votes from clients of agents all over the UK.

The company received notification to attend the awards ceremony together with 57 other finalists. The ensuing result was something which still remains Stephen’s proudest moment.

Yes, the company took the regional title, but out of all the UK regions someone had to be crowned overall winner. He took that crown – Best Residential UK Sales Office.

January 2000
Onwards and upwards…

The drive and commitment continued and over the next few years the company grew massively. By the turn of the millennium, the company had three branches, in Bury, Holcombe and Ramsbottom, a team of over thirty people and every property related service imaginable was available for clients.

Service remained at the forefront of growth and being able to maintain this whilst operating a large multi-disciplined estate agency was the key to Stephen’s continued success. The company was rebranded in 2003 and became Burns McBriar & Hall, reflecting the names of colleagues who had helped to take the company to its current status.

March 2003
Lights camera action…

The continued success of the company attracted great attention. Yes, the competition were always looking in from afar, but that was fun. The company, however, was of great interest to the media. This working-class lad had created an enviable reputation and why? Because his hard work and commitment was revered by his peers.

In 2003 ITV appointed film crew were given full access to the company for over six months. The result was a highly rated TV series entitled Viewing Recommended, which meant anyone who did not know the company now did! The star of the show of course was the driving force, Stephen Burns, who then became in high demand not only as an estate agent, but also as an expert and presenter for all the major TV companies across the UK.

However, Stephen did not settle with the sushi loving media types and took a back seat from the spotlight in order to concentrate on his first love – property.

November 2004
Out of the spotlight…

One thing that was missing during these glory years for Stephen was sufficient time spent with his family. Work had taken its toll and the huge decision was made by Stephen to leave the business and spend some time out of the spotlight. Burns McBriar & Hall continued under the ownership of the original employees until they decided to sell some time later.

In addition, Stephen is proud a number of new estate agencies and lettings companies have since appeared in the town, headed by former employees. He certainly taught them well! Still very much active in the property business Stephen discovered the internet and established the very successful on-line estate agency Suburban Investor, which specialized in the growing area of property investment. This behind the scenes experience allowed for two things.

To test the ability to sell property from an on-line base and spend time out of the public eye with his wife and four children. Those ensuing years proved a balance can be found. Service can be provided to an exemplary standard whilst enjoying life in general.

July 2014

An unexpected call from his old business partner, seeking holiday cover, made for the next chapter. Stephen was invited to join a small, newly formed broker in the summer of that year and never looked back. The firm, rebranded soon after as Adapt, became quite simply, the best broker in the country.

Winning award after award and completing hundreds of millions in lending across bridging, refurbishment, development and commercial facilities, the small team of just six broke all records and remain as one of the most highly regarded brokers in the UK today.

Adding the financial ‘how to’ was the last piece of the personal jigsaw to be able to offer each and every skill required to guide entrepreneurs to unequalled success in a property career.

March 2021
Oh Corona…

Well, what a year 2020 was!

The Coronavirus pandemic hit the world and changed everything about our daily lives.

Everything involving property was decimated, so Stephen spent most of his time helping clients find a way through. Now, with light at the end of the tunnel, there was no better time to pick up the baton, get positive and start running again.

So, all in all, Stephen is doing the same. Still working alongside Adapt, funding everything from auction purchases, HMO’s, conversions and new developments up and down the UK.

He’ll see you on the other side!

January 2022
New Year, New Resolutions…

It’s usually a diet, stop smoking, drinking or something else you’ll never maintain. But for Stephen, it’s really positive!

The pandemic and subsequent restrictions on social interaction, travel etc, meant the Adapt office was locked down and they all had to get used to working from home. It was great at first, but as a people person, for Stephen, it soon wore off, then it became a chore. Anyway, things needed to be done, so a ‘chin up and get on with it’ approach meant it eventually became the norm and now all the team really enjoy it and the business functions as well as before.

Working from home may not be for everyone, as the discipline to work has to be the base, but if you get it right, Stephen found it improves both your work and home roles and business levels seem stronger than ever. So Adapt remains, but each of the team now operate independently, using a central hub to coordinate and process cases, plus explore other ventures with the time saved commuting.

December 2022
Bigger Can Be Better…

Eight years since inception and Adapt is a well-respected, multi award winning company, with a large client portfolio and offices in both London and Manchester.

Expansion over the last few years had been choked somewhat, by global events and more recently a potential global recession but Adapt decided the time was right and have partnered with AHCI, one of the country’s largest new home warranty providers, and formed AFIG to run alongside both of their existing businesses from early 2023.

AFIG will service the financial requirements of new home developers up and down the country, increasing the much needed housing stock for our population.

Exciting times ahead.

The rest will become history…