About Us

About John Couch The Estate Agent

Being an Estate Agent may start with property, but that is only the beginning, we are passionate about property and our aim is to provide a level of service beyond expectations. Under John's watchful eye, we have become one of the leading Estate Agents in the South West, our reputation allowing us to open the doors of many of the areas finest homes.

Torquay Office
43 Ilsham Road, Wellswood, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 2JG

01803 296500


Jan Cadle - Sales Negotiator

The newest member of our office team is Jan who with her late husband worked with us for many years providing professional property photography. She has superb local knowledge and much experience in buying and selling homes and has worked in marketing and sales before within starting her own business. Now she really enjoys researching new properties, meeting their owners, creating our bespoke brochures, and providing support to the sales team. Jan’s love of property stems from childhood when, much to the exasperation of her family she would regularly rearrange the furniture at her family home, she later turned this quirky childhood obsession into a qualification in interior design. Jan moved to the south west from Kent over twenty years ago when the draw of the coast and happy memories of family holidays in Torquay made the move inevitable. In her spare time, she enjoys getting out onto the coast path for a long walk, Jan is also a lifelong Agatha Christie fan and in recent years has been a volunteer at the annual Agatha Christie festival and at Agatha’s holiday home Greenway, which satisfied not only her love for the great novelist but also her passion for property.

Claire Stahlmann - Social Media Manager

Claire joined John Couch in 2015 after a year in Canary Wharf in London. Her funniest moment in estate agency to date was finding a couple in an intimate situation when on a viewing. She says she rings the bell and knocks more loudly on the door now! An artistic lady she has a degree in drama and theatre arts, has performed with Bonnie Tyler (who still talks about it!), is an excellent mimic and has won awards for the bridal headpieces which she makes in her spare time. Recently married, Claire and husband George enjoyed a wonderful Greek wedding and live in a cottage by the harbour. In her spare time, Claire enjoys long walks with her husband and their dog, Pickle. Her favourite places visited are China and Thailand.

Eileen Lovering - Sales Progressor

Eileen has worked with John Couch for twenty-seven years and fulfils the vital role of sales progressor, working hard to ensure that all parties achieve the sales and purchase outcomes they desire. Eileen particularly enjoys helping clients and customers move on to the next chapter in their lives with as little stress as possible. Her funniest moment in estate agency was when she entered what she thought was an empty property, shouted hello and got a reply back ‘Hello!’ – it was a parrot! Eileen lives in Torquay and nothing makes her happier than being with her grandchildren. She enjoys gardening, going to the cinema and seeing family and friends. Her secret claim to fame is that she was once on stage with Billy Fury and, continuing the showbiz theme, was at her brother’s wedding with Frank Carson and is friends with the Krankies who are Torquay’s resident celebrities.

Geoff Gooding - Sales Negotiator

Geoff enjoyed a successful career spanning 25 years in Asset Finance before moving effortlessly into the world of property which is something he had held a strong interest in for many years. Initially buying, improving and selling on his own account and then becoming more involved and hands on with his good friends here at John Couch. Initially Geoff was focused on specific projects but more recently his role has extended to all aspects of estate agency. Having lived in Torquay for many years, Geoff has excellent local knowledge and clients and customers, who frequently become friends, seek his advice on many aspects of living locally and property matters, long after they have bought or sold.Away from the office, Geoff enjoys Formula 1 motor racing and spending time in London.His secret claim to fame is knowing effortlessly how to get from A to B which, together with his love of London, makes us wonder if he was a taxi driver in a previous life and has done the knowledge!

John Couch - Founder

John has been in the property industry for nearly fifty years and, together with wife Susan owns and runs the business.Property is John’s passion and he always has a story to tell with a perfect memory for people and places. With so much experience of Torquay and its property market, John gets considerable pleasure from meeting the hundreds of sellers and purchasers that he has helped over the years. Still driven and ambitious, John continues to set high standards in order to maintain the position of Torquay’s leading estate agent. When asked for his favourite property tale his answer was, ‘Wait for the memoirs!’ An accomplished musician of both wind and stringed instruments, John also likes getting away on holiday with Susan and their son and family. A secret claim to fame is that as a Royal Artillery Bandsman John marched at Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965.

Lesley Clayton - Administrator

Lesley has been with John Couch for over fifteen years having worked for another estate agency previously. As secretary and PA, Lesley plays an important role handling administration for the team. She is extremely honest and says that one of the things she enjoys most is that, handling all the administration, she doesn’t have to go out in the cold and wet like her colleagues and can stay in the warm cosy office! Lesley is happily married and enjoys walking and playing with her German Shepherd (we are assured this is her dog!) and taking holidays. A mean quiz player she is also an expert at making coffee cake which is another reason that makes her extremely popular with her colleagues!

Susan Couch - Office Manager

Reliable, supportive and fun, Susan has been with John Couch for thirty years (she says she started when she was five!) and is a partner in the business and office manager. She lives in Torquay and is, of course, also married to the man himself! Susan enjoys the diversity, challenge and satisfaction of being part of a successful team. Her funniest moment in estate agency to date was suggesting viewing upstairs having forgotten that the property on offer was a bungalow! Susan describes her greatest achievement to date as her 29-year-old son and watching him become the man he is today. Susan has a passion for travel, particularly in France and she also loves musical theatre. This latter passion has seen Susan chaperone over 100 performances of the professional tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. When asked about future ambitions, Susan didn’t hesitate in giving two answers (1) Never to lose enthusiasm for my role and (2) to be French, rich and skinny!

John Couch Blog

John Couch

Christmas Wishes

Dear Santa


You might think it unusual to find a letter from an estate agent in your postbag, but things have been pretty tricky in the property world lately. We have been very well behaved all year but could do with several presents to help us in the months ahead.


1. Please give us three million new houses in 2024. Not only that, but millions more to help catch up with where we should be after years of under-development.

2. Please improve the current development and planning laws and procedures that should be far simpler and more fit for purpose. It is crucial we implement a rational, sustainable and achievable house building programme throughout the UK as soon as possible.

3. Please make the property conveyancing procedure suitable for the twenty-first century. Other countries can complete property sales and purchases in half the time we do.

4. Please may we have a Minister of Housing in the job long enough to learn what a trowel and spirit level are for? Over the past twenty years, we’ve had twenty-two housing ministers – twenty-three if you count the current minister who did the job before for just forty-eight days - hardly enough time for him to find his wellies, hard hat and high vis jacket.

5. Please help lower interest rates to make mortgages more affordable, especially for first time buyers.

6. In 1919 the British Government set out to build “homes fit for heroes”. After the banking crisis, Brexit and the pandemic with its difficult aftermath, please give us a UK government of whatever party with similar vision, ambition and resolve.

7. If you can’t do any of the above, please bring a bottle of whisky.

We know you must be very busy, Santa, so we’re sorry to ask for your help with these issues. But they are important for everyone and, we have been very good estate agents this year.

Happy Christmas

Posted Today



5 decades ago
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