Dunpark began in 1997 in a box room in Stockbridge. The name was inspired by a chat Emma had with her Dad on Hogmanay 1988 when he was musing about his old friend, Lord Dunpark. She didn’t know it was to be their last conversation. Many are forgotten, but Emma held this one close to her heart. Years later, when it came to naming her start-up company, ‘Dunpark’ seemed a fitting choice. Her Dad had spoken of the strength of the name, coming from the Gaelic word for ‘fort’ and it was a way for his memory to live on and to symbolise their shared legal heritage.
Starting out with just a computer, a box room and a lot of energy, Dunpark focused on letting and investment in Edinburgh. Over the next few years, the company grew through referrals and a straightforward attitude to business. Swiftly outgrowing the box room, the office moved with Emma to Bellevue Place, operating from the dining room.
Concerned about the industry’s laissez-faire attitude to tenants’ safety and the Great Avocado Bathroom Pandemic in Edinburgh, Emma saw a need to move rental properties into the 21st Century. Raising the standard, Dunpark advocated the importance of tenant safety, maximising property potential and promised above all not to bamboozle their clients with jargon.
In the early years, Emma’s husband John worked evenings and weekends, overseeing property renovations while excelling as a senior underwriter by day. Realising Dunpark’s future might be brighter with his expertise, John became a full-time partner.
As both the team and the Fursman family grew, another move was needed in 2001. Relocating the business to a large basement under the new family home gave everyone some breathing space.
Referrals streamed in and the client base grew…on to the next stage.
In 2007 a long awaited opportunity presented itself in the shape of 1 Abercromby Place, a beautiful Georgian corner building (with Harvey Nick’s and John Lewis as its corner shops). For a young business it was a risky move but with ample space to expand, the building was perfect for Dunpark’s aspirations.
From this prominent address, Dunpark flourished. With growth, a management team was recruited – Catriona for operations and Yvonne for finance. In 2012 a sister company Cairnsmore was born to specialise in renovations, maintenance and compliance, allowing John and his team to concentrate on the practicalities of property while Emma focused on Dunpark’s letting, investment and client base.
With year-on-year organic growth and managing an extensive portfolio for its worldwide client base, Dunpark has moved well beyond its box room beginnings. Holding dear to the ethical principles that have allowed the business to thrive with integrity, the husband and wife team have visions of carrying the business forward, operating in a larger geographic area and delivering more property services for clients.