Russell started his first estate agency in 1976 based in Leeds City Centre. After 3 years he was the first agent to move out to the suburbs and over the next few years opened 3 more branches. In 1987 he sold out to Royal Insurance, who owned William H Brown, and became their regional MD responsible for 65 branches, gaining much experience in running a bigger businesses in the process. Russell left in 1990 and in 1991 founded Manning & Company covering North Leeds, and in 2000 merged with Staintons to form Manning Stainton. The business now employs over 200 people, operating from 19 Sales and Lettings branches, and 3 specialist departments, including Mortgages, Conveyancing and Auctions, across Leeds, Harrogate and Wakefield. The Company, which has an annual turnover of over £10m, is widely recognised as one of the top 20 leading independent agencies in the UK and has won a multitude of National Awards including Northern Estate Agency of the Year 3 years in a row.