I have very nearly done it all, a Leaflet Distributor (yes, one of those annoying people putting leaflets through your door... sorry!) a Sales Negotiator, Valuer, Branch Manager, Area Manager and a Senior Area Director working for a larger corporate company looking after 23 Estate Agency branches and over 200 employees.
So why would I ‘risk it all’? I can hear you saying “he must be mad, he must have been earning loads!”. Well it wasn’t bad! However, when you are working in excess of 70 hours a week, missing seeing your children go to bed 4/5 times a week, getting home to your wife having to use an extension lead from the hallway to the Kitchen to get the washing machine on because you both don’t have time to sort the kitchen electrics out - something had to change!
Don’t get me wrong, I really loved my last job - why? The people; I loved having the ability to bring a 17 or 18 year old into the business, train them up and within 3 years be able to hand them keys to running their first branch. What a great feeling! Unfortunately that wasn’t enough for me.
I met Dave Pavitt on the very first day I joined my previous company and despite his terrible dress sense (don’t worry we are working on a new wardrobe for him!) it’s safe to say we have become pretty good mates both in work and out. We think exactly the same, we both have similar ambition and the drive to succeed, but like Dave I was pretty fed up with having my hands tied with decisions I did not necessarily agree with and I didn’t agree in one cap fits all management or marketing approach.
That’s why after a few beers one day we both felt it was time to take the plunge and do it our way. It’s going to be one hell of a rollercoaster and anyone who has met or knows me will know I won’t let the team (basically my family and best mates) or the sellers and buyers we work with down!
P.S – I’ll apologise now, but you will never find me working on a Saturday morning as I coach my eldest sons U7’s football team, which is more stressful than the day job! I will be back in the afternoon though to get stuck in with team selling houses!
I knew it was time for something different when my enthusiasm for my job started to wane, which I hated as I have always loved what I do. I can truly say that I had lost my sparkle for a while. Don’t worry, its back with vengeance now! All this said, I certainly didn’t want to do anything else, so it is time to get back to the shop floor, meeting people, giving people advice whether this be about selling or buying. I have always enjoyed valuing property and as I am a pretty chatty guy I have been known to end up staying for an evening meal with sellers!
I too was an Area Manager of the same corporate Estate Agency as Chris, I too was doing pretty well and had a great team of Managers and teams working with me. I too have done all the job roles from bottom to top in both corporate and independent estate agents and predominately all within the local area. Having gone to Wilsons School, lived and worked in the area all my life, there is not a road that I have not dropped leaflets down, sold or valued a property down or more terrifyingly recently driven down while teaching my 18 year old son Jack to drive!
Some people have said we must be mad to risk everything to open another high street Estate Agency when we had such successful careers already, especially with close friends. I say they are wrong - doing the job I love with people who share the same vision, I think is a pretty exciting and smart move and I can’t wait to add to our team with people who share the goals in the future.
P.S. If you are arranging your valuation after 5pm, I really like spicy food, pasta dish or I also love a good stew! But... Sssshhhh don’t tell the wife!
P.P.S. Don’t forget to ask Chris if you see him who is best at squash!
First and foremost I am a mum and we have two beautiful (and very mischievous) boys, Finn and Ollie. Why do you care I hear you shout? I believe that being a working mum gives me crucial skills! If I can get two under 6’s out of bed, dressed, teeth cleaned, breakfast given, book bags packed, shoes on and coats on, whilst battling the fights over Match Attack swaps, listening to the latest favourite song blaring for the 10 millionth time, having 100 questions thrown at me and get in the car by 7:15am every day I can pretty much do anything.
Like my husband and Dave I have worked in both corporate and Independent Estate Agencies up to Senior Branch Manager and Director level for nearly 14 years, so I have pretty much sold every type of property going and worked with vendors and buyers in the happiest and saddest scenarios. The problem is, wherever I have worked I have always felt something was missing. What? Just to simply take the needs and wants of buyers and sellers into real consideration. Of course we are here to make money, we need to make a living, we have a young family to look after and bills to pay like everyone else, but we don’t want this to be at the detriment of how we treat other people.
I pride myself on using my two ears and one mouth to listen and communicate with our buyers and sellers, helping to make sure we are together making the right decisions for all parties, something I feel that most of the general public think an Estate Agent never does!
I can’t wait to sell properties and build a business based on great recommendation, word of mouth and success.
Check out our Giving Back page too, to see where some of the fees our sellers pay will go. We hope you will agree its nice to give back and if you know any local charities that could benefit from our support, let me know!
P.S. – If you are having Chris round to value your property in an evening, please don’t keep him too long, he has a list longer than his arm of jobs to do at home!
Having spent 22 years with Dave, listening most nights about the highs and lows of the Estate Agency world, I one day thought, if you can’t beat them join them!
I myself have a career history of working in the property sector for local housing Associations and Councils, so moving across into residential lettings and sales was an easy transition to make.
Like Becks (oops lets keep this professional) Rebecca, I am a super busy working mum of two, not so little children, Jack 18 and Georgia 16. Both our children have been to local nurseries, primary schools, secondary schools and we are about to embark on Uni life too with Jack. There is not a park or pond locally I have not spent countless hours in or road or cut through I don’t know having done the school run dash and pickups of course when the children were smaller, whereas now I am basically a free taxi service, so I consider myself the office ‘fountain of local knowledge’ guru! I have lived in the Wallington area all my life, so as local, I am proud to boast about what our great town has to offer potential tenants and buyers who are maybe not as familiar with everything the area has to offer.
I am also a ‘Team Mum’ for Georgia’s Unity cheerleading team. This takes up pretty much all my spare time outside of work, not that I have much! This important role gives me transferrable skills to bring along to the office too. Dealing with emotional teenagers makes me a master at dealing with difficult situations that in the sales and lettings world will at some point be inevitable, and I know there won’t be many scenarios I have not come across before or not be able to help suggest solutions to problems we come across.
I am really excited that we are opening our first branch in the area in which I grew up and I am looking forward to sharing both our journey building a new family business as well as the journeys of our sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants on our face book page. Help spread the word by liking and sharing our posts.
As the office local guru (self proclaimed!) keep an eye out for our Keeping it Local page, where we will be supporting other local businesses too! Butchers, Bakers but sadly no prosecco… oops sorry candlestick makers (yet)!
P.S. – Pop in for a chat I make a great cuppa and I am pretty good at chatting too!