When and how did you start working in the property industry?
Having worked in the Banking Industry for 20 years to Area Sales Manager level, I decided to have a career change and took a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. I did some HR work for then Halifax Estate Agents and found I had a great desire to get involved. I was invited to apply for an Area Managers role in Chris Stonock’s North Region and jumped at the chance. I went on later to run my own Estate Agents and Lettings business which I sold last year and re-joined Chris Stonock as a Valuation Manager in Chester Le Street in early 2015.
What is your current role and what does a typical day entail?
I am a Valuation manager and I love it! My days are varied and consist of a whole range of tasks and exciting missions. I start in the morning thoroughly preparing for my appointments for the day, carrying out research about the history of the property, about the local market, about similar properties we have sold and about the client’s needs. I also upload all properties I have put on the market the previous working day – including using software to maximise picture quality, prepare a floor plan and type up the property details and specifications. I blend these together to create a brochure and upload all details to around 40 websites which we use across the world and share details with our 300 offices throughout the country. In the afternoon and early evening I am then out to more properties and to meet the clients to discuss their moving needs.
What sells a property?
First of all, experienced and highly enthusiastic people - Nicky, Julia and Sophie in our office are brilliant at finding buyers. Secondly, excellent photographs - we use a tripod to keep the camera still and we take 5 images of EVERY shot to blend together for the best photograph you can get. Thirdly, correct pricing – we use comparative data, statistics and a superb knowledge of the market BEFORE we go out to see a property so we know the market inside out and that is important. Overpriced properties do not sell. Finally, Vendors using advice on how best to stage their property – a clean tidy and well-presented property sells much easier!
What advice would you give someone preparing their home for a valuation?
De-clutter – get rid of anything you have not used in the last 12 months! The rooms look so much better, so much bigger the less there is in the room. Decorate with neutral colours any rooms where there are bad scuff marks or imperfections on the walls. Don’t change anything other than that if you want to sell, as you are probably wasting money and it might not be to a buyers taste.
What are the three most important things people hoping to buy should think about when looking at a home?
- Go with your heart – it’s usually right!
- Is it in the right location for you?
- Remember you are going to have to compromise on some things – it’s very rare to find the absolutely perfect home initially – you will make it your perfect home as long as 1 and 2 above are in place
What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt working in this industry?
This industry is about relationships not properties. People like to be treated with respect, with experience and knowledge of the local market. Vendors and buyers like support when they need it and we will give the all the support they need to move home.
In three words, how would you describe your time at Your Move Chris Stonock so far?
I love my job, I love the business and I love Chester Le Street. I like the busy-ness of this office, I like being No.1 in the Town and we are well placed to drive our business even further forward in the future.
If money were no object, what would you splurge on for your home?
I would love a paddock for my Yorkshire Terrier!!! He might be small but he loves grass and he would love a run in a paddock!!!
The best thing about living in the North East?
You are just so close to everything you could want – rolling hills, the seaside, great shopping places, towns of historical value and if that’s not enough you are on the doorstep of a major Motorway north and south, the main East Coast train line or a world class Airport. – It’s the perfect place.