New branch manager optimistic for the year
What is your experience in the estate agency field?
I have been an estate agent in Yeovil for over ten years, working my way up the career ladder from a negotiator to my present position of Branch Manager. I have always applied the same drive and determination to provide the right service to the customer, matching our properties to their requirements and needs, whilst giving them the best experience at the same time.
Why did you decide to take over management of the Yeovil branch of Connells?
Connells is an award-winning estate agency with a clear career structure so there are good opportunities for promotion. More specifically, I have always had my eye on this branch. I always believed it had the premier location and window space in the town to best promote properties from.
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When it came up for sale several years ago I tried to persuade my then company to buy it but Connells got in first, so I am delighted that I have finally got the chance to run and manage a great estate agency business from within this great building.
Has it been a smooth transition?
Yes, very smooth. Connells is very well-established in Yeovil and I have the backing of an excellent sales team and strong support from senior managers to help me settle in quickly.
What do you consider your key success?
My success comes from the results I achieve through the strategies and marketing methods I adopt, and I instil in the team here the importance of getting the best results for all of the customers who come into contact with my branch. Be it through seeing my vendors agreeing prices on their properties and happily handing over keys at the end of the sale transaction, to knowing that you have just found the perfect home for a buyer and watching the smiles on their faces as they excitedly collect keys for their new home, my love and passion for my job is what drives me to success. I have always worked in a customer-based environment and just want to provide the best service possible, every time.
Were there any issues that needed resolving?
Not really. But there is always room for improvement in any business, so we will be working hard to make sure we offer a first-class service and get great results for our buyers and sellers. Customer care and great communication are among our top priorities. I have brought some new ideas and strategies to the table here, but I am also lucky that the team are all very strong in both the residential sales and lettings sides of the business, and are always happy to go the extra mile to help.
How do you expect the agency to grow over the rest of 2013?
We have had a superb start to the year and I fully expect things will only get better in 2013. There is definitely a feeling of more confidence in the market. Mortgage interest rates are at an historically-low level, restrictions on lending are gradually easing and we are even seeing the return of 95 per cent loan to value mortgages, which is great news for first-time buyers. I also expect to see a significant growth in our lettings business. Keen property prices, along with low interest rates, more buy to let mortgage products and good rental yields are encouraging landlords to increase their portfolios. At the moment we have more people looking to buy and rent than properties available, so it's a great time to sell or let out a property.
What advice would you give to prospective buyers?
In today's market when there are more buyers than sellers, you need to be able to convince the vendor that they should accept your offer, rather than anyone else's, as you are in the best position to proceed. My top tip would be to see a mortgage consultant and get your finances sorted out before you find the property you want to buy, so that the seller knows you are committed and the sale is less likely to fall through because the finance isn't there.