What inspired you to get into the property industry?
My passion for property investment began during my time at university, when my sister set up Home Let in 1989. The moment I graduated and started my first job, I began saving up for deposits for flats. I saw property as a great way of achieving financial freedom. After I had bought my first few buy to lets, I met John. Together, we’ve been investing in property since the late 1990s. At the time I had my daughter Eva, 18 years ago, I was working long hours in corporate. It was a turning point, and I made the decision to move into property on a fuller scale, following my passion and also allowing me the flexibility to take care of Eva.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
Meeting the most amazing people and helping them move to the next step of their lives. Allowing them to move on their own terms, it’s so rewarding. You meet a lot of people who are looking to downsize, but it’s all about the timing. Leaving it too late can compromise the experience of moving home. Really, it’s about more than a new house; these are pivotal life changes. There’s a sense of future-proofing to moving, so it’s really rewarding to see people making transitions in a calm and considered manner without change being forced upon them.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing estate and letting agents at the moment?
Lack of supply. People want to move home, but often, they can’t find the home they want to move to. Trying to convince these homeowners to bring their property to the market with confidence is the biggest challenge.
If you became the Housing Minister for a day, what would you change?
I’d like to change the process of buying and selling. I’d seek to provide buyers and sellers with more certainty in order to take the stress out of the whole process. For instance, conveyancing seems to be taking more time at the moment than ever before. I’d like to streamline this service and provide movers with more certainty in order to reduce stress.
What makes the perfect home for you?
High ceilings, period elements, clean lines and a nice view of water or the countryside, in a village or central location. The meeting of period and contemporary can be done seamlessly now and can work so well. The combination of space, light (both natural and ambient uplighting), quality materials (right down to the light switches and sockets), nature (flowers inside or a view of the garden) and decoration.
After a long working week, can you describe your average weekend?
Definitely champagne, definitely on a boat on the River Dee and definitely family. Lots of family time, and probably quite a bit of work!
What is your property prediction for 2022?
I predict lots of cash buyers. I think we will see a continuation of the current trend of a lack of homes to buy, and that demand will continue to outstrip supply. I hope people can find the confidence to bring their properties to market and find their next home. Sometimes people are looking for a particular property, our VIP service helps them to source that property. We help to find that specific home. This can allow people to come to the market with the confidence that they can find what it is they need.