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Agent reveals how she survived brain tumour to set up successful business

Clare Hughes now has an agency with 18 people working under her eXp UK umbrella just two years after surviving life-threatening disease.

Nigel Lewis

exp clare hughes estate agent

An estate agent in London has told her inspirational tale of recovering from a life-threatening brain tumour and going on to establish a property business with 18 agents working for it.

Clare Hughes had worked for several decades for an independent estate agency in East London before being diagnosed with the tumour, which she recovered from in 2020.
After surviving the surgery, which left her with some nerve damage to her facial muscles, she then decided to return to the property industry, setting up under the eXp UK umbrella as a self-employed operator.

But Clare also says that the experience of being forced to reassess her career and ‘go self-employed’ also made her realise how during her previous career it had been so difficult to juggle family, work and leisure all for a salary lower than many of her male counterparts.

“The issues I have had with my health is the reason I am where I am today,” she says.

“Had I not had the tumour, I may have never found eXp UK and I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now.

“Before I set up my own business, I didn’t have the flexibility I needed to support my three children and excel in my career.

“In the traditional high-street models, the best leads and the ability to climb the ladder is more accessible to those who can work outside of traditional hours, which isn’t always possible for those in a caregiver role.

School run

“I’d often miss out on the best leads as I wasn’t able to get to the desk early enough after the school run.

“It was also difficult to take on a manager’s role as I could only work until 5pm, so I felt like I hit a glass ceiling early on in the high-street model.”

To tackle this, Clare has set up a Facebook page with fellow eXp agent and Propertymark President Liana Loporto-Browne to encourage women in the industry to discuss experiences of bias openly and provide support to one another, called ‘Women in Estate Agency.

Clare also recently revealed her previous experiences of working at Purplebricks during the early years, and her dissolution as it left behind its ‘exciting start-up days’.

June 8, 2022

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