Estate agency directors are used to seeing unusual CVs crossing their desks but the award for this year’s out-of-the-ordinary career goes to Chris Galley, 46, a recently-appointed branch manager at Centrick Property’s Nottingham outpost.
Chris is well known locally, although not just for his property skills. He was a professional footballer in the region between 1986 and 1993, playing for both Nottingham Forest and Coventry City, which included in 1987 playing in the FA Youth Cup winning team, the same year the senior squad also won the FA Cup.
But after an injury ended his career, in 2006 Chris set up and ran his own estate agency for four years.
He subsequently worked for Belvoir in Grantham, Bourne and Spalding and then joined Zoopla as a regional manager, where Chris says he increased the portal’s local market share from 11% to 47% in three years.
“When I left football I bought and sold a few properties so the sector has always been something I’ve been interested in,” he says.
Chris is now running Centrick Property’s recently-refurbished Nottingham city centre branch (see pic below) which has a café-style design with a bar where customers are offered free coffee, soft drinks and, unusually, beer. Chris will be managing three staff.
Centrick Property covers the Midlands, London and the South with three offices in Birmingham, another in Solihull, a London outpost plus Chris’s Nottingham branch.
The company also has several awards to its name and recent wins include Gold in last year’s Negotiator Awards for West Midlands Agency of the Year.
“The Nottingham market is strong at the moment and lettings is doing well – the only problem we have, like many other agents around the country, is that stock levels of homes for sale are low,” says Chris.
“My challenge in the coming months is to grow our market share in sales, so I’m going to be busy. But I love working in property – I can’t imagine doing anything else now.”
Chris hasn’t left football for good. In his spare time he is Director of Football at Real United in Nottingham and still has many friends within the city’s considerable sporting community.