I sometimes feel like I can never escape my job. In some ways my life is like a party – constantly on the move from one city to the next, viewing some of the world’s most exciting and luxurious properties. It’s a perfect cocktail of international travel, relationship building and negotiation.
I once described buying a property as like meeting the partner of your dreams, then breaking up, getting back together, breaking up again, finally getting back together – then flying first class to Bora Bora – and how true it is!
From an emotional point of view, when a big event happens in your life, you look to everyone and anyone with relevant experience to help guide you through the ebbs and flows of the process, whether they’re a stranger or a close friend. The same is true for buying a property, hence why I can never escape my job.
Whether I’m travelling, at a dinner party, wedding, funeral or the pub – everyone has a question or property story to share. Bearing in mind the industry is very jurisdictional, people assume I know the answer all the time. I don’t always know the innate details, but I can usually give a good overview as the theory for real estate is the same globally.
There are a couple of stand-out times I have assisted people with their property woes, and it doesn’t always benefit me from a business perspective, but I have learnt that I love to help people out where I can. I was once getting a taxi to Heathrow when it transpired the driver was really stuck on how to buy a property which was out of his budget, and his wife was desperate to make an offer. So, I spoke to the agent on his behalf – and by the time I got out at Heathrow the property was under offer. I even gave him a recommendation for a solicitor.
Once I was having my nails done and the technician was struggling to find a rental property and kept getting gazumped. I asked her how she was presenting her offer to the agents, re-jigged it for her to ensure her best foot was put forward and by the time I went back three weeks later she was happily settled in her new home.
Another time I was sitting on the Gatwick Express and I overheard the person in front of me complaining about not being about to find a property and the agents being unresponsive (same old story). I quickly struck up a conversation and, through Quintessentially Estates, we ended up buying a great house for £3.5m – you just never know who you’ll get sat next to!
In my real day job am constantly dealing with movers and shakers – business leaders and HNWIs across every time zone and the process for everyone is the same – it’s an emotional rollercoaster. This means I’m always on call and prepared to meet with our diverse and fascinating clients. The people who use our services sometimes want to stay under the radar, so there are security elements to be aware of which means we are dedicated to making sure we are incredibly discreet at all times whatever the situation.
I was reading recently that the most valuable consumer data is knowing when people are likely to touch big life-milestones, whether it is getting married, buying a house, going to university or having a baby. Being able to be part of a consumer’s choice at these pivotal points in their life is very rewarding.
The nail technician still remembers me from five years ago and I bet the taxi driver does too. I can name every single agent that I brought my properties from over the past 15 years – these are moments you never forget and if you can be kind and help someone with your experience, then why not? Property is not a 9-5 job it’s all encompassing – it’s a life choice – but a really fun and fulfilling one that I wouldn’t change for the world.