This April we celebrate 10 years as a company.
Here’s a brief look at some of my highlights!
The brand new office in Rickmansworth opened and I moved here from Parkheath in West Hampstead, where I had been for the previous 3 years.
Our very first ad campaign saw our photos transformed into caricatures, here is my photos and how wonderful I looked in cartoon form! NOT!
The Penn Place development in Rickmansworth was brand new and the site was still being finished by Barratt homes, it was so exciting as the ‘buy to let’ market was just about to boom and our brand new office and love of lettings coincided perfectly! We have placed over 200 tenants into this development since then.
Excited about employing my first new lettings negotiator, Jenny, who remained with the company for 7 years. Not so excited about some of the ‘late nights’ we had to put in to grow the business!
Time to study for our ARLA qualifications and head up to London for ‘school style’ exams!
Things were getting better and better for the company, lots of hard work was being put in by the expanding team and it was great to have some celebratory nights out to say ‘thank you’ to everyone. This was a fabulous evening up at ‘Langans Brasserie’, I think we look quite fresh-faced!
Lettings was growing and had to move ‘upstairs’ for more space, so the office entrance expanded onto the first floor at Station Road and I became ‘Lettings Director’. Meanwhile the sales office expanded into a new office in Chorleywood.
Everything was going very well for sales and lettings, targets were exceeded, and the entire team of staff along with their partners headed off to New York for a pre-Christmas shopping and sight-seeing long weekend, courtesy of the company! Those memories will never fade.
Lettings were nominated for their 1st Award. A great excuse for a staff outing and everyone travelled in style by limosine to the Hilton in Park Lane on a cold November evening to delight in winning the Negotiator Magazine’s Best UK Lettings Office 2008.
Our first full year in the new office position at the ‘other end’ of the High Street gave us the chance to expand our team and build up a new register of clients. Who’d have known that Rickmansworth had ‘two towns in one’ with the boundary forming in the centre of the High Street around Caffe Nero’s..! You hardly ever find the same customer in the High Street branch as in the Station Road branch, it truly is bizarre…
It was also our first year as ‘nominees’ for the ESTA Awards and gave us a taste of what it could be like to WIN one of these prestigious awards. It was great to meet Phil Spencer from C4’s Location, Location, Location though!
Our first advert showing in Vue Cinema Watford where we ran between all the screens to see it shown before 8 different films! The lettings ad was based around our staff family album with pictures of the staff as babies (can you guess who we all are….???) and the sales ad had a James Bond theme.
We also held our first Landlord Forum at the office this year and were astounded by the level of support, it was a fantastic fun and informative night.
After a few years of deliberation, the decision was made to change our ‘trading name’ from Parkheath to Sewell & Gardner and the transition happened at the start of 2011. It was such a huge surprise to be short-listed for a Sunday Times Award and, not thinking we would stand a chance of winning, Alex and I headed off to Lancaster Gate for the conference and ceremony, only to return with a Gold Award for Best Single Lettings Office.
This year the lettings team organised a music event for Oxjam called ‘Chorley-Woodstock’ which was fantastic fun, hard work but incredibly rewarding to raise over £2500!
Well I hope that 2012 is just another successful rung on the ladder of our growth because it has been full of wonderful events so far! In February the Sewell & Gardner team won the Rickmansworth Annual Pancake Race for ‘Watford Mencap’ Charity and helped to raise over £8000.
In April the company won 3 prestigious ESTA Awards and in May the lettings team won a Gold and a Bronze Award at the Lettings Sunday Times Awards. There are 2 more Award Ceremonies yet to go this year, so watch this space……