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6 months in to becoming a Lettings Negotiator with Sewell & Gardner

It has been a little over six months since I first stepped through the office door and into the role of a lettings agent.  I have to say that the transition from working in the busy and physically tiring life of a nightclub barman, with awkward hours and no set routine, has been difficult to say the least.  That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed every minute of it!   The feeling I get when successfully matching an applicant to their ideal property, through to handing over the keys on move in day, is something that gives me real pleasure.

Letting Negotiator traineeIn my short time here I have felt myself grow into a very tight knit team, all of whom have been very patient and helpful.  Julia Pennell has had the task of teaching me the lettings process, from registering an applicant, to conducting a viewing, to negotiating an offer between the applicant and landlord, through the referencing stage and general administration work including tenancy preparation and onto the tenant moving into their new property.  This, along with all the office jobs such as printing out the property lists, changing the window cards, (I would say making the tea but I am not very good at that!) is what I do on a day-to-day basis.  I have had the pleasure of watching Ben Smith, our fabulous lettings valuer, speak to landlords and investors, so I am always listening, learning and taking tips, so that I can one day walk into a valuation on my own and be able to give advice on any aspect of lettings and hopefully take a property on to the market.  I’ll leave that to Ben for now though!

After a couple of the team moved away to pastures new,  I was forced to become much more independent, something that came a little sooner than I would have liked. The launch of the 24 brand new investment flats at The Met Quarter development in Watford came right in the middle of that phase, meaning double the amount of work and only half the amount of staff to handle it.  This was a lot of pressure and was becoming a little bit too much for me to handle, although I did manage to break the company record by agreeing the most deals in a month ever!  Thankfully, however, we have a superb team, almost all of whom are ARLA qualified, who all pitched in to help me out.  Reagan Bradley, our head of management, was especially a great support for me, not only taking on the bulk of the administration work for all of the met quarter properties (on top of her own workload), but also giving her time to teach me more about the legal aspects of the job.  Without this support from my colleagues I would almost certainly have drowned…  But working under pressure in a hugely busy environment is part and parcel of my role, and coming out the other side we have two new starters in the lettings team, Lucy Attwood and Hannah Matthews, so I have found myself a more confident individual and am no longer the new boy!  I genuinely feel as though I am a fully fledged member of staff and I am even helping the new girls when they have questions about the legal side of things!

In the coming six months leading up to the end of the financial year I will be working and studying hard to pass my ARLA exams, once again Reagan has kindly offered her time to guide me through these.  This is something that I am very excited for and cannot wait to get cracking on and become a licensed member of the lettings governing body, something to be really proud of.

I am thoroughly looking forward to the coming weeks, months and years as I look to pursue a career that this time last year had not even crossed my mind.  Thank goodness it did!!!