Several years ago, when I was first old enough to work, my mum gave me a job at her company Parkheath Estates helping out in the lettings office. She’d give me the odd jobs that needed to be done but weren’t specifically anyone’s responsibility; I’d do leaflet delivery or filing, and eventually I took up a regular Saturday job doing all sorts of administrative tasks and making sure that the lettings team had all of the paperwork stocked up and organising anything they needed. Over the next 7 years I was introduced to various aspects of the business, including accounting, marketing, management, and I even trained as a lettings negotiator, which was great when I could work during the school holidays and earn extra money.
During my first year of university, I was living in Central London, so I was lucky to be offered a transfer to one of the other Parkheath franchises located in West Hampstead, where I stayed for 12 months and manned the office (usually single handedly) on Saturdays. When I moved back to Watford the following year, when I purchased my first flat, I was lucky to pick up where I left off and regain my Saturday job. However, now I was going to be working in the newly branded Sewell & Gardner office, because the Parkheath franchise had finished. It was great to return to my familiar team, they all offered me the warmest of welcomes which was tremendous.
Since the company re-branding, I’ve been a part of the growth of Sewell & Gardner and have had the pleasure of being involved in the enormous success the company has achieved. We all celebrated 10 years of Estate Agency in Rickmansworth in April 2012, that same month the Lettings & Sales Teams won 3 awards at the ESTAs and the following month, Lettings won a Gold Regional award and a Bronze Customer Service Award at the Lettings Agency of the Year (Times & Sunday Times) ceremony. To finish off 2012 the sales team won big at the Estate Agency of the Year Awards, taking home Best Small UK Estate Agency and 4 other awards and having been involved with the company for so long, and been a part of the Sewell & Gardner family (both metaphorically and literally) I could not be more proud of where they have come from, where they’ve reached and where undoubtedly they’ll be headed next!
Recently, I was invited to attend the 2013 Lettings Live Seminar and Lettings Agency of the Year Awards, which made a significant change from following the events unfold over Twitter, as I had done previous years! It was an incredible experience, and as much belief as I have in our company, I was still in complete awe at how much we achieved on the day; six awards including the Overall Lettings Agency of the Year, I’m not going to lie, there were a few tears! There is no doubt in my mind that Sewell & Gardner deserve all the praise that they get and that was proven by how many other agents, including our local competitors, offered their kind words following our win.
Even though I will most likely not remain in the industry (as I’m training to be a doctor), I will always consider myself part of the company and will continue to follow their success for many years to come. I value everything that the company has given me and all the skills I’ve learnt, including those specific to the trade and those that I will be able to utilise in any career path I take.
I feel extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to work for what is now one of the best businesses in the UK, and I’m sure I will treasure my Saturday job experience forever.