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Work experience at a local estate agents

I am a 15 year old student at a good secondary school called St Clement Danes, situated in Chorleywood, close to my home.  I have reached an age where I am asked what I want to do as a career when I leave school, and so I have decided to find out as much information as I can about any jobs I might like to consider.  Being given the opportunity to do work experience made me start to think about the kind of jobs I should be considering:  Well I always love looking at nice houses and I can see myself as a sales man because I am very confident around other people and do not give up easily.  This is when I started to think about becoming an estate agent and my brother Ryan was an estate agent too, so perhaps it’s in the blood…?

Work experience in Rickmansworth estate AGENCY

So I have been conducting work experience at the Sewell & Gardner offices in Rickmansworth & Chorleywood and I have interviewed many of the staff about the reasons they became estate agents, and what they like best about their jobs.

These are the results that I have collated, see what you think:

1. What made you want to become an estate agent?

Jane Gardner I got to hear about my first estate agency job through a friend in the 1980s and I fell in love with it on day one.  Having my own agency is just the icing on the cake.
Ben Smith I fell into the job of letting agent after going for a job at a travel agency and being offered a trainee lettings role at their sister company.
Tom Solomons I fell into estate agency almost by accident, and have loved it ever since.
James Pearson I like properties and I studied design, so this is perfect.
Emily Outrim My parents really liked the idea of me becoming an estate agent.
Emily Walton I knew Alex Sewell before I started working here and I am very interested in property so jumped at the chance of a job with Alex.
Hannah Matthews I was always interested in property and I love marketing, so I get the best of both worlds in my job.
Sammy Walton I was working for a local property solicitor and I loved the idea of becoming a PA within the property sector, so getting the job of PA to the MD of Sewell & Gardner was the ideal job for me.
Amber Murray I had work experience in an estate agency and I knew from then that I wanted to be a part of it.
Sam Brown I just fell into it through a friend.

2. What did you do before you joined Sewell & Gardner

Jane Gardner I was a marketing manager @ Beecham Products  for Macleans & Aquafresh toothpaste.
Ben Smith I worked at another estate agents in Ealing, then I worked at Parkheath Estates before it rebranded as Sewell & Gardner.
Tom Solomons I worked for one of our competitors in Chorleywood, a large corporate agency.
James Pearson I had a completely different career in production.
Emily Outrim I worked at Next retail for 3 years.
Emily Walton I worked for a local magazine selling advertisement space for sales property.
Hannah Matthews I was doing a degree in Geography at Leeds University… FUN!
Sammy Walton I worked at a local solicitors.
Amber Murray I was at Notting Trent university.
Sam Brown I was studying illustration at Southampton University before joining S&G.

3. What advice would you give me if I wanted to become an estate agent? Which I do…

Jane Gardner Don’t be nervous, be very chatty and friendly and build up a network of friends.
Ben Smith Have lots of determination; keep going when the going gets tough.
Tom Solomons Be thick skinned.  Keep going even if it’s been a very bad week, things will always get better.
James Pearson Be good with people “which you are”, feel comfortable in the environment you are in.
Emily Outrim Get as much knowledge at a young age as you can.
Emily Walton Build a network of good people around you and trust them.
Hannah Matthews Don’t be scared of trying new things and don’t hesitate to make a decision quickly.
Sammy Walton Be great with people, be prepared to work hard and well under pressure.
Amber Murray Stick at it, be determined.
Sam Brown Try not to make mistakes, but if you do, learn from them.  Be good at multi-tasking, it’s a busy old job.

4. What is your most memorable moment since joining Sewell & Gardner?

Jane Gardner Winning our very first Negotiator award for Best UK Lettings Team in 2008 and then, shortly after our rebrand to Sewell & Gardner, winning the Gold Sunday Times Best Small Lettings Agent (SE) when we genuinely never thought we stood a chance!
Ben Smith Taking over the management of the lettings office, and then winning Best Lettings Branch Manager in the UK at the recent Sunday Times Awards.
Tom Solomons Agreeing my first sale.
James Pearson Winning the Employee of the Month Award for the first time.
Emily Outrim My very first sale.
Emily Walton Winning the Estate Agent of the Year awards in 2012 & 2013.
Hannah Matthews Helping to prepare and submit the Sunday Times Awards and, in particular, winning the Social Media Gold as that is a big part of my job.
Sammy Walton Being part of the opening of the new office, seeing it transform from a shell to a fabulous workspace and knowing I had a big part to play in that transformation.
Amber Murray When I passed my ARLA exams.
Sam Brown Well I have to say it was very memorable when my colleague Chris fell over in the office – luckily he didn’t hurt himself!

5. What is the best part about being an estate agent?

Jane Gardner The job is different everyday and it is always a challenge but so much fun at the same time.
Ben Smith Being totally happy in the work place and the job satisfaction from helping people to move home stress free.
Tom Solomons The buzz you get after the call from a solicitor when a property completes, and you know that people you have been working with for months will finally be moving to their dream home.
James Pearson The job is different all the time and there is never a repetitive day.
Emily Outrim Family run business so we feel like one big family and yet always get to grow as a person.
Emily Walton Everyday is different. My work mates are so friendly and nice to be around.
Hannah Matthews Speaking to people, meeting new people.
Sammy Walton Helping to organise and alleviate my colleague’s heavy schedules.
Amber Murray Everyday is different and because it’s family run we feel valued.
Sam Brown Working as a team.

6. Why is Sewell & Gardner the best place to work? Or is it???

Jane Gardner Yes it is the best place to work because it’s filled with professional, dedicated and  really nice people and is in a great location so all of our customers are fantastic.
Ben Smith Yes it is the best place to work because it feels like we are all family.
Tom Solomons Yes, it is the best place to work as I have the freedom to do whatever it takes to deliver the best possible service for my clients.
James Pearson Yes it is the best place to work because I work with the best people anyone could want.
Emily Outrim Yes it is the best place to work because it is very unique and the people are amazing.
Emily Walton Yes it is the best place to work because we feel independent and not restricted in our jobs or our career aspirations.
Hannah Matthews Yes it is the best place to work because everyone cares about everyone, fellow team-mates and customers alike.
Sammy Walton Yes it is the best place to work because everyone is friendly and loves their jobs so much.
Amber Murray Yes it is the best place to work because all the people are kind and helpful and encouraging.
Sam Brown Yes it is the best place to work because everyone feels like family and they all are so friendly.

7. If you weren’t an estate agent what would you want to do? Dream job?

Jane Gardner Own my own Bistro with great food and chilled music.
Ben Smith Play for a really bad football team (AKA Fulham).
Tom Solomons I would be a surveyor.
James Pearson Fly jets, be in the RAF.
Emily Outrim Be a Cat! No an ASTRONAUT!
Emily Walton Be a personal trainer.
Hannah Matthews Well I studied Geography at University so I guess maybe a weather girl…
Sammy Walton Be a Firefighter.. from a PA to a firefighter… right then…
Amber Murray Work in TV or be a tennis player called Andy, who knows.
Sam Brown Be a graphic designer.
Work experience at local estate agents

For a conclusion to my blog, Jane the Operations Director at Sewell & Gardner turned the tables and interviewed me about my work experience.  Here are the answers, do you think that I should pursue a career as an Estate Agent…. I do?

1.  How have you enjoyed your work experience at Sewell & Gardner?

Yes I have and I have learned lots about how estate agency works and what skills you need to handle certain situations such as hitting your targets, difficult questions or situations, getting deals through when there are lots of people involved and everyone needs to be kept in touch.

2. Was it like you expected it to be?

It was better than I anticipated.

3. Of the tasks you have experienced, what has been your favourite?

Viewing the different houses with the negotiators and hearing Tom turn a difficult phone call into a positive one.

4. What has been your least favourite?

I had to help Sue build boxes for the accounts files to be archived!

5. Of the different department you have visited, which has been your favourite and why?

I enjoyed working in the sales office because I got to visit more houses and I loved to be out and about seeing the properties and meeting lots of different types of viewers.  I actually liked all of the different and diverse departments such as marketing, property management, lettings and new homes.  I experienced lots of different type of jobs but the most valuable was learning sales techniques and tips that I will be able to use to help me when I become an estate agent.

I enjoyed working with Jane, Hannah & Martyn in the marketing department, which is where I started to interview the different team members and write my blog.  This is something which I now understand has become more and more important to the world of estate agency, along with all of the social media platforms for the business, such as Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.

Amber & Jo in the property management team are very busy and are constantly on the phone, resolving issues for managed landlords and their tenants.  It is a hugely important job as they need to keep everyone happy and calm.

I carried out my first property valuation with Ben the Lettings Manager and it was interesting to find out how he puts a rental value on a property and the process for putting the property onto the lettings IT system called ‘Gemini’.

6.Would you still consider a career in Estate Agency?

Yes, even more now that I have had a taster.  However, Jane says I need to practice my photography skills…!

7. If not, why not?

If I do not become an estate agent then it will be because I have decided to make my millions by property developing, or I could win the lottery..!










Jay Maycock (aged 15)