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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

New North Oxford Property Manager at Finders Keepers

Frank and Sophie Office2

We have a number of colleagues who come from various parts of the country to work with Finders Keepers. This summer we were very happy to welcome a first for Finders Keepers – an Aussie! Sophie Herdegen, North Oxford Property Manager, travelled 10,000 miles split over 3 plane journeys and across 10 time zones to join the team. Sophie first heard of Finders Keepers when our Vice-Chairman Frank spoke at the Australian Residential Property Management conference in Sydney last summer (ARPM13). Run annually, the event enables delegates to gain new information and ideas as well as giving them plenty of opportunity to network.

After the event Sophie connected with Frank through LinkedIn, she had been considering a move to the UK and wanted to know Frank’s thoughts on the transition from Australia to Britain. Frank’s response? “Where better to start than Oxford?”

Frank and Sophie Sign

Here is Sophie’s experience so far: “So you already know what brought me here… Frank and his fabulous speech at the APRM conference! Prior to that though, I had already intended on coming to the UK to live and work. I had researched letting and management agencies and stumbled across Finders Keepers a few times; so I was thrilled when I saw Frank’s name appear on the speakers list for ARPM13.

Following the conference, I contacted Frank with a general query about the qualifications required to practice real estate in the UK – he was so helpful and suggested I email through my resume if I was interested in coming to Oxford. I emailed Maryse and chatted with her back and forth before having a telephone conversation and being offered the position.  

My journey over here was eventful to say the least – I had an overnight stopover in Singapore, which resulted in a very bad case of food poisoning. I somehow managed to get to the airport and board my flight, but was soon ushered off and deemed ‘unfit to fly’ by the doctor. I spent three hours on a drip in Changi Airport, missed my flight to Dubai and consequently missed my connecting flight to Heathrow.

I eventually made it to Oxford though and have been overwhelmed by how helpful and welcoming the Finders Keepers team have been. I have been accompanying people to check-ins, check-outs and viewings to get an idea of how the office works as a whole. It is definitely different to what I’m used to but I think it runs very smoothly and I’m really enjoying learning the ropes.  

One thing I am still getting used to is the different terminology. A couple of examples:
We call it a range hood – you call it an extractor fan
We call it a stove top – you call it a hob

I had no idea what an Aga was before starting here and also had to undertake some lessons on how to operate a radiator (I’m used to operating air conditioners)!

The weather has been phenomenal since I arrived and I’m feeling right at home with all this sunshine (I have been told not to get used to it though!) I’m still adjusting to the long days – I’m used to it being pitch black dark by 7pm so I was baffled on my first night when the sun was still shining at 9pm.”

Sophie has settled in well and become a valued member of the team, working on getting to know her portfolio of properties. She’s not shy of a challenge and loves being hands on, which we love! We are surprised and pleased to have recruited a member of the team from Frank’s talk and are looking forward to furthering our knowledge of the Australian rental sector.