How property became a part of my life
By Emma Croft-Pearson – Banbury Office Manager
Not knowing what I wanted to do when I completed my A-levels, I spent a couple of years working away in hotels in Jersey and Newquay. This is what I call my University years but without the qualifications. Being a Banbury girl I returned to the town and spent the next few years working for local manufacturing companies in various roles from Customer Service to Inventory Control, still not really sure what my vocation was to be.
By 2003 I was ready for a change. My brother mentioned he knew of a job going that he thought would suit me and shortly after I was employed as a Property Administrator within the Finders Keepers Banbury Office. The role was so varied, I loved it and it felt like I fitted in immediately. Walking home from work, I recall thinking to myself “I really love what I’m doing.”
Having had no property experience it was a few months before it all came together but with excellent training it did. I was promoted to Property Manager within the first year and shortly after, the role for Property Department Manager became available and I happily moved into that position. This meant I was not only responsible for my team of approximately 130 properties and their clients, but I was also required to oversee the whole Property Management Department which looked after almost 400 properties.
When the Assistant Office Manager role became available it was then a natural progression for me. In addition to what I was doing, it meant further responsibility for the whole office and providing support to the Office Manager.
Following a lot of hard work, the promotion to Office Manager followed and so by my 11 year anniversary with Finders Keepers, I had taken a few steps up! It involved some studying in my own time for a further ARLA Propertymark qualification, the learnings of which have been invaluable and Finders Keepers helped by providing outsourced additional training sessions.
You have to be a certain type of person to excel at ‘agency’ work. It is varied and interesting but prioritising and multi-tasking are key requirements. For the right person though it is a fantastic job. Building relationships with your clients and people from all walks of life whilst instilling trust is hugely important.
Finders Keepers is a great place to work; you have a pleasant working environment, fantastic training, good benefits and great prospects. One of the most important things for me is that the Chairman, the Managing Director and the Directors know your name. They get to know you as a person and appreciate what you do. Our values mean something to everyone in the company and really do illustrate what we all believe: expert, dynamic, scrupulous and helpful.
Finders Keepers encourage offices to mix with others, we often participate in group activities at our regular staff meetings. This can be a great opportunity to meet others doing the same job at a different location. Ideas can be shared and problems solved. We also enjoy regular ‘away days’ provided by the company. These are held away from the office and include some work but also fun – my desire to win becomes very apparent at these events!
My job has changed over the 12 years and it’s difficult to describe a typical day. Often the best laid plans have to be put on hold if your first call of the day is a report of water pouring through a tenants ceiling. This side of the job is probably my favourite. Give me a problem, I’ll make a plan, see it through and solve it. It’s not always that straightforward but it’s this that keeps me interested.
I maintain that along with common sense, it’s about being the right person to succeed in Finders Keepers. If you’re willing to learn, you care, you strive to be the best and you share our values, Finders Keepers could be where your future lies…