As the son of a building firm owner and financial broker, it could be said that Andy was destined to become an estate agent. He’s certainly got a knack for it — having made a 13 year career out of helping people sell their home in his hometown of Colchester.
Tired of the trappings of corporate life, Andy joined the Nested platform in January 2022 as Colchester's Area Partner. In this interview, we caught up with Andy on becoming more authentic, having more free time, and being hungry for success…
I joined the estate agency industry in 2008. I used to be very into sports, and I liked interacting with people, so at first I wanted to become a gym instructor (or something along those lines). I was at a bit of a loose end, but a discussion with my parents refocused what I wanted to do. My father ran a building firm, and built lots of properties for us to live in, so I was always around buildings and housing. My mother was in the business of helping people with their finances. I always had a bit of a thing for property, and so with the help of my parents (and their skill sets) we decided going into property would be the right call.
I handed in a few CV’s and managed to find a job. 13 years on, I haven’t looked back!
I’ve worked for some very big corporate companies over the years, both in Essex and London. When I moved back to Essex, I joined a friend’s business. After about 4-5 months, I quickly found that the way that they were operating wasn’t very modern. There were a lot of changes that needed to be made, and I wasn’t fulfilled.
When I came away from that, I was at a bit of a loose end. I didn’t think going into another like-for-like role in Colchester was going to satisfy my needs, so it was either a case of going back to London to find an agency that I felt was more suited to me, or something completely different. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a self-employment model. I’d had discussions with a friend about starting a business previously, but I didn’t have the funds at the time. So when the opportunity at Nested was presented to me, it felt like the best of both worlds: Being able to run a business the way I want to, without the pressure of not having my own funds to put behind it. It seemed like a really good way to balance my needs. I jumped at the chance!
“When the opportunity at Nested was presented to me, it felt like the best of both worlds: Being able to run a business the way I want to, without the pressure of not having my own funds to put behind it.”
I’d never been self-employed before, so I had no idea what to expect. I was used to being given business by my employer, and having to convert it myself. I’d always had an office to go to, and the structure of knowing how each day is going to pan out. This is completely different: You don’t know where your next deal or valuation is coming from. You have to be very much on the front foot; forward-thinking, and hungry for it. You have to be very passionate about what you do, and very motivated to get it up and running. The transition of putting the suit on, going into an office and being with colleagues to working from home has been a bit of an adjustment. But you find your rhythm, and you set your own structure. Now that I’ve settled into it, I’m really enjoying it!
Weighing everything up, I’m enjoying this so much more. Not having to be tied to a desk, not having talk to people all day long when you don’t want to, being able to nip out and go to the gym if you want, having the morning off to play golf, walking the dog, having dinner at a reasonable hour — there are so many things I enjoy more. There are struggles, but so many more positives.
“What we’ve got is so refreshing — estate agency needs to change, and people like change.”
The customers having their own app is brilliant. It really gives clients transparency. I really like the modern approach to agency. What we’ve got is so refreshing — estate agency needs to change, and people like change. It’s great!
Be authentic in your approach. That’s one thing that I feel has really changed from who I was as an agent to who I am now. Because it’s my own business, my pitch has really evolved. I’m operating as an individual rather than on behalf of an employer. My skill set has really improved as a result!
Lastly, be prepared for some hard work. Days and weeks can quickly pass you by, so you need to have an action plan to get you from one week to the next. You also need to stay consistent with your processes — you won’t see results straight away, but if you stick with the same formula you’ll get there in the end!
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