Laura O’Mahony’s helped buy and sell hundreds of homes across Islington and Hackney — but her love of property stretches far beyond sales. With experience in property recruitment and a period of running her own Airbnb business under her belt, Laura’s lived and breathed property for over a decade. It’s no wonder Nested’s Area Partner model — and all the autonomy it offers — was so well suited to her needs.
After becoming a partner in February 2022, we chatted to Laura about the ups, downs, and in-betweens of Area Partner life.
My background was in sport — I used to be an athlete, and studied sport science, so it was all going down that route. I really wanted to move to London, so I started thinking about what I needed to do to live there. I grew up watching property TV shows and was always fascinated by how varied property can be. I’ve also always loved learning about great buildings; as so much of London’s history is in the buildings. So I started looking around for jobs as an estate agent, and fell into an independent in Islington. The more I got involved, the more I enjoyed it — especially becoming knowledgeable about property in London, and dealing with people.
Previously, I’d been in agency and recruitment in property, so I’d already gotten a great insight into how property companies ran. Recruitment wasn’t for me in the end, so I set up an Airbnb business. It was really great — but then the pandemic hit, so I had to shut it down. Thinking about my next step, it made sense to go back into selling. Having had the insight into how other companies worked and the corporate style, I decided I wanted something different. Once I came across Nested, I thought “I’ll only go back into sales if I do it with Nested.” I loved how Nested were disrupting the industry, in a much more human-centric way. From the interviews, I also got a real sense of how much autonomy would be involved.
“Once I came across Nested, I thought: I'll only go back to sales if I do it with Nested”
As I’d been self-employed previously, I already had a sense of what was in store. It’s definitely scary beforehand; realising that you’ve got to manage all the elements of your business yourself. In reality, it’s not too dissimilar from being an employee (from a workload perspective). Nowadays, there are so many tools self-employed people can use to help manage everything; like online accounting software for your taxes, and time management tools. Nested also offer so much structure, and a massive support system — which makes a big difference. Yes you’re on your own, but you can drop a message to anyone anytime and ask for help.
The main goal for me is to average four deals a month, and turn over a certain amount of money from those deals. The goal for the first year has always been to get to 6 figures, and to have a solid hold on my local market. Looking at it, that’s very realistic — so I’ll need to adjust my goals and figure out what the next stage is. There’s definitely a longer-term plan to grow the business and start employing people, but I’m a little way off that right now. For now, I want to really establish myself as a brand in Hackney.
I’d hate to be working and pitching for another agency, competing against Nested’s tech. It’s won me almost every instruction. I’ve had buyers tell me that booking a viewing with us, compared to another agent, is just so much easier — so it’s a massive benefit on both sides. For vendors, feeling involved in the process is a huge thing. Usually you just have random people in your house, telling me loads of stuff but not offering any feedback, and not really giving me an idea of how the number of viewings compare with enquiries — and they feel so out of the loop. The fact that our tech solves these problems is massive, and the fact that no one else is doing it is even better!
“I’d hate to be working and pitching for another agency, competing against Nested’s tech. It’s won me almost every instruction.”
Understand what you’re going into, your personal financial position, and understand what you’re hoping to achieve out of it. Those first 6 months are going to be a lot of work, and at the end of the month – sometimes nothing comes in. Hold on, and focus on what you’re building. There’ll be moments where you think “have I done the right thing?” but moments of doubt are normal. The first 6 months are not going to feel super comfortable, so make sure you’ve got the capacity for that. Above all, have the confidence to back yourself!
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