Since 2007, Jamie has bought and sold thousands of homes — making him nothing short of an Islington household name. After 13 years of working for some of Islington’s biggest names, he swapped corporate Upper Street agency life for Nested. Now, Jamie runs the show as Nested’s Area Partner for Islington — using his wealth of industry knowledge (and signature charm) to delight customers.
We caught up with Jamie on life as an Area Partner; from carving out time for his family, to building trust with clients.
I’ve been an estate agent for 15 years, having started in Islington in 2007. I used to work for the foreign office in Nigeria, and after my contract ended, I wasn’t sure what to do next. A few people suggested estate agency, as it’s fairly similar; it too is a people business, focused on building and maintaining strong relationships in the community. Over the past 15 years, I’ve worked for big corporate estate agencies, small independents, and everything in between.
I left the corporate estate agency world about 3.5 years ago, because I felt that the service they were providing to customers wasn’t up to scratch. They work on a volume basis, and the outcomes don’t make a huge difference to estate agents’ earnings who typically only earn 10-25% of the fee — so a lot of agents weren’t motivated to get the best price. Nested had an interesting product at the time, and they really put the customer front and center — which I felt was really important. I came onboard with Nested about 3.5 years ago, and transitioned into being self-employed once they introduced the Area Partner model.
“I was the company’s first area partner, and would recommend it to everyone. Ultimately with this model, you’re financially rewarded for the effort you put in — which is a huge plus.”
I’d been self-employed before, so my expectations weren’t that different. The challenge is that until you have a certain type of experience, going self-employed can feel like a huge financial risk. Personally, I was at a stage where I was ready to take the risk.
In the corporate world, everything is really structured. It’s a really rigid environment that doesn’t take into account personal life circumstances. The older I got, the more I thought about family life and work-life balance.
Being able to enjoy being a husband and a father is so much more important than banking bucks, although that is possible too. Luckily, most of my clients are young families — and they get that I work hard for them when I need to, but that I’m also a person behind the brand. Having a much more friendly relationship with my clients really facilitates a good work-life balance.
“A year into it, I find myself wondering why I didn’t do this 10 years ago.”
What really sets Nested’s software apart is the customer-facing platform, which was actually a huge reason why I stayed with Nested for so long. For me, it really resonates from a transparency point of view; building trust with the customer while empowering them to have more control over the process. The self-serve aspect also means I can do my job easier, and frees up time for me to focus on other things.
I know it’s a scary process, but it shouldn’t be. A year into it, I find myself wondering why I didn’t do this 10 years ago. The reality is tough; you’ll have periods where you’re not earning very much — but as area partners, we’ve all been through it and are there to help. The support infrastructure at Nested is amazing.
If you’re looking for a lifestyle change, and you want more flexibility, it’s absolutely the right decision. If you are looking to boost your salary, the opportunity to earn big as an area partner is definitely there — but you’ll really have to put the graft in!
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