Role: Managing Director
Company: Lough & Quay Estate Agents & Property Consultants
What is your educational background?
After completing my degree at Queens I spent a year working in a very fast paced sales driven job, which I found to be an amazing benefit when establishing Lough & Quay. Since joining Lough & Quay I have attended several workshops and seminars on managing staff; I addition I have completed several training sessions with staff from one of London’s top head hunting firms and taken courses in SAGE.
What was your very first job?
I was a kitchen porter in a local hotel. This role did give me transferable skills that I would use in my current position: ability to work well under pressure, good organisational skills and excellent communication skills.
What made you decide to pursue your present career?
To be completely honest, it was a little bit of being in the right place at the right time. However, when the opportunity to begin Lough & Quay came about I grabbed it with both hands.
How long have you been in your current position?
I launched Lough & Quay in January 2008 as a lettings agency; we then opened our resales division in April 2010, alongside moving to our new offices in a prominent Belfast City Centre location.
Does your role offer ongoing training and development?
Certainly! It’s not so much a case of offering but a pre-requisite. I am currently studying for a Btec qualification in Leadership Skills. I think it is crucial to keep training and learning new skills, legislations and policies for self development.
What does a typical working day involve?
No day is ever the same, which keeps things very interesting! Our basic day would be 8.30am – 6pm, of course as an Estate Agency we do have to reasonably accommodate our clients outside these hours, and at weekends, as and when required. Estate Agents need to be flexible; Lough & Quay understand people have their own work commitments also.
What are your main responsibilities?
As Managing Director of the business my responsibilities are endless but, my days/weeks/months basically broken down include: dealing with Lettings, Re-Sales; Managing Staff and Client Relationships; Analysing KPI’s; Recruitment and Training; Finances; Future Projections and Plans for the business through continuously identifying new opportunities to increase market share and assist business growth. As you can imagine it is a very varied role but, I love the challenges it brings.
What skills do you need?
If I was advertising for my own job I would say that the person would need: to be highly ambitious, the ability to lead a team to success and win new business, excellent attention to detail, sound commercial awareness and excellent communication skills. Also, this line of work is literally your life, so you need to be able to have fun with it as well.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Our clients inspire us to keep evolving and improving the business. It is a fast paced, competitive and demanding industry but it is the drive and ambition that stems from this passion that keeps me motivated.
And the worst?
Public perception of Estate Agents – Lough & Quay constantly strive to be at the forefront of that public perception u-turn, as we only provide honest, impartial advice and sometimes it’s not what the client wants to hear.
What personal qualities does your job require?
Someone needs to have high levels of enthusiasm, team spirit and drive. It is essential to be very client/customer focused and to have excellent listening skills so that you are attuned to customer needs when helping people find a home.
What advice would you give to someone wishing to pursue a similar career?
Fail to plan, plan to fail! This ‘moto’ combined with a hunger and drive to succeed will assist anyone to achieve their ambitions.