Chris Payne has been a leading estate agent within the Ashford area for eight years. Heading up the new Ben Siggins Ashford branch, Chris and his team are now on-hand to help with any queries at the newly-opened office.
Please provide some information on your professional background
C: I’ve been in the sales industry for a long time, however, in the early days of my career I was training to be a mechanical engineer. After a few employment alterations, I ended up in the hospitality industry; working behind a bar – and this is where I found a passion for social interaction. A few years – and job changes – later I was headhunted by Ward & Partners whilst working for a car dealership, and my profession within the estate agency industry ascended from there. Thereafter I was, again, headhunted by – at that time – Ashford’s leading estate agency. Today, I’m proud to say that I have been a leading estate agent within the Ashford area for eight years.
What do you enjoy most about working in the property industry?
C: The people. Personally – as amazing as the houses we sell are – what really interests me is the clients. Every day is different; there’s so much variety day to day and you meet a diverse selection of people with various requirements continuously. One of the most memorable moments of my time at Ben Siggins so far occurred a couple of months ago; I met a couple that I had previously worked with on two occasions, selling them their first and second home. On this circumstance, the pair were expecting their second baby and were looking to upsize; and I successfully sold them their third family home, assisting them through their house-hunting search on three hunts. That’s where my job satisfaction comes from.
What would be your dream home?
C: I’d like to think that I’m quite humble; I would say a standard three-bed family home, however, I do like character properties with period artefacts. Although, I would say that I probably live in my dream home now; I live in a three-bedroom, semi-detached property in the countryside with a charming spacious garden, complete with a vegetable patch.
What do you believe is the biggest struggle for today’s first-time buyers?
C: Getting on the housing market. It’s an immense challenge to get onto to begin with. Nonetheless, I would recommend first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder as soon as possible. Personally, I didn’t realise I needed to take the plunge until I was 24. When it hit home, I put all my efforts into saving. I then bought a 25% share on a flat – shockingly, the deposit I paid was the same that I would require for a rental property! It wasn’t the property I initially sought or the area I wanted to move to but it was a move to get my foot onto the ladder. After three years of living in the flat, I was able to sell it and put a deposit down on a house.
What’s your favourite part of Kent?
C: Kent is a beautiful county; I’ve spent my entire life here. Every time I try to leave Kent and go somewhere else, I’m always drawn back – I don’t think I’ll ever live anywhere else. The beauty of our county is that it provides everything you could possibly want and need; we have the beach and pier at Deal (which is where I grew up), then you have the downs, countryside and area of outstanding beauty in Ashford and the restaurants and shops in Canterbury. There are also great connections to France and London from Kent.
What do you believe are the best traits to have as an estate agent?
C: Honesty. However, it’s not all about being sincere; you have to be reliable too. You also have to be prepared; estate agents commonly shy away from delivering news that clients may not wish to hear, however, this isn’t best practice. I hand out my personal number for any client enquiries or uncertainties. If we have any updates – positive or negative – to convey to our clients, we inform them immediately. Communicating with your client is key and I believe that’s where the service at Ben Siggins separates us from other estate agents.
What do you do in your spare time?
C: I’d say that I’m particularly sporty. I love playing sport; predominately football. I also regularly eat out with family and friends; whether that be picnics, BBQs or at restaurants – I’ve already eaten out three times this week, and it’s only Wednesday! Again, that’s the beauty of Kent; there are so many places to go.
Read more about our Estate Agents in Ashford here.