Here, the newest member of the Ben Siggins team, Sandra Trent MARLA, Lettings Manager at Ben Siggins Estate Agents, reveals how she made her way up the ranks to provide clients with a first-class, knowledgeable service.
Please provide some information on your professional background
S: I have had a varied working life, mainly in sales of some kind or another, and came to work in the property business 15 years ago as a Negotiator within a large corporate company. During this time, I was promoted to Manager and then Operations Manager, plus I studied and passed my ARLA qualifications. After gaining extensive experience I decided to make the move to an independent agency where I can use all the knowledge gained plus combine it with excellent customer service. This is how I came to be here at Ben Siggins.
What do you enjoy most about working in the property industry?
S: I have always had a passion for property, home furnishings, and DIY so it just seems natural for me to be in this industry. Lettings Regulations and Legislation is constantly changing and evolving keeping me on my toes and ensuring that I am kept busy. I enjoy being part of the process in helping a person to find and move to their new home.
What would be your dream home? S: A cottage in a village with a stream at the end of the garden and room for a vegetable plot and chickens.
What is your favourite part of Kent and why?
S: I really like where I am now, between Maidstone and Ashford, because I can walk out of my door and within a couple of minutes be strolling along the Pilgrims Way or a short drive can take me to several good towns, Leeds Castle or to the Kent coast for a fish and chip supper.
When it comes to customer service, what do you pride yourself on?
S: It is important to me that all of my clients believe I have treated them with fairness, have taken the time to listen and have answered any questions they may have. Communication is vital to ensure the best customer service.
What do you find is the most common misconception with customers looking to rent a property?
S: All applicants need to undergo reference checks and be approved before they can begin a tenancy which includes credit checks, employment, and previous landlord checks so it is important to understand that if there are any problem areas they are unlikely to be able to rent a property. It is not uncommon for a vendor to sell their property to enable them to clear debts but then find it difficult to rent a property due to issues on their credit file.
In your view, what makes Ben Siggins stand out from other agents in the area?
S: All members of our team go the extra mile to ensure that our properties are shown at their best with great photography, floorplans, and descriptions including details about the surrounding area. This helps us to stand out from the crowd and ensure plenty of interest so we can match the right applicants to the right property.
When you are not letting properties, what do you like to do in your spare time? S: I love to get creative making dresses for my gorgeous granddaughters or growing veggies in my garden. I also take time to relax and blow out the cobwebs by walking in the countryside or along the Pilgrims Way and like to drive with the roof off my funky Fiat 500.
If you were not a lettings agent, what would you see yourself doing?
S: Dressmaking has always been a passion of mine so I could see myself as a dressmaker in an exclusive bridal boutique. Alternatively, I’d be in a pair of overalls and wellies making my version of ‘The Good Life’.
How do you anticipate the lettings market to perform over the next 12 months?
S: The lettings market has been fluid and has grown consistently for a number of years but whilst there seem to be fewer investors buying property to let now than in recent years, we still have a good number of new clients coming to Ben Siggins mainly through recommendations from other happy landlords. It goes to prove that if we continue to offer great value for money and excellent service, our lettings business will increase and outperform our competitors.
If you would like some advice on selling, buying or letting your property, or if you’re looking to embark on a career in the property industry, contact one of our branches!
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