This month, The Guild of Property Professionals caught up with Val Shakespeare, Sales Director to discuss her idea of a perfect home and top tips for working in the property sector.
Tell us about yourself
I have 38 years of experience in the property industry and I’ve worked for the company for 17 years.
Tell us about Royston & Lund
Royston & Lund was founded in 1994 to offer a professional estate agency service in West Bridgford, Nottingham. Today, the business still operates from the same premises on Gordon Road; a prime position right in the heart of West Bridgford town centre.
In 2018, we opened a second office in Keyworth, which is also thriving. We now employ 25 staff and are ranked by Rightmove as the leading estate agent in our area.
Describe your typical day
My typical day starts with an early morning team meeting to discuss events from the previous day as well as planning for the day ahead, sharing tips, knowledge and tea with our team. My role includes managing the sales office, head of new homes, HR, compliance, maintenance and facilities manager - as you can imagine, my days are often varied!
Why do customers choose Royston & Lund?
We are extremely proud to employ the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the area. We work as a team to provide a friendly, effective service. As independent agents we rely heavily on reputation. We endeavour to always do a fantastic job so that our clients recommend us time and time again. After 25 years of operating in West Bridgford, we feel we have gained the trust of our community. As testament to this, we were named ‘Best Estate Agent in the UK’ at the prestigious ESTA awards in 2018.
What is next for the property market in your area?
We are seeing a lot of new developments in our area. Period properties in close proximity to the town centre are particularly sought after. There is a definite shortage of this style of property and we hope to see more of this style coming on to the market over the coming months.
What charities do you support in your local area?
Last Christmas, we did some fundraising for a local homeless charity, The Friary, with the amazing help of the local community we managed to raise £550. This fantastic cause helps homeless and vulnerable adults to rebuild their lives by offering practical services, advice and emotional support. We have also supported other charities such as, Children in Need, Comic Relief and Macmillan.
We sponsor local cricket teams, West Bridgfordians Cricket Club and Keyworth Cricket Club. In addition to this, we support four of our local schools with the Royston & Lund Sporting Achievement Award; the schools include Abbey Road, Pierrepoint Gamston, Edwalton and West Bridgford Juniors.
If you became the Housing Minister for a day, what would you change?
I would make the house buying process much simpler; I think one way of doing this would be by reintroducing the HiP (Home Information Pack).
Can you give six tips for anyone who wants to work in the property sector?
I believe solid customer service and excellent communication are the key skills for anyone looking to start off in the industry.
Having empathy and patience with people is a must and a sense of humour often helps!
An understanding of the property market is essential along with knowledge of different house types/styles/periods.
Having a great understanding of the local market and the wider area as well; in terms of amenities, local schools, employers and events etc are invaluable knowledge for anyone looking to move to the area.
Professionalism is a key point to remember when dealing with clients, solicitors and other professionals.
Master multi-tasking for those particularly busy periods!
What makes the perfect home for you?
Modern, clean lines, a spacious ground floor space, plenty of light meaning lots of glass, a nice south facing garden, good local schooling and amenities in close proximity. Oh, and somewhere with enough space for my two chocolate Labradors.
Do you have any news you would like to share?
We have just celebrated our 25th birthday! I am so immensely proud of the team’s hard work throughout the years, we have managed to maintain an excellent rapport within the West Bridgford and Keyworth communities. We want to say a big thank you to our customers and we look forward to continuing to offer them great advice and the best possible service.