Celebrating International Women’s Day at Grosvenor Billinghurst

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, we at Grosvenor Billinghurst would like to celebrate some of the brilliant women who we are lucky to have within our team.  Estate agency has a history of having a male dominated workforce, and we are very proud to be breaking the mould and to currently have over 60% of our team consisting of women, across many different roles within the firm.  This wasn’t a conscious decision, our recruitment policy is simply to recruit the very best people for the job, those that share our values and ethos and bring an excellent skillset to their role – whatever their gender.

We are very proud to have each and every member of our team working with us, male and female, but in the spirit of International Women’s Day we wanted to take this time to celebrate all of the women working as part of our team, and to share some of their stories.  It’s important to us that the property industry continues to attract a diverse workforce – in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religion and disability – and so we hope that reading about some of our fantastic female team members on this important day might help to attract even more women into the industry.

Claire Fuller – Finance Director, Woking

How long have you worked for GB?
Just over a year – I started on Valentine’s Day 2020 it must be love, love, love!

Why did you choose this career?
I fell into finance by accident but found it suited my analytical/logical mind-set. I’m a naturally inquisitive (read: nosy) person and working in finance often gives you the “inside scoop”

What’s your favourite part of your job?
I’m not ashamed to shout from the rooftops how much I love spreadsheets but in fact my favourite part of my job is actually customer service. Personally, it’s something I value really highly and whilst my role isn’t often client facing per se my colleagues are my customers. I relish the opportunity of being able to help them and support them in their roles, giving them the tools they need to succeed.

How important do you think it is that more women enter the profession?
In my years of working in finance I have found there to be a pretty even mix of men and women – however, my experience is of the lower paid, more junior roles being taken by women with the higher paid, more senior roles filled with men. I hope that as a result of the pandemic more companies will understand the importance of being able to work flexibly and around home lives.

What’s your favourite feature on a house?
I’m a neat freak and I long for a utility room and built in larder/pantry.

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to doing again post lockdown?
One thing?! Probably my deferred 40th Birthday Party with my friends & family, I want to dance like a maniac and hug them all!

Natasha Sanchez – Senior Lettings Negotiator, Cobham

How long have you worked for GB?
Just under eight years.

Why did you choose this career?
I started off as PA to the Managing Director and the office administrator, having moved from a similar role within a hair salon chain. I naturally gravitated to getting involved in the lettings team and am now a Senior Lettings Negotiator in the Cobham office.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
The team at GB, after eight years they really do feel like family. I also get to meet such a variety of people and really enjoy helping them in what is one of the most stressful times….moving house!

How important do you think it is that more women enter the profession?
Women can bring a lot to the profession and can often add a softer approach to things, and some may say we are perhaps even a tad more trustworthy (don’t tell the men I said that!!). I think it’s important that women also feel empowered to strive to be in senior positions within the industry.

What’s your favourite feature on a house?
I’m torn between an amazing bathroom with a view, the bigger the monsoon shower head the better…and a walk-in pantry.

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to doing again post lockdown?
I have two dogs, a 13 year old Jack Russell called Fred and 3 year old Parson Russell Terrier called Marley and I love nothing more than a long dog walk followed by a glass of cider and pub lunch. I have the William Bray in Shere booked for the 18th April!

Jade Davies – Property Administrator, Woking

How long have you worked for GB?
6 months

Why did you choose this career?
I entered the property world due to a sudden career change (thank you global pandemic!) so although it was unexpected, it has been a blessing with lots of opportunities! I’d like to think of myself as a problem solver and an organisation geek – two traits that I believe have kept me glued to Property Management.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
The fulfilment of helping people along with the satisfaction of nurturing my passion for detail!

How important do you think it is that more women enter the profession?
I am a big advocate for females breaking the glass ceiling in all industries (I even published a dissertation on the topic at University) and even more so for supporting each other along the way. Whilst I am relativity new to any limitations that the property industry may place on females within the industry, I am very happy and proud to discover Grosvenor Billinghurst is at the forefront for change and currently operates with a workforce that is just over 60% female.

What’s your favourite feature on a house?
It’s got to be the front door. The style, colour and detail can tell you a lot about the house inside! It can also be the gateway to a world of memories…

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to doing again post lockdown?
Sitting with friends in a rooftop bar in the sunshine…  glass of champagne in hand and summer tunes blasting from the DJ!

Sarah Gunn – Sales Negotiator, Cobham

How long have you worked for GB?
7 months.

Why did you choose this career?
I was in the airline industry for over 14 years and was given this opportunity to enter the world of property. It really is great meeting so many different people and trying to help them find their perfect home!

What’s your favourite part of your job?
Meeting different, interesting people.  Everyone has their own story to why they are buying or selling their property and it makes it rewarding when you help someone find their “forever home”.

How important do you think it is that more women enter the profession?
I think it is empowering when you see women supporting women in business and it is vital that we work with each other to make sure we are all supported and seen as equals in all professions.

What’s your favourite feature on a house?
Utility room and a drive!

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to doing again post lockdown?
Travelling, I miss airports, aeroplanes, and other countries!

Joanne Peel – Lettings Assistant, Claygate/Hinchley Wood

How long have you worked for GB?
Just under two years.

Why did you choose this career?
A friend saw the notice in Grosvenor Billinghurst’s window for a Saturday Viewings assistant and told me I’d be good at it! From there I was offered a part time role as a Lettings assistant last year. My current job as a bookkeeper was coming to an end, I have spent most of my working life in finance and admin so it was time for a change. I do miss my figure work at times, I find it strangely relaxing.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
Definitely meeting people! It’s taken me a while to get used to the ‘sales’ side of my new role, but I believe strongly in providing excellent customer service so I feel that belief should naturally see me through.

How important do you think it is that more women enter the profession?
Don’t they say that women buy houses? It’s the age-old problem that Estate Agents, sadly, have a bad reputation for being untrustworthy (which of course is definitely not true, not at Grosvenor Billinghurst anyway), and I have found that a lot of the time women like dealing with other women. It also goes without saying that we are also really good at multitasking!

What’s your favourite feature on a house?
I love an old house, preferably Edwardian. They just feel like solid family homes, usually, if you’re lucky, having lots of the original features still intact.

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to doing again post lockdown?
Getting dressed up and going to a party with old friends and mingling….and throwing myself round the dancefloor!

Martine Finn – Office Manager, Cobham

How long have you worked for GB?
Two and a half years

Why did you choose this career?
Since I left college, most of my jobs have been in administration and management where I am able to use my language and communication skills.

What’s your favourite part of your job?
I’m most happy when I am able to help people – in whatever capacity that might be. Strangely enough I also enjoy many of the tasks that others find tedious, I always think you can find satisfaction in whatever you do if you put enough enthusiasm into it.  It also really helps that I work with a great bunch of people and for a brilliant employer.

How important do you think it is that more women enter the profession?
Compared to when I started my first job a long time ago (working for Pfizer in Belgium!) I have noticed a real increase in women holding managerial positions which is brilliant. I don’t believe there should ever be barriers to women entering any industry.

What’s your favourite feature on a house?
It has to be the kitchen, the obvious choice for a GBBO fan

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to doing again post lockdown?
The first thing will be visiting (and hugging) my sons and my parents who I haven’t seen for over a year. The second will be a visit to the hairdresser….

 

Book a free property valuation in Surrey

Book a Valuation