It may be a little unconventional, but I’m going to start off with an admission. I’m quite new to the whole property profession, certainly when compared with my colleagues who all seem to have been born to do this. But everyone needs to start somewhere, don’t they, and I’m glad to say that there’s nowhere I’d rather be soaking up the sector wisdom than where I am.
So, why is a girl from Patras selling homes in London I hear you ask… well, I’m sure you would have if you were here, so I thought I’d pre-empt the question. The answer is that I love people – working with people, chatting with people, building professional relationships with people so I can help them into their dream homes (ok, so the last one is quite new, but I’ve moved quite a lot in my life so I know how important it can be to have somewhere warm, cosy and familiar to come home to each night or morning) and I love, love, love, the chance to help people find their own familiar place.
In case you’re not lucky enough to have visited my hometown, Patras is a beautiful seaside city in western Greece. We’ve got our own castle overlooking the Gulf of Patras, a busy university, which is why the place is always so lively and because it’s traditional (yes I’m sticking to that reason) we love to eat ice cream all year round. Seriously, it’s a weird city-wide tradition, not just in my home. I also blame my obsession with coffee on the silly number of cafes and coffee shops we have on every street and this could also explain my non-stop high energy levels.
Growing up I was known as the entrepreneur of the family because, after finishing my homework (like a good student), I’d spend almost every night for a while making cute earrings, bracelets and all manner of costume jewellery that my classmates were into, to sell to friends, family and anyone else I could show them to. Thinking back, that’s when I really discovered my artistic side.
I love Patras and many of the people dearest to my heart are still there, but when I got older I was drawn to explore and I travelled quite a lot.
I lived in Chalkida and Santorini in Greece, Alexandria in Egypt, Cologne in Germany, which was so much fun before moving to London (to seek my fortune… I’m still looking of course).
My nomadic lifestyle didn’t stop there, because in the last two and a half years I’ve lived in SE9, Shepherd’s Bush, Greenford, New Eltham and now Bexley, phew! Come to think of it, I’ve moved more often than most of the buyers I work with today, which is one of the reasons why I both love what I do and am quite good at it, so I’m told. Though I’m not immune to the anxiety and stress felt by all those who move house and it seems I need a bigger van every time it happens.
Bexley’s lovely, loads of great shops, quick journey into town, friendly people and a real feeling of community that makes it feel so much like home.
Then last year I decided I wanted to make a career change and a friend told me of a position at GHE where he worked, and a couple of interviews later I was their newest recruit. I started out in lettings, but recently, just a few months ago, I transferred over into the sales team, and I absolutely love it.
It’s not been easy though, as the newbie I had to work really hard to earn the trust of my colleagues, to work side by side with them overcoming challenges and ensuring that buyers and sellers alike were kept happy. But this is only possible now because of the training and experience I got in real-world agency while I was in lettings.
One example that comes to mind is a time I had to manage the tenant transition for a lovely bright fourth floor apartment overlooking the park in Elephant and Castle.
The end portion of a tenancy, where we have to negotiate viewing times with current tenants and ask particulars about what is and is not staying, can be frustrating for some, but these tenants were lovely. They’d bought a house and were moving out and they couldn’t do enough to help us when we needed to show the place. It turned out that the flat was so nice – with its wooden floors, natural light and views towards The Shard – that we had several people interested in no time, but the couple who our landlord decided to go with had a very narrow window of time to move in due to job commitments.
We worked like the wind and managed to get them in on time, which was no mean feat I can tell you. However, when they got there the new tenants found more than they’d expected. A miscommunication between the former tenants and their moving people meant that a king-sized bed had been left and the new tenants already had a bed of their own. They called us and we called the former tenants. This could have been a source of friction, but we’d built up a decent relationship by this time and within hours they’d kindly arranged for someone to pick up the bed to take it to a charity shop. Everyone was happy, we even got some great reviews from both the outgoing and incoming tenants.
It all could have gone horribly wrong, but because of the relationships we’d built, the kindness of strangers and some quick thinking, a problem was solved and all was smiles.
Busy though I may be each day, life’s not all work, work, work, and in my spare time I love to cook and bake (from neighbours to colleagues everyone around me is very well fed), and I meditate and watch movies. I also love to explore London and during the lockdown I got heavily into henna tattoos. I know it’s a little odd, but I also love studying and cleaning too. Top of the list for me though is family. Most are still back in Greece and I miss them terribly, but whenever I can I hop on a plane to visit them or persuade them to make the trip over here – it recharges my inner batteries and fires me up to face the world anew.
So, if you are looking to move to anywhere in London or if you wish us to undertake a bespoke local, national or international property search for you, why not pop into our Elephant and Castle office and ask for me. I’m sure we can help you to find the warm, cosy, familiar place you’re looking for.