Josh is an estate agent and, guess what? He bloody loves it.
Did you dream of being an estate agent when you were a child?
I haven't always wanted to be an estate agent exactly, but I've always loved property. To be honest, I was sceptical about it when I started but it fascinates me- people always need houses! I studied real estate management at Nottingham Trent and the plan was to go into surveying; after uni, and a bit of travelling, I decided to do short time at Carlton Estates and enjoyed it so much I decided to stay!
Why do you love it so much?
You can get out and about which I like because I'm not one for being stuck in an office all day. Also it's fun seeing and visiting the properties, and it's satisfying working with so many different types of people. One day it's a lawyer picking a flat, the next it's a house-hunting actor. It's a stable industry too (within reason) because everyone always needs a place to live. Oh and it can be pretty exciting when you get famous clients, although I usually have no idea who they are..!
All companies are different, but you do tend to get discounts and I know the bigger agencies sometimes give employees car allowances. Carlton is quite a small firm but if I wanted to sell or rent my flat out, I'd get a discount on the charges which is pretty good. There's a lot of goodwill.
Any parts you don't love so much?
Sometimes you have to work evenings and weekends, or with, erm, difficult people. You're often the middleman which is a good skill to have, but can be difficult at times!
Do you ever get bad reactions from people when you tell them you're an estate agent?
People can be funny about it, yes. Some have a specific view of what we do but at the same time the teasing is often a bit tongue in cheek. I've got enough friends who are accountants, solicitors or bankers and they're equally..erm.. disliked. You just brush it off, it's not a huge deal but I don't think it's completely unfounded.
Why do you guys get such a bad rep, do you think?
Well it's not a hugely regulated industry- there are people out there who sort of ruin it for the rest of us. On the flip side, when you work in a good area, and for a good company, the standard and professionalism is very high. We also do a huge amount of work behind the scenes that people dont realise- the idea that estate agents just sit around looking at houses and then getting overpaid is rubbish. Also, we're not paid until everything's wrapped up (I work on commission) so we're really invested in making sure our customers are happy, and everything works out.
Will you be an estate agent for the rest of your life, do you reckon?
Ideally it'd be great to run my own company, definitely something in property though! I'd like to build up my own portfolio of properties and live off the income from that. What I'm learning now is invaluable in the future..
And finally, what would be your dream house?
Good question! I'm a country lad at heart, so a nice big family home in the country would be ideal for me!