Before becoming our Head of Sales last year, Karen Bury spent four years as an Account Manager and Team Leader for Property Perspective.
Karen, 34, who lives in Worsley, with her partner Callum and their puppy Nala, now takes overall responsibility for our team of account managers, assistants and receptionist. She ensures they are all working to their best, provides training and coaching, ones to ones, sets targets for each of them to achieve and helps them overcome any issues or stumbling blocks.
She also oversees the process of ensuring sales are progressed to exchange and completion more efficiently, which ultimately means we are providing a better service to our housebuilder clients.
Before joining Property Perspective, Karen acquired an extensive skill set in roles as varied as car sales, cashflow factoring, bank cashier and mortgage administration. All this after graduating from Drama College but deciding a life on stage or TV acting was not for her.
Karen also spent 12 months in Sydney, Australia working for a family run business.
“That was an amazing experience as they ran several different businesses, such as pest control, carpet cleaning and home insulation and I was heavily involved in the daily running of all of them!”
Back in the UK she joined a new start up business called Whipcar, in London, which was a platform for people who own cars to rent them out to neighbours when they were not in use. Returning to Manchester she started working in second hand car sales and finance, where she spent to the next five years.
“All of this experience was very good preparation for Property Perspective, where my role is very much customer focused but, at the same time, managing people, processes and workloads. I love setting targets for the team and helping them achieve those targets; it’s a good feeling when you know we have done a good job for our clients.”
Only months into her new role as Head of Sales, the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Many of our Part Exchange and Agency Assist transactions had to go on temporary hold due to social distancing measures, staff began working from home and, eventually, several of Karen’s team were furloughed.
“It meant learning a whole new way of operating. As a manager you get to work closely with your team and offer support to them daily. With team members suddenly either working from home or furloughed, I definitely missed that face to face interaction. I had to adapt and ensure that although opportunities for marketing and sales progression were limited we still made what progress we could,” Karen explains.
When Government announced in May that estate agents could reopen for business, property viewings could re-commence and housebuilders could open show homes and sales centres again, no one was more delighted than Karen.
“We’re getting busy again, with 70 viewing requests in the first weekend alone following that announcement,” she says. “I’m helping the team to adapt to the ‘new’ normal as we ensure viewings are Covid-safe for buyers and sellers; while, outside work, I’ve learned to be thankful for friends and family and to cherish the times together. I also hope we can all go on holiday again soon!”
We asked Karen for the best bit of careers advice she’d been given and, perhaps not surprisingly for someone with such a varied career path, she told us:
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got!”
And her own advice to someone buying or selling a home?
“Make sure you choose a good solicitor.”