In normal times it is not unusual for EYE to receive a press release telling us that such and such a business is launching, but to get one arriving in the midst of the Covid crisis is somewhat unusual.
However, that is what turned up yesterday with the heading of ‘A positive story about two women who have opened up their own estate agency.’
The release read as follows:
‘Our ambition is to challenge preconceptions by offering an honest and more personable approach to selling homes, within our local communities. Navigating your move together.’
This is the mission statement of Whitaker Seager, a new firm of estate agents which operates in the Stroud and Cirencester areas of the Cotswolds, including the surrounding villages in this beautiful and sought after part of the country.
Liz Whitaker-Street and Amy Seager who run the business have a wealth of experience in helping people to buy and sell houses. One or other of the directors will deal with client through the whole sales process, giving them the benefit of their honesty, integrity and friendly approach combined with their professional advice.
They are aiming mainly at the middle market but both have experience of dealing with a whole range of properties, from apartments and modern developments, through family houses to equestrian properties and country houses.
Both directors have the advantage of knowing the area really well, having been born and brought up there. Liz’s family has farmed in the hamlet of Syde, near Birdlip since the 1930s; she attended local schools and college before joining a local firm of estate agents in Cheltenham. She now lives in Perrott’s Brook, near Cirencester with her husband Ian and her daughter, Amelia, who currently attends Powell’s C of E School in Cirencester. Bella and Bear, their two black Labradors complete their family.
Amy comes from Malmesbury where she also went to school and now lives at Chalford, near Stroud with her husband Adam and two young daughters, Edie and Nell, who both go to Chalford Hill School, not forgetting Artie their family sproodle. Amy and Liz have together clocked up 35 years of working for Hamptons International and through this have gained a huge knowledge of the properties in the area they now aim to cover.
“We’ve learnt a lot from working for an international company but now we want to use our experience to give an especially personal and individual approach at what can be, if mishandled, one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. We will be with our clients all the way from their decision to sell their property to the day it becomes someone else’s home; our clients will always have the confidence in knowing that they will be dealing with either Amy or Liz.”
That was the press release they sent EYE but we wanted to hear more about how they were coping with launching a business into the most challenging set of circumstances anyone has ever experienced.
Liz told us:
“Amy and I went live with our estate agency at the beginning of March just before lockdown occurred, not brilliant timing for a start-up company!
“We had a marketing campaign pre-planned and organised which obviously had to be pulled.
“We had worked from Amy’s home until this point but now we both work remotely and an office is very much in our two year plan.
“We do feel lucky that we were sensible with our business choices; no office to start with and no staff employed, therefore the ‘pause’ didn’t overwhelm our bank balance.
“My husband works for an International estate agent who furloughed the majority of their employees.
“Last week when the government said we could open up once again we were thrilled as we were able to kick start our marketing campaign on social media.
“Our promotional leaflet had to be re-written as the message was out of date, so the printers have thrown away the original ones and hopefully as of 1st June our new promotion flyer will be delivered in our core market areas.
“Since our relaunch, both of us have taken on new instructions to the market.
“Amy’s will go live this week, and mine next.
“This has thrilled us as we have personally experienced the motivation of sellers who are wishing to move forward with their lives.
“Both of our vendors want to buy on too so it will start to help build momentum in the local market place.
“We have every intention to grasp hold of this positive pent-up market and run with it.”
EYE wishes them every good fortune in their new venture.