Celebrating 30 years
Gill Cant, celebrating 30 years as an estate agent, loves having her own branch in her home town, writes Susan Osborne. Photography: SusieQPhotography.co.uk
At 21, seeking something interesting, with variety and possibility of either a company car, or opportunity to travel, Gill Cant applied to every local estate and travel agency, hoping to find a fulfilling career.
Her first taste of the industry came courtesy of a well-known estate agent in Preston, where she was told, “you will love it, or hate it!”
She obviously loved it. Within 12 months, she was promoted to branch manager of the busy Preston office. Her career moved fast. At 27, she was an area manager running 20 branches in south Manchester for Cornerstone Estate Agents.
A move to The Halifax, which lasted 15 years, saw Gill’s career escalate, eventually becoming regional estate agency development manager for the whole of NW England and Northern Ireland, making regular, weekly, arduous commutes to Belfast.
“I don’t think anybody wakes up and thinks, ‘I want to be an estate agent’,” says Gill, “Most people fall into it as I did. It’s a very rewarding career. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”
2007 presented a turning-point opportunity, when Halifax decided to franchise some estate agency branches. In 2008, Gill became proud owner of her own branch, in Fulwood, where she grew up, went to school and has lived all her life. Detailed local knowledge is a great advantage in this business and Gill is very aware of that.
The franchise was rebranded to Your Move in 2010, when Halifax sold its interest. Strength and coverage of a national network, combined with extensive detailed local knowledge, must be a recipe for success, but it’s not that simple, explains Gill; “What makes a good estate agent is not the name above the door, it’s the quality of the team within.”
Relishing the freedom of being her own boss, Gill cherry-picked her team from highly-qualified ex-managers, with years of experience.
“I could not have built the team I have built within the corporate sphere,” she says. “When Mandy approached me about a job, I didn’t have a position, so I created one for her. Knowing how good she was, I didn’t want to lose the opportunity of having her as part of our team. Mandy, Vanisha and Annie, are among the best estate agents I have ever had the privilege of working with. We are a tight-knit unit, committed to delivering exceptional customer service.”
Moving home can be very stressful. Favourite aspects of the job for Gill? Helping and guiding customers through the sales process, making it as stress-free as possible, then handing over the keys on completion.
Former clients still drop by when passing, just to say “hi”, and it’s easy to see why. When property matters take you to Your Move Gill Cant, Fulwood, a warm friendly smile tells you, you’re in the right place!
Your Move Gill Cant
311 Garstang Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 9XJ