In a first for the Natter, this week's interview is a video affair, with me posing the questions to Stephen Brown, industry trainer, former agent and charity superstar.
Following on from our tribute to Stephen for all his great charity work with Computers for Schools, which was published on EAT yesterday, this four-minute video delves further into his background in the industry, how he first got involved and why be believes training is so important to agency.
Before that, though, it would be remiss of me not to mention RAN Live! 2021 - Relocation Agent Network’s first in-person conference since 2019 - which I attended yesterday along with some of the ValPal team.
The event, which was held at the Metropole Hilton in Birmingham, focused on shifts and trends in estate agency management and the broader real estate economy in general. The event was kicked off by keynote speaker Roger Martin-Fogg, offering his economic, policy and political expertise, while other speakers included Kate Ancketill, futurist and founder of GDR Creative, who shared her insights on high street and online commerce.
A number of well-known property voices were in attendance, too, including Propertymark's chief executive, Nathan Emerson, Peter Brodnicki, head of the Mortgage Advice Bureau, and other leading names.
The day’s events and the evening’s black-tie awards banquet were hosted by tech-journalist Georgie Barratt, with evening entertainment by Mudhen.
We were one of a number of exhibitors and sponsors showcasing a selection of products and services to attendees. And we were delighted that Angels Media was the Media Sponsor for RAN Live! 2021, in fine company in the sponsors club alongside portal OnTheMarket, awards sponsor Vaboo and digital sponsor Giraffe360.
Great fun, as always, and still great to be back in a room with people having that interaction that tech - for all its benefits and upsides - can't quite replicate. You can follow what went on yesterday via the #RANLive2021 hashtag.
Now, back to the video interview with Stephen Brown, who left school at 18 and went and started as a junior at an investment agency in Oxford Circus - making the teas and photocopying - before moving into chartered surveying and then spending 20 years at Green & Co, one of South Oxfordshire's leading estate agencies.
Despite not selling a property in his first nine months, he soon got to grips with the agent life and eventually became a director at the firm, before ending up looking after all the systems and processes and training up 100 staff. This set him on his way to his current role of industry consultant - he founded SJB Consultancy more than nine years ago now, and has trained more than 2,000 estate and letting agents since. He is also a founder member and volunteer mentor at industry charity Agents Together.
Stephen offers a fascinating insight into how he moved from branch manager, to director to industry trainer - a path trodden by a number of well-known professionals in the industry. Please give it a watch below and continue to support Stephen's fantastic charity work!
Until next time...when it'll be just a week till Christmas - eek!
*Nat Daniels is CEO of Angels Media, publishers of Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today. Follow him on Twitter @NatDaniels.