The Journal Homemaker - Property Q&A

Name, position and how long you have been in the property industry
My name is Abigail Reid and I am Sales and Marketing coordinator with Linden Homes in the North East. I have been working for Linden Homes for three years now starting in a marketing role, before my remit expanded to cover both sales and marketing.

What sparked your interest in the property business?
I was attracted to the challenge I suppose. Marketing a house can be extremely difficult – especially if the price tag is high - but when you have a really great product like the homes which we are delivering here in the North East, a house can also almost sell itself. You have to be on your toes and be able to adapt to changing trends and markets. In addition, I already spent a lot of time looking at houses on Rightmove so I thought, why not actually get paid for it!

What is the best advice you have ever received about property?
When you are looking to buy, try to speak to the residents or neighbors before you make your move. On our current developments in Morpeth, Birtley, Blyth and Gateshead, we’ve found that our residents often do our Sales Executive’s jobs for them! Our buyers are so proud of their new homes and we’ve even had instances where they have shown a potential buyer around their own property. That’s some endorsement and it’s also great for design inspiration!

And the worst?
Don’t buy a new build! What people may not realise, is that buying a new property gives them the options and choice at the very beginning. They won’t have to replace a shabby old kitchen, or spend loads on an extension to get the home they want. Buyers can forget having to save up for those lost weekends of DIY work because they can have exactly what they want from the start. And by buying a modern, well insulated and energy efficient property, you won’t be paying a fortune to keep warm when the colder months come around.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to enter the industry?
From a sales and marketing perspective, putting the focus on the customer journey is paramount. Buying a house is one of the most expensive - and for first time buyers - initially daunting purchases someone will ever make. It is important to do everything you can to help to make the process as stress free and enjoyable as possible and to keep the excitement there.

What should a prospective buyer/renter look for when choosing a housebuilder?
Quality is key. A high quality build will stand out from the crowd and at Linden homes, we pride ourselves on delivering exceptional homes with a high level of specification. This means that buyers can be confident that they won’t have to spend a fortune on extras and upgrades as it is all included as standard.

What are the three most important things people hoping to buy should think about when looking at a home?
Firstly I’d say location – you have to love where you live! Secondly would probably be design. A home needs to work for your lifestyle not just now but in the future too. Thirdly, it is important to research the different ways you can buy. There are so many options available to help people to secure the home of their dreams. There is the government’s Help to Buy scheme and at Linden Homes sites, we offer a range of additional buying options including: Part Exchange, Assisted Move and Home Reach - a part own, part rent scheme.
There is more information about all of these on the Linden Homes website. Potential buyers should research whether these schemes could help them to take the first step onto the housing ladder or even purchase a much larger property than they may think they could afford.

Or if they're planning to rent?
Location and cost I would say. However, with the aforementioned buying options available and interest rates so low, they should probably consider buying – it could actually work out cheaper.

What are the biggest changes you've seen in the past five years?
More Women working in industry. Construction has typically been perceived as an industry for men but there is now a lot of support for woman in construction both on and off site. The Association of Women in Property cite that women make up only 15% of the property and construction workforce. At Linden Homes we're proud to say that nearly 40% of our workforce are women and we will continue to encourage more to pursue careers in housebuilding. I can honestly say that I work with some truly inspirational women.

Where do you see the market in five years?
That’s difficult to predict but with government policy and funding pledged to build more homes to meet the national housing shortage, I anticipate the construction of new homes will increase. If interest rates remain low – which is likely – I think home ownership will continue to be affordable to more people.

What should the Government be doing to further help the property market?
I think they should be looking to secure the future of the successful Help to Buy scheme and to further promote assisted purchase schemes like Home Reach. These offer people different routes to home ownership and open the option to more people.

Have you always lived in the North East? If not, what brought you here and when?
I am from Whitley Bay originally but now live in Cullercoats. I have effectively grown up on the beach and cannot see myself ever living more than a 2-minute walk from the sand.

Your three favourite places in the region?
First is probably the North Sea! There are so many activities to be enjoyed on the beach or in the sea - hire a paddle board, learn the basics and get out there! Newcastle City Centre is also fantastic. It has everything to indulge my other favourite pastimes; shopping, eating and partying. Finally, I have to give a mention to my old home town - Whitley Bay. I am excited to see the Spanish City once it opens and to see how it affects the surrounding area.

Favourite restaurant or pub in the North East?
A tough call to make and I’ve only managed to whittle it down to a top two! Elder & Wolf in Whitley Bay or Cals Own in Jesmond. They both do the best pizzas and as a self-appointed pizza connoisseur, I know my pizza!

Would you chose country, coast or city?
Probably no surprise given my upbringing and where I live now, but it would have to be the coast. The best times for a beach walk is either in the middle of winter, when the exhilarating wind nearly knocks you over, or on a quiet summer morning watching the sunrise with the other hardcore locals at about 5am! Trust me - it’s worth getting up for.

Walk, museum or gadget?
Walk, I like to keep active. There is nothing better than a stroll in the Northumberland countryside or along the beach, followed by a lovely pub lunch.

Cinema, theatre or DVD?
The cinema for me. I enjoy a good horror so would probably pick out something scary!

If your Lottery numbers came up what would you buy or do?
Firstly, I’d probably treat my nearest and dearest and make sure they were set up for the future. After that I would book a ski chalet for a big family Christmas on the slopes. Something like the one out of a Wham’s Last Christmas video would be perfect!

-ENDS-

Contact details Abigail.reid@gallifordtry.co.uk

06 September 2018

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All images are used for illustrative purposes only and are representative only. They may not be the same as the actual home you purchase and the specification may differ. Images may be of a slightly different model of home and may include optional upgrades and extras which involve additional cost. Individual features such as windows, brick, carpets, paint and other material colours may vary and also the specification of fittings may vary. Any furnishings and furniture are not included in any sale. Please check with our sales representatives for details of the exact specifications available at the development(s) for each type of home and the associated prices.