A day in the life of our intern Greta
Greta is an English and Media Student based at the University of Cologne. She spent a year at Durham University as part of her degree and has spent three weeks at Hudson Moody helping us in the office, improving her English (which is already excellent!) and learning about the property industry. In this blog she shares her experiences and fondness for England and Yorkshire!
As an English and Media student who spends most of her time surrounded by piles of books trying to analyse Shakespeare, I had never really considered going into the property industry – until one of my friends made fun of me for watching more episodes of Location, Location, Location, Escape to the Country and Grand Designs than every senior citizen she knows combined, and suggested that I turn looking at other people’s houses into a job.
I’m a third-year student at the University of Cologne and am not local to the area at all, but since I did my year abroad at Durham University, I have spent many weekends exploring Yorkshire and falling more and more in love with it with every time I went. After returning to Germany last year, I was missing the UK terribly (life is tough if you don’t have unlimited access to Yorkshire Tea, gravy and Cadbury’s chocolate) and couldn’t wait to come back. Since I was planning on getting more work experience anyway, I had the idea to combine the two and have a look at different estate agents in the York area. I was hoping to work in an independent, family-owned business and am also a big fan of the colour pink, so naturally I was quite excited when I came across the Hudson Moody website. I immediately decided to email them to find out if they offered any placements, and before I knew it everything was arranged and I was boarding a plane to Manchester.
On my first day, Sarah, the Accompanied Viewer, took me along to some viewings right away. Seeing so many different houses and apartments was really exciting since I’d never been to a viewing before, and I even recognised a house that had been on Location, Location, Location a while ago! We also went out to take some photos of properties that were not on the market yet, making sure to get the right angles so that all the rooms looked their absolute best in the pictures. One of the most difficult challenges when taking photos is to make sure you’re not in the mirror or reflected in a shower door – you don’t want people thinking there’s a ghost haunting the house when they look at the photos and see a mysterious reflection!
I also got to accompany Ben Hudson to some valuations, where I learnt what to pay attention to when estimating the value of a property and what possibilities there are if you want to add value to your house. Hearing about the work a lot of the clients had done to their homes was something that I found particularly fascinating, and many of the properties seemed to have undergone a real transformation. With some of the properties, I almost felt like I was walking into a Tardis because they were so much bigger on the inside than they looked from the outside!
Once I had an understanding of how the sales process generally works and had seen a couple of properties, I was able to help Tarnia Hudson with a new development Hudson Moody are working on. The developer had provided us with floorplans and details on kitchen appliances, bathrooms, walls, flooring etc. for the 8 different apartments, which we had to look through individually to be able to collect all the information in one place for everyone to access and write up descriptions later on. We also got to visit the site and speak to the builders ourselves, which gave us an even better idea of what the finished development is going to be like.
As I already had a little bit of work experience in marketing, I was also quite interested in that side of the business and learned a lot about how to use marketing strategies to sell properties, but also grow your business in general. Part of this is, of course, how the properties are being presented on platforms like Rightmove and in brochures, as well as using social media to make sure prospective buyers are aware of what’s currently on the market. Hudson Moody also have a monthly newsletter with updates on the property market, tips and advice for buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants and various blog posts on different topics concerning the property industry. As part of my placement, I also got to write some posts about what a typical day at Hudson Moody looked like, which I enjoyed a lot because it gave me the chance to talk to everyone and find out more about what different roles there are within the company, what they’re responsible for on a daily basis and what they enjoy most about their jobs.
Even though I have only been with Hudson Moody for three weeks, I have definitely gained a really good insight into what it’s like to work as an estate agent. Shadowing different members of the team made me realise how varied their roles are and that no day at the office is quite the same as another. Another aspect I really enjoyed is that you don’t spend your whole working day in front of a desk but are usually out and about to see different houses and speak to new people every day. In fact, there really isn’t anything I didn’t like about the job – apart from falling in love with a new property every day and not being able to buy them myself!
It's been great having Greta as part of our team and we wish her luck in her future career!