Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Stephen McOwan from George F. White on his passion for property

It is always gratifying to interview someone who is passionate about their job, and Stephen McOwan certainly is that.

Having started work in an estate agent at the age of 15, Stephen rose through the ranks to his current position of partner and head of acquisitions at George F. White Property.

Stephen is responsible for a variety of areas, including valuations, marketing strategies, maximising strategy and development appraisals.

“I spend a lot of time travelling round Northumberland identifying opportunities for sales.

“The job requires a wide skill set, not least because we are often dealing with high net worth individuals, as well as larger and more complicated sales than your average four bedroom detached house.”

Due to the nature of George F. Whites’ clients, the recession did not affect them as badly as other estate agents, though Stephen is still attune to the difficulties they face.

“We are fortunate in our market sector that the people we deal with tend to be more financially robust.

“Equally a lot of properties we sell come with land, which tends to offset any fall in the value of bricks and mortar.”

When asked to name his favourite project, Stephen refuses to answer, instead stressing the importance of getting his clients what they want.

“Whether it’s a charming cottage oozing in character, or a country house with lakes and woodland, I enjoy selling them all,” he says. “Ultimately every mans’ home is his castle, so regardless what we’re selling it’s equally important for us to deliver.

“Nonetheless, there are some properties which are more challenging than others, which is often down to price and marketing, but all homes have a value, and with the right advice and common sense, things will still sell.”

Stephen was keen to encourage homeowners looking to sell to take a common sense approach to selling their homes, even if does mean facing the cold hard truth.

“Take a step back, and make a critical appraisal of your home as a potential buyer.

“If you regularly maintain your home, don’t stop doing things because they could add value to the sale, but if you haven’t done anything for 35 years there is little sense tampering with it, as people may want to purchase it as a renovation project.”

Throughout the conversation, Stephens’ enthusiasm for the business shines through, and as we conclude the interview, he sums his feelings up neatly:

“Every day there are new challenges and opportunities

“Ultimately, the day you stop enjoying it you need to stop, and I’m certainly not there yet.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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