Today we’re talking to Claire Russell, co-founder and director of Domus Holmes Property Finder, an independent property finding consultancy and property investment company. Claire shares why a buying agent isn’t just for Christmas (or just for the rich and famous) and why Blue Peter will always hold a special place in her heart.
#1. So, what’s your favourite word?
#2. What gets you up in the morning?
My cat and the builder outside my bedroom window.
#3. What do you truly, honestly think of social media?
It has its place. I can’t help noticing that the younger generation on social media are coming across as quite entitled with a need to be spoonfed information and opportunities. I see some fairly basic questions being asked in the Facebook groups I belong to, and a lot of quite direct career requests being asked on LinkedIn. Show some initiative!
#4. Kindles or books?
I really love proper books but I’ve travelled extensively and lived in other countries so I’ve swapped now to a Kindle.
#5. What do you think is the biggest challenge to your industry right now?
Changing the perception of using a buying agent. Nowadays, it can be difficult to find a place to live – there’s a huge supply shortage, high prices etc, so why not seek the assistance and expertise of a buying agent? They’re not just for the rich and famous. In the US for example, property finders are the norm.
#6. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A Blue Peter presenter.
#7. What led you to your current career?
I was a property lawyer so I always had that passion. I took a year out from my law firm and worked in a private family business. I saw how my billionaire boss had made his money through property and was totally inspired by his journey.
#8. Can you use your favourite word in a sentence?
Feed me fish.
#9. Now can you make it rhyme?
Six fish on a dish – best said with a Kiwi accent.
#10. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would say take chances while you’re young and have enough time to recover if it all goes wrong.
#11. What’s the best thing anyone’s ever done for you?
Actually, it’s been the cumulative effects of a million small things.
#12. Tell us, what’s been your ‘career-defining’ moment?
The decision to work for myself.
#13. Go girl. If you won a big award of some kind, who would you thank?
My very patient partner.
#14. Can you give us a timesaver of the day?
Decide what to wear the night before.
#15. Like that. Where do you see your industry in 24 months?
I’d love to see more of an uptake on buyers using property finders.
#16. Where were you 24 months ago?
I’d just left a City law firm and was setting up Domus Holmes Property Finder – to the day!
#17. Kismet! What’s an interesting fact about your company?
Our HR manager is a cat.
#18. Okeydokes. If you could have a 24-minute Skype chat with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
#19. What’s one word you’d want people to describe you with?
#20. Would you mind taking a selfie for us?
Here you go.
#21. What’s your favourite Twitter handle or social media campaign?
Oh, nobody is springing to mind!
#22. We’ll just put yours down then. What’s one quote that defines your work ethic?
If you fall seven times you get up eight. It’s a Japanese proverb.
#23. What’s been the best part of your day?
A tough gym session to clear away the cobwebs.
#24. Finally, anything to plug?
There is an increased number of first-time buyers coming into a tough market so we have put together a special service at a special rate just for them (available until the end of September). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our contact page here.