I have been working for Evolve for over 10 years now and whilst a lot has changed, plenty remains the same. The property industry has had its fair share of peaks and troughs with the recession, Brexit, and the birth of the online agent, but despite these changes Evolve’s core services remain a key ingredient for professional property marketing.
When I first joined the company as an administrator in 2008, EPCs were in their infancy and energy efficiency was a new and exciting change for improving homes in the UK. In my first few months of working I bought my first car, a little green Corsa with manual wind-up windows, and drove to and from our head office in a historic street at the southern end of Southampton. We offered an outsourced service to local agents in the Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth areas. Our Northern office based in the Scottish Borders then operated across the borders and Edinburgh.
From EPCs we ventured into the Home Information Pack (HIP), which sadly only lived a short time before the government discarded the idea. We then offered Home Reports and valuations in Scotland, which are still going to this day.
Our next focus was to develop a service which aided estate agents and property companies even further. With our MDs knowledge of estate agency and the time restraints made upon them, we built up and trained our network of assessors to complete additional marketing services whilst in the property completing the EPC. These services included the marketing floorplan, photos and descriptions and became our new challenge as we got to grips with the subjective nature of photography! But it did mean that all elements of property marketing could be completed in one timely visit to the property and thus free up the agent to concentrate on other things. We formed a strong and lasting relationship with Barratt Homes and here I learned the importance of speed as well as quality.
In May of 2010, we left Southampton and our head office moved to a big barn in a little village called Southwick. This was a welcome change as I no longer had to make that long commute in my little green Corsa with manual wind-up windows, or wave at our MD on the M27 jam as I sailed by in the fast lane!
We then briefly touched on the Green Deal and all things ECO. This, however, was not a project I was directly involved in and instead I turned my attentions to inventories and managing the property services team. I had found a new direction and challenge for my working life as I focused on motivating people and managing a team, learning to work with different personalities, and building on my letting’s knowledge.
In 2017, I was promoted to Head of Operations and with a firm understanding of the business and its requirements, I took the time to delve into the day-to-day processes and getting to grips with systems and technicalities.
Now, 10 years from where I started, with a new car and a bubbly afternoon tea celebration under my belt, the EPC still remains a legal requirement for the sale and let of a property and with the big boom in online marketing and social media, our marketing and outsourced services are even more important than they ever were before.