Meet the MD: Nicola Spencer of Spencers Estate Agents

Meet the MD: Nicola Spencer of Spencers Estate Agents

Having joined her parents business as a typist to help out whilst they were away on holiday, Nicola Spencer now finds herself at the helm of Spencers Estate Agents after working her way to the top. BQ caught up with her to see how she made it happen and what advice she has for aspiring business leaders.

What does your role include?

In my role as managing director I wear a thousand hats; from mopping up tears of clients and staff, to ensuring there are enough loo rolls to mop up the tears, there’s no such thing as a job description for a small business owner.

I oversee all of the day to day running of the business, I bring in business, I manage the staff, the accounts, and the legislation and health and safety, as well as being the first aider (although God help you if you get injured, I am not known for sympathy).

 

What is it the company does?

We are estate agents and property advice professionals in Sheffield. We have a traditional estate agency service, a residential property management and rentals department, and also offer house doctor and interiors services.

 

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

The company was started by my parents so I first came in as a typist to help out whilst they were away on holiday and then worked in every role within the company, so there are no excuses from staff if they say something isn’t possible!

After 10 years I went to work in Edinburgh where I spent four years working within the property industry in PR and marketing roles, which stood me in good stead when I came back to Sheffield to buy out my parents so that they could retire.

 

What do you believe makes a great leader?

Rolling your sleeves up and showing no fear. If I can do it, you can do it, and if you can do it, you should bloody get on with it!

 

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

I gave birth to twins very early after an open day launch at a new development for a major client that I was desperate to impress and had to return to work on day four to pay wages and to ensure the smooth running of the company. Juggling motherhood and running the business brings challenges and guilt on levels that I could never have dreamt!

 

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

I always used to think that I was stressed about work but having the twins has made me realise that stress is a pointless waste of energy, especially when you only generally sleep around four hours a night. Now, I accept that things will happen beyond my control, and I fight fiercely for my business, but never to the detriment of my time or health anymore.

 

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but that may have had something to do with Tom Cruise, of course. When I started working in the family firm, my dad produced a letter that I wrote when I was eight, which read “When I grow up, I want to be an estate agent, just like my dad” #daddysgirl

 

Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

I despise bullies. Being a woman in this industry, unfortunately, you still deal with many men who feel it is ok to treat you as the little woman. Good luck with that.

 

Where do you see the company in five years time?

We are doing incredibly well. I am not about to try to take over the world so if we continue to remain successful and professional and if we continue to receive wine and thanks from our clients, that’s good enough for me.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

There’s a book called “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”. Read it with a highlighter pen and live your life by it, you won’t go far wrong

 

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