Meet the MD: Ben Quaintrell of My Property Box

Meet the MD: Ben Quaintrell of My Property Box

Ben Quaintrell runs a busy residential agency, overseeing all aspects of the business from meeting with clients and landlords, to offering advice for tenants. He caught up with BQ to tell us a little bit more.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

My role as managing director and property manager involves me not only running the ship, but also getting involved in the business’ day-to-day work. It’s a very hands on role, which is why I love it so much. Making sure that I personally meet clients, both landlords and tenants, is really important to me because I like to make sure my clients can put a face to the name. I work especially hard to make sure all our landlords are looked after, if there’s anything they need I will try my best to help in any way I can.

 

What is it the company does?

We are a residential letting agency catering for the whole of the North East. I’m proud to say I have a fantastic and dedicated team who work together to fulfil every client’s needs, every day. Our services are flexible depending on the client requirements. We offer anything from fully managed, right through to tenant find only services and we work closely with our clients to make sure they are 100% happy with the final outcome.

 

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

I graduated from Sheffield University in 2002 where I studied business studies. From university I went into my first property job at a Darlington estate agents in its letting department, which I loved. I worked there for six years and it taught me a lot about the industry. Eager for more experience, in both the business and life sense, I moved over to Sydney, in 2010 where I carried on working in property. My time in Australia was a fantastic experience, but in 2012 I came back to start my business and that’s when My Property Box was created.

 

What do you believe makes a great leader?

I think being a great leader is made up of several things, but one rule I live by is to treat people how you want to be treated and I believe if you follow this, you will go far.

Richard Branson says “If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.” I don’t think many people can argue with that. Making sure your staff are happy is key to the business running smoothly. The team I work with are great, they work well together and take great care of our customers. So I believe looking after them plays a massive part in a successful business.

 

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

Like any other business owner, starting up had its challenges. There was a lot of hard work to do before the business was able to take off. Creating a website and logos definitely kept me on my toes but you learn from your experiences. All the challenges and hard work I faced has paid off because we now work with some great clients.

One of our challenges now is to make sure we are keeping everything fresh with new ideas. Our latest idea is our new matching service, helping tenants and landlords to find the right property match.

 

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

I recently became a dad, so coming home and spending time with the family is definitely one way that I de-stress. One of the best ways for me to de-stress is taking part in sports I enjoy such as playing football or attending the gym. I firmly believe enjoying what I do helps me to get rid of any stress I’ve feel, looking back at how far me and the business have come makes it all worthwhile.

 

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

When I was growing up I loved Top Gun and always wanted to be fighter pilot just like Tom Cruise. My interest in property grew during my time at university, moving to different student houses over the three years only fuelled my passion.

 

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

My biggest pet hate is the frustration of not being able to solve problems which are out of my control. I will always do anything I can to help my clients and defuse difficult situations, however sometimes things happen out of my control and there’s nothing I can do about them, which is frustrating, so ultimately as the agent we get the blame from either the landlord or tenant.

 

Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

In five years’ time I see My Property Box continuing to grow across the North East. As a team we’ve been working hard on pushing our online services, so I’d love for them to be well established. I definitely want both my team and clients to have grown over the next couple of years and I’m looking forward to seeing this happen.

 

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

My experience has taught me to always speak to and learn from as many people as you can. The more people you speak to, the more you learn. It’s so important to learn from your own and other people’s mistakes. People also love to share their achievements so this is a great opportunity to take on board what is being said and learn from it.

Networking has always been so helpful to me and the business and I can’t stress enough how much it can help you in your own business. It’s so important to get know the other businesses around, you often end up helping each other out.

I strongly believe that success in business isn’t just for the academics, anyone can be successful if they put their mind to it.