Special Agent: Ian indulges his passion for houses
Weekly focus on who's who in our local estate agents
Name Ian Thompson
Where you live Rosetta, Belfast
Married to Shona
Children Rory, 14 months
Work for Michael Chandler Estate Agents
What brought you into the business?
I was working in sales in the construction industry and enjoyed the selling side of things, but found it a bit tedious. Estate agency appealed to me as I liked the variation — getting out and about to meet people, and I’ve always been passionate about houses.
Who has inspired you in the property world?
The people were I previously worked. It was an estate agency in Scotland. And when the market took a turn for the worst some people there lost their jobs. I realised the only way I could save my job was by being proactive and going the extra mile for clients. Michael Chandler has also been an inspiration — people thought he was mad to open an estate agency during a recession, but the business has gone from strength to strength.
What do you have sitting on your desk?
My Blackberry, my computer and usually a glass of water.
Catching up with family and friends and watching Ulster play at Ravenhill on a Friday night.
Do you do lunch?
Yes — usually a quick sandwich on the go.
What qualifications do you think are essential for estate agency?
A good ear — listening to buyers and sellers is key to building good relationships and helping get deals agreed.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
It changed on a fairly regular basis!
If you could give it all up tomorrow, where in the world would you move to, and what would you do?
Bali — the weather is great and the people are so friendly. When I was there I met a local estate agent who said everyone fell in love with the place which made her job easier.
Any unfulfilled ambitions?
Lots — but I’ve got time on my side!
What is the most common misconception people have about estate agents?
That we’re all Del-Boy wheeler dealer types — we aren’t.
Your top tip for house-hunters is:
Speak to a mortgage advisor before going out to look at properties — you want to have a realistic idea of what your budget is.