Career Profiles: Lettings Director
From receptionist to lettings director, Kathy Valverde’s career in the property market is a tremendous example of an ambitious individual rising through the ranks to assume a position of authority and responsibility.
Having started out as a receptionist with a small independent agent in Fareham in 1979, Kathy took a career break to bring up her family before returning to the sector in 1989 with Halifax estate agents. She began as a secretary to a lettings manager, before progressing to senior branch manager, covering the area between Chichester and Lyndhurst.
When Halifax was acquired by Leaders in 2004, Kathy initially came on board as a branch manager in Fareham, Eastleigh and Southsea. Over the next three years she demonstrated an unwavering commitment and positive attitude, rising to every challenge that came her way. In 2007, she was promoted to area manager for east Hampshire with responsibility for five branches and 45 staff. This was later extended to all of Hampshire and Dorset, one of Leaders’ largest, busiest and most successful regions.
In 2016, Kathy was promoted again, this time to become one of Leaders' three lettings directors. She continues to oversee dozens of branches in the south, south-west and west of England.
Responsibility for a large team
Kathy explains: “Working as a lettings director for an ambitious and expanding company like Leaders is a huge challenge and one that I relish every day. I oversee hundreds of employees in more than 20 branches, each of which must meet the standards we demand of ourselves.
“My role is to ensure our branches meet their targets and contribute positively to the company. Perhaps the greatest aspect of the job is the variation it offers. One day I will be managing existing employees, the next I could be recruiting for an exciting role in one of our branches and the next I am heading up a training and development programme.
“It is important I help every branch to identify every opportunity that presents itself to increase income streams and to achieve their goals.”
Matching people to their perfect role
Kathy loves her job and the opportunities it provides her. She believes working with her large team is the most enjoyable and rewarding aspect.
“I pride myself on finding out what motivates every employee and ensuring they have everything they need to succeed,” she explains.
“It is crucial we have the right people in the right roles, so if somebody is not suited to delivering great customer service in one area I will consider how we can make better use of their skills.
“A career in the property market should be something every bright and ambitious individual considers. Over the years I have been a part of some great teams and experienced hilarious moments as well as heart-wrenching stories.
“Sharing these experiences with my teams and advising them on how to deal with every situation they will come across allows me to ensure everything I have been through will benefit others and help them to make the right decisions in future.”
Kathy would recommend a career in the property market to anybody looking for a varied and rewarding challenge.
“We work hard to ensure our staff feel valued and appreciated and we strive to offer great training and development opportunities. So whether you are aiming to get into property for the first time or make the leap from administrator to property manager or negotiator to branch manager, Leaders is the place to achieve your goal,” she says.