An ambitious young woman has earned top job at a lettings and estate agency – after starting out on a work experience placement.
Katie Wynne, 24, from Denbigh, has been made manager of the Denbigh office of Elwy Estates, just two years after joining the expanding company through the Jobs Growth Wales scheme.
The scheme is funded by the Welsh Government to get young people aged between 16 and 24 into work.
Elwy expanded into selling houses earlier this year from their from their offices in Bodfor Street in Rhyl and now the estate agency side of the business is also up and running from their office in Vale Street in Vale Street in Denbigh.
Ex Ysgol Glan Clwyd pupil, Katie, who has a degree in mathematics from Cardiff University, said: “I feel incredibly proud to have been made a manager at Elwy Estates. I never imagined that it would happen this quickly.
“It’s an exciting time at Elwy because we’re growing quickly.
“Elwy is moving into sales. It’s been a big success since we opened our Rhyl branch where we set up the sales operation. We’ve got lots of houses on our books and have made a lot of sales as well. It’s been such a success that we’re now rolling it out to our Denbigh office.
“What makes us different to most estates agents is that we take a flat fee of £750 when we sell the property. Most other estates agents take a percentage of the sale.
“We’re also redeveloping and modernising the Denbigh office.
“I like working with people to find them a home, and I also like building relationships with landlords, as well as meeting new people. You need to know what people are after and what their needs are to tailor the service specifically for them.”
Katie added: “Before starting at Elwy through Jobs Growth Wales I was unemployed for about three months which was difficult. I was applying for lots of jobs which can be a bit depressing.
“I had been working as a waitress after graduating from university, but that came to an end and I was looking for something more permanent.
“I saw an advert for Elwy through the Jobs Growth Wales scheme. The job was guaranteed for six months and funded by the Welsh Government. After the six months was up I was taken on fulltime.
“I started off as a Lettings Negotiator. I did a bit of everything really. I did things like getting tenants in, managing properties, organising inspections, doing background checks, and organising maintenance.
“I was promoted to Assistant Manager, and have completed an NVQ Level 5 in Leadership and Management. That was really good for developing my management skills. I did coursework, essays, and had people come in to observe me at work. It was really helpful because I learned a lot.
“For example how to manage staff, because different people have different learning styles so you have to take that into account.
“It also taught me the right management procedures to follow, and about accounting and finance, and how a business operates.
“I’m also a founding member of the Mingle business networking group. I think networking is a very important. Mingle is relaxed and informal, where people can come, make connections, and build relationships. If you know and trust someone, you’re more likely to do business with them.”
Kerry Grayson, Sales Director at Elwy Estates, believes Katie has an extremely bright future.
She said: “Katie is very a confident and intelligent young lady and she is good with people. She’s progressed very far in a short amount of time and she’s more than capable to do the job.
“It’s a very exciting time for Elwy. We’re going to launch a sales department in our Denbigh office which will cover places like Denbigh, Trefnant and St Asaph.
“The sales have been going really well in Rhyl since we launched here. From a standing start we now have a large number of houses on our books and have completed a lot of sales.”