26 years of Bridges

In 2016 our School Sponsorship hit record levels for us with no less than 51 local schools receiving some kind of sponsorship. It is perhaps our proudest record.

Our ongoing sponsorship of the Phyllis Tuckwell hospice also delights me. The hospice was fantastic with help for my Father during his last days a couple of years ago and is something I will never forget. The way the Bridges teams have thrown themselves in to the 10 Peaks Challenges, the Surrey/ London Bike ride, parachute jumps, a ‘strictly come dancing’ challenge and many other challenges in order to help the hospice has been very humbling.

We have recently agreed to extend our sponsorship of Aldershot Town FC until 2020 as we admire the community work they get involved in since Chairman Shahid Azeem took control. Under his stewardship we have watched the club go from administration, where it was when we first became club sponsors to Top of League after a 6-0 win at the weekend as I write this column!

Our company presence belies our size, with some thinking we are a national company, and we know our community efforts are unmatched by our competitors in this area. I hope we can continue to play our part in funding some great events and organisations for many more years to come.

To find out more about the care and support which Phyllis Tuckwell provides for its patients and their families, visit www.pth.org.uk.

Looking to buy or sell in today’s market?

We have always lived in a property market of different motivations, those that have to move, those that would like to move and those that have no inclination of moving, until that right property comes up and they make the plunge. In the transient world we live in, where careers no longer keep you tied to one location due to the increase in the ‘work from home’ brigade, moving in and out of areas isn’t the big step it used to be.

Certainly our Farnham, Frimley and Fleet offices have seen a huge increase in the demand for family homes. Reminiscent of the Beaujolais Noveau rush of the late 1980’s these areas are pinpointed for the schools and the clamber to try and secure a place in one of these much coveted learning facilities is a sight to behold as ‘catchment area’ becomes the in phrase. Bring something to the market with open plan living / dining / kitchen, throw in some white walls and a roof light and you know you will have a bidding frenzy on your hands, however, the savvy out there are taking it to the next level. Thinking of the old adage of buy the worse house in the best road, dated bungalows have been given the phoenix treatment of rising from a cloud of dust with shiny glass facades and spiral staircases, houses have been doubled in size and in some cases the now you see it now you don’t of demolition and reconstruction has been allowed on some prized plots.

The more densely populated areas that we operate in of Aldershot and Farnborough have been taken over by not only those looking for a fantastic buy to let opportunity due to the industry in and around these towns, but also by the savvy first time buyers looking at capital growth. Farnborough in particular has seen a huge regeneration over the last few years and with a mainline station getting you into Waterloo in approximately 38 minutes, it has become a haven for those coupling value for money with convenience. With modern apartments being built with the millennials in mind, they generally come fibre enabled and with built in appliances making them an excellent purchase and with space for further growth in the market.

All in all, it’s a great time to be in the property market whether you are buying or selling, the key is do your homework, come to the market prepared, educated and with a strategy to make the move a reality. We kindly offer free advice on any aspect of your move in any area on 01252 361550.

Waltzing you through your sales or letting!

Our company has been built on an ethos of excellent customer service, dazzling creativity and we love choreographing your move from start to finish, without, of course, Cha-Cha-Charging you the earth!

Our professionals regularly score 10’s on technique and showmanship, and, no matter how difficult the routine, our execution of a sale rarely falters. Whether your property is Modern or Traditional we make the transition from ‘for sale’ to a successful exchange of contracts graceful and simple and we always score top marks!

Vote for Bridges on 01252 361550 and we will leap into action using originality, rhythm and strength to find you a buyer or tenant and Waltz you through the process from start to finish.

Flying high

Our sales force are the envy of our competitors especially when finding the right, fully qualified & serious buyer can sometimes be a dog fight! Our top ‘Aces’ continue to offer a less turbulent, non-stop journey and ensure a safe landing into your new home!

Our sales progression department, who we like to think act as our hosts and hostesses of the ground, ensure your journey will be smooth and relaxing, keeping you informed throughout the journey, tirelessly working to ensure you are comfortable and arrive at your new destination feeling fresh and ready.

Our administration department are our ground crew, they work diligently behind the scenes to ensure everything is where you want it, when you want it. Every inspection is made to ensure your safety and guarantee a smooth landing.

Your comfortable trip, with no surprises is our aim. We facilitate it by employing and retaining the most knowledgeable and experienced ‘pilots’ we can find, local, understanding and conscientious providing a very business class trip.

Your portable electronic devices must be set to ‘Bridges mode’ to receive our confirmation of viewing appointments and feedback and to see our showcase of your home until an announcement is made upon arrival of a sale.

Don’t instruct a cattle class agent, they may get you there in the end but not without a lost bag, an uncomfortable and inattentive journey and possibly a scandal! You wouldn’t want to get onto a plane with an inexperienced pilot, so don’t risk putting your sale or rental in the hands of valuation and a first class experience. On behalf of Bridges and the entire crew, I’d like to thank you for joining us on our journey for the last 25 years and we are looking forward to seeing you on board in the near future.

We’re recruiting

Experienced, knowledgeable property listers

You know who you are and we probably know you! You will be local with strong local knowledge. Maybe disillusioned where you are currently, maybe not being rewarded properly and feel it is time to come and work with the best in the area.

Lettings assistant

In this role you will be required to manage an applicant database, handle new tenant enquiries & provide our clients with high standards of customer service. Arrange and conduct viewings. Administer offers & carry out ‘Right to Rent’ checks amongst other tasks.

Quality receptionists/sales progressors

This is a varied and sometimes stressful role as we deal with clients during what can be a very fraught time but that is where we have to be calm, patient and understanding. We speak with our clients at least once a week to ensure they are aware of the progress of their sale and what they should be doing next. You will offer assistance, advice and sometimes just an ear to bend.

Experienced, knowledgeable lettings agents

Again, we probably know you and you feel ready for a change or have been let down with promises from your current employer. Whatever your reasons come and talk to us in the strictest confidence.

Lettings property manager

You will be a very organised individual who will be responsible for preparation of ASTs and supporting documents, booking of inventories, check ins and check outs, handling of notices from landlords or tenants & many other important details.

Office coordinators

Working as an office coordinator is a fantastic opportunity to become an integral part of our fun and talented teams. As the face of Bridges, you will create a welcoming atmosphere for everyone visiting the offices you cover whether they are vendors, landlords, buyers or tenants. You are also responsible for the administration and smooth running of the office and you will share our desire to deliver outstanding customer service.

Customer service representatives

You will be a natural on the telephone who can build rapport and set the pace of a telephone enquiry. The ability to come out of a telephone call with all of the information required, whilst generating an excellent experience for the consumer is key.

So, whatever you are doing at present, why not get in touch and see if there is a career path waiting for you at Bridges. All enquiries will be handled in the strictest confidence.

Take a look at our current openings.

What did you do with the extra day?

As we have partnered with Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice as our chosen charity we have taken the profits for that day and added them towards our £30,000 target for the year.

We have set off the first part of our donations by providing the Hospice with 3 brand new cars, in order that more nurses can provide palliative care at home when it is needed most. The Hospice staff helped my family incredibly when we lost my father in 2015 and I can’t imagine anyone having to go through that experience without the remarkable help of the superb nurses engaged within this amazing organisation.

Did you know it costs £25,000 every day to keep Phyllis Tuckwell’s services running and that as NHS/Govt funding only covers 20% of its costs, the charity has to raise over £20,000 a day.

Lots of our staff have already engaged with the desire to make this year extra special as we celebrate 25 years since I opened the first office in Ash Vale. We are raising money through as many means as possible including sky dives, mountain challenges, our football event in association with Aldershot Town FC, a celebrity cricket match, fun runs, the annual Phyllis Tuckwell dash of colour event and many other activities.

If you know anyone from our teams, I do hope you will sponsor them in aid of this incredible local Hospice without whose help many people would have endured an even more painful end to an extremely sad experience. One thing I can assure everyone locally is, that if you ever need this service, following the support you receive from them, you wouldn’t hesitate in making regular donations. Having been able to help get their ‘home care’ to more people locally, fills me with enormous pride and I must truly thank all my staff for the way they have fully engaged with what we are trying to do this year and hopefully for many years to come.

Bridges 25th Anniversary!

I can remember the day as though it were yesterday. Within 2 years Mark Kirby, Carlo Stocchetti, Dominic Barnes & Daniel Pockett had joined the team and, as they are all now Directors of the company, we are all looking forward to celebrating this landmark achievement together.

Much has changed since those early days, but certain things remain the same. The Bank of England base rate was 10.38%. My first instruction was to market a large Victorian 3 bedroomed detached house on Ash Hill Road for £69,950 and our first sale, a one bedroom apartment went for £41,500.

Nobody in this area used colour photographs; we were the first. It was all black and white photocopies, and barely legible text. The internet had only just been conceived by Tim Berners-Lee so ‘licking & sticking’ envelopes was a big chore back then. Perhaps my worst memory of those days is how, if you decided to use 10 estate agents to sell your home, all of them could put a board in your front garden! And all of them did!

What HAS stayed the same is our attitude to selling & renting. Of course there are new methods of achieving a result, Rightmove, email, social media etc, but that is not why we are able to reach this landmark anniversary in such style. It is because of our customer service and the way we are perceived, as a local company who get involved in the community. It always has been. Obviously not every sale or purchase is going to go smoothly and, at times, we have made our mistakes, but our integrity has remained intact through the 2 boom periods and 3 recessions since 1991.

We are going to make 2016 not just a great year for us, but for our community.

We have already arranged a raft of charitable events and we have agreed a new and unique partnership with the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice who serve the same as area as us in a most incredible way. We are going to continue to interact with our communities by sponsoring as many schools as possible (we have always held education as our mainstay in sponsorship), and we want to improve even further the way we engage with the community not just this year but for the coming years. We want to display works from our local artists and hopefully get them noticed. We want to hear from local architects who are proposing new ideas and designs.

We want to hear from anyone who runs a ‘different’ kind of business that we can promote to our local buyers and sellers. Are you opening a new shop? Let us know, we will put the word out. Do you know of a local hero who should get some recognition? Let us know, we will honour them and make sure they are recognised through our social media, our offices and this newspaper. We will only be able to celebrate our 50th anniversary if we carry on doing the right things for the next 25 years!

Let’s look forward to a very exciting and appreciative 2016!