Celebrating Daniel’s career – 20 years and counting
On November 20th 2020, it’s exactly twenty years since Bernards Estate Agents’ Managing Director, Daniel Byrne, started in estate agency. His team want to celebrate and mark his landmark anniversary, so they have invited Daniel to share his story, talk about his career and give his insight into how estate agency has changed over the last two decades.
– What was your first estate agency job?
I started as a trainee negotiator, 20 years ago, with a large local independent estate agent. It was my first job after leaving college, apart from my Saturday job in a butchers!
– Why did you go into estate agency?
I wanted a job where I could work my way up and use my mouth rather than my hands! I wanted to look smart and be smart. After 3 years, at 21 years old, I was running the office and spent a happy 9 years with the company. In 2009, a partnership opportunity came up I decided the time was right to literally step over the road and come and work as the branch manager at Bernards Southsea.
– What’s been your biggest challenges over your career?
The last two to three years has seen some pretty tough times for all estate agents. The Tenant Fees ban and the reshaping of the rules around charges and government legislation changes has created testing times for landlords and lettings agents especially. Of course, 2020 has also been a crazy time for estate agents. We’ve been in a state of flux since March and working from home has been unusual but Bernards is on solid footing and the future is looking bright.
– What are you most proud of?
I am really proud of Bernards’ reputation, our brand and our place in the market. All my staff are good people and motivated, with a loyalty to me and the business.On a personal level, I’d have to say I am most proud of my two beautiful daughters – they are both amazing girls.
– Is there anything you’d change along the way?
It might seem strange to say but I feel I wouldn’t have done anything differently in my career. I have, on the whole, made the right key decisions over the last 20 years. I’m fortunate that I am in a happy position with a good reputation for being reliable and honest.
How has technology changed estate agency?
Back in the day, on my desk was a Rolodex and paper based diary. The Internet has changed the face of the industry – with thousands of properties on portals and websites, clients have so many more options right at their fingertips to choose. We’ve embraced technology and use it to deliver superior marketing packages for our clients.
I think that clients now understand the value of employing an estate agent rather than a purely online agent. We have real local knowledge, expert staff and our fees nowadays are much more comparable, so clients go for a high street agent with a mix of online and traditional benefits.
What’s the secret of your success?
I think longevity in the business, Bernards has been on the scene for more than 30 years! I’m hard working and dedicated – I’ve only worked for 2 estate agents so I’ve worked my way up and put my all into what I do. I think being having a thick skin is a useful asset. Being willing to evolve the business within the marketplace and being responsive to changing needs is key. I want my business to grow and improve and for our customers to want to use us and recommend Bernards.
– What do you think is the next big thing in estate agency?
For Bernards, we have a lot of exciting changes on the horizon. We’re launching a new in house department – Bernards Mortgage & Protection. This extra service will enable our clients to use Bernards as a one-stop shop for more elements of their property purchase or sale – they can source their financial requirements with our trusted experts.
We’ve just opened a 5th office and I am personally heading up a new Bernards brand – Finest, exclusively by bernards. This offering is essentially a set of bespoke services that are suitable for the sales of higher value and unusual homes. We have already commenced marketing properties and feedback from clients has been really positive and that we’re offering a great niche service.