Media release 19 June 2018 - The Sentinel
Ramona Hirschi tells us why she loves working in the city and reveals the life-long dream she’ll be achieving in this summer
Ramona Hirschi is the owner of Belvior lettings and estate agents franchise in Stoke-on-Trent
Laura JamesBusiness Editor
- 05:00, 19 JUN 2018
This week we meet Ramona Hirschi, the owner of the Belvoir lettings and estate agents franchise in Stoke-on-Trent.
She tells us about her career, interests and her biggest inspirations.
TELL ME ALL ABOUT YOURSELF
I own the Belvoir franchise in Stoke-on-Trent and live in Newcastle. I’m a lawyer, business owner and property developer by background and am married to Raphael, who is a professor in Astrophysics at Keele University. We have two beautiful children, 13-year-old Ezra and 11-year-old Alayna so striking the perfect work-life balance is on ongoing juggling act.
GIVE ME AN OVERVIEW OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR
I have a legal background and started my career in litigation. I’ve worked for the United Nations in Geneva where I helped Palestinians get compensation for the losses they suffered because of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. I’ve also worked as a solicitor in Hanley, specialising in contractual issues and dispute resolution.
I got frustrated working for other people though and decided to set up my own company Little Trove which specialised in fairtrade giftware.
I’ve always had a real passion for property and as well as running that business I started renovating and renting out my own properties too. It was at that point that I decided I wanted my passion for property to become my full-time career, which my legal background really helps with.
The Belvoir franchise was perfect, it’s got a fantastically strong brand and huge potential for growth in an area I’m really familiar with, so in August last year I took over the Belvoir office in Hanley.
In my job there’s no such thing as an average day as no two days are ever the same. The work’s really varied. One day I can be visiting tenants and solving problems, the next I can be visiting people who want to get their properties on the market. I also spend a lot of time networking and marketing to build the business I’m really passionate about and, like every business owner, I spend hours carrying out admin tasks.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT YOUR JOB?
In my business I have the privilege of being part of someone’s life plan and playing a small part in helping them achieve their dreams.
Buying a house is probably the biggest asset you are going to invest in. Buying and selling houses can be incredibly stressful and if we can help people go through the process as seamlessly as possible that’s a fantastic feeling to have.
I’ve been lucky enough to live all over the world, but I can honestly say I’m happy where I am now. Although in all honestly when I retire I want to live somewhere warm, by the beach with good food. If I can achieve all that – I’ll be happy.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
I drive my family mad because I’m addicted to watching property renovation programmes and reading interior design magazines. I love seeing the results of renovation projects and am always carrying out my own DIY and garden projects.
There’s no one person. For me it’s all the local business owners who have started their own companies and made them a success, especially women who have made the leap. That’s what inspires me and motivates me every day to make Belvoir as successful as possible.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
We have moved around the world a lot mainly for my husband’s job. So the places I have lived in are Kuala Lumpur, Basel and Geneva, before settling in Newcastle. It wasn’t always possible to plan a career path - because of that I always made the best of the situation, where ever I was.
For example, in Basel I didn’t speak any Swiss German, so I used the time there to do a Masters Degree, have the children and help local charities. All of these experiences have helped give me skills I’ve used throughout my career.
I’m a big believer in whatever the circumstances – look for the opportunity. That’s what I’ve done which I think is my biggest achievement.
It’s the people. They’re open, friendly and easy to get along with. They’re not arrogant – in fact the people here tend to be the opposite – they don’t have airs and graces and are very grounded and humble.
The location’s great as well as we’re so central. Everywhere’s really accessible and commuting is manageable which makes it much easier to juggle work and home.
IF YOU COULD GO TO DINNER WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHY?
That’s simple – Bradley Cooper. If you’d have asked me a few years ago I’d have said Brad Pitt but now it would definitely be Bradley, for obvious reasons! I wouldn’t care where we went as long as we had great food and each other’s company. I don’t think my husband would be very happy but I have to be honest!
There are two things really. Professionally it’s growing the business as we head to our first anniversary in the summer. I’m taking on a new member of staff to grow the sales side of the company to keep up with the leads and investor-buyer calls we are getting....
On a personal level we’re achieving a family life-long dream of going on an African safari which we’re all really looking forward to.
WHAT IS THE ONE MOTTO THAT YOU LIVE AND WORK BY?
I’m a doer so I’d say just get on with it, don’t procrastinate, just go for it and achieve your goals.