The Six-month Diary of an Actor Turned Estate AgentBy: Will Roden
Wednesday the 3rd of February marked my six-month anniversary of being an Estate Agent. There was no cake, no parade, not even a well done for making it this long. Nothing….
…But there was a fresh lead.
First-time buyer, mortgage all sorted, been looking for a while now and “absolutely set on the Charlton area”, know exactly what they want and reckons “this is the perfect house”. You can forget the cake; this is far more appealing!
Six months ago, I was in a very different place, professionally and mentally. The industry I had dedicated almost a decade of my life to was utterly decimated. Covid-19 threw a real spanner in the works for creatives like me. I couldn’t do any filming, theatres were closed, and I’d spent most of my self-employment grant on craft beers.
I was lost.
For so long I’d been my own boss- I’d find jobs where I could, work in hospitality when I needed, and hoped that Christopher Nolan stumbled across my website when casting his next multi-million-pound blockbuster… sadly this never did happen.
It was my fiancé, Lauren, who nudged me towards another profession. She saw me for what I was, lost and scared to do anything else, and she knew for the sake of my mental health, I needed a fresh challenge away from Acting.
Somehow, I managed to blag myself through a first interview (wearing shorts under the desk!); to then have a zoom meeting with Michael John, my branch Partner, and one of the business directors. I remember one of the questions Michael asked me, “What do you think an Estate Agent does?”……
I was flummoxed. “Er, well, sell houses.” I needed more than that. “Connect with people in a truthful manner” … bit better “It’s that connection we need as humans. You aren’t just selling something; you’re right at the start of one of the most exciting decisions these people could ever make. So many of my favourite memories are at my home. It’s the Christmases, the dinner parties, the countless potential moments that will last forever. To be a part of that process is what brings me happiness, and isn’t that life’s purpose? To be happy?”
Ok, I don’t think I said any of that.
In fact, I’m pretty sure I just stumbled out a few words and sweated profusely!
But it’s something that I genuinely do believe in, and six months down the line I haven’t forgotten it. It’s somewhat hyperbolic, and I can feel the cringe in the pit of my stomach for even saying this- but we aren’t just in the business of selling houses, we are selling happiness. It’s the families I’ve shown around needing that extra space because they’re expecting a child, the older married pair looking to downsize because the kids have flown the nest and the young couples that are after renting their first home together; I feed off that excitement and it genuinely makes me ecstatic to assist people in taking that next step in life.
I’m not going to pretend it’s all been smooth sailing. It can be complicated and overwhelming sometimes; there are days when it’s a real struggle to get out of bed, those viewings where you’re standing outside with the wrong set of keys and the endless stream of emails that it’s so easy to get lost in.
But I have a fantastic team around me. They challenge me daily, and I’m continually learning from them, they are my competition, but they are genuine friends, and I know I can count on every one of them to help me out if I need it. So, to those guys, I say thank you for a fantastic six months, you helped pull me out of a very depressing place.
My life has irrevocably changed, but I am so happy where I am. And to echo what I said before, isn’t that what this is all about?