Have a heart for Wayne’s Fund

St Albans Glynn Cropped

Our St. Albans Estate Agency Manager Glynn Pope is taking on his annual bike ride this weekend in memory of his brother Wayne who passed away ten years ago from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS).

On what would have been Wayne’s 40th birthday, Glynn is asking friends, family and colleagues to get behind the charity he set up in memory of his brother to spread awareness of the cause and the importance of defibrillators in local communities.

Glynn says ‘Every ‘Like’ on Facebook helps us reach a few more people to spread the word about ‘Wayne’s Fund’ and the story behind it. The equipment is expensive with each piece including training costing upwards of £2,000 however, in the ten years since Wayne’s death, we are approaching £90,000 of donations thanks to the generosity of supporters.’

To sponsor Glynn’s bike ride with a donation, contact St Albans or like ‘Wayne’s Fund’ on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/waynesfund.

Harrison Murray strengthens its Enderby estate agency team

July 15 - Enderby team

Having started her estate agency career a decade ago, Natalie Widdowson has come full circle with a new role where it all began, with us at Harrison Murray.

Following a career break to raise her five children, Natalie is now fulfilling the career she always wanted – having stepped into a senior negotiator role at our Leicestershire estate agency branch in Enderby.

Natalie (32) began her career in 2005 as a part time negotiator at our neighbouring Western Park office in Leicester.

She explained: “I went back into estate agency after some time away, working for a corporate firm for several years in both their city centre and Blaby office on a full-time basis as a sales negotiator.

“I used my time to gain knowledge and confidence in the industry and developed a passion for it. I really enjoy helping people with both finding and selling a property and making the experience as positive as I can.”

Natalie added: “I’m now back where I began with Harrison Murray, this time in a senior negotiator role, and pursuing the career I always wanted.

“What I enjoy about working for Harrison Murray is the endless enthusiasm and determination to see their staff climb ladders and become successful, investing time and training to help people achieve their goals.

“Equally, they have a fantastic personal approach with their clients, making each one feel like an individual. This is what sets Harrison Murray aside from other agents.

“I have been welcomed into the Enderby family with open arms and I already feel very settled. I am looking forward to seeing the office now flourish and look forward to my future with the company and making my children proud.”

Our Senior Residential Manager Teana Hampson added: “We are thrilled to welcome Natalie, who has estate agency experience and the benefit of having worked for Harrison Murray originally, to our successful and growing team.”

Pic cap

Harrison Murray’s all female team at Enderby. Left back row – Valerie Putnam, sales negotiator; Trilby Greissel- Brown, sales negotiator;  Naomi Hewitt, sales negotiator. Front row – Teana Hampson, senior residential manager and Natalie Widdowson, senior sales negotiator.

Bringing a bucket-load of summer fun to school children

July 2015 - Colouring competition March

Harrison Murray senior negotiator Tracey Palmer and estate agency manager Nicola Roberts at Thomas Eaton Primary School with winner Nathan.

Summertime fun was on the timetable for children at a Fenland school, when they took on a creative challenge issued by Harrison Murray.

Youngsters from the Thomas Eaton Primary School in Wimblington showed off their talents in a competition to colour in a picture of a sandcastle – with entries displayed in our March branch.

Estate agency manager Nicola Roberts and her team had the tough job of trying to pick a winner from many excellent entries, and awarded first prize of beach goodies including a pull-along cart, sand sifters, bucket, spade and water sprinker, to four-year-old Nathan Leeding.

Nicola said: “Our huge thanks to the school and of course the children who took part in the initiative so enthusiastically.

“We thoroughly enjoy being involved in the local community and engage with people in the town through these kind of events.”

Gareth’s app-iness as he lands him selfie iPad

Selfie competition winner - Gareth Bennett

Nottingham Estate Agency area manager Richard Bocock presents selfie competition winner Gareth Bennett with a new iPad Mini, watched by Nottingham Estate Agency Mansfield branch estate agency manager Debbie Wright. Inset: Gareth’s winning selfie.

Nottingham Forest fanatic Gareth Bennett is now extremely app-y after his ‘selfie shot’ won him an iPad Mini thanks to the estate agency arm of The Nottingham Building Society (The Nottingham).

The 33-year-old, who has recently moved to Mansfield from Carlton with his family, saw the competition – where people were asked to take a headshot photo next to a Nottingham Estate Agency or Harrison Murray ‘For Sale’ or ‘Sold’ sign – on Facebook and decided to take part.

On the final day of entries and despite horrendous rain, Gareth ventured out on his motorbike and travelled to Netherfield – where he lived when he was younger – for a trip down memory lane combined with the chance to get a selfie next to a Nottingham Estate Agency sign he had seen previously.

And it proved a very worthwhile thing to do as Gareth’s entry was randomly drawn out of the hat and he landed the state-of-the-art tablet, which was presented at The Nottingham’s Mansfield branch this week.

Gareth takes up the story: “I first saw the competition on Facebook and decided it looked really creative and fun so I would take part. I thought it was great that an estate agency had put so much imagination into a competition.

“However, due to moving house I kept saying to myself ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. When it got to the final say I got on my motorbike and went to Netherfield, where I lived when I was younger, for a trip down memory lane tied in with the selfie, as I knew The Nottingham had a property for sale on my old street.

“I’m so glad I made the effort to do that – I’m chuffed to bits to win. With the costs of moving it could not have come at a better time. It’s my daughter Kaycee’s ninth birthday on 17 July so although the iPad is going to be for all the family to use we are going to let her open it as a surprise present.

“To be honest I’ve had a soft spot for The Nottingham for some time now, mainly because they have invested so much in Nottingham Forest, who I am an ardent supporter of. I thought it was fantastic that the society gave over £240,000 to the club last year – money which is very helpful for the club’s academy to keep developing.

“When we have things sorted a bit more in the new house my partner Michelle and I are going to visit the Mansfield branch of The Nottingham again to open savings accounts for Kaycee and her sister Kirsty.”

Gareth Bennett selfie winner 1

Avid Nottingham Forest fan Gareth proudly shows off his prize.


SportsAid fundraising goes swimmingly!

Wisbech Sportaid star fundraiser

Dressing down for SportsAid – the Harrison Murray and The Nottingham team. Left to right: Martin Hallett, HM branch manager; Tracy Young, The Nottingham customer reviewer; Shirley Cooper, The Nottingham customer adviser; Ben Carter, HM negotiator; Trish Green, HM admin assistant; Nicola Lane, HM negotiator and Gregg Baker, HM senior negotiator.

Our joint Harrison Murray and the Nottingham Building Society (The Nottingham) branch pooled together to boost funds to help Fenland Paralympic hopeful Anya Falkus fulfill her dream.

Estate agency and building society colleagues ditched work suits and ties for a SportsAid ‘Dress Down Day’ in support of the visually impaired young swimmer.

Thirteen-year-old multi-medal winner Anya has been swimming since the age of four. When she lost her sight at eight years old, she went to a spotlight event for disability swimmers in Nottingham, and joined the East team.

A number of fundraising stunts, including fancy dress day and static bike cycling, have already been completed in support of Anya by the Wisbech office, and further events are planned for the coming weeks. These include a BBQ and quiz, cake sale, raffle and even a sky dive!

Estate agency manager Martin Hallett said: “We have really embraced the SportsAid fundraising challenge in support of Anya – who is such a talented and inspirational young lady – and my huge thanks to each member of the Harrison Murray and The Nottingham team for really getting behind the cause, and to all our wonderful customers for their encouragement and help.”


Melton Mowbray office crowned Challenge Cup champions

Mike FordThere are a number of sporting trophies up for grabs this summer, including the Ashes, however estate agents at our Melton Mowbray office have already got their hands on some important silverware.

The team has clinched the company’s coveted Challenge Cup for the month of June.

The accolade of top performing office means the branch is now the proud owner of the silverware – a hotly contested prize among the Harrison Murray and The Nottingham Estate Agency (both part of the Nottingham Building Society) teams.

With branch manager Mike Ford (pictured) at the helm, the 2014 Branch of the Year winners rose to the top spot last month, beating off competition from 35 other branches.

The award is presented each month to the branch with best overall performance and customer care.

Mike said: “We are delighted to regain the trophy in recognition of our dedication and commitment to providing a first class estate agency service.

“This is a fantastic achievement for the whole team and for the many customers who choose Harrison Murray to buy or sell their property.”

Tickets, money, passport – oh, and your estate agent!

holidayWith summer having officially arrived – many of us may be planning to take a short break or jet off to foreign shores for a week or two.

And a getaway with the family may be just what you need if you have been trying to sell your home lately.

But, along with the ‘tickets, money, passport’ checklist, don’t forget to add your estate agent to any pre-packing preparations.

In all the excitement of a long-awaited break, it may be easy to overlook a few important tasks as holiday mode takes over – and may even hinder an eventual sale!

“When the weather is nice, people are more inclined to view houses, and a property always looks better on a sunny day,” said Su Snaith, Harrison Murray’s Head of Estate Agency.

“So, when sellers go away, they should ensure that their house is still looking its best.”

While sellers enjoy a well-earned break, their estate agent will continue to work hard on their behalf.

“There are a few steps sellers can take to ensure that there are no missed opportunities when it comes to viewings in their absence.”

Su added: “Unfortunately, it is a situation estate agents experience time and time again – the seller goes on holiday and forgets to leave a key with the agent for them to show potential buyers the property when they are away.

“This is easily resolved. If you are planning a break this summer, we would advise letting your agent know, and put together a simple checklist so that you don’t miss out on that potential sale.”

house-keysDon’t forget to:

  • Inform your estate agent that you are going away – and above all, leave them a key. There is nothing worse than having to turn away interested viewers because the agent has no access to your home.
  • Ensure the house is clean and tidy before you leave. Place a couple of air fresheners around the property to compensate for having to keep windows closed and locked.
  • Check for anything that might go off and smell – bread, fruit in a bowl and even flowers in a vase – and throw them away.
  • Empty household rubbish bins, make sure all work surfaces are clean and tidy, clear out magazine racks, ensure that draining boards and sinks are clear of washing up and the dishwasher is clear of dirty crockery.
  • Cut the lawn prior to your departure and if possible, arrange for someone to water your garden if the weather gets too warm.
  • Ask a neighbour to pull your bins back from the kerb to a suitable place once emptied, if refuse collection is due while you are away.
  • Ensure that along with the key, you give your estate agent the code to your property’s alarm.
  • Make sure your agent also has a contact number in case they need to call you about that all important offer – even if you are sunning yourself abroad!

Pedal power to raise funds for Olympic hopeful

Market Harborough bike challenge

Gearing up for this month’s cycling challenge (left to right): Josh Farey, customer adviser, NBS; Sarah Ward, HM negotiator, Steven Smith, NBS manager, Kameron Hutchinson, estate agency manager; Shanice Johnson HM administrator and Megan Marlow, NBS customer adviser

Cycling almost 160 miles in 12 hours is no mean feat – but our community-spirited estate branch in Market Harborough is preparing for their own pedal powered challenge.

Forget the Tour De France, our Harrison Murray and the Nottingham Building Society (The Nottingham) colleagues will be taking to the town centre market square to perform their charity stunt, raising funds through the SportsAid scheme for South Leicestershire sporting star and future Olympian – triathlete Caitlin Roper.

A static bike will be the ‘transport’ of choice for estate agency manager Kameron Hutchinson and the team, who will take it in turns to cycle legs of the grueling 158 miles – the equivalent distance from Market Harborough to the Isle of Wight.

The challenge takes place on Wednesday 29 July from 9am until 9pm when supporters will include Caitlin herself and The Nottingham’s mascot, Robin Hood.

Kameron, who took part in the 2013 Bike It Challenge, said: “As we are raising funds for Caitlin, a triathlete, we thought it fitting to come up with a sporting challenge and decided that a static cycling initiative would be something the whole team could be involved with – as well as encouraging customers and shoppers in the town centre to come along and support us.

“We are looking forward to giving this challenge our best shot, and welcome anyone who is around on the day to pop along and give us some encouragement.”

Well-wishers can donate on the day or visit the branch to offer their support.

Is your shed worth shouting about? Don’t forget to protect the contents

ShedWith the UK poised to crown the Shed of the Year champion in just over a week’s time, research has shown that Brits spend almost a year of their lives in their shed!

With one in 10 people claiming that they would happily get married in their sheds, and many others using it as space to ‘think’ – it is little wonder that the shed industry is worth a reported £5 billion to the British economy.

However, whether you are a hardened ‘sheddie’, like those vying for Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year title, or just own a standard shed to store gardening equipment and bikes – it is worth remembering to insure the contents.

Figures show that over 14 million people in the UK now own a shed, according to a survey by Cuprinol – and that the average shed contains over 475 worth of items.

Research also revealed:

  • Brits see their sheds as an extension of the home with many featuring the same luxuries, including electricity (35 per cent), heat (11 per cent) and lighting (40 per cent)
  • Seven per cent of sheds now have a TV, five per cent a sofa and two per cent even have a hot tub
  • 12 per cent of Brits feel at their happiest when they spend time in their shed and 21 per cent feel at their most creative
  • 23 per cent of men even claim that spending time in their shed makes them feel more masculine and 21 per cent of men spend time in their shed thinking about work issues

But, whatever you use it for, we advise sellers not to overlook the shed when putting their property on the market.

Head of Estate Agency Su Snaith says: “People have all kinds of weird and wonderful uses for their garden shed – but whatever that may be, it is worth remembering that a shed does have potential, and it is certainly worth showing it off at its best to prospective buyers.

“In addition to keeping your shed presentable and tidy, we would urge every shed owner to think about adequate security for the shed and its contents.

“We know that many people use the shed to house moveable items like cycles, lawn mowers, gardening tools and other items. Our advice would be to check on any existing home contents insurance for terms and conditions relating to contents in outbuildings and amend it if necessary.”

TLC tips for your shed:

  • Keep your shed in tiptop condition by coating it with hardwearing shed or fence stain
  • Instead of using it as a dumping ground, consider turning it into a mini recycling centre to sort out and process household waste by storing container to collect paper, glass and other recyclables.
  • Compartmentalise your shed if you use it on a daily basis and store tools and items neatly.
  • If you are lacking indoor space, consider turning your shed into an office or a playroom, with a little care and imagination.
  • If you are among the many who use your shed for storing moveable items, ensure it is locked when not in use.

The Nottingham Building Society (of which Harrison Murray is part) offers a range of home insurance options.

Estate agents find new home for mascot bear

Winner of the HM Bear

Estate agency manager Kameron Hutchinson (second left) with the Nottingham Building Society customer adviser Sunny Johal (left), four-year-old Esme Gaterell and her dad Lee – and of course Rosie the Bear!

We are used to finding properties for people – but recently went the extra mile to give a new home to a teddy bear!

The Harrison Murray mascot bear was among the prizes at this month’s Market Harborough Carnival, when our Market Harborough branch – alongside The Nottingham Building Society (The Nottingham), of which we are part – got involved with the event.

The Market Harborough team supports local triathlete Caitlin Roper through the SportsAid initiative, and raised around £60 towards the cause with a ‘Guess the Name of the Bear’ competition.

With the team finding it tricky to choose from all the wonderful suggestions, it was a random draw from the hat that found the winner – four-year-old Esme Gaterell from Market Harborough.

Esme was invited to the Market Harborough branch of Harrison Murray, along with her dad Lee, to collect her new cute cuddly pal – which she has called Rosie.

Estate agency manager Kameron Hutchinson said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Esme and her dad to the branch to collect the bear. She was thrilled to win after her suggested name of Rosie was successfully drawn at random out of a hat.”