Property

In Conversation With...

Issue 103

Sally Hart - Managing Partner, GFW

What were your career ambitions growing up?

I was lucky in that I really enjoyed school. I didn’t have a favourite subject or definite vocation I wanted to pursue so it wasn’t an easy decision when it came to choosing a career path. I chose to go down the creative and media route in the end and I’m so pleased I did.

Tell us about your current role?

It might sound clich√© but I wear many hats. I’m joint Managing Partner, making me responsible for the development of business strategies, ensuring that results are aligned to our business development and growth plans. As part of this, I lead the business support team but I also oversee the residential agency arm of the business. A large part of my role is to support our people, because when it comes down to it, they are the business.

What is your proudest business achievement?

The last 12 months have seen the wheels set in motion for change at GFW. Building on our foundations, we’ve grown, we’ve met challenges head on and we’re now thriving because of this. Formerly known as George F. White, this year has seen us unveil a renewed vision and plan for the future under our new brand name, GFW. I think the fact we’ve adapted and evolved at a time where it would have been easier to stand still, becoming even stronger, is my proudest achievement to date.

How has your industry changed in the last decade?

We have seen significant leaps forward in the last decade around technological advancement improving efficiencies and opportunities for diversity. The industry as a whole has become more professional bringing with it more red tape and improved compliance.

What are you currently working on?

Our vision for growth means a lot of my focus is on driving our strategy forward to achieve that. Alongside a concentrated recruitment drive, bringing in new talent to add to our expertise and ever growing TeamGFW.

Tell us about the team you work with.

I might be biased but we have an amazing team. Having the right attitude makes all the difference and we’re lucky because our team have that in abundance. Not only that but we can confidently say we have a team of experts in our field. This combination of personality and professionalism is what I believe sets us apart.

What does the future hold?

This is the question that excites me the most. Growth, it’s what we’re successfully achieving and it’s what we can see in our future. We want to create opportunities for our people, to make GFW ‘the go to’ property consultant, continuing to expand our management and framework portfolio. But as well as that, we want to have fun. We’ve got a great culture at GFW and we want our people to continue enjoying themselves doing what they do best. If our staff are happy, our clients are happy.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?

More through learned experience than verbal advice I’ve received, but I’d say perseverance. If you have a clear goal, don’t give up on it or falter when you reach a hurdle, because you will. That’s part of business, but there’s always a solution and a way forward.

What has been your biggest challenge?

The role I do now has changed significantly since I first started at GFW. Changing skillsets from a creative role to a strategic leadership role has meant I’ve needed to continuously adapt my skills to meet the needs of the business. Whilst that in itself has been a challenge, building respect and belief takes time and I would advise that you always need to keep your self-belief even in times of challenge, be true to who you are and what and who you stand for.

Who are your heroes inside and outside of business?

At GFW the people are the business and it’d be impossible to single out a person or a team. Our people are the reason we’ve gotten to where we are, and I think they’re all heroes.

Outside of work, I have a huge amount of admiration for Roisin Currie, Chief Exec at Greggs. Her drive, innovation and vision for growth are an inspiration. She’s a prime example of why we need more women in leadership, look what can be achieved!

How do you unwind outside of work?

I read, I enjoy long walks with my husband and daughter in the beautiful North East countryside, and if the weather is nice, I enjoy hosting my friends for BBQ’s. Fingers crossed we get a summer this year.

Favourite Book and Boxset?

Book, I’d have to say either Young Mungo or Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stewart. Box set, has to be Derry Girls.

www.georgefwhite.co.uk

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