Viewber Diaries - Paul, Stockton-on-Tees
"Who are the Viewbers?"
This series follows different Viewbers who are based all across the UK - sharing their experiences of being a Viewber.
These are the people who conduct the many property appointments and services that we offer. This is your chance to get to know them better!
Here is Paul’s story, a retired police officer from the North East in Stockton-on-Tees.
Hi readers, where do I start? Presumably at the beginning…
From the age of 5 (I'm 62 now!) I always wanted to be a policeman (my mum even kept my school book with that statement written in my own scrawled writing). So, after leaving school and then working as an A&E hospital porter for 18 months, I achieved my dream and joined the police just before my 19th birthday. I subsequently served in uniform for 30 years, then going on to work as a detention officer for 4 years - I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute of my service (how lucky am I?!)
My hobbies have ranged from keeping, breeding and showing foreign finches when a teenager, to marathon and half marathon running and then cycling from 2013.
Marathons including New York, Berlin, Rotterdam, London and Athens to name a few and 30 Great North Runs. Since 2013 I've completed Land’s End to John O’Groats and London to Paris.
Right enough of the background! When I recently retired from the police, NARPO (National association of retired police officers) sent out a newsletter and in it was an advert for a newly set up 'estate agency service' called Viewber. At the time my wife Julie was an estate agent, so I was rather drawn to the request of part time work.
During this time, I was also part of a family run funeral business; driving, bearing and being on an on-call rota. The Viewber jobs fitted in nicely around this. No stress. How lucky!
My only problem? Computers! As an ‘old timer’ there was no IT, play stations, FIFA, Facebook or any other social media growing up. As the Viewber property requests came in, I cautiously accepted them and then rung the Viewber office to get the guidance I required.
After being a Viewber now for 5 years (joining Viewber in 2016, when it started) I am completely confident to carry out most requests. However, 360-degree tours and virtual viewings are still off limits to me, leaving the younger colleagues to enjoy!
The job really is made for me – I love showing properties to viewers, purchasers, owners and agents.
The properties I view vary greatly. Recently, I had the pleasure of assisting a local agent for 2 full days, house sitting for open house viewings in a 200-year-old rectory. A superb property. Then at the other end of the scale, I was squelching through an old farmhouse that had been abandoned by a previous owner - showing viewers around, climbing
over personal items inside the rooms and crumbly walls seems a bit ridiculous, but this is the reality of the property industry. The job is brilliant, varied, stressless and satisfying.