Get to know our Managing Director, Mark Small, with his exclusive interview with the Northern Insight magazine.
Did you always envisage a career in property?
Yes! From a very young age, I have had a huge passion for property and love to research the history and character of a building. I also have a particular interest in interior design.
Tell us about your career path so far?
At sixteen I started with Sanderson Young, moving onto Your Move as a trainee valuer, working my way up to being a Valuation Manager over a period of six years. I was then headhunted by Countrywide, operating and running their branch in Jesmond selling properties up to the value of two million.
I was then promoted to Area Director covering eighteen locations across the North East and overseeing financial services. In 2010 I launched my own company, Signature by Mark Small and Signature Finance. In 2013 I purchased shares in a law company and re-branded this to Signature Law enabling me to provide all services to clients under one roof.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment so far is of course the success of all Signature brands. The most rewarding would be the Signature Charity Balls we have held over the years, raising over a quarter of a million for different charities.
How would you advise people looking to buy a property?
Ultimately as the future of estate agency is online, my recommendation would be to register with all internet portals (i.e. Rightmove, On the market, Zoopla) to receive property alerts and secure a viewing at the earliest opportunity.
You recently launched the signature lounge within your Whitley Bay branch where people can buy coffee, lunch, dinner or drinks. What was the impetus behind this and how has it been received?
Over the years it has become apparent that buyers and vendors very rarely walk into a branch anymore. 96% of all property transactions are either done over the phone or internet. I wanted to create a high-end estate agency with a lounge/food establishment bringing the local clientele and holidaymakers into one venue. In 2021 Signature Lounge was created, we have since been inundated with table bookings which has had a fantastic synergy with Signature North East Estate Agency and Financial Services. It is also lovely to see a constant stream of customers spreading the word about Signature.
Tell us about the most exciting thing you are currently working on?
The most exciting project I will be working on in 2022 is creating a luxury residential development, with properties ranging up to the value of 2.5 million per unit.
What’s your favourite place to live in the North East and why?
My favourite place that I have lived to date is Percy Gardens in Tynemouth. The stunning views from the property across the coast and the priory castle were incredible.
What does 2022 have in store for signature North East?
Currently, we cover 19 locations across the North East of England. I would like to expand on this by offering our services to more locations.
When not working how do you like to relax?
I like to spend my spare time visiting various spa hotels across the UK. I also enjoy countryside walks with my dogs and have a great interest in flying, I have recently been working on my private pilot’s licence.
Full article coming soon with the February 2022 issue of the Northern Insight magazine.