House of Fisher are pleased to welcome Alex Glazier to the team as our new Area Sales Executive. Alex brings Sales and Account Management experience, a fresh drive, coupled with new ideas from outside the industry and a lot of local knowledge. Today we have interviewed Alex to gain an insight into the person behind the position.
1 / Q. What attracted you to the position of Area Sales Executive and House of Fisher as a company?
A. The position really grabbed my attention. After researching House of Fisher I felt that the company had the same values as mine. House of Fisher has a wonderful reputation as a local employer and is a young, vibrant and energetic environment to work in. Over my career I have developed excellent skills such as communication, team work and using my initiative. I like to be allowed to use both my creative and research skills, and this job description provides both elements. When I researched the company thoroughly before joining, I noticed various press releases and then when I finally met with representatives at House of fisher I knew that it was a real platform to commence my new sales career. I feel there is a great structure in place in the company for training and development, and look forward to helping the growth of the company and being part of the journey. We now operate in 13 locations with close to 200 apartments and look to grow this in the future. I was also attracted to the role due to the intriguing fact House of Fisher is a family business and offer a luxury product in providing stylish, modern and spacious apartments. House of Fisher is already the leading operator/owner of Apart Hotels and Serviced Apartments in the Thames Valley, but is continuously growing and it’s an exciting time to join.
2 / Q. What could a prospective client expect when they meet you?
A. From my experience, I go for the genuine consultative approach. Sales requires a broad set of skills, but the most important skills are an understanding of the product you are selling, and knowing the market and customers. Confidence and excellent communication skills are vital too. I’m always approachable and enthusiastic when selling an excellent product. Here at House of Fisher we don’t just operate and provide luxury apartments, we provide the services as well which is massively important! We are providing the client with an alternative solution to long or short term accommodation in the Berkshire and surrounding areas. Before leaving a meeting I always agree a course of action so they know they can contact me at any time, which creates a great relationship.
3 / Q. How did you find your first day at House of Fisher and what was particularly memorable?
A. I found everyone very approachable and welcoming so I’d like to thank everyone in the #HOFfamily for that. It can be a bit of ‘information overload’ on your first day but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a memorable start as I had not noticed the lines on the car park spaces, meaning I accidentally parked over 2 spaces…within my first 10 minutes I was politely asked to move my car! Moving on from that I feel I have settled in well and become a self-starter in regards to starting work covering my territory. I am enjoying starting in the M3 area and feel there is some real good opportunities and scope for development in the industry.
4 / Q. What do you feel you will bring to House of Fisher?
A. I feel I will be a great success having experience coming from the automotive industry. Here I worked with Key international accounts right down to the SME Market, allowing me to upsell key products alongside ancillary products. This involved maintaining key relationships with people from different backgrounds, from Directors of large organisations right down to the plumber next door. This experience has taught me how to deal with certain organisations and industries, putting a strategic plan in place to hit my personal and the company’s objectives. I have great creativity and initiative in new business environments and have the flexibility to try out and implement new ideas, which has had a positive effect in my career. I enjoy working as part of a team, which is suitable due to House of Fisher’s great culture and team spirit, it makes it a fun and motivational place to work. Judging from my first few weeks I really am looking forward to what the future holds, and I will use these skills I have learn and adapt them to House of Fisher.
5 / Q. Your background is within the automotive industry, do you see any similarities between this and the Serviced Apartment sector?
A. I feel the similarity in industries is that I am selling a luxury product which the end-user is passionate about, much like a great brand such as a Mercedes or BMW! You could link this to House of Fisher due to the fact we are an owner/operator, and have built most of our apartments to our own high standards. In the automotive industry we were giving end-users their dream vehicle, which is incredibly motivating and rewarding. Our apartments do give you that ‘wow factor’ and I have had the privilege to view all our locations within the first 2 weeks! It’s important to me to be passionate about the product I’m selling, and to know that when you do a viewing at a House of Fisher location it almost sells itself due to the high quality of the product and service we have. Put it this way, I won’t be staying in a hotel if I had the choice of a Serviced Apartment again!
6 / Q. You have previously undertaken the roles of Sales Executive and Sector Manager; how do you feel this experience will help in your new position as Area Sales Executive for House of Fisher?
A. I have enjoyed being the key point of contact in my executive roles, between the organisation and its clients. This experience has taught me to answer any level enquiry, which I enjoyed doing whilst offering advice and introducing new products when possible. The Sector manager role was really motivating, there is no better feeling than when you sign up a new business prospect you have worked and gained research on, able to then provide them with a great service. Both giving me invaluable experience in dealing with different types of businesses, fast knowledge of product/contract types and knowing how to deal with multiple levels.
7 / Q. House of Fisher operate nearly 200 Serviced Apartments in 13 locations across the Thames Valley area. Which locations and properties are you responsible for?
A. I am covering the M3 Territory – Basingstoke (Central Point), Farnborough (Equinox Place & Solstice House) and Camberley (Central House). I am really looking forward to getting started on this territory as I grew up in Basingstoke and know the town like the back of my hand. I feel this gives me a real advantage in this respect, as I am constantly looking out for new opportunities. I have also worked in Farnborough for several years and know that area well, and feel Camberley is also great location. I am delighted with my territory and can’t wait to get stuck in! The Serviced Apartment industry has evolved so much in the UK and has become a real advantage when offering accommodation to both the leisure and the corporate market. Guests benefit from the same luxuries of their own homes, i.e. Wi-Fi or Sky TV. It’s important we meet the demands of each individual guest and make it easy for them to do business with us.
8 / Q. House of Fisher is regarded as a young, enthusiastic and motivational place to work. How have you found the team and environment since starting?
A. I’d really like to thank everyone at House of Fisher, as I have had an amazing welcome and everyone is very friendly. Whilst we work hard, having fun and some non-work related conversations at times, makes House of Fisher a great workplace environment. The team is very close and already I have been at the Summer Party on a boat on the Thames and involved in a cross-department football match! For me it is important now to prioritize the most important things to learn, so I can really hit the ground running.
9 / Q. You currently reside in Basingstoke, a popular area where House of Fisher operate. What are some of the local activities and insights you would recommend to visitors?
A. I highly recommend Basingstoke, I love living here! There is always lots to do and Basingstoke has great transports links as I regular venture to London for leisure. In Basingstoke there are lots of local activities to do, we also have the shopping centre which is known as Festival place. Basingstoke is defiantly worth a visit with its array of shops, and greats restaurants! If you like Indian cuisine like me, check out the Tuli (honestly you won’t be disappointed).
Basingstoke also has a busy social scene. Amongst the pubs, bars, theatres and nightclubs are varying themes allowing for live music, great cocktails or beers, performing arts, comedy or having a good night out.
If you’re quite an active person I would recommend the Leisure Park attractions such as the Hollywood Bowl, Aquadrome, the Indoor skydive centre, etc. It’s a great place to take the family also as it has selection for all ages. Basingstoke is also close to some good parks and attractions such as the Vyne (National trust grounds), Basing House (ruins/castle and architecture), its a short drive from Wellington park, which is a really nice parkland with paths trails and attraction. Finally, if you are at a loose end you can always watch Basingstoke FC on a Saturday afternoon at the Camrose football stadium (it’s not the greatest standard) but always a good day out!
10 / Q. We are seeing a growing trend where Serviced Apartments are becoming more and more popular with leisure travellers. Before starting at House of Fisher were you aware of the industry and had you ever stayed in a Serviced Apartment?
A. I had stayed in Serviced Apartments for Leisure weekends in Newcastle, Bristol and London but never for Business, I have to say, I love it as it was nice to have your own space! I feel the Business element of staying in a Serviced Apartment really benefits the user and creates that ‘home from home’ feel when working away from home. In previous roles I have stayed in hotels for business and would have loved the option of a Serviced Apartment. In my view it is an absolute no brainer! You can make good use of the kitchen, chill out in the lounge area and of course at House of Fisher we provide our rooms with WIFI, sky sports and movies which means you get so much more value for your money.
11 / Q. When you aren’t being an Area Sales Executive for House of Fisher, what are you likely to be doing?
A. I like to work hard and then enjoy the good things in Life. I like meeting new people, travelling and seeing new cultures. I have been all over Europe and several continents, which really teaches you a lot about yourself and people in life. I love to play and watch sports. My main passion has to be football, which I play and go to regularly, being an avid Chelsea fan. I also like watching other sports including Boxing, Cricket, Rugby…basically any sport! I love my food and fancy myself at times as a bit of a chef in the kitchen, so a stay in a House of Fisher apartment would suit me down to the ground with kitchen facilities to make your own Food…but let’s be honest, there is nothing better than going out to a restaurant and getting great service and fantastic food. My favourite food to cook would be a steak, but dining out it has to be Indian or Italian! I have a great set of mates I have known from pretty much school, so we enjoy holidays together and watching music. I have a long list of bands/festivals which I enjoy.
12 / Q. If you could invent one gadget to go into each of your Serviced Apartments, what would it do?
A. I’ve had a good think about this and might need to go on Dragons Den with this one! But let me explain; if you can imagine much the same as The Amazon Echo Dot where you speak into the speaker to play or stream music. I would have this personally connected into the apartments, wired up to the surround sound system via the electrics, which means you could speak out at any time, anywhere in the apartment and play music. It would create a great environment and also give the apartments that extra vibrant fun factor or give a relaxing cooling feeling.
13 / Q. Which is your favourite Serviced Apartment that you offer and why?
A. That is a really hard question to answer as each and everyone I have been to really impressed me. If we start on my territory, l really like Central House as it is located right on the high street. As with all House of Fisher apartments, it has lovely spacious rooms, nice decor and is excellently located. Camberley has an impressive high street with a number of bars and restaurants and Central House is located right in the heart of the shopping centre where there is a selection of very good stores such as House of Fraser. If I was to go outside of my territory, I viewed Central Gate in Newbury and again thought this was a fantastic location. Newbury has a good selection of high street shops with stylish restaurants and bars. You would love to stay in a location like this for business and leisure. It is also located near to Newbury Races which I feel is a good unique selling point.
14 / Q. There is lots of healthy competition amongst the team. Are you planning on joining the Fitbit group and joining the weekly challenges?
A. Yes I will be! In previous roles we done a lot of fun activities such as office Olympics, table football competitions or charity challenges. The hopping around on 1 leg challenge seems easy but I can assure you it’s nearly impossible haha! I enjoy anything to create a fun, effective and friendly work environment. Here at House of Fisher I can see from the photos in the staff kitchen that we have a vibrant fun culture! It will keep me motivated and I like to win at anything I participate in, so I welcome the challenge! I feel any challenge motivates and unites an office, such as health schemes, exercise and fitness, nutrition in the office and general work challenge ideas.