House of Fisher is pleased to welcome back and announce Gareth Hughes as our new Senior Area Sales Manager. Gareth brings 4 ½ years Sales and Account Management experience to House of Fisher, having previously fulfilled the roles of Area Sales Executive and Area Sales Manager for the company. In Gareth’s new senior capacity, he is now responsible for the Reading portfolio including our flagship aparthotel 100 Kings Road, City Wall House and Stanshawe Court.
Gareth brings vast experience and success having previously been responsible for our Newbury, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Basingstoke, Camberley and Farnborough portfolio. As a true ‘people person’ that goes over and above to deliver first-class customer service, today we have interviewed Gareth to gain an insight into the person behind the position…
1 / Q. What attracted you to the position of Senior Area Sales Manager and what makes House of Fisher such an attractive proposition as an employer?
A. Having worked for House of Fisher for 4 years the senior role was the natural progression within my career development. We have a great team of people that give you the support network needed to undertake the job and trust in you to deliver what is required. Keeping our portfolio fresh, being involved in future expansion plans is exciting to be involved in and everyone in the company has a voice to the Directors who are always keen to hear new ideas and how we can improve, giving you a real sense of ownership which I believe comes across when speaking with our customers.
2 / Q. What could a prospective client expect when they meet you?
A. Simply a very open and honest approach! I always take into consideration the customers’ requirements first and do my very best to tailor a solution to their needs. Quick response times are key, as well as providing as many options as the customer needs to give them the flexibility to choose what is right for them.
Ultimately I want to earn a customer’s trust and build a longstanding working relationship with them.
3 / Q. How did you find your first day back at House of Fisher as Senior Area Sales Manager and what was particularly memorable?
A. It was very similar to my last day as Area Manager, haha! Apart from a new desk, the fundamental part of the role hasn’t changed, however, it does include some extra responsibilities which I’m excited to be getting stuck into.
4 / Q. What do you feel you bring to House of Fisher?
A. In addition to the customer-facing element, I feel I mirror the values of the business, I care about the business and the team of people I work with. We are family-owned with roots in the local community. I was born in Reading and live locally so have a good knowledge and genuine interest in the towns where we operate. It’s always a pleasure to recommend certain activities or restaurants to guests and make them feel comfortable in the locations where they stay with us having travelled from afar.
5 / Q. What was your background previous to the Serviced Apartment sector and do you see any similarities between them?
A. I had previously worked in banking for Barclays and RBS in the asset funding division. Although the product doesn’t share many similarities, the skillset is transferable across industries with both being fast-paced, making customer response times key. I feel my grounding in banking at a young age gave me the foundations to deliver high standards of customer service throughout my career.
6 / Q. House of Fisher operates over 200 Serviced Apartments in 11 locations across the Thames Valley area. Which locations and properties are you responsible for?
A. I am responsible for our Reading portfolio which includes 3 properties; 100 Kings Road, City Wall House and Stanshawe Court. It is a great portfolio to look after given how vibrant Reading is becoming, especially with so much work being undertaken near to Kings Road, meaning we are operating right in the centre of a refurbished business district. The three properties also offer a great choice to our clients meaning we can cater for Director level or VIP stay as well as offering apartments that can meet budget requirements or house large group projects, all under one roof.
7 / Q. House of Fisher is regarded as a young, enthusiastic and motivational place to work. How have you found the team and environment?
A. The team is simply a great bunch of people! We have a lovely blend of being able to socialise away from the office but still maintaining a strong passion for delivering within our individual roles. We often go out as a team, meet for summer BBQs, and get to know each other’s families, which I think is a great balance to have within your working environment.
8 / 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. Unintentionally, yes! I am a big MotoGP fan and travel across Europe to watch races, we would always look to book apartment-style living rather than a traditional hotel as it had been a lot more common across Europe. It is really nice to see how people’s mentality in the UK has shifted and is always pleasing to sit down with a Travel Manager that requests serviced apartment options alongside a hotel for their travelling group, which in the past hadn’t always been the case.
9 / Q. When you are not being the Senior Area Sales Manager for House of Fisher, what are you likely to be doing?
A. I enjoy a range of activities outside of work. I’m a Spurs season ticket holder (for my sins), travel around Europe to watch MotoGP races (Valentino Rossi is the man!) and enjoy exploring the foods, wines and culture that comes with it. At home, I enjoy spending time with the family and my little one. I consider myself a decent cook but my DIY skills leave a lot to be desired!
10 / Q. If you could invent one gadget to go into each of your Serviced Apartments, what would it do?
A. A robotic butler would be ideal. One that could get shopping items so that when you get back to the apartment after a day at the office all your ingredients are there, ready to start cooking.
11 / Q. Which is your favourite Serviced Apartment that you offer and why?
A. It would have to be the 3-bed penthouse at Kings Road. A lovely spacious apartment close to all restaurants, bars and shops. We’ve had an England international stay in the past so if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!
12 / Q. There is lots of healthy competition amongst the team. Are you planning on joining the Fitbit group and joining the weekly challenges?
A. I’m more of a Strava man personally! Cycling is my form of de-stress and a great way to exercise! It’s a great way to see a lot of the countryside and make you feel not so guilty for opening that bottle of red on a Saturday evening!