I have been in the property market for over 30 years, so I think there will be very few situations that I have not come across! I was born in Alnwick in Northumberland in 1961 and then when only 18 months old moved to the Isle of Man, where I stayed until I was 10 years old. The family then moved back to England, where I went to Kings School Gloucester and Chosen Hill in Churchdown.

After leaving school I had various jobs, including selling jewellery, advertising space and even cheese on a market stall - oh how I miss those cold mornings at 5.30am!

I joined a firm of Surveyors called Stanley Alder and Price whilst living in Bristol and this was my first experience of agency, as I was in the commercial management department. This gave me a taste, so when I moved back to Gloucestershire I joined Hickmans Estate Agents, a very forward thinking company. I wanted to broaden my experience so after a few years I joined an independent company in Cheltenham where I first gained my experience in the letting market.

Simon Vaux

After four years I joined C and G Estate Agents, part of the building society (as it was then). I opened their branch in Evesham as Manager which subsequently became Taylors, where I stayed for several years before becoming a Regional Manager.

However I missed the day to day excitement of selling, so moved back to manage the Cheltenham town centre office.

Sadly corporate agency was changing dramatically, so I decided to set up on my own estate agency and Vaux Mandeville was born in 1997.

About 20 years ago and after several prompts from potential clients I set up Simon Vaux Rental in Vine Street Evesham, where I now devote 100% of my time to my letting and property management.

What makes the difference in my mind between sales and lettings is that when you rent out a property for a client, you are starting on a relationship that can last for years and that clients will trust you (or should) to look after the property, whereas with sales it is normally for a fairly short time whilst the property is being marketed and it is very difficult to build the same relationship.

Due to the actions of some estate agents, the public's opinion of us is not as high as it should be and rightly so. It is therefore essential that agents look to themselves to improve the image of agency.

Outside 2