Property expert overcomes pandemic redundancy to launch business helping people find their dream homes

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A property consultant who was made redundant during the pandemic has bounced back by building a successful business helping people purchase their dream homes in the Lake District. 

Gemma Dawe was made redundant from her previous job with a local estate agent last summer. However, she embraced the opportunity to follow her long-held ambition of launching her own venture. 

Over the last year her business Lake District Relocation, based in Bowness, has helped match 16 people with new houses in the South Lakes area, dealing with everything from small family homes to properties worth millions. 

Gemma, who has lived in the Windermere area all her life, listens to people’s needs when they are moving and uses her local knowledge to find locations and properties to suit them. She has helped many local people find new homes in the area, as well as those moving to the region for the first time.

“Having worked in estate agency in the area and knowing it so well I am able to bridge that gap for people who want to find a certain type of property, but don’t really know where to begin,” says Gemma.

“At the same time I am on hand to assist them all the way through the buying process. Traditionally, there isn’t a huge amount of support for the buyer when you’re purchasing a house and it’s such a stressful process. People really appreciate having someone they can ring up and ask for support and guidance.”

With the post-pandemic property boom creating an intensely competitive market, Gemma says she is constantly looking for off-market options to fit buyers.

“Some of the most prestigious properties in the area will never come onto the open market, but I’m able to identify homes that might not actually be advertised for sale and match them with the right people,” she says. 

“It’s a bit like the buyers have a really clued up and helpful friend doing all the hard work on the ground to save them some of the stress. I only deal with a few clients and so it’s a very personal service and I really care about doing the very best for them.”

At the same time Gemma tries to connect buyers with businesses, retailers and brands in the area to encourage them to spend locally and help the whole community.

“I really believe in using my business as an opportunity to promote other local companies. So when people move into a house they get a local produce basket full of things to try and I also put them in touch with local tradespeople.”

Gemma, who lives near Windermere and went to the Lakes School, had always wanted to start her own business but finally took the plunge following her redundancy. 

“It was something I had always considered, but I just needed that little push to set off and do it,” she says. 

“I had this time at home to research and listen to other people who had started businesses in the sector and watch them speak on Zoom. I realised that in estate agency it is the person you’re dealing with that makes the experience, it’s not the corporate company that they work for. It gave me the confidence to start my own business and I’ve not looked back since.”

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