TWO Cardigan mums have taken their first step on the property ladder by launching a new estate agency in the area.

And they’ve done so in the middle of a pandemic, while overcoming some daunting personal challenges along the way.

Cardigan Bay Properties is the brainchild of Helen Worrall (47), from Glynarthen, and Tania Dutnell (43), from Betws Ifan, who both grew up in the area and felt there was a need for an estate agent with its roots in the local community and an in-depth understanding of the local property market.

As well as keeping it local, Helen and Tania will be using all the latest online tools and technology you get from big national chains.

Buyers will be able to conduct online viewings while sellers can carry out virtual valuations from the comfort of their sofa.

All property owners will be able to access their property file 24/7 which will enable them to see all the viewings past and scheduled, monitor feedback, and see any offers placed. Once a sale is agreed they can access their property file to view the sale milestones.

Helen and Tania have more than 25 years estate agency experience between them and are both members of NAEA.

They will be working closely with local mortgage providers, solicitors and letting agents to offer a one-stop solution.

“We only work with people we know personally, who know the area intimately with all its quirks, rather than some big anonymous outfit working to a script from a call centre,” said Tania.

Helen’s earlier background in e-commerce has enabled the agency to take advantage of the online world. From the start they will be operating from home as a virtual office and see no reason to have the traditional shop window.

“We want to keep the overheads down and spend any spare cash on keeping fees reasonable and improving the customer experience,” said Helen.

One compelling reason for both Helen and Tania to set up a home-based virtual business was their own personal and family health challenges.

Tania’s daughter Sophie suffers from a complex set of medical conditions that require round the clock care.

Despite husband Dan being a full-time carer, Tania decided to give up her old job to help keep daughter Sophie safe while shielding during the pandemic - something she could not have done while working in high street estate agency.

Helen’s challenges were similarly compelling in the decision to launch the new venture. Her early career in horse racing left her with a catalogue of ongoing injuries.

Helen added: “We both take the positives from life and, because we face some tough challenges, I think we are better at understanding those of our customers. I think we are both good listeners…and that’s not a skill you normally associate with estate agents!”

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