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COFFEE BREAK WITH... Ashley Cobban, Senior Business Agent - Retail

Coffee Break with… is a Christie & Co series showcasing the brilliance, expertise, and diversity of our network of over 200 employees.

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Ashley Cobban

When did you join Christie & Co?
I joined in January 2016.

Where were you when you accepted your role at Christie & Co? 
I think having a stressful day at my previous job working in residential estate agency.

What was your first job? 
Processing memberships for Total Fitness gym at the age of 17 after leaving college. I left college without telling my parents and ensured that I had landed a full-time job before telling my parents, because I knew what was coming my way if I didn’t.

In a couple of sentences, can you tell us a bit about your job at Christie & Co? 
I work within the retail sector covering the North West of England selling convenience stores and petrol forecourts.

What’s your favourite thing about Christie & Co? 
The people! Also, the autonomy we’re given to just get on with the job, but mainly the people. My colleagues and peers are all great and everyone just wants to help each other, and I’ve created some great friendships.

What's a favourite project that you’ve worked on at Christie & Co so far?
I sold a Grade I listed Tudor mansion for an American lady who was an antiques dealer, it presented a lot of challenges, and I learnt a lot in the process of the sale. It was called Churche’s Mansion in Nantwich, and it went to a restaurateur who is now trading a successful restaurant and wedding and events business from there.

What’s been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Probably coming to terms with actually how valuable my knowledge base is. Through years and years of working within property and sales, I have developed a wealth of knowledge that I utilise on a daily basis and I am only just starting to realise the value of my personal experience throughout my career.

What’s been a highlight of your career so far? 
One thing in particular sticks out. Before working for Christie & Co, I worked for a company who sold residential property investments and I managed to sell three properties with a combined value of approximately £450k based on a conversation that was less than 10 minutes long. I walked away from that quite impressed with myself.

How has the industry changed since you started at Christie & Co?
It’s changed up and down, I see the market as a living breathing thing and there is always movement. Property has increased in value and retailers minimum turnover threshold has risen over the years as margins are being squeezed by rising costs year on year.

Who in your industry do you feel most inspired by? 
There isn’t any one person that I would single out, but I do admire seeing people grow. I have seen a number of new entrants into the market who have grown to owning three or four sites now, and they’re making really good profits and performing really well. So I admire seeing people doing well and growing.

Tell us a bit about your life outside work – what are your hobbies? 
I am a goalkeeper and I enjoy playing and watching football. I have recently found myself playing football on a weekly basis with some ex-professional premier league players and winners! I also enjoy shooting, socialising with friends, eating out, and also spending quality time with my family, going on holiday together, and making memories.

What’s your hometown? Where do you live now?

Where’s the best place you’ve been on holiday? 
Again, hard to single any individual place out, I did some travelling when I was younger and went to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and Los Angeles. If you had to push me to answer one place in particular, I would probably say Australia, especially now that is where my sister, niece, and nephew moved to, and it’s likely my mum will too eventually. Having a young family, I haven’t travelled much recently, but I definitely want to do more travelling later in life.

What’s your biggest pet peeve? 
People eating with their mouth open or chewing excessively loud.

If you could live and work in any city, where would you go? 
Manchester, I love our city and enjoy working in it. If I had to pick another, it would be Sydney.

What would be your desert island meal? 
Something really boring like Nando’s or a roast dinner.

What’s your favourite film? 
American Sniper or Man on Fire.

What is your favourite movie quote? 
From Pulp Fiction - “There’s a passage that I got memorized, seems appropriate for this situation: Ezekiel 25,17. ‘The path of the righteous man is beset of all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil me. Blessed is he who, in the name of the charity and goodwill, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.”

What is one thing on your bucket list?
Run a marathon.

What is your biggest fear? 
Not being successful and/or not providing for my family and being financially stable.

Social media platform of choice? 
Facebook and Instagram.

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