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June 2009

New president Gary aiming to promote NAEA brand

Gary Smith

GARY SMITH has taken over as president of the National Association — with a pledge that he intends to make the NAEA a household name.

“I am keen to focus on promoting the NAEA as a brand,” said Gary, who has taken over the helm from Chris Brown.

“In turn I hope that this will contribute to further raising standards across the industry. The launch of the NAEA licensing scheme during my presidential year is set to be one of the highlights.”

Gary, who has run Smiths Estates in Suffolk since 1986, has been a member of the NAEA for over 20 years and is excited about the challenge of being president. He is keen to encourage input and feedback from members.

“At the NAEA Members’ Advisory Forum in May, I listened to some constructive criticism from the floor and throughout my presidency I intend to encourage this type of debate and engage in member feedback,” he said.

“I have been invited to visit a number of NAEA branches this year, which I’m very much looking forward to.

“I hope to concentrate on those branches that are not doing so well right now, as well as, of course, visiting some of our very successful branches.”

He added that the Propertylive portal is a big focus for the National Federation of Property Professionals — the NAEA together with the Association of Residential Letting Agents — this year.

“I’m looking forward to working with the team at Arbon house to turn this into the success it deserves to be.”

Prior to starting his career in estate agency, Gary studied structural engineering, quantity surveying and business studies. He went to work in an architects firm before making his way into estate agency.

However, during a particularly acute recession, he was made redundant and found an alternative career at the Ford Motor company.

During his time at Ford, Gary was able to travel extensively with the company, assisting in setting up new plants across the world, including Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and India.

Inevitably, the call of estate agency brought him back into the fold and led to him setting up his own agency in Ipswich in 1986, when he also became involved with the NAEA’s Suffolk branch.

His agency dealt mostly in residential property but also boasted a specialism in rural and equestrian properties, smallholdings and small farms across the whole of Suffolk plus parts of Essex, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

More recently, Gary has been dealing with land, development and planning issues and is working on a number of schemes in East Anglia.

Gary says he is a great believer in the NAEA branch structure and the Members Advisory Forums being the best method of engaging and communicating with members at all levels.

Gary is succeeded as vice-president by Wendy Evans-Scott, owner of Barracuda Estates in Dorking, Surrey.

Both titles were conferred at the NFOPP presidential dinner, where Lucy Morton was installed as the new president of ARLA, taking over from David McMaster.