Chris Hitch, MD of JM Glendinning Real Estate
How did your career in insurance begin?
Like many people in the Midlands insurance market, I fell into it. The thought of insuring a metal basher in the Black Country didn’t seem very exciting at the time, but I needed a job and it seemed to pay better than what I was doing and so I made the move from working for a credit reference agency to working in the world of credit insurance.
And how did it continue?
Whilst working for a global broker in the credit insurance arena, I became good friends with someone working for the same business, but on the general insurance side (he later became best man at my wedding). Even though we both moved on from that business we started working together again when he asked me to join his team at another large firm. It was here that I met a young salesman called Nick Houghton.
What brought you to JM Glendinning?
I was working for a real estate team in London in 2016, when Nick and I met for coffee in Canary Wharf. He told me about the JMG opportunity. His timing couldn’t have been better. I was at a point in my life where I either had to commit to spending the rest of my career working for a global business, or do something more entrepreneurial. JMG was too good an opportunity to walk away from and I knew if I did, I would be forever wondering, what if.
What do you enjoy about your role?
I love the fact that we’re building a fantastic, motivated team who provide great advice and great service to our clients. We are all proud to be part of the real estate business, knowing that we are making a difference to our clients, making their lives easier with all matters insurance-related. It’s fantastic to see the team developing their networks, creating new relationships and working in an environment that is genuinely good fun.
What’s the secret to your success?
Keep it simple – be a prolific networker. Work on the premise that givers gain. Always give the best advice that you can, even if it means not winning a client. And never burn your bridges – you never know how people you met 20 years ago can change your life today.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
As well as studying hard, do not be afraid to ask questions – you can learn a lot by asking a pertinent question about something you’re working on today. Also, start building your network with your peers as soon as you can. A newly qualified solicitor or accountant today, will be a decision maker tomorrow.
What’s next for JM Glendinning Real Estate?
We’re looking to create a national footprint by recruiting more people into the business and then more of the same – giving great service and advice to our clients.
What CEO, Nick Houghton, says:
Building a business from scratch is one of the hardest, but most rewarding challenges you can face. And Chris has done just that, through what has been rather challenging times! Knowing Chris was a bonus, but when we met to talk about working together you could see that Chris wanted to channel his experience in a more entrepreneurial way and I’m delighted with what we’ve achieved. Chris’s hand-picked team are first class and are a great platform from which to kick on with the business’s growth story.