This is the third in a series of articles that we hope will enable our readers to get to know Regtransfers a little better. We will feature a different member of our team each time and gradually you’ll become able to put faces to the voices you hear when you call us.
This time, our investigative interviewer, Angela Banh talks to Jim Stewart, who is about to retire from his career as one of Regtransfers most experienced sales negotiators.
Why are you leaving after all these years, Jim?
Well I’m taking early retirement. I like to stress the ‘early’ part! My wife is retiring at the end of July and we have booked a holiday together. We would like the freedom to spend more time together and to do exactly as we want. I’m also going to take up cycling.
What is your role at RT?
How long have you worked at RT?
That’s a long time. What was it like when you first started?
When I first joined RT, we had a small office not far from the premises we are in now. There were only four other people when I started plus the Managing Director, Tony Brown and the Office Manager, Paul Brown.
They had just started using computers but to nowhere near the extent that we do now. We just had a list of what was available and a list of registrations people were looking for.
Also, sales were written down on paper rather than on computerised systems.
How did you get the job?
I actually got the job through an agency. I had an interview for a temporary position as RT had all the full-timers they needed. I got the temporary position and I’ve been here ever since! There’s only one other person who is currently working now who was there when I started.
How have things changed over all these years?
Well, the company has grown tremendously since I first started 15 years ago. We had adverts but nowhere near the number or size of advertisements we have now. We also had to do everything ourselves – take the sales, send out lists, there was only one admin person at the time, so we had to do some of that as well.
We use to have to phone the bank every time we took a credit card sale. We would have to go to the filing cabinets and locate the paper file to find all the details of transactions. The technology that Regtransfers now has, especially with the recent changes and the new systems, has made things so much easier and transactions so much smoother. We now have all the information at our fingertips.
What’s it like working here?
It’s really good. I work in a very happy team of people and we all get on well. I’ve enjoyed seeing all the changes and also seeing the company grow to the size it is today. Instead of the handful of people when I first started, there are now over 80 people working here.
Did the expansion happen quickly?
I was in the original office for about five years. There was no IT, Admin or Marketing department. When we moved to these offices the growth was quite quick and we definitely needed the extra help from these new departments that were being formed.
So, what does your day consist of?
For the first 12 years my role was just telephone sales. Then, for the last three years I have worked in a department dealing with email leads.
Have you sold registrations to anyone famous?
I remember selling Willie Carson his number plate and also two number plates to Nigel Benn and his girlfriend.
What is your most memorable sale?
That would have to be BS 1. Not only because it is such a fantastic registration and that it went back to its original home in Orkney, but that I was on the phone to my customer, when there was a fire in the building and everyone neglected to tell me! It was only when I realised it was rather quiet and stuck my head around the office door that I noticed there was no-one there. I had to tell my customer that I would call him back.
How do you feel about leaving and what will you miss most?
I will be happy about the extra time I will have but also quite sad. I will miss the routine and also a lot of the people and, of course, the challenge of closing a sale.
Good luck, Jim and thanks for all your hard work!