Meet The Team

Click on the images to see the biography of the team member

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Laura Simpson

Admin Executive

Hi, I’m Laura.

I joined the Callaways team in January 2023 as the Administration Executive.  After three years of working in the student let market in Brighton, I knew that working within the property industry was the right career for me.

I enjoy talking to and meeting new and existing clients, using my customer service background to identify their needs and requirements.  I love being involved in the process of helping people to find the perfect place for them to buy or to let, whether it’s a Beach Hut on the seafront, temporary student accommodation, or a ‘forever’ family home.

I had an Associate membership with the Association of Residential Lettings Agency while studying for qualifications.  I have now successfully completed my Propertymark Level 3 in Residential Letting and Property Management.  This makes me all the more eager to expand my knowledge regarding the lettings side of the business, working with my Lettings team members.

Heather has passed on her passion for ‘properties on the prom’ to me.  I enjoy meeting beach hut owners and new buyers, and explaining all the ins and outs of owning a beach hut.  If you have a beach hut you’d like to sell, call me on 01273 735237 or via enquiries@callaways.co.uk

When I’m not at work, I enjoy a variety of pastimes – going to the gym, watching motorcycle racing, reading books and travelling.  My last big adventure was backpacking through Central America and bus hopping in Peru with my husband and two children.  I have also previously chaired my son’s school PTA, fundraising for his school, volunteering at and organising events including a Zumbathon, Quiz nights and the annual Summer Fiesta held in Hove Park.

Vanessa Light
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Vanessa Light

Company Accounts

Hi, I’m Vanessa.

I’m part of the Callaways and Land & Brand New Homes Accounts team, based at our Head Office in Worthing.  I am available for my colleagues, our clients, tenants and suppliers.

After completing my ACCA qualification, I spent 6 years working in practice before purchasing a share in an independent Letting Agents in Emsworth.  There I spent 15 years enjoying growing and building the business.  After selling to a national chain in 2015, I decided I wanted to remain in the small independent agency environment.  So I joined R W Hilder & Co Ltd, the holding company for Land & Brand New Homes, Callaways Estate & Letting Agents and HRH Developments.

As an FCCA I enjoy applying myself to the varied responsibilities of working in a small business, i.e. building relationships with clients, Landlords, Tenants, and Developers.  I also enjoy working with my colleagues in the various departments of Land, Marketing, Sales, Lettings and Property Management.  I think we will all remember 2020 for the challenges it presented in working remotely.

Our new software system has now bedded in, much to the delight of our Landlords and Tenants.  I played a significant role in developing the templates for accounting procedures and training in-house staff.  Our focus on efficiency is now paying off with colleagues reaping the benefits of quicker access to records.

I take pride in the excellent record of rent collection and in presenting accurate and meaningful statements to our Landlords.  Our consistency level for rental arrears continues at less than 1%.  Always ready for a challenge, our aim is to improve on this figure.  Other responsibilities include client and office accounting.

I have seen many changes during my working life.  Letting agents come and go, but Callaways has remained a steadfast Estate & Lettings Agency in Hove since 1935.  Callaways continues to provide a reputable service to those who want their properties marketed and managed by a professional Propertymark licensed team.

When I’m not at work, my life revolves around my 2 children and travel.

 

Heather Hilder-Darling
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Heather Hilder-Darling

Business Owner

Hi, I’m Heather

My journey as a Property Investor began in the early 1990s. This led to a portfolio including residential and commercial property, property refurbishment, and a life-long interest in property for income and pension purposes.

I have written several e-books on selling property, letting property and beach-huts, and am currently involved in writing a book on land-buying, which is planned for publication in 2020.

Keen to share my passion for property, in 2019 I launched the first of our Landlord Events to help Landlords stay on the right side of legislation in the lettings market.

Since the 1990s, I’ve led teams to sell brand new homes, second hand homes, let properties for overseas landlords, and beach-huts by delivering constant professional service.

From city central Grade II listed to purpose built flats and Victorian terraces, brand new houses and flats, to architect designed individual and unique family homes and mansions in the country and along the coast, my formula to bring sellers and purchasers together has been highly successful, and tested in the most stringent economic times (who can forget the crashes of 1990s and 2008?).

Featured in the national press, BBC One Show, BBC Radio Sussex, and now hosting my own radio show ‘Let’s Talk Property’ on RadioReverb 97.2 FM and DAB, I’m a constant proponent of doing the property ‘thing’ properly, professionally and proudly.

My past TV appearances were on ‘Voulez-vous Jouer’ (Belgium), and Ronnie Corbett’s ‘Child’s Play’. Callaways also featured on Ben Lewis’ ‘What Brits Love’ a series of five 45 minute films, which was produced to coincide with the 2012 Olympics in London.

I’ve become an expert at buying, renting and moving house too over the years, in the UK, France, Italy, Belgium and Spain. Happily, I am now settled in our home in West Sussex (refurbished, extended twice, and still being updated!), getting used to being an empty-nester, but enjoying visits from our 3 adult children, and 2 granddaughters.

I am, fortunately, still extremely fit, and enjoy playing and following sports (particularly tennis and golf), travel for the linguistic and cultural learning opportunities, and continue in my craving for books (which started at a very early age).

James Duffy
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James Duffy

The Compliance Guru

James is an experienced and qualified property professional who has been in the industry since 2001.  His career began initially in Surrey and he now continues his career in Brighton and Hove. James is part of the management team at Callaways Estate & Letting Agents.  He is responsible for the residential property team and is also Compliance specialist for topics relating to the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

Raising standards in the industry and coaching his teams to become qualified professionals is one of James` passions. James is driven to ensure the team provide the best advice to clients and customers and assist with the complex lettings legislation. In 2014 James was selected as a finalist in The Sunday Times awards in the Best Manager category in recognition for his hard work.

James is a qualified member of ARLA, NAEA Propertymark, Member of Institute of Residential Property Management (PRS/BTR).  James is an HHSRS risk assessment practitioner which enables him to provide specialist guidance to clients.

In 2020 James was appointed the ARLA Propertymark Representative for the Sussex region. ARLA Propertymark is the UK`s foremost professional and regulatory body for letting agents representing over 9000 members. ARLA members operate to a professional standard far higher than the law demands.

In addition to the ‘day job’, James speaks at Landlord seminars and helps train landlords on compliance requirements for managing properties.  You can also hear James on the airwaves as James co-presents ‘Let’s Talk Property’ with Heather Hilder-Darling on RadioReverb 97.2 FM & DAB.

James` Expertise

*Lettings legislation  *Lettings process  *HHSRS  *ARLA Propertymark  *Right to Rent Checks  *Regulation  *Complaint Handling * Customer Care  *Tenancy deposits  * Private Rented Sector Code of Practice  *Team management  *Training

Read our latest reviews

Justin
Justin
15/10/2023
Callaways have served us for nearly 10 years. They helped us prepare a property for rent, fully managed the rental property and have just sold the property for us. Throughout that time we have found them to be professional, courteous and proactive. They provided advice when required and arranged everything that needed to be done. Our experience with all Callaways staff has been positive but for many years now most of our interactions have been with Jacqui on the lettings side and James on the sales. Both seem so suited to their roles and are just the sort of people you want to look after or sell your property. We had no previous experience of letting agents but we know in Jacqui and Callaways, very good ones do exist. For the sale, James showed excellent communications. He was instrumental in keeping everyone talking, chasing progress and getting it done. Thank you all.
Tasos Pelekanou
Tasos Pelekanou
14/08/2023
Ten years ago I bought a flat through Callaways. I found tenants through Callaways. I have just sold that flat with Callaways. Every step of the way they have been professional , given spot on advice & taken so much of the hassle out of it. James Duffy has been excellent. I had a difficult sale due to freeholder issues & his knowledge & efficiency have made all the difference. I highly recommend this agent.
Peter Farrell
Peter Farrell
18/12/2022
A company that inspires confidence in clients.
Robin Scott
Robin Scott
22/07/2022
My wife and I have been clients of Callaways for over a decade as both tenants and subsequently buyers of the home we rented through them. Through this long period of engagement, every experience we have had with them was of the highest standard. Whilst renting, the lettings team (led by the lovely and charismatic Jax) were always friendly, personable and responsive. They maintained a delicate balance between acting on behalf of the landlord, whilst also empathising with our situation as tenants. When the opportunity arose to purchase the home we rented, we could not have asked for a better agent than Heather. She skilfully managed a complicated situation, managing not just the process but also the emotions of all involved. It's a pleasure to be able to say that, in our experience, Callaways delivered real value to all parties. Not all estate agents are created equal, and Callaways showed how it should be done! I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Ben Massen
Ben Massen
22/04/2022
We rented our home through Callaways and found them to be professional and highly knowledgeable. James and Jacqui were both helpful, courteous, straightforward, and always responded quickly with a high degree of care.
Jane Pearce
Jane Pearce
01/04/2022
I have had the pleasure of dealing with James Duffy (Branch Manager) and Jacqui Dickinson (Lettings) for 9 years. They have both offered me exceptional customer service and professionalism throughout all my Lettings and Sales dealings with them. Highly recommend
D. S.
D. S.
07/02/2022
Excellent from begining to end. Allways the consumate professional Heather and her team went above and beyond to make the selling of the family home when my mother passed as smooth and stress free as possible under the circumstances. 100% Recommendation.
Alice Bengtsen
Alice Bengtsen
21/10/2021
Buying a beach hut through Callaways was a pleasure, with Heather always willing to share her wisdom and advice. Thanks for making the process fun, as well as the end result.
Tim W
Tim W
24/08/2021
We have been using Callaways Lettings Service for many years and have received a consistantly good service from their dedicated staff. We have been particularly impressed with their knowledge and expertise of the lettings business and their ability to work closely with the Building Management Teams. This has resulted in good relations with Landlords and the speedy resolution of maintenance and tenant issues.
C G
C G
12/07/2021
I can honestly say that Heather has been the most patient & helpful agent EVER. She has kept me up to date regularly with progress. It is a great agency to buy a beach hut as her knowledge is incredible having sold them on a regular basis for many years. Highly recommended.