LOUISE Hirst’s first taste of a career in property was work experience for Stephenson’s Estate Agents in Selby which mostly consisted of sticking property photos to pieces of paper.

A lot has changed since then but throughout her career Ms Hirst has been a woman in a man’s world with job roles in male orientated industries.

Following a role as an inspector at General Accident, Ms Hirst moved to accountancy recruitment where she was responsible for sourcing and recruiting senior level qualified accountants and financial directors. In 2003 she re-entered the property world with a part-time job at the York office of national property consultancy Carter Jonas. She has worked her way up to an associate partner.

Carter Jonas has a network of 30 offices across England, Scotland and Wales, including Yorkshire offices in York, Harrogate, Leeds and Boroughbridge. The firm employs more than 550 partners and staff and advises on all aspects of residential, rural and commercial property.

What job would you like to have other than your own and why?

"I am a real news fiend. I would have loved to have been a foreign correspondent – travel and news in one package would have been perfect."

Greatest Achievement

"That’s a hard one. Of course, as any mother would say it has been watching my son grow up to be a confident young man ready to make his start in life.

"In my professional life it would have to be organising the sale by informal tender of a central York property. It had more than 100 people attend an open hour and sold at almost £200,000 above the guide price. Then I helped to secure a new property for the client including arranging a visit from the fire brigade to sort out specialist equipment.

"Returning to my old boarding school and selling the property as a family home is also a career highlight."

What makes you most angry?

"Injustice and unfairness – this helps enormously in my job with property dispute resolution and mediation!"

Biggest Mistake

"Mistakes are what make us human – I prefer to think of them as missed opportunities.

"Early in my career and in line with my aspirations to be a reporter, I was invited to attend an interview with The Selby Times however I was booked to go away on holiday on the same day so said I couldn’t go. With the benefit of age and wisdom, and should it happen now I would have pushed myself in there and then."

What do you need to make life complete?

"I am very lucky and consider my life to be complete in both work and family. However, I am driven, personally and professionally, and I am always looking for my next challenge."

Why do you make a difference?

"My ability to empathise and see all points of view makes me different. I give honest, straightforward and balanced advice. I’m told that I am trusted and discreet which helps when I am advising people on buying and selling houses. It is stressful in itself and can happen at the most stressful times when people are at their most vulnerable."


"I cared. About the people, the job and the outcome."