Meet Our Team
Without doubt, our staff are our greatest asset. Importantly our staff live locally and are passionate about Walton on Thames and the surrounding areas. They provide new buyers and tenants information about the local area . They are highly experienced and incredibly dedicated professionals who share a common aim – to provide the best service possible.
MBA, MNAEA, Director
Get to know Marcel...
A bit about me: Originally I trained as a telecommunications engineer and progressed within different organizations such as Olympia, British Telecoms, Radio communications Agency, Department of Trade and Industry and Ofcom and more recently as a franchisee of Your Move. Each role enabled me to gain experience in management and business. Whilst working with these organisations I purchased and let properties and the combination of my work experience and property experience provided me with the skills to develop Rochills.
What made you change career and triggered you to become an entrepreneur? At the age of forty I felt that whilst running other people’s business was enjoyable I was drawn to work for myself as an opportunity not to be missed.
In setting up Rochills what were your core objectives? To change the customers perception of Estate agency and remove the stress of moving. To enable staff to see that we are a people moving business. I would like my staff to want to come into work and have a sense of purpose.
What makes Rochills different? We focus on the moving experience and not just selling or letting a property. We make the clients the focus of our attention. We look at the client’s journey rather than just the end goal. To achieve this we really need to understand the people we are dealing within a moving transaction. This way of thinking sets us apart and generates repeat business.
What strengths did you bring? Vision drive and determination to succeed.
What have you learnt?
- Understand people: The sales and lettings transaction is reliant on a number of people who often have different vested interests. The team need to be aware of these and navigate the process in order to achieve the result the clients want.
- You are only as strong as your weakest link and therefore an open culture of continuous improvement is paramount.
What do you look for in your employees? Good attitude, a desire to learn, the ability to overcome problems with solutions and a care for people.
What I do out of work: I love to travel and am a foodie, I love to spend time with my family love to talk and joke and have fun. I love gardening and a enjoy watching football.
Proudest moments to date: I saved two babies lives after they fell into a swimming pool. While working within the Government I presented to the Business Trade Minster and received a recommendation for my services. Lastly I am proud of what we have achieved with Rochills and proud of the three property awards we have gained.
Favourite Something: Cheese, cheese and more cheese!
Favourite Place: The river stretch by Walton Bridge, a great place to watch the world go by while enjoying lunch with the Swans and great views of the River and the Bridge.
Bsc (Hons), Director
Get to know Sarah...
I started work at the age of 16 at Guinness Mahon Bank in the City of London when the cost of my annual season ticket exceeded my salary!!. After a couple of years, I moved to a Japanese bank called Hokkaido Takushoku Bank Ltd where I spent 10 years in the Foreign Exchange Department during which time I was a money market trader for Sterling and Japanese Yen. Despite the long hard hours, working in the City of London was an exciting time in my life where I learnt how to make instant decisions and to prioritize tasks, two attributes that have stood me in good stead throughout my life both professionally and personally.
After the birth of our first child, some twenty-five years ago, I moved to High Street banking and have worked for both Halifax and Barclays. As landlords ourselves for over 30 years it was inevitable that Marcel and I would work in property and in 2003 Rochills was founded in Walton on Thames.
I am extremely proud of all of our staff who each give their full commitment to their job. Here at Rochills we all feel very strongly that a customer’s needs must be met at all times. We pride ourselves that we have a reputation for our quality of service and professionalism together with a friendly approach. Nothing is too much trouble for us. That is why so many clients and their families come back to us.
As a working mother to 3 children my days are challenging but rewarding and I look forward each week to a long Sunday morning walk with our two dogs as well as my weekly Pilates class.
Get to know Craig...
A little bit about me: I have lived in the Surrey area since 2005, where previously I had lived in my home town of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. I was a chef in a previous life and worked in catering for many years. With my move to Surrey, I had a change in career and joined the biggest independent estate agent, Cubitt & West, where I worked as a trainee for 2 years and then moved to a local branch close to my home. In 2009, I joined Rochills as a negotiator and since 2012 have held the position of Sales Manager. Running the day-to-day business along with the Directors ensuring the office runs as smoothly as possible.
What I do out of work: Outside of work, I love spending time with my young family on days out as well as quality time at our home. I am also a keen supporter of my beloved Leeds United and try to watch them when my busy schedule allows. However, my big love are triathlons and cycling and love competing in many different events whether it is to raise funds for charity or simply to better my performance each time.
When you started at Rochills: June 2009
What I enjoy about working as an Estate Agent: I love working for a family business with a close focus on our core values. Giving our clients, which are people and not property, the best service from our individual approach to Estate Agency.
Proudest moments to date: The proudest moments of my life are the birth of my two sons. Being made Sales Manager of Rochills comes extremely high on the list. In 2015, I raised over £5,000.00 for a local hospital to buy equipment for their cardiac unit.
Favorite something: My favorite something has to be my collection of road bikes – getting in the saddle and getting lost for a few hours on an early summers morning… what could be better!
My customer service commitment: I learnt a phrase on my very first day of working for Rochills and still adhere to it to this day and use it throughout all aspects of my life….. “The standards you set, are the standards you get”
Get to know Jurgen...
A little bit about me: I grew up in South Africa in a small coastal town and after school, I worked as a Lifeguard to put myself through university where I achieved a degree in Sociology and Psychology. I then travelled far and wide, eventually settling in Walton on Thames in 2005 where I started working as an underwriter for Buy to Let Mortgages and bought my first flat. My career diversified and over the years I gained experience in corporate Property sales, property management and residential lettings before I joined Rochills in 2014 just after completing the NFOPP – Technical Award in Residential Lettings and Property Management. I currently deal with all aspects of lettings and property management and work closely with the directors and lettings staff.
What I do out of work: I love to travel and experience new places so I try to get away with friends and family as much as I can. Especially love the ocean, forests and mountains! I enjoy most sports and play quite a bit of golf in the summer and a keen supporter of the Kwazulu-Natal Sharks rugby team. Cooking, reading, cycling and watching films are some of my other pass times and I am getting into coin collecting and gardening.
When you started at Rochills: January 2014
What I enjoy about working as an Estate Agent: I don’t really consider myself an estate agent but working within the industry is always challenging and never a dull moment. Working for a family run independent estate agent is definitely the way to do it and I am proud to be part of the family.
Proudest moments to date: Saving a person’s life, getting married, buying a house
Favorite something: A day in the sunshine at the beach with friends and family, and my favourite place in the UK so far is Croyde Bay in North Devon.
My Customer Service commitment: 100% – Commitment to the customer means giving them your full attention and anticipating their needs. It means treating each customer how you would like to be treated and going out of your way to demonstrate their importance.
Marketing and Social Media Manager
Get to know Claudia...
A little bit about me: I grew up on one of the most southern points of Africa in “The Windy City” of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I moved to the UK over 13 years ago with the family and regularly visit my native country. Moving over from South Africa, I was dedicated to Dance and Theatre and worked in some short productions; acting, dancing and eventually choreographing and directing. I toured the UK as a dancer and worked for a National Theatre School teaching and choreographing 8-18 year olds singing, dancing and acting. Moving to London on my own at 19 I earned my degree Film and Television with Theatre after a gap year of tutoring. Living in “the big smoke” and most work in art being unpaid, I fell into office work and eventually into property – I haven’t looked back since. Aside to the arts, I always had an underlying interest in property in every capacity and that keen interest and enthusiasm hasn’t left me. I became an experienced Senior Sales Consultant fortunate enough to work in an industry where there is so much to learn almost daily which I thrive on. I now focus on the Marketing and Social Media for the brand to drive engagement with the local area which is equally as challenging and enjoyable.
What I do out of work: Aside to visiting my family in the midlands at every free weekend, my passion for everything dance is still very much alive. I often enjoy going to the ballet and any theatre productions when I can. Every now and again I take on a few dance classes just to get it out of my system! I also love keeping fit and challenging myself for charitable causes and have recently competed in a half marathon, a triathlon and am about to start training for a hill climb in Europe.
When you started at Rochills: September 2013
What I enjoy about working as an Estate Agent: I have always enjoyed working with people and the general public. I am most fortunate to be able to work with two elements I thoroughly enjoy, people and property, which is what the firm firmly believes are two very important concepts. “Our clients are people, not property”. This allows me to focus on my clients and their needs and often clients are so refreshed on us meeting their requirements instead of providing a service or instruction that is not relevant to them.
Proudest moments to date: Raising funds for my brothers Hospice as a token of my family and my appreciation for their support. Crowdfunding for a specialised adapted vehicle for my brother so he no longer requires assistance from the government. Completing my first half marathon and triathlon.
Favourite something: I love hosting and cooking at my home whenever I can get people together. Going to the theatre and training for the next race. Helping others.
My Favourite Place in Walton: Spending time down by the River
My Customer Service commitment: I am a very customer service orientated consultant and I pride myself on how I treat our clients. How I perform, I feel, is a depiction on my credibility and I always strive to appear approachable and I believe transparency is essential when your clients are buying their biggest asset. This approach and attitude has had customers re approach myself and the business as they feel they’d like to be taken care of by an agent who take ownership and responsibility and are people they enjoyed working with.
Get to know Joe...
A little bit about me: I am very much a local person as I grew up and have lived in Walton all my life. Whilst at college I worked in the Walton branch of Homebase on the information desk. It is here that I first started to work with the public enjoying customer service and working with the local community. After University I started my career at HSBC Bank working in the Guildford area. After 13 years in banking I had a change of career and joined Rochills in 2012 where I am currently a senior relationship consultant on the sales team.
What I do out of work: Out of work I enjoy spending time with my family. We often travel to visit my wife’s family in the States and family in Italy. I enjoy football although now as a spectator rather than playing. Other interests I have are watching movies, gardening and cars.
When you started at Rochills: September 2012
What I enjoy about working as an Estate Agent: As an Estate agent I enjoy working with people listening to their requirements and ultimately helping them to find their next home. I also enjoy working for an independent family run agency.
Proudest moments to date: Becoming a father.
Favorite something: Family, Cars and Chocolate!
My Customer Service Commitment: Having worked with the public and in customer service for many years now my aim is to treat people how I would want to be treated. I like to help the client through the process of probably making the biggest purchase they will ever make.
Favorite place in Walton: Walking along the river with an ice cream!
Get to know Sascha...
A little about me: I grew up in Shepperton and Walton, a local girl, and then at the age of 18 after a few months of travelling and worked teaching dance at a summer Camp in Pennsylvania. I started my degree in Law and Social Science at the University of Hertfordshire. I moved and brought my first property at the age of 22 and lived in North London and worked and continued my studies with a private practice firm in Mayfair (which was great fun). After more exams I qualified as a Solicitor and then spent the next ten years working for a lovely vibrant practice in Putney until July 2014 when I left to spend some time working on my family home and undertaking the task of painting the house inside and out top to bottom. My family all live locally and I have relatives in the Walton and Weybridge area with my children attending the local school.
Out of Work: I spend a lot of time in France and I love to travel in the last few years having been to Lisbon, Antigua, Florida, Sardinia, Amsterdam, New York and Spain. We have a family home in rural Brittany and I love the laid back way of life which includes a lot of physical work including driving a tractor, cutting down trees and building dens and lots of fires! I love Yoga and have been going for about for about two years and would love to have more time to dedicate to my practice as well but there is never enough time in the day.
Start Date: I started working for Rochills in November 2015.
What I enjoy about working as an Estate Agent: I am a property manager for Rochills and so liaise with tenants and landlords on any maintenance issues which can cover all manner of things from liaising with contractors on site for works to attending the reports of the obligatory boiler breakdown on the first day of winter. I enjoy the challenges and every day is different and the work is varied.
Proudest Moment: Throwing myself down a roller coaster to impress the children and of course having two great children to impress in the first place. On a serious note I assisted a victim of a serious assault offering first aid (that I learnt watching T.V).
Favourite something: I love picnics and cooking a roast dinner on a Sunday for the family. I enjoy going into London enjoy the theatre and exhibitions. My favourite place is the River and I often take a moment for a walk and a bit of me time.
Customer service commitment: Having worked with people for many years from all walks of life I have learnt never to assume their needs and to listen and then to act.
Administrator and Marketing
Get to know Rachel...
A little bit about me: Born in Germany to an English Mother and American father and up until my teens we moved every 3 years as my dad was posted to different Air Force bases. We finally settled in the UK (Surbiton to be precise) to be close to family where I finished my schooling and entered the workplace at 17. My first role was as an office junior in the Treasurer’s Secretariat at County Hall in Kingston. I then joined an Independent Financial Advisers as a typist and over the 10 years, I became the PA to the Director, Office Manager and ran the Secretarial team. I took a few years out to raise my family and returned to work in a completely different role for the next 10 years and qualified to become a Pre School Practictioner. We moved to Walton on Thames 5 ½ years ago, the children are at local schools and we are settled and happy.
What I do out of work: I have two teenage children and an eight year old so most of my time is spent organising where they need to be! They all participate in a sport(s) which means mid week training, matches/events at the weekend and I very much enjoy being a part of that. I also enjoy socialising with family and friends.
When you started at Rochills – February 2016
What I enjoy about working as an Estate Agent: I have recently joined Rochills to provide office support for both the Sales and Lettings teams and to implement social media and marketing strategies. What I particularly like about working at Rochills is that it is a family run business and it feels it. This is a new role for me and Rochills have given me the opportunity to get back into the office environment with guidance and support. My day is varied from tweeting, organising property publications, property details, window displays, arranging of meetings, website content, client liaison …the list goes on – I am learning a lot!
Proudest moments to date: I have done quite a bit of travelling visiting countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Mexico, Aruba, Peru, India and Nepal to name a few – all with just the flight booked and a backpack!
Favorite something: I enjoy entertaining at home having dinner parties and BBQs. Music and reading are also at the top of my favourite things.
Favourite place in Walton: Is our stretch of the River Thames
My Customer Service Commitment: Is to treat others how I would like to be treated!
Get to know Jonathan...
A little bit about me: I moved to Walton from my parents’ house in Sandhurst over a year ago to live with my Fiancé. We are getting married in August and are currently buying our first house. I joined Rochills in January which is amazing and very different from my last job as a store manager in a running shop. I have always been into sport, competing to a high level in athletics, particularly high jump and later on the pentathlon. I now enjoy cycling and triathlons.
What I do out of work: I love going on holiday and going out at weekends to dinner with my Fiancé. I cycle with people from work and we have plans to take part in events across Europe. I also love cars and go to shows and museums.
Started Rochill’s: January 2016
What I enjoy about working as an estate agent: I feel very privileged to work for a family run business. I sit with a very experienced director who is always helping me achieve the best I can. I don’t think I would get this level of training working for any other agent. Everyone in the office is great fun and it makes me excited to go to work in the morning.
Proudest moment to date: Getting married and buying a house
Favourite something: I love my car, I love all cars but I enjoy washing my car on a nice day.
Favourite place in Walton: My favourite thing to do in Walton is having a lovely Sunday morning breakfast at The 1955 Club in The Heart. The owner is very nice and will always make room for everyone. The food is great and so are the smoothies.
My customer service commitment: I have always worked in strong customer service environments which has made it second nature to me. The customer always comes first with everything I do.
Get to know Sharon...
Get to know Helena...
A little bit about me: I’ve lived in Surrey for nearly 30 years. I grew up in Sunderland and I haven’t lost my accent, so people sometimes tell me I remind them of comedienne Sarah Millican , although once I was told I reminded someone of the Hairy Bikers!. I like to have fun and have a wicked sense of humour. I first worked in sales as a concessions manager in Principles, and from there moved to work for the British Council for 10 years in various roles – moving staff and their families overseas and back, organising international seminars and summer schools, international marketing and IT training and support. I left before I was posted overseas by taking voluntary early retirement at the ripe old age of 29! However, I was lucky enough to be sent to Rome, Athens and Damascus in my work there. I then started working in housing, entirely by accident; doing a couple of temping days which led me to get a job covering maternity leave and then when the new Mum came back to work, I was asked to stay in a new role in community development. 20 plus years later, I was managing a small housing association.
What I do out of work: I work part-time, so have more free time than my other colleagues. I enjoy socialising, listening to music and watching live bands. I love self-development and I’m currently doing a couple of courses in property management and coaching. With my husband we are going through assessment to become foster parents, as our only son has moved into his own home. I am a landlord and am continuing to look towards building a portfolio of properties ready for my retirement. I’m very involved in dementia care of the elderly and am a Dementia Friends Champion for Alzheimer’s Society. Following on from this, I’m also in training to trek the Great Wall of China in October to raise funds and awareness of Dementia and the work that the Alzheimer’s Society does.
When you started at Rochills: I joined as Estates Manager in July 2016
What I enjoy about working in an Estate Agents: Rochills is a new experience for me, this is the first time I have worked in a the private sector for nearly 30 years but I’m delighted to say that my colleagues do not deserve being tarnished with the same brush as estate agents in general are. I have found them kind, helpful and caring. The customer service they provide is truly genuine. That makes me feel very proud to work with them.
Proudest moments to date: Reading the eulogy for my dad’s funeral.
Favorite something: My dog, Oscar.
My Customer Service Commitment: I work on how I would want my Mum to be treated. I like old fashioned courtesy and respect.
Favorite place in Walton: I love the water, so it would have to be the river.
Get to know Lauren...
When you started at Rochills: October 2016
My Customer Service Commitment: Customers may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Always be helpful and make them feel valued.
Favorite place in Walton: The riverside as I find it peaceful.