How an Italian epiphany changed the course of my professional life

My life changed instantly on September 20th 2017 – the date my husband Tony suddenly passed away whilst we were on holiday in Bali with our three children. What followed was a ten-day nightmare of seemingly endless administration and logistics, on top of our shock and grief.

When we lost Tony so suddenly, I was instantly cast into a world of complex and confusing tasks that continued long after we finally made it home. There was barely space and time to grieve, because I was suddenly faced with making huge calls such as whether or not to sell our family home, or remain in a house that felt too full of memories. When I decided to sell, the task list became even more enormous. I’ve got years of experience in the real estate industry and could handle it – but I remember thinking how much more difficult things would’ve been if I didn’t have that insider knowledge. It was two years later, on a girls’ trip to Italy, that I struck on the idea that’s now my passion.

Before Tony died we’d discussed the concept of me becoming a buyers’ advocate, as supporting people through the buying process was always something that had appealed to me. But one morning in my private villa in Capri, Italy, a friend said: ‘You’ve got such unique experience – you understand all the difficulties of buying a house when life forces your hand and you have to suddenly do everything on your own. Why don’t you help other people who find themselves in a similar situation?’

It was a true eureka moment, and from my villa I began to put together list upon list – immediately contacting people from my years spent in the real estate industry. From those humble beginnings my business was born, and now I specialise in walking clients through the process of buying a house after sudden change – shouldering the emotional burden too often involved in what can seem like an overwhelming hurdle. From helping source solicitors and finding off-market houses to representing clients at auctions, I support my clients at every step of the journey – keeping them focused on the end-vision of a new home and a totally fresh start.

It means a lot to me that our huge loss has been channelled into something so good. We can never get Tony back, and the kids and I will live with that loss for the rest of our lives. But to know what I went through can help other people get through similarly challenging times – that means a great deal to me, and is a wonderful tribute to Tony.