Interview with company director of PAD Residential, Sue Waxman

Sue Waxman is company Director at PAD Residential, a leading estate agent in Manchester with over 20 years’ experience.

What’s your career background?

I have always worked since I left school at 16. I didn’t go to university but always worked hard and picked things up very quickly. 

I began my career working in advertising and marketing which was a good start and base to learn from, but after a few years I wanted a change. So, I switched things up and went on to work at a solicitor’s firm that specialised in medical negligence providing support to the partners and stayed here for a many years.

Next stop was PAD Residential. My husband needed support on setting this up so I agreed to join him and support anyway I could. I’m now Company Director at PAD and I absolutely love it.

How did your career change after having children?

Having children changes things up completely. I was always needed in the office and still wanted to do my bit, so it involved a lot of juggling between Childcare and working.

I was lucky enough to be in a position where I could choose my hours. I could do the school runs and pick-ups and doctors’ appointments. Working for yourself gives you that freedom, it’s one of the biggest benefits.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

The idea for PAD came from my husband. He spotted a gap in the market at the time and was determined it could work. I saw it to and when he asked if I wanted to be involved I agreed.

It was another adaption for me, but I think as I had done this many times before and proved to myself I could learn new things I could do this. I also had the added motivation of growing a business for my husband and a future family which was massive.

What’s your USP?

I feel honesty is the best approach, and one my clients appreciate. Too many people don’t say it how it is and beat around the bush. We take this approach throughout our business, my clients, with partners and have tried to ingrain this ethos throughout. All our staff know this is what we stand for.

Who’s your target audience?

We specialise in Manchester properties and have over 20 years’ experience doing so. So, anyone who owns a property, any developers and prospective investors.

We also have another business called PadShare so we also help those who are looking for room shares throughout Manchester.

How do you spread the word about what you do?

Over the years we have built up a solid reputation in Manchester which I’m really proud of. We’ve gained a fairly decent amount level of brand awareness over the years through various activity.

At the moment we have just started with a new digital marketing company but the majority of our business if often word of mouth as we have many happy clients. We are also active on all the major property portals (Rightmove etc) which get millions of visits every month.

What’s been your most successful marketing strategy?

As a business we always look at our overall strategy, are we focusing on the right things and areas, are we serving these areas as best as we can? One of the biggest changes in marketing strategy we had was moving from a local market focus to a regional one.

This opened the door to a lot more opportunities for us a business, we just had to make sure we were ready to make that move. 

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

I’m someone who likes to get things done, or moving as quickly as possible. In our industry it pays to be proactive and quick at getting things done. So, one of my pet peeves and obstacles I face is other people’s indecisions and lack of positivity. 

As an entrepreneur will probably face this a lot so it’s important to surround yourself with people who will bring your positive vibes and energy, luckily, I had my husband for that!

Juggling motherhood and work life was also a challenge for a good few years. Thankfully now they are older it’s a lot easier, and I am happy to say our daughter eventually joined team PAD!

And your proudest moment so far?

Seeing my family working together every day and growing our business. I’ve loved watching them grow and achieve their own paths. I also conquered Kilimanjaro last year which was a massive effort, something I never thought I would do.

Why is work so important to you?

The main thing I think work does for me is keep me motivated and its good for my mind. I’m someone who likes to constantly challenge myself so its important to have things to look forward to and goals to achieve.

I could never be a stay at home mum or housewife. That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with that, but it just isn’t for me.  

Who inspires you?

Many people inspire me, my parents who have worked hard all their life and now reap the rewards. My husband who is my rock and believes in me and totally supports everything I do. My gym coaches who keep me healthy and motivated. One of the most important things I have found is having that have accountability and support system is crucial.

I also get inspired whenever I see or read about other women who run their own business. The whole interview section of Talented Ladies Club is a source of inspiration!

How do you balance your work with your family?

I’m a mother of three children so it’s difficult juggling, but thankfully they are older now so more self-sufficient. It took lots of planning when they were smaller but its certainly easier now as they don’t need me as much. Which is also a bad thing!

What are your three top pieces of advice for someone wanting to do something similar?

  1. Try and stay positive and make sure you have clear goals to work towards
  2. Be passionate about what you want to do – give it everything you’ve got.
  3. Trust your instincts. Sometimes you have to take a risk, don’t be afraid to.

You can find out more about PAD Residential here.