SELLING Sunset was the one of the most talked about programmes in lockdown, but you don’t need to travel to LA for the same treatment.
Twins Tonya Barnard and Rea Hill, 34, from Chelmsford, Essex, have spent the last 13 years making a name for themselves on the property market.
With the motto “we close deals in heels” the sisters bring some serious glamour to the job while garnering a reputation for their fiery and honest approach.
The former glamour models began their careers working as trainees in estate agents but it wasn’t long before they were making their way up the ranks.
“Being twins helped us to make a name for ourselves” Tonya tells Fabulous Digital.
“We created a bit of a buzz because we were young twins and girls as well and back then there wasn’t a huge amount of girls.
“The twin thing made us stand out but we worked our way up quite quickly and made a name for ourselves.”
With their killer wardrobes and blow dries, the twins admit that they initially struggled to get themselves taken seriously.
“You will always get a bit of sexism wherever you go” Tonya says.
“When we first started out you would always get the jokes that we had won a deal because someone had fancied us because we were young women.
“At the end of the day the figures speak for themselves, you’re not going to win business based on your looks.”
“We have had to prove ourselves a little bit more, as blonde girls from Essex we’ve had to work that little but harder and gain that credibility.”
Working at estate agents just three doors apart, the women built up some healthy competition in their early years before opening up their own property businesses.
But while they work separately the sisters have an identical business approach.
“Our policy has always been honesty” Rea explains.
“We will always be straight from the start. Sometimes we will value a property less than the agent down the road because we know that’s truly what it’s worth.
“We would rather lose business for being honest than reel someone in with false hope.”
Both Rea and Tonya are now mums to three-year-old boys, born just six weeks apart, but the women say that motherhood has not impacted their drive.
“We like to be busy, we like to have targets, we’re never going to be able to sit at home and do the full time mum thing” Tonya says.
“We have a good balance, the kids always come first and we work everything else around that.”
Twins tips on adding thousands to your home
It’s safe to say that the women are experts when it comes to what sells a house, and they have shared their top tips for adding value to your property without spending a penny.
“We always advise people to drive up to their homes as if they’re doing a viewing” says Tonya.
“Look at your property and see if there’s any quick changes you can make.
“Simple things like deweeding, putting away bins, cutting back trees, bushes and shrubs as well as cleaning your windows can make the world of difference.
“Tidy up the front of that house because nine times out of ten somebody’s already made a decision as to whether they want that property before they’ve even walked through the door.”
Cleanliness & clutter
“It doesn’t really matter about your interiors as most people will change those, but it is really off-putting if your house is dirty,” advises Rea.
“Keep it hotel-clean.
“And de-clutter to help people visualise it as their own space without it being overwhelmed by your stuff.
“Move excess furniture into your garage to make your space feel clearer.”
“Keep it calm” Tonya adds.
“If you have a big dog be wary that not all tenants are going to be OK with it jumping up so put any pets outside.
“Set the mood, if it’s winter have your heating on, put the lamps on and light the fire.
“If it’s summer then open the windows and let the breeze so it feels light and fresh in as you don’t want it to appear stuffy.
“Match the mood of the house to the season that you’re in.
“It’s these little things that don’t cost anything that make all the difference. When people walk in they want to feel like they can move in that evening.
“It really doesn’t have to put you out of pocket.”
After selling her property business in 2018 Rea now works for her husband’s garden design company Rose Hill Design & Build Ltd while Tonya works at Adrians estate agents in Chelmsford.
You can follow their journey on Instagram at officialpropertytwins
In other property news, a Place in the Sun's Laura Hamilton previously revealed her simple tips for adding value to your home.
And a 12-year-old girl completely transformed her family home for £50 in seven days & she’s a dab hand with the power drill too.
Plus this is how spending a tenner could add thousands to your home.
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