Meet the Dorset Property Market’s Power Pair | Lodestone Property

Simon Neville-Jones and Ali Cuff make up our Dorset office, which is based in Shaftesbury. Together they not only have over 50 years background in property in the area, but also have an extensive network of contacts and knowledge. So if you’re buying or selling in the county, these two are the ones to have on your side. We helped ourselves to a coffee from their impressive office machine and found out what makes them so special (Simon and Ali we mean, although the latte was pretty great too).

 

Ali Cuff makes up one half of the dynamic duo in our Shaftesbury Office. 

 

Hello Simon and Ali, can you briefly tell us your career highlights?

Simon: I’ve been in property for 35 years, but most notably worked in the Dorset Country market for Savills for 13 of those, selling everything from cottages to coastal homes. It’s safe to say my career has been a lot of things but it’s never been boring! I started with Lodestone in January 2020

Ali: I’m Dorset born and bred and worked at Jackson Stops for 14 years, which is where I met Cathy [Morris-Adams, managing partner]. When she left we kept in touch, which is how I came to work for Lodestone, joining last October in-between lockdowns.

And what about your Lodestone highlights so far?

Simon: It was exciting to open the Dorset office in Shaftesbury last October and to go on to sell quite a variety of houses in quite a variety of villages.

Ali: Well, the market at the moment [Spring 2021] has been so different to work in hasn’t it? I’ve never had anything like this with 35 viewings on one house in a matter of days. It’s fun and challenging.

Tell us about the office and working together in Shaftesbury

Simon: We have views of Trinity Church and are within about a minute of all the amenities in Shaftesbury. We occupy a prominent position in a former school, two floors up – it’s an office, rather than a shop front, which means we have private meeting rooms for clients and because we don’t have lots of people dropping in off the high street, we’re able to concentrate on the work. We also have a snazzy coffee machine for clients! Ali and I get on very well, we both have dogs and live in the Dorset countryside so we have a lot in common.

Ali: It’s really nice working with Simon and to be in the same office as him. It’s real teamwork and we discuss everything. I think that’s part of the Lodestone ethos. Sue [Macey, Managing Partner] and Cathy are very keen that everyone knows what’s going on and I think you get more out of people that way.

And what do you like about working for Lodestone?

Simon: That it’s very much a personal business, that we have the best social media of any of our competitors in Shaftesbury, that we bring a wealth of experience and that we are able to deal with all sectors of the market. Personally I love the ability to look at a diverse range of attractive houses. I think that sets us apart. There’s always something interesting at Lodestone. Our business here is very much on the boutique style.

Ali: I like the social media aspect of it and also that all the team are friendly and professional. As a woman it feels much like a far more level playing field here than other agents. I also like the fact that we take the time to get to know our clients, rather than just see them at a viewing and then pass them onto a solicitor. We find out what they really want so we can find something that’s right or find the right sale for them.

What’s your typical day like?

Simon: You come into the office, you look through your emails, you go and pitch on a property in the Dorset catchment area, sales chasing, organise viewings, deal with offers, talk to our clients, talk to solicitors – our work here is very diverse. It’s just myself and Ali working here, but Sue, Cathy and Rosa [Clutterbuck, Lettings Advisor for Dorset] all come and visit.

Any tips of people visiting Shaftesbury or Dorset for the day?

Simon: I like The Grosvenor Arms and Shaftesbury Wines and we also have a good working relationship with Pamplemousse the florist. Gold Hill is a great place to visit too and very popular with visitors.

Ali: There are so many great walks. From where I live in North Dorset we can drive to Bulbarrow Hill and from there you can follow loads of bridleways and paths. It’s especially pretty when the bluebells are out in May and you can see an awful lot of Dorset from there. It’s lovely. We haven’t had a chance to get to know Shaftesbury properly yet because the town is only just opening up after lockdown but I’m looking forward to getting to know people very soon.

Find more info on properties for sale in Dorset here. 

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