Celebrating 40 years of Kirkwood Homes: A conversation with Shirley Craig, Sales Manager
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Celebrating 40 years of Kirkwood Homes: A conversation with Shirley Craig, Sales Manager

11th Jun, 2024

As Kirkwood Homes celebrates 40 years of building quality homes in desirable locations across Scotland, we shine a spotlight on Shirley Craig, our dedicated Sales Manager.

In this article, Shirley shares her experiences from her decade-long Kirkwood journey - from the excitement of launching major developments, to her pride in the quality product the Kirkwood team consistently delivers…

Shirley Craig

When did you join the Kirkwood Homes team?

“I actually marked my 10 year anniversary with the company back in March this year! I was originally employed as a Senior Sales Advisor, went on to Regional Sales and subsequently moved up to my current position of Area Sales Manager in December 2017.”

Tell us about your background and current role…

“Originally I worked in finance roles, and as much as I loved the team spirit within the office environment, I had a real yearning to look at a completely different sector which would marry up with my people skills and challenge me professionally. This led me to account management and territory sales roles with both national and blue chip companies. The latter ensured I had rigorous training within a sales role, which has certainly stood me in good stead over the years!"

“When I moved to Scotland from my native Northern Ireland, I had actually visited a Kirkwood showhome in Sauchen, and as I have a real love of property, I asked a member of the team to keep me in mind if a sales position became available - which occurred just a few months later. I was originally interviewed by the Managing Director for a position at our (then) Cove development, however he felt my skill set would be more suited for their prestigious flagship site at Ury Estate, Stonehaven (no pressure)! Until the development was launched, I worked at head office with the QS department and architects, which gave me a real ‘feel’ for the company - and the fantastic product!”

What has kept you at Kirkwood Homes for so long?

“It’s a great company to work for - and it would be very difficult to even contemplate working for another competitor! I have a real sense of pride in what we design, build and offer as an internal specification, so it would be near impossible for any company in this industry to match my high expectations.”

How has the company and your role changed since you started?

“Since I became a Sales Manager in 2017, the core requirements of the position remain the same - it’s in my remit to manage the sales team at all our developments, offer advice and encourage them, to the best of their ability, to achieve sales - all while ensuring a positive customer journey."

“The main change within the role would be within the marketing aspect of the position. I am heavily involved with promoting our brand, which takes more time than in previous years, as we move away from traditional marketing to almost fully digital. I work very closely with our marketing team to ensure we have the relevant content we need, and continually optimise and expand our reach and engagement with potential customers. I also work closely with all our head office departments and with various other external mechanisms of the business, including lawyers and brokers, as well as interior designers for our fabulous showhomes!”

Share a memorable moment from your career at Kirkwood Homes…

“There are too many to count, but I’ll have a go! Back in 2014, we launched our fabulous Ury Estate development in Stonehaven and secured 16 reservations in 2 days. It was incredibly full on but equally thrilling."

“A few years later, we launched our executive apartments at Royal Dornoch and I recall sitting on the phone to prospective clients from the USA and Monaco thinking this was a little surreal!"

“More recently, we entered our exquisite showhome in Inchmarlo for ‘Scotland’s best showhome’ award - and it was fantastic to have the team with me in Glasgow when we scooped the prize!”

Inchmarlo showhome

How do you feel you have contributed to the success of Kirkwood Homes?

“I would hope that my hard work and dedication to the business will have helped to contribute to Kirkwood’s success. I’m not adverse to keeping my sales skills up to date, so will frequently cover a development if one of my team is on leave - this helps me to keep my skills relevant and obviously, I’m always striving to bring in sales myself!”

What do you like most about the team?

“The entire head office team is incredibly helpful and friendly - everyone is on first name terms and we operate an open-door policy so team members are constantly available for guidance, advice or a quick catch up! As far as my sales team is concerned, they are exceptionally passionate, diligent and at times work well outside their normal hours to secure reservations and assist clients on their journey. They work seamlessly as a team, have a ‘can-do’ attitude and will help each other out with viewings, share tips and advice - they know they can phone me day or night if they need to chat through a situation, whether professionally or personally.”

What company values do you believe have been crucial to Kirkwood Homes' success?

“Not deviating from our mission statement of ‘Bringing quality to life’ has been crucial to the success of the business. Our head office and site staff are the foundations of this business and work tirelessly to ensure that this culture remains intact - and we all have a company we are proud to work for!”

Personally, what do you believe makes Kirkwood Homes different from its competitors?

“That’s easy - the product. Kirkwood is not a ‘volume builder’ so the design, end product and specification is much higher than our competitors!”

Shirley Craig

As we celebrate Kirkwood Homes' 40th anniversary, what legacy do you hope the company leaves behind?

“I hope we don’t have to talk about the company’s legacy for a long time to come! But I believe the quality of our homes, which are built to stand the test of time, the employment opportunities, industry contributions and the communities it has helped to create will be the Kirkwood legacy!”

What do you think is the company’s greatest success in the last 40 years?

“Forward-thinking and resilience. Over the last decade, the construction industry in Aberdeen has really taken a hit - initially with the oil and gas downturn, while nationally we have had to endure the fallout from Brexit, Covid and a disastrous mini-budget. Kirkwood has constantly revised its targets so we are always on a sure-footing to face whatever challenges come our way. In saying that, we have still ensured year-on-year growth and that’s a testament to the directors of the company on their decision-making."

Celebrating 40 years of bringing quality to life

Read more stories from the Kirkwood Homes team, and discover incentives launched as part of our 40th birthday celebrations

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Celebrating 40 years of Kirkwood Homes: A conversation with Shirley Craig, Sales Manager