Kris Foster, Director of Motis Estates, shares an insight of how Motis was formed and his thoughts of what Folkestone has to offer.
MF: Can you sum up in three words what Folkestone means to you?
ME: Vibrant, Artistic and Picturesque
MF: Tell us how you came to be one of Folkestone's longest established independent Estate Agents and Chartered Surveyors.
ME: Motis Estates was formed in 2017 when I became Director having been educated at the Harvey Grammar School. Motis bought H Wald & Co, which was formed in 1963 by the late Harry Wald, and we decided to incorporate the name H Wald & Co as it is a very respected name within the town and only one of a handful of Chartered Surveyors who are based in Folkestone. We can undertake not only residential and commercial valuations but also Professional valuations for probate, matrimonial and help to buy purposes.
We decided to incorporate the name into our logo which is on our shop front and our estate agency boards. We have also kept the same motto which is Knowledge, Integrity and Results. We have kept the traditional values from H Wald & Co but provided a modern marketing method utilising both social media and forward-thinking advertising techniques.
MF: What do you love most about your job?
ME: I love meeting new people every day, especially those who are not familiar with the hidden gems in our town such as the Warren or Kingsnorth Gardens. As a company, we also love being part of the community and strive to be involved in local events, such as the annual Trawler Race, Sandgate Sea Festival and the Cheriton Light Switch on, over the past few years.
MF: Which areas in and around Folkestone would you recommend for first-time buyers?
ME: It all depends on what type of First Time Buyer is looking for in Folkestone. If you have a small family, we recommend Cheriton as the area is very family orientated and with plenty of parks and easy access into Folkestone with a good bus service. It is ideal if you can’t drive.
If you are looking to be near the sea then the East Cliff has a mix of 1930s houses which have scope for extensions so ideal for homeowners looking to start families and grow. The area is also in easy walking distance to the Harbour Arm and the Warren so perfect for dog owners.
If you are a commuter into the City, we recommend central Folkestone. There are a number of Victorian properties which have been converted into flats within walking distance to Folkestone Central which is only 56 mins from London St Pancras.
MF: Are you seeing a lot of people choose places in Folkestone as their second home?
ME: We are yes, however the majority of our enquiries are from buyers looking to move into the Folkestone area. They are attracted by the excellent transport links to London and the vibrant community the town can offer with events such as the Folkestone Triennial and attractions such as the Harbour Arm, the Old High Street and the Leas. These buyers are bringing their families into the town and staying here. I think that the difficult challenges employers in London will have with social distancing in offices, the amount of people working from home will increase substantially.
MF: How will you be adapting your work and looking after your clients in a post Covid-19 world?
ME: We understand that Covid-19 is likely to be around for the foreseeable future therefore we are requesting that any potential buyers or tenants view the photos online, including the floor plan, before contacting us to arranging a viewing to avoid any unnecessary contact. We will then request more details on the buyer/tenant before allowing them to view the property. When the physical viewing occurs, the viewer will be asked to wear gloves and a mask. Our staff will also be wearing the same and will maintain the 2m distancing by waiting outside the property if vacant or in separate rooms if occupied. Our offices are also closed for any appointments with the decision reviewed on a weekly basis.
MF: Where is your dream location to live in Folkestone?
ME; I have always had a soft spot for Wear Bay Road. The views across the channel are stunning, with easy access to the Warren and Harbour Arm and there are plenty of areas to walk. You also have the added bonus of being able to play tennis or a round of pitch and putt right on your doorstep.
MF: If you could live anywhere else in the world other than Folkestone, where would it be and why?
ME: This is a difficult one, I think it would have to be Australia although I think you would need to really live the lifestyle out there by having a pool in the garden! The only downside is the amount of deadly animals that they have out there. I am sure I would forget to check my shoes on a daily basis for Black Widow spiders!
MF: What other local businesses do you admire in Folkestone?
ME: I also manage the Motis Business Centre in Cheriton High Street. The site has 28 offices and has development potential with plans being undertaken to expand the six acre site to include further offices and amenities for the businesses.
MF: Where are you most looking forward to eating out in Folkestone when life takes on a new normal?
ME: I still haven’t tried Big Boys Burgers so I will certainly try getting a table there and also Lubens.
MF: What do you think MyFolkestone brings to the community?
ME: I think it brings a sense of togetherness. With the difficult times businesses have had to endure for the past 2 months and with the next 3-6 months going to be difficult for cash flow. MyFolkestone brings a welcome distraction and shows that businesses can get through this by working together, encouraging each other and supporting one another.