Taking the leap to Aspray

January 2, 2019

With over 20 years’ experience under her belt delivering successful housing and regeneration schemes in the public and private sector, Sara Holmes has developed a track record of hitting targets, fuelling business growth and enhancing the profitability of businesses before she joined property damage insurance company, Aspray, and became a loss assessor. She talks to North East Times to explain more

Your CV suggests that you have a huge amount of experience in project management…
Absolutely. I’ve provided strategic and operational direction for many projects, which I have created, designed and delivered. I am also used to co- ordinating and leading multidiscipline teams in order to deliver successful projects. The scope of my work has focused heavily on customer service delivery and has entailed managing different people’s expectations to deliver what everyone wants. I’ve been a project director, a head of business development and a development director during my career.

What would you describe as your best qualities?
Credibility, tenacity, leadership and the ability to take a strategic, commercial approach.

How would you describe your personality in three words?
Enthusiastic, talkative and resourceful.

Now we know you a little better, why do you think these qualities and skills, coupled with your personality, are useful in your Aspray business?
My ability to plan, organise, negotiate, lead and manage teams of people, while also being abreast of various situations, suits the role well and dovetails with my credibility as an individual.

Who has helped you most in your career and how?
This is difficult to answer, as I have taken inspiration and guidance from so many people over the years that it’s impossible to name just one person. Delivering housing projects in both the public and private sector has exposed me to different business drivers and measures for success and, as a result, the skills and traits of those I have worked with have varied dramatically. I have worked with some fantastic people; I have also worked with some who weren’t great, but I believe that I learned something from everyone and that the experiences I have had have made me the professional I am today.

How does it feel helping people through their property insurance claim and what can often be a distressing situation for them?
It feels great when I call the claimant to give them an update and they say: “I’m so pleased that you are doing this. I wouldn’t know where to start.”

Sum up what 2018 meant for you and your career…
Making the decision just over 12 months ago to change the direction of my career and to start my own business has made this one of the most exciting years I have had from a work perspective. Of course, it hasn’t all been easy and there have been some big challenges along the way, but I can honestly say that it has all been worth it. The sense of satisfaction I get from resolving difficult claims gives me such a buzz and after just a few months of operating Aspray Sunderland I was presented with the Most Promising Newcomer of 2018 award by the principal company at the national conference, which was a real boost.

Aspray is a property damage insurance claims negotiation, settlement and reinstatement service.

Scroll to next article
Go to

Make your office search a success