Mum celebrates first birthday of Dagenham property business

Dagenham estate agent Stephanie Okafo

Dagenham estate agent Stephanie Okafo - Credit: Archant

An estate agent who named her company after her young children has celebrated 12 months in business.

Mum-of-two Stephanie Okafo fulfilled her dream of setting up her own firm when she launched John Samuel Estates, in Royal Parade, Dagenham.

The title of the firm comes from the middle name of her two sons – Sean, five, and Theodore, two – who provided their mum with the inspiration needed to succeed.

“They are my greatest achievements,” she said.

“Having my business and being a mother has made it tough, but I never stop – I just keep going.

“My husband calls me ‘The Machine’ because I remind him that women are blessed to multi-task.”

Originally from Nigeria, Stephanie came to the UK aged 16 before completing a law degree and training in property and financial services.

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Last month, the bi-annual Barclays and Business Growth Fund (BGF) Entrepreneurs Index revealed UK business survival was at a three-year high and Stephanie is delighted to have reached the important milestone.

“I’ve been in the industry for 10 years but this is the first time I’ve done it on my own, and so far it has been a great experience,” she said.

“What I love most about my job is the fact that I am able to help clients on their biggest financial commitment – getting a mortgage and help and choosing a property – and this is very exciting and a privilege.”

Not content to rest on her laurels, she has high hopes for her business, and plans to have opened another branch within five years.

Although an architect of much of her own success, Stephanie thanked her husband Clement for supporting her through the toughest 12 months of her career.

“He’s played a big, big part, both financially and also with encouragement,” she added.

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