The business that rose from a health scare

Paul and Carol Cliffe. Picture by FRANK REID
Paul and Carol Cliffe. Picture by FRANK REID

A husband and wife are using their own climb up the property ladder to lead them to business success.

Paul and Carol Cliffe moved to Hartlepool last year to be closer to Carol’s family when she went through a health drama.

She needed to recover from a major heart condition which manifested while she was pregnant with her second son Toby, now aged three.

Thankfully, she is on the way to complete recovery.

But during the move from Scotland to the North-East, the couple found themselves running into problems in the house-buying process.

Paul, 50, said: “We bought a two-bedroom apartment so we could be closer to family during Carol’s recovery period, but decided to stay on in the town.

“Having two small children, we needed a larger house so we put our property on the market. Despite the price being very competitive we didn’t get any viewings and the only advice we received was to keep cutting the price.

“We thought ‘well we need a larger place, I wonder if someone out there wants to move to a smaller place and would take our property in part-ex?’

“That’s exactly what happened. As we were looking for new careers, it was from that experience that Exchange and Move was born.”

The company was set up six months ago in Scarborough Street and now has Paul as the director of business and finance and Carol as director of sales and marketing.”

Exchange and Move’s aim is to encourage people to stop slashing the price of their property and start thinking differently about selling.

Paul added: “The concept makes perfect sense. Most people (97 per cent in Hartlepool) move homes within the area, so as well as selling their house they are looking for somewhere else to buy.

“What we do is pro-actively match those people together and basically get them moving.”

Carol added: “It is our job to really understand a person’s motivations for moving, as well as consider what their ideal house would be.

“We then actively work to market the property and find a buyer or a match to exchange with. We manage the sales process from start to finish, accompanying viewings and helping with negotiations along the way. And we will also sell in the conventional way as well if a customer doesn’t want to part exchange.”