They say when you break a mirror, that you’re doomed to seven years of bad luck. Now, that might be true for most people, but not for #TeamCES Enforcement, Reece Depledge.
See, a long time ago, Reece had a night to remember (or forget) and tripped over his wife’s shoe before falling straight through a stand-up mirror.
Whilst off work on the sick, recovering from his injuries, Reece was made redundant, forcing him to go back to the drawing board career wise.
I guess you could say that he, quite literally, fell into the bailiff industry!
Reece has been working with TeamCES for some time now, but he’s coming up to close to 30 years in the industry, and it’s safe to say he’s seen the lot.
17 years working for the Sheriff’s Office in Manchester, 8 years working for Newlyn’s, and plenty of other bits and pieces in there too, Reece’s career has had ups and downs.
It started with collecting cars for customs, driving 7 and a half ton wagons and trailers. Reece enjoyed this role, never letting anyone down and always exceeding expectations. It’s something he puts into everything he does – his absolute best.
A friend and colleague started to do removals for VAT warrants and Reece thought to himself...
“I fancy doing that...”
...and that’s where he faced his first obstacle. A former boss told him he wouldn’t be able to do that particular job, as he was “too abrupt.”
Fast forward a few years, and Reece ended up being the highest paid bailiff in Manchester. Reece is in no doubt that the willingness to prove people wrong was high on his list of motivators.
“You only fail when you give up” he says, and we couldn’t agree more. That’s exactly the type of ethos we expect of all our people.
In return, we look after them, and Reece is the first to talk about the benefits of working for a family run business like ours. He enjoys giving back to the company, because we make sure he has everything he needs to do his job to the best of his ability.
Reece had been in our sights for some time before coming to work with us, and all it took for him to join the team was a phone call to myself, where we talked about how we could support each other.
Building relationships like this is key to everything TeamCES do, and Reece would soon see the benefits of this, as his time with TeamCES hasn’t all been plain sailing...
Reece actually suffered his second heart attack in August 2021, and he says that the way TeamCES supported him was something that meant a great deal. At #TeamCES, we’d like to think that everyone has the same approach to caring for their team, but sadly, that’s not the way of the world.
For us though, looking after the agents and everyone else we work with is top priority, and it’s great to hear that Reece has experienced that first hand.
“They bent over backwards to support me” he says, but we’re just as impressed with his response to the health scare, given that, as soon as he was able to, he was back up and on the go.
Now, Reece works the hours he needs to, but he wants to make it clear just how much work is needed to make a success in the industry.
If you put the work in, and you do it properly, you’ll reap the rewards, but when people come into the industry for the ‘wrong’ reasons, it doesn’t always work out for the best.
For this reason, Reece is always happy to make himself available to young bailiffs coming into the industry, for advice and guidance. His own son is about to come into the industry as it happens, but Reece has made sure he knows that you have to take the rough with the smooth.
That’s great advice for absolutely anyone in the industry, whether they’re experienced or brand new.
It’s all about having a positive mind set, something that Reece says has served him very well.
You have to bring other assets to the table, of course, so let’s look at Reece’s.
Firstly, he’s a hard worker. A prolific Enforcement Agent who will track people down tirelessly. On one occasion, Reece was out at 5am to look for a car with 113 parking ticket debts against it.
Not only did he find it and its owner, but he received 113 ‘Paid in Fulls’ on the same day, so he was clearly doing something right!
When you’re effectively ‘your own boss’ out in the field, you need the motivation and the drive to be able to be this successful, or it simply won’t work for you.
Another asset of Reece’s, is his commitment to the company or client he’s working for. He was so committed on one occasion, when pursuing a debt of half a million pounds, that the debt was paid twice in error. Again, he must’ve been doing something right...
Persistence is key as well, and Reece has experience of standing at the courtroom, waiting for High Court Writs to go through.
So, that’s hard work, commitment and persistence. It seems to get results for Reece. He must be a bully boy then, going in all loud and aggressive, you might think.
You’d be wrong.
Above all else, Reece believes that treating everybody the same is how to get results in this business.
There is no place for bullying in the industry, or anywhere in life for that matter.
In his eyes, when you’re dealing with someone new, once you’ve gone in with the ‘heavy handed’ approach, there’s no return, and you’re stuck with plan A. If you ‘go in nice’ though, as Reece always does, there’s always room to change tactics, although this is rarely ever necessary, especially for someone as skilled in the business as Reece.
For people coming into the industry intent on being rude or aggressive to get their results, Reece is certain that their time in the industry will be short – it isn’t right and just doesn’t work.
“I’ve seen bailiffs/Enforcement Agents go in rude and then learn the hard way...”
As far as working for #TeamCES is concerned, Reece is full of praise for the way we keep in touch with each other with things like Zoom meetings, catch ups around the office, a network of support and even a cheeky kebab Friday!
It’s about mixing business with pleasure and building trust, respect and rapport with each other.
From the outside, the uniformity of our agents gets noticed, and it’s always about upholding the highest of standards.
Fully kitted out agents in TeamCES gear does help get results, and Reece is proud to be a part of our company. We’re proud that he is, too.
Reece is currently enjoying his involvement with trespasser evictions, both those near where he lives and those at the other end of the country. The different reactions from these communities, whether it’s aggressive, compliant or stubborn, all require different approaches. The one thing that remains the same is the level of respect Reece gives to everyone he comes into contact with.
He enjoys the process, but is much fonder of the final handshake that seals the deal and keeps hold of our 100% eviction success rate.
That’s what Reece enjoys then, but there have been tougher times in the industry too, such as the day he had a car rammed into his leg...
...oh, and the day some colleagues were chased off site with axes and pick axes...
...or the time a debtor started smashing up their property in front of him...
...not forgetting the day that a notorious landlord snatched a warrant out of his hands...
Yep, it’s not all plain sailing as you can see, but the way to deal with things like this is to always step back and let things calm down, before going back in with the same level of professionalism and positive mindset you started with.
“They won’t win in the end” is Reece’s mantra, and so it should be, because he does things properly.
He does things for the company as much as he does for himself.
A superb career, a superb enforcement agent, a superb man.
Let’s take him up on that offer of advice then, and ask for his best piece of advice for a new agent...
“You have to be patient, calm and clear headed, but you need to be direct as well.”
‘Thick skinned’ a lot of people would say, because as Reece knows, as a bailiff, there may be people who don’t like you, but when you’ve had two heart attacks, and still get up and pay your own way, even whilst struggling with your ‘own stuff’, it’s water off a duck’s back.
Besides, thanks to the positive work of companies like ours, and the hard work on the ground of people like Reece, the perception of the industry is changing things for the better.