Here's your chance to get to know the two men at the top of Venture Properties, company Directors Michael O'Connor and Carl Jenkinson.
How did you both first meet?
CJ: Michael was buying a house from me when I worked as a Manager for Reeds Rains just down the road.
Whose idea was it to work together?
CJ: It was mine. I was more sales orientated and Michael came from a lettings background so I thought it would be a good partnership.
When did you move to the new office at 45 Duke Street?
MOC: We opened our doors on the 1st March 2008.
Did you plan to open more offices to begin with?
CJ: Yes. It was always our intention to open more offices once we'd found our feet in Darlington.
What's the best thing about being a Director at Venture?
CJ: Being able to lead the company in the direction I want it to go and never having my hands tied.
MOC: I would agree with Carl. I enjoy taking a new approach of running the business from a consumer point of view and trying to stand out.
What's the worst thing about being a Director at Venture?
CJ: All the worries that come with all the offices and knowing I am responsible.
MOC: It's constant - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can be difficult to switch off. Your mind is constantly asking questions and thinking of ways we can improve.
Did you ever think Venture would be as successful as it has been?
CJ: To be honest, no, I didn't but I must say it is down to a committed and loyal staff.
MOC: I did. I really believed in the Venture brand and at the time we opened there was an opportunity to stand out as an agent in the town by embracing technology and making things easier for consumers.
What makes Venture a success?
CJ: We all work as a team.
MOC: We have created a great brand and everyone knows their role within it. We also have great people working here which makes all the difference.
How do you try and get the best out of your staff?
CJ: I think at Venture it's all about give and take. I expect the staff to work hard but they can approach me about anything.
MOC: I like to give staff autonomy to empower them to make their own decisions and take on their own responsibility. Trust is vital.
What are your plans for the future?
CJ: To expand the business further and be the best in the industry.