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Meet the Team

Amazing through the whole process! Helped, guided, advised and supported. Really helped the process run smoothly and got the process done in 5 weeks! Fabulous.


Paul  Rickaby

Paul Rickaby

Sales Director


Paul began his career in estate agency in 1996. He soon established a reputation as an excellent negotiator, agreeing sales on hundreds of properties throughout the region which led to senior positions with two of the largest estate agents in County Durham, progressing to Directorship level in 2010. In an ever changing industry and with ambitions to offer a more modern, creative estate agency service, Paul joined his former school friend Matt, at Rise in June 2014 to launch the sales department. Paul is married with two children and the family King Charles spaniel, Honey

Matthew Geany

Matthew Geany

Managing Director


Matt caught the property bug while working for a London estate agency firm after graduating in 2000.  On returning to the north east, Matt launched Rise estate agents in 2007. From the spare bedroom in his home in Chester le Street Matt quickly built an impressive property portfolio, many of which are landlords that are still with the company today. Now married with 2 children (meaning no spare bedroom to run a business from…) Matt has successfully grown the business and in 2013 made the move to its current office in Durham city centre.

Paddy  Coombe

Paddy Coombe

Senior Property Manager

Paddy joined Rise in early 2020 as our senior property manager. Paddy has worked in the property industry for over 11 years and has a wealth of experience in branch management, property sales, lettings, and property management. Paddy oversees the running of our office as well as the management of all our residential, commercial and student properties. Paddy is passionate about customer service, is very knowledgeable about all property and tenancy related issues and is always keen to talk to landlords and tenants to resolve any queries or issues quickly and efficiently. Paddy is a keen rugby fan and has played rugby competitively. His other hobbies include drinking whisky and walking.

Kelsey  Burdess

Kelsey Burdess

Negotiator/lettings co-ordinator

Kelsey has worked for Rise Estate Agents since 2018 when she joined our business as an apprentice. Kelsey has developed her skills considerably since she joined the company, including gaining a NVQ in residential lettings and property management. Kelsey is now an efficient and hardworking negotiator and is known within the office for her “unique” sense of humour. She has an excellent knowledge of all aspects of the lettings process and is always keen to assist landlords and tenants with any queries that come her way. Kelsey’s interests include music and going to the gym.

Maria  Ainslie

Maria Ainslie


Maria has been working in the property industry for 25 years. She has experience of property sales at every level, including as senior valuer for one of the north east’s largest estate agents. Maria is now semi-retired and works part time for Rise Estate Agents. She offers our clients a wealth of experience in all aspects of residential and commercial property sales. Maria specialises in investment advice and auction sales. Maria is a fan of any activity involving the great outdoors, particularly wild swimming and walking in Weardale where she lives.

Maureen  Hewitson

Maureen Hewitson

Property Manager

Maureen joined Rise in 2018 as a property manager. She is a truly caring and considerate person whose attention to detail and desire to help people is regularly applauded by both tenants and landlords. She has considerable experience in managing, letting, and selling residential property in the north east and has been a branch manager for one of the North East’s largest agents before joining the Rise team. She is a proud grandmother who enjoys camping with her family as well as being a fan of motorsports and classic cars.

Katherine  Abley

Katherine Abley



Kat joined the Rise team in 2020 and has 7 years’ experience in the property industry in sales negotiation, lettings, and student lettings as well as branch management. Kat is a great communicator and provides excellence in customer service, working primarily in the sales department, assisting clients throughout the process of selling or buying property. Kat enjoys spending time with her family, walking her very large dog, going to the Gym and paddleboarding.