March 5, 2020
What inspired you to want to become a Chartered commercial surveyor?
I didn’t know I wanted to be a Chartered commercial surveyor until three or four years into my career. I started out doing a degree in Business Studies at Manchester University. I took specialist modules in accountancy and economics and had plans to make a career at one of the big accountancy firms. After graduating, I came back home to the North East and I secured a job as a residential sales and lettings negotiator – initially to earn a wage while I applied for accountancy jobs. However, I really enjoyed it and worked my way up to branch manager. During that time, I discovered my passion for the property market and wanted to explore this further. It led me into a role that has allowed me to work across both the residential and commercial markets. I’m now working towards becoming a Member of the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) as a graduate commercial surveyor at youngsRPS.
What is your main take away from your unorthodox journey into the industry?
That support is everything. Entering any industry a little bit later can be scary, but you must embrace the unknown and put yourself out there. The North East has a particularly significant support network in the business community, especially when encouraging young talent. I am vice-chairman of the RICS Matrics in the North East; a community of young professionals that have been integral to my professional and personal development. I also think that there is a lot of B2B support crosssector. Attending networking events and seminars hosted by other professional firms put me out of my comfort zone, but I have met so many people. You never know when you require the help of someone else, or they require yours, so widening your pool of contacts is essential.
You’re studying towards your RICS accreditation while working; is that challenging?
It isn’t easy but time management is key. Whether you go down the traditional degree route to attain your industry qualification, or the professional route like me, you still need to study and practice simultaneously. It’s a good habit to get into though as it means you’re always up-to-date with the market, best practice and legislation.
Finally, if you were to give any advice to someone about to enter a career in commercial property, what would it be?
Put yourself out there. And your contacts are invaluable!