What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
One of the best things about being a Building Surveyor is that there is no such thing as a typical day. I’m currently working with our business recovery team on some half-build, half-baked plans, our lease consultancy team on some angry lease exits and our valuation team trying to bring some sanity to people trying out property development for the first time. My team’s real reason for being is to use a load of technical knowledge to solve real world problems, I’m lucky enough to work in a hugely experienced team with a great record to boast about.
What is your favourite building in your region, and why?
As a proud Yorkshireman, I’m slightly ashamed to admit it, but my favourite building in the world is actually Durham Cathedral. I fell for it at first sight and have been known to spend hours sitting inside just taking it all in.
Tell me about one of the standout projects that you have been involved in.
I once had to solve the problem of the music in the ‘top of the pops’ studio being overheard in the radio 4 studio next door when political interviews were going on. That was an interesting one although these days ‘top of the pops’ isn’t quite as cutting edge as it once was.
What does the future look like in the building consultancy industry?
Overwhelmingly positive. Our services give clients reassurance and help to shine a light on risks; I can’t see a need for that role changing any time soon.
What would you change to influence the future of the industry?
I think we tend to think short term with our business decisions, based on markets and sentiments. The property and construction industry are affected by this, but the careers and buildings we enjoy are lasting, long-term matters. I’d encourage those joining or already in our industry to look to the long term rather than worrying about the market’s next move.
If you could give one piece of business advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Probably – just get stuck in and do it. There are then some strong words I’ve have with my younger self about explosives but perhaps better that people ask me those in person.
Name three people, dead or alive, that you would pick to work in your team.
I’d select Ernest Shackleton (perhaps the best leader I have ever heard of), Isambard Kingdom Brunel (the engineer who saw further than any other) and Max Woosnam. I’m fully aware the last name (a sportsman) might be new to some, but anybody who won an Olympic gold, won Wimbledon, played for Chelsea, captained the England cricket team and once beat Charlie Chaplin at table tennis while playing left handed with a butter knife should have story or two to tell.