What is your role?
I head the General Practice team at Kingsley, working with clients and candidates across the UK. The roles under that sector are extensive, from Property/Asset Management, Agency, Valuation and Investment to Development, Lease Consultancy & Rating. I am also responsible for Business Development and Financial matters within the business.
For those old enough to remember them, I was in the last year that sat ‘O’ Levels (they were MUCH harder than GCSE’s), then onto ‘A’ Levels and after sitting 1 year of a BEng in Engineering Surveying, I found the real ‘Surveying’ I wanted to work in was property, so completed a BSc in Estate Management Surveying (1996) and a year later became MRICS qualified.
First Property Job
Apart from one or two minor roles, my Sandwich year with J Trevor & Webster in their Liverpool office which was the stepping-stone and real start to my career in property.
I returned to J Trevor Webster full time after graduating and a year later, Mason Owen acquired the Liverpool office - I arrived on the Monday morning to be told of the acquisition and that I now worked for Mason Owen – by 5pm I was being told that myself and 5 colleagues were being made redundant (2 weeks before sitting my APC). This actually helped my career – I became MRICS and immediately joined GVA (Grimley) in Manchester.
What was the secret to your success?
Work hard, enjoy what you do and never, ever give up – and I take that from the early days of my career right through to my current role in recruitment. If you work hard and have a real passion for what you do then success will eventually follow.
I have a genuine passion and working knowledge of the property sector, having previously worked within for 20 years for leading Property Consultancies and Commercial Property Developers and I use that experience each and every day when serving our clients and candidates, such experience that many of our rivals don’t possess.
What piece of advice would you give to someone starting out in the industry?
Work in a sector that you have a real interest and passion. There are too many recruiters flipping from one sector to the other – the good ones are those who know the sector, how it works within and are also well connected. Also, be honest with yourself, your clients and your candidates – reputation is everything!
What is the best advice you have received?
Simply, work hard and enjoy whatever career you choose to do. I remember running home with my ‘O’ level results and my Dad was having his breakfast, having just returned from work where he was a milkman. When I told him that I had passed 6 ‘O’ levels he was ‘over the moon’ and said “hopefully this is the start, and you won’t end up being a milkman like me”.
What makes Kingsley Recruitment different?
It is so similar to ‘property’ agency except we deal with ‘people’, and not buildings and ‘deals’ can evoke a range emotions as they can happen very quickly, take many, many months and also, unravel and fail at the very last minute. You have to be a psychologist in this job sometimes! There is a real buzz from sourcing / headhunting a candidate, for a client, that you know is a great fit and that they will add value to their business.
Similarly, there is also the buzz when we place candidates into new employment, knowing that their new job will add value to their lives through advantages such as starting in a new discipline, increased salary, less commute or elements of homeworking etc. Some of my biggest thrills come from placing Property Graduates or Newly Qualified Surveyors into a company and/or role that you know will set up their careers for many years ahead – knowing that used to be me many years ago!