Role: Regional Manager
Company: Harlequin Group
Track Record: Chartered Surveyor with thirteen years experience in Estates Management, Site Acquisition and Project Management within the UK and abroad. Previous employers include Bechtel Corporation, O2 and James Barr Chartered Surveyors.
Tell us about a normal working day.
The alarm on my phone goes off and immediately pings with incoming messages, the contents of which are rarely interesting and quite often spam.
I really do need to work out how to stop the message notifications without affecting the alarm because it’s way too early to read and comprehend an email.
We have a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog which is a large breed. He gets grumpy if he’s not outside by 06.30 so I take him for a one mile walk each morning.
This keeps him happy for a while and I can use the time to catch up on Twitter and Facebook feeds, if it’s not pouring with rain! I moved over from Glasgow six years ago so I am well used to the climate.
Quick breakfast, say goodbye to my family and hit the road.
It’s a 30min drive into Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter where our new office is located.
I’m usually the first person to get to the office and have the honor of brewing the morning coffee.
Some of our clients have a habit of emailing or phoning between 7am and 9am, so there is usually something to respond to before properly planning my day.
I think planning your day is important if you are busy.
Aside from running the office, a lot of my work is Project Management.
We are working on a number of large telecoms infrastructure projects all of which involve tracking high volumes of activities in the Acquisition, Design and Town Planning functions.
Unfortunately large spreadsheets and databases are prevalent and a quick look at those determines the next few hours.
9.00am to 1pm.
Our team of Surveyors, Town Planners and Designers are in full swing.
A steady flow of queries and approval paperwork keeps me busy.
More often than not there will be a conference call with a Client or a face to face meeting with our Client’s Solicitors.
We represent several Blue chip companies, developing and managing their network property portfolios.
The list includes Everything Everywhere Ltd (Orange and T- Mobile brands) and Hutchison 3G (UK) Ltd.
They expect timely updates and accurate forecasts. We have submitted hundreds of planning applications this year and closed a similar numbers of property deals so I spend a lot of time keeping control of those activities and finding ways to bring forecasts forward and facilitate a smooth transition in to the construction phase.
I try to stop working for at least 30mins at lunch time.
There are loads of good food outlets near the office so if it’s dry I grab some fresh air and then come back to the office to chat with staff.
Afternoons are a mixture of Business Development, Management Meetings, Quality Control, Finance and Training.
I occasionally attend site meetings or meet Landlords to negotiate the terms of a Lease a Site Purchase or even a Rent Review.
I’ve found, especially in Northern Ireland, that face to face meetings are very productive.
We tend not to hide behind our desks if we think that meeting someone will bear fruit. Building rapport with people is high on our priority list.
It’s always nice to get a welcome from my family. However, because my three children are all under five, things usually become pretty frantic within a few minutes.
Having a relaxing dinner is rare these days but that’s all part of the fun. I think my family operates more smoothly when I am at the office!
All is calm again, which gives me time catch up with Claire, my very supportive wife. I like to watch the news channel as well.
Work starts again but this time in a totally different sphere. I run a little music management company which helps me mentally detach from my day job.
Music has always been a passion of mine and managing artists is a fun way of using my skills for something completely different.
I am currently working with a new Indie band from Belfast called Hologram who are great!
I also try to fit in a game of Squash and 5 a-side once a week.
It’s a cliché but regular exercise does bring down stress levels in my opinion.
It’s not very rock and roll but I like an early night during the week so I can feel fresh the next day.