What is your role at LSH?
I’m a Director in Industrial & Logistics Agency, based in LSH’s Swansea office.
Where did your career begin?
After graduating from Kingston University in Estate Management in 1992, I returned to south Wales and joined general property practice Astleys in Swansea as a graduate surveyor.
It was a great place to cut my teeth as it was a well-established firm where I worked across both residential and commercial estate agency, learnt about the south west Wales market as well as the rudiments of good estate agency practice.
I guess I was destined to be a property agent as my father had his own residential company in Llanelli, Thorne Estate Agents. As a boy I recall being sent through the window of a property to gain access following a repossession, rather than changing the locks, so you could say I started young. My brother runs the company now plus my wife is a conveyancing solicitor so a passion for property definitely runs in the family.
I became a Chartered Surveyor in 1996 after joining commercial property firm Poolman Harlow. Here I helped build up its property management capabilities then in 2006 when it was acquired by LSH I focused purely on agency particularly within the industrial arena.
Being part of a national firm, the only one with a presence in Swansea, has certainly helped with delivering a cross discipline service to clients, adding value wherever possible yet drawing on the depth of our knowledge in the local marketplace.
What do you enjoy most about working in property?
I enjoy the variety and would recommend commercial property consultancy to anyone considering it as a career. You never know what’s going to come in from day to day plus it’s not desk based as involves a lot of site visits.
Developing good relationships with clients and contacts is also rewarding and I’m fortunate to have worked in agency in south west Wales for nearly 30 years so have a great network.
What emerging issues do you see as critical to the sector?
The lack of stock particularly in the industrial sector is a major problem. However, given demand for good quality accommodation is so strong, there is an opportunity for existing owners to refurbish to give occupiers what they want. We certainly haven’t reached saturation point and so the time is right for new investors to enter the market to either build from scratch or renovate in order to achieve good returns.
Tell us something your clients might not know about you
As the father of a teenage daughter I feel as though I have a second career as a professional chauffeur! When I’m not ferrying her around saying the wrong thing, I keep myself busy walking our four dogs, following Formula 1 and travelling to far flung reaches of the world. When at home my way of switching off is by throwing myself whole heartedly into DIY. I love it.
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