What is your role at LSH?
I am an Office Agent working mostly out of LSH’s Swansea office.
Where did your career begin?
It began in the 1980s in high street retail management. I went to set up my own business after getting a licensing deal with Warner Brothers to produce merchandise from John Milius’ Hollywood movie, Big Wednesday. Business went from strength to strength and we opened our first retail store, Gower Surf Company, opening another in fairly quick succession. This involved acquiring an old petrol station and transforming it into the area’s biggest surf shop. With a growing customer base and reputation as one of the top wetsuit and surfboard retailers in the UK, more shops followed.
In 2010, after 20 years of running my own show, I decided it was time for a career change so joined LSH as part of its Property Management team responsible for a portfolio of mostly city centre office buildings.
Whilst working in the property management team, I became involved in the asset management and disposal of a variety of properties with a particular emphasis on offices. I really enjoyed this aspect of the job so when the opportunity presented itself in December 2017 to join LSH’s Office Agency team, I jumped at the chance.
What do you enjoy most about working in property?
I enjoy the variety of the industry as no two properties, clients or days are the same. My work gives me the opportunity to develop relationships, support the needs of different organisations and as well expand my network of contacts, which is pretty comprehensive as I’ve lived and worked in Swansea all my life.
What emerging issues do you see as critical to the sector?
The lack of availability within the city centre of quality Grade A office accommodation is a major problem in Swansea. Low levels of market rent currently being achieved, compared to other major cities, has dampened new developments. That does mean there is an opportunity to undertake high quality refurbishment of existing stock and attract occupiers, as demonstrated by Alexandra House which secured Virgin Atlantic and TUI after it had upgraded.
However, when it comes to inward investment, if the city is to attract blue chip, large employers then Grade A stock is essential.
Tell us something your clients might not know about you
When not in the office I am often found on the beach on my surfboard or paddleboard or running with my dog on the beautiful local coastal paths. I am also a keen skier and follow Swansea City FC and the Ospreys.