Unlike many of my peers, I did not go to the likes of Reading, Brooks or Nottingham to study an undergraduate or full-time master’s in Real Estate. Instead, my interests lay in science; neuroscience to be specific. Over the past two years spent working in the industry, I have discovered many advantages and disadvantages to my previous education.
Those who embarked on a course of Real Estate as an undergraduate had a great advantage: an established network of peers in the industry: something I have had to build from the ground up. Explaining my educational path was often accompanied with quizzical looks of “you studied what?!” or “your Dad must be a surveyor”. Once past these first impressions, however, surveyors are a rather friendly bunch and I must admit I have enjoyed every minute of it. Building a network, as many surveyors will be very aware of, involves putting well-being, fitness and liver on the line. It is crucial to be available and enthusiastic about meeting new agents and clients, fun and boring alike.
No time, throughout the year, when this is clearer is the impending “Christmas Season”. Indeed, one investment agent, who shall remain anonymous, told me he was trying to get down to 15 stone with the view he would definitely gain a stone by the 25th! For me, December 2015, in particular, seemed to be a marathon. Invitations to drinks and lunches came thick and fast as the property sector delays deal completions, reports and new sales to the New Year. It obviously took its toll as my mother stated I looked “jaundiced and noticeably fatter” when I returned home for Christmas.
In a new age where health and fitness are key, where quinoa and kale are kings and cycling is fashionable, the surveying traditions and lifestyle struggle on. In order to succeed, although not crucial, becoming a “Yes” man is still important. Is it worth it? Yes. Does it aid one’s career? Yes.
Would I like to meet up for a pint? Yes.
Jamie Whitelaw, December 2016