We are one of Scotland's largest independent firms of chartered surveyors with 30 offices in Scotland covering every postcode.
Getting to know...Stephen Cunningham
This month we caught up with trainee Stephen Cunningham who is currently based in our Hamilton office to hear about his interesting career journey and what the best piece of advice he has received so far!
Q: How long have you been in the industry and how long have you been with Allied?
A: I joined Allied as a placement student on June 2019 so a little over 2 years now. I was fortunate enough to be kept on following my placement year which has really helped me develop my skills and relationships within the business and its wider stakeholders.
Q: What's the best piece of advice that you have received so far?
A: One of the Partners summed up the objective of a trainee on my first day with Allied. He said “be like a sponge”. What he meant by that was that it’s great practice to look at everything, to listen to everything and to ask questions all the time. The first wee while as a trainee meant shadowing the surveyors, watching how they do their job and learning the basics. As time passed it was still important to do that but equally important to learn how things work from dealing with customers, estate agents, developers and lenders to understanding what makes the office environment tick.
Q: Have you always wanted to work in the world of property?
A: I’m 41 at the moment and, when I left school at 17 years old, I did the first year of a course at university which would have seen me go on to be a surveyor……..if I’d stuck it out. I found myself in retail and, laterally, in engineering but I’ve always had that property itch that didn’t seem to go away. After a lot of deliberating with my wife we agreed (she allowed me!) to give up work to enable me to head back to university to follow my dream into surveying.
Q: Have you always been based in the office, and if so, what's the best part about it?
A: Until recently I was based in the Glasgow North Office which also acts as Allied’s head office. It’s such a busy environment and you’re guaranteed to be on the go all day long. The people in Glasgow North are tremendous and really supported my learning which is a huge help when you literally know nothing at the start!
Since graduating I’ve been based in our Hamilton office which is smaller but just as busy in terms of the day to day work and survey instructions. The common theme in Allied is the people. My colleagues in Hamilton are every bit as supportive as the team I worked with in Glasgow North. Support like this from the entire team is such an important thing as I approach my APC (Assessment of Professional Competence) which means that, if I pass, I’ll carry Chartered status from the RICS.
Q: And finally, what’s the best thing about your job?
A: Most definitely the variety. I get to have detailed look as houses ranging from £40,000 to £2,500,000 and everything in between. I could then be helping with the valuation of a portfolio of 60 properties before moving on to helping to value land for a developer to buy.
If you're in need of any property related advice, then please get in touch with us via our website or give us a call on 0141 330 9950 and one of our team will be in touch.