Wednesday Q&A: Oliver Lawson, Commercial Agency Surveyor

Name: Oliver Lawson

Position: Commercial Agency Surveyor

First job: Café assistant at The Watermill Café in Aberfeldy

First car: Renault Clio (I stuck a turbo badge on it but it certainly wasn’t a turbo)

What did the start of your professional life look like: After completing my degree in Sport Science at Edinburgh Napier University, I worked as a membership sales executive at Virgin Active in Edinburgh’s Omni Centre. I went back to Napier University to study my masters in 2017 and started working at DM Hall in the agency department upon graduation in 2018.

Best advice received: Make sure you’re always learning, treat every day like a school day

What do you like most about your job: I love negotiating with potential tenants or purchasers, it’s rewarding when you secure a great deal for your client.

And least: It’s not ideal when the key for the property you are going in to doesn’t work (or you’ve just brought the wrong key!) – slightly embarrassing when there’s potential tenants/purchasers standing there waiting to get in!

Biggest professional achievement or Biggest personal achievement: Professional – achieving a first class degree with distinction in my masters / personal – competing for Scotland in the 100m in the UK University Athletics Championships

The repair most worth doing to your property is: Kitchens and bathrooms, these always catch my eyes the most when looking for properties to buy!

How do you see the current crisis panning out for your sector: A difficult one to answer as no one really knows…Since returning from furlough, we have seen quite a few new properties coming to the market in our agency department and have experienced good demand from prospective tenants and purchasers for these properties. We recently set a few closing dates so hopefully the demand for commercial properties in Edinburgh continues over the coming months. The industrial sector seems to be holding up fairly well whereas the hospitality and leisure sectors have taken a big hit in recent months so these sectors might take longer to recover, especially with social distancing restrictions in place. The retail sector wasn’t in a great place prior to lockdown and with even more people now shopping online, it’s hard to predict how this sector will react. I think large, corporate offices will still be utilised by firms/employers but smaller firms may re-think the way in which their employees work i.e. flexible working and working from home.

How do you switch off: I enjoy golfing, going to the gym (hopefully they open again soon…) and watching movies, I’m a big sucker for Star Wars and Marvel.

What do you listen to in the car: I’ve always enjoyed old school R&B but recently, it’s been all about the country hits.

Which social media sites do you like/prefer: LinkedIn for perusing what’s going on with other agency firms and instagram for watching golfing videos, I’m constantly trying to improve my swing…

If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing: I love cars and always fancied myself as a Top gear presenter, a boy can only dream.

Favourite holiday destination: There’s loads of places I haven’t been to that I want to but Greece is definitely my favourite destination I’ve been to.

What makes you happy: Spending time with family and friends.