A lot has changed over the past 30 years. One colleague who has seen it all during that time is our Principal Commercial Partner Alan Gordon. With Alan celebrating his 30th year anniversary this month, we managed to sneak a few minutes of his busy schedule to ask him a few questions.
Q: Tell us about how you joined DM Hall?
My initial interview was in the Ram’s Head public house, during my lunch break as a trainee bank teller at the Royal Bank of Scotland, in Maryhill, with the Commercial Partner of the time, Gordon Fisher. Thereafter, I was subsequently interviewed in the rather more intimidating surroundings of the firm’s Newton Place office in Glasgow by the Senior Partner, Mr Young, and was offered the position of Apprentice Surveyor (at a starting salary of £2,200 p.a.)
Q: What are a few memorable moments of the past 30 years working here?
Variety is one of the most distinctive features of my role. I recall doing a valuation survey inspection of a semi-derelict former church in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, less than 24 hours after presenting on behalf of DM Hall in the boardroom of a major international bank at Canary Wharf in the city of London.
Being involved in transformational property refurbishment projects from conception to delivery and seeing some fantastic innovative property development is always interesting, but some of the most memorable moments have been times spent socially with the numerous colleagues, clients, and friends I’ve made working for DM Hall over the years.
Q: How have you enjoyed your time in the company?
Like any job, there have been many good days, and some not so good days. Thankfully, the good days still very much outweigh the bad.
I’m now slightly more office bound than in the past, which takes some adjusting to, but I still travel all over Scotland on a regular basis, and have a particular soft spot for the stunning West Highlands, and the Western Isles.
The financial crash in 2007/2008 has made the last few years a very interesting challenge in the property sector. The change in client expectations and many working practices has been almost revolutionary, and many of these are for the better. When the constitutional and political scene settles, I think we will see a positive outlook, and that’s always a fun environment to work in.
Q: How has your career progressed over the years?
When I joined the firm, there really was nobody lower than me in the pecking order. My first office was in a room shared with three other surveyors and the charming cleaner/tea lady, Mrs Stewart. I was answerable to all of them, including Mrs Stewart.
Two of these surveyors are now fellow Partners, and I am now the firm’s Principal Commercial Partner, and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. It certainly seems a long way from those days in the mid-1980s, when my desk for nearly two years was the sliding lid of a Xerox photocopier.
Q: What does the future hold for you and the firm?
I’ve gained a huge amount of experience over the years and really do wish to pass this on to younger colleagues, together with all of the lessons learned from the numerous mistakes I’ve made along the way. I also want to keep learning new skills and gaining new experiences.
The firm’s core ethos has always been ethical propriety, founded on strong professional standards. Maintaining this strong platform will, I believe, ensure that the firm will continue to thrive for the next 30 years, and beyond.