Wednesday Q&A: Alan Jeffrey, Property Services Manager

First job: I joined Dunfermline District Council as a Trainee Building Control Officer from school.

First car: A 1963 Vauxhall 101 with no seat belts, a 3 speed column gear change, a dip switch for your headlights that you worked with your feet and a bench seat in the front. When you went round a corner your passenger joined you in the driving seat

What did the start of your professional life look like: I wanted to be an Architect so being employed to check Architectural work was a pretty good substitute.

Best advice received: Treat everyone in the way that you would like to be treated yourself.

What do you like most about your job: The variety of the work that we do is quite unique. There are never two jobs the same and I have managed to see a fair bit of Scotland.

And least: Being instructed to report over unauthorised alterations just before settlement date and having to tell the client that there might be issues obtaining the local authority consent in retrospect. Emotions run high. Invariably, the client was ill advised at the time.

Biggest professional achievement or Biggest personal achievement: Becoming an RICS Accredited Mediator. We get instructed to report over Boundary Disputes a lot. It is usually a mutual boundary so indirectly you are acting for both sides. People get very protective of what they think they own and sometimes you find that your client is actually wrong. The Mediation course taught me how to deal with these types of matters without the risk of ending up six feet under!

The repair most worth doing to your property is: My house has a stone frontage and needs pointing. Something I need to organise but keeps getting put to the back of the queue.

How do you see the current crisis panning out for your sector: We service both the Residential and the Commercial Sector. We were really busy prior to lockdown and the buoyant housing market since we came back has meant that, residentially, we have been very busy. This will inevitably tail off towards the end of the year but there are signs that the commercial sector is now picking up some momentum. Having people working from home has also made us operate in a much smarter, digital manner to an extent that the department is now almost paperless. That should really help us going forward.

How do you switch off: Spending time with my wife, Jane, my dad, my kids and our grandchildren. I also enjoy walking the dog, playing golf and watching the Pars. Oh, and a wee glass of wine helps too.

What do you listen to in the car: Gold Radio 50s to 80s music. It is an age thing.

Which social media sites so you like/prefer: Until recently, none. I have just joined Facebook but have yet to post anything.

If you weren’t in your current job, what would you be doing: I would like to have been able to dabble in the property market. Buying a dilapidated property then doing it up to sell. I never seemed to be in the right place at the right time for that to happen

Favourite holiday destination: I have been lucky enough to holiday in a lot of beautiful places but Mauritius is my favourite.

What makes you happy: Simple things? I love my life and I wouldn’t change very much. As long as those in my life are fit and are healthy and have no worries, I am very happy.