I’m Vicki and I started working in real estate completely by accident whilst undertaking my law degree at Nottingham Trent. 15 years, two more degrees and my RICS membership later, I am now an RICS Registered Valuer specialising in the valuation of residential and commercial property and development land across Norfolk and Suffolk for a wide range of lenders and private clients. I also carry out landlord and tenant consultancy work and viability negotiations.
Please tell us a little bit about your company and the work you do as a surveyor:
I am an RICS Registered Valuer, working for Savills, which is a multi-national real estate advisor. I specifically deal with the valuation of residential and commercial property and development land across Norfolk and Suffolk. I have worked for Savills for 15 years and am an Associate Director in the Development team.
What is your advice to other women in your position?
I was told recently that a woman, before going for a position, promotion, or similar, will have to convince herself that she is 150% qualified for it before she will go for it, whereas a man will usually have the confidence to have a punt. My advice to other women in business is to have more self-belief and confidence, and have a punt.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me starts at about 5.30am, when I have about half an hour to shower, have a coffee and enjoy a moment of peace before my children, aged 4 and 2, wake up – usually at about 6am. I get Felix ready for nursery, and Piper ready for school, before Felix and I leave for Norwich at about 7am. (The husband drops Piper off at school!) Drop Felix off at nursery for 7.30am, get to the office for about 8.15am, and then I am either working on a valuation report, researching values and undertaking due diligence, or I am off driving out and about around Norfolk and Suffolk doing inspections, before then heading back home, doing nursery and school pickups on my way back down to South Norfolk. My rock and roll lifestyle usually means that by the time we have had tea and done bedtime, I am tucked up in bed by 9pm, ready to start it all again the next day!
What is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment is qualifying as a surveyor. I trained later in life, whilst already working full time for Savills. I did my APC and my surveying degree at the same time, long distance from home. It was hard work – plus I had a house to run and was expecting my first child. I qualified and went on to do my masters – a very proud moment.
Who was your biggest inspiration growing up?
It sounds really corny, but my biggest inspiration growing up was my mum, although I probably didn’t really appreciate that at the time. She was a working mummy (still is, actually!) and she made sure that work didn’t impact on home life, it showed the importance of working hard in order to be able to play hard and have the good things in life. She made it look easy, whereas I can now appreciate that it can be a tough juggling act.
How can networking and support organisations help the next generation of surveyors on their way up?
I rely so much on other professionals in order to do my job well and this is all about making new contacts, and maintaining those relationships. Networking is such an important part of our role as surveyors and the earlier the next generation of surveyors start making their own contacts and professional relationships, the better.
How do you relax?
A good friend of mine raises money for Tommy’s, the stillborn baby and neo-natal death charity. She got me involved in running a marathon over the course of a month and I found this a brilliant way to switch off and relax. I have now completed a 10k race and have signed up for my first half marathon in aid of Cancer Research!