A Meeting With: Catherine Affleck, operations director at Bradley Hall
The Newcastle firm's director on her proudest moment and discovering her passion for property while waiting to start on a very different career path
Name: Catherine Affleck
Job Title: operations director at Bradley Hall
What is the best thing about your job?
I think I’m lucky to be able to say that I genuinely love what I do - from my day-to-day surveying to being involved in the expansion plans of the firm. My current position allows me to, effectively, do two jobs. My day might start by dealing with service charges and property management issues and end with reviewing procedures or planning a new office fit out.
What is your proudest achievement?
This is a close competition between passing my APC first time and being asked to take up the position of operations director at Bradley Hall, after re-joining the company just a few months prior.
What advice would you give to someone starting your career?
Go and get an industry placement or do the part-time degree. The experience you gain in practice and the contacts you make are invaluable. Hands-on work experience also makes you appreciate how the theory you learn at uni applies in the real world.
Which individual has inspired you most and why?
Professionally, I would have to say my mentor when I first started working at Bradley Hall. They convinced me to pursue a career in property originally and have continued to support me in my career progression. Being surrounded by ambitious and driven colleagues, who are specialists in their field, ensures that I am constantly inspired to keep furthering my knowledge.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?
As a surveyor specialising in property management one of the first things I was taught in practice was “Read the lease, read the lease and read the lease again!”. Years later this is still always my starting point.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Probably being promoted to my current role. Bradley Hall has ambitious expansion plans and we aim to increase the size of our team from 35 to 50 within the next 12 months. My role will be to ensure that we’re ready, operationally, to progress to the next level without any negative impact on the exceptional level of personal service our clients have come to expect.
How is your business going to change in the next ten years?
As the business continues to grow we’ll continue our drive to recruit the best in their class across the team. This is an exciting time to be a part of the management team at Bradley Hall, with the introduction of a range of new service offerings including building surveying, the launch of BH Planning and Design and the ongoing success of BH Mortgages.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m married with a four-year-old son so our weekends revolve around anything to do with superheroes, football, playdates and family time.
What do you always carry with you?
Wet wipes, they’re an absolute essential for any mam. And my phone because a job in property doesn’t stop when you leave the office.
What would you do if you had to change career?
I haven’t really looked back since joining the Bradley Hall team on a temporary contract in 2005 while I waited for my midwifery degree course to start. After a month or so of being here I was convinced that my future lay in property so if I wasn’t a surveyor I’d probably be delivering babies.