A DAY IN THE LIFE
31 January 2019
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
I joined Osborne King as a graduate in 2005 and was made a director of valuation in July 2016. My work is mainly on behalf of clients and local lending institutions, preparing valuation reports and, over the last six years, I have had particular focus on the licensed and hotel market.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND IN HOSPITALITY/TOURISM?
My first introduction into the local hospitality/tourism sector was when the late and great John Martin took me under his wing to assist with the writing of valuations reports. After the property crash, valuation reports became a lot more arduous and John being the character that he was would not have been the most patient, as many in industry will testify to. This experience was absolutely priceless as there wasn’t much John didn’t know about the licensed game. He knew everyone worth knowing and, as a result of his unrivalled expertise, Osborne King are still considered the go-to surveyors for most in the licensed market.
WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB?
Undoubtedly the best part of my job is the characters that you come across on a daily basis. The licensed market is never dull and, with renewed confidence in the sector, it is exciting to see many local operators thriving and improving Northern Ireland’s offering. The worst part I suppose are ‘long no’s’. I’m sure this is a gripe for most, but often you can invest a lot of time and energy into a proposed sale or valuation only for the deal to be pulled at the last minute.
WHAT DO YOU FIND THE MOST CHALLENGING ABOUT THE SECTOR?
Despite the recent optimism in the hospitality sector, there is no doubt that our licensing laws remain outdated. When you compare Belfast to other major cities in the UK, we are still lagging behind. Our opening hours legislation needs modernised, Easter trading remains an issue and the requirement for distilleries to have a licence in order to sell their product onsite are curtailing further growth in our sector.
OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY
I’m going to give the same answer as most and say every day is different and that fortunately there are no such things as typical days for me. Over the last 12 months, I have valued some of the most luxurious hotels in Northern Ireland as well as local watering holes in Derry, Fermanagh and Armagh. This is one of the great things about my role and it helps keep me up to speed with everything that is going on in the industry.
Being promoted to director in Osborne King was a very proud moment for me. I started my career as a placement student in Osborne King in 2003, was offered a job as a graduate in 2005 and, with a lot of help and support along the way, I’ve managed to work my way up through the company. This, however, is not unusual for Osborne King with many of my fellow colleagues having had a similar professional journey. As the largest independent commercial practice in Northern Ireland, Osborne King has always encouraged and promoted homegrown talent.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK?
I have a two-year-old son and every weekend my wife and I try to get out and about as much as possible. Unfortunately he is of an age where he never stops and often I have to go into work to get a break. As well as that, I’m a keen sports fan and I try and watch and attend as many games as I can, be it the annual Down hammering in the Ulster Championship, going to the Kingspan to watch Ulster or following my adopted home town Ballymena in the Irish League.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW
I’m a long suffering Leeds United fan. After 17 brutal years, I have a feeling 2019 will be our year.