How did you get started? After graduating from university with a BA (Hons) in marketing, I was unsure of what career path I wanted to take, so I reached out to a friend who was working for an estate agent that happened to have a vacancy. The stars aligned for me that day as I was offered the position of trainee valuer on the spot.
The fast-paced environment and ability to help people facilitate their moves ignited a spark in me, and I knew then that I wanted to build a career in the property sector.
Over the past 20 years, my work has seen me in small start-ups in Dennistoun, working for GSPC, and finally joining Pacitti Jones in 2015, alongside completing a post-graduate diploma in surveying.
Having been involved in many different aspects of the property industry, I am able to bring a wide breadth of knowledge to my current role, which has enabled the branch to become one of the leading estate agents in Stirlingshire.
What is your favourite type of property? Although I like lots of different properties styles, I have a soft spot for a countryside home. There’s nothing better than a property with a bit of character, garden space and views over the rolling country hills.
What is your typical day like? Every day brings something new – and it’s one of the things I love about this job. I usually start my day in the office at 8am and run over my schedule for the day to check if we have anything urgent on.
Our team works very closely together, so it’s important that we regroup frequently. We tend to have a team meeting every morning which gives us time to discuss priorities, opportunities, and any new properties.
The rest of my day usually consists of visiting clients, attending viewings, valuing properties, preparing reports, and travelling around. I enjoy being out and about and speaking to new people.
What has been the biggest challenge? Lockdown was a really difficult time for Pacitti Jones. We had to shut down for three months, and at that time there was a lot of uncertainty for the future. Luckily, we were in a good position before we went into lockdown and as soon as we reopened the housing market exploded. In fact, it was the busiest we’d ever been.
Where do you live? I currently live in Lenzie, with my wife and two children, in a 1950s extended detached bungalow. Our main reason for moving was to be closer to my wife’s parents,however, the excellent schools and handy commuter links to Stirling were a bonus. We are quite settled and intend to stay until our children have gone through school. It is a superb area with lots of nice amenities – plus the kids can walk to school which saves us doing the school run.
Does your job affect your social life? Let’s just say that it isn’t often I have a free day. Between work events, golf days, and charity evenings, my calendar is usually quite full. I spend a lot of time in work, but feel that I have created some great bonds with my colleagues.
What advice would you give someone wanting to work in the industry? While it isn’t always required, I would highly recommend completing a course or qualification related to the property industry.
However, if you don’t have relevant qualifications, let your passion for the industry show and that will take you far. We usually look for people who are polite, friendly, outgoing – with a real customer-focused and can-do attitude.
What do you do in your spare time? When I’m not working, you’ll catch me doing any outdoor sport I can. Surfing, snowboarding, wake surfing, golf and fishing are all personal favourites. Other than this, I like to spend some quality time with my family.
How is business in 2021? It has been a record-breaking year for property in Stirling. Prices have increased by around 10 per cent in Stirlingshire, with most homes selling on their closing date for well above the home report valuation.
One challenge we are facing is that there are sometimes very few properties coming to market, meaning that demand is well outstripping supply – which is great news for sellers but harder for buyers.
What innovations in the industry do you see making the biggest difference in the future? The rise of technology within the property sector is something I think will continue in the coming years and this is definitely a good thing.
During Covid-19, we saw an increase in virtual walkthroughs and viewings which many people have come to enjoy and expect. I think that this might be something that becomes the norm going forwards. It’s exciting to think about how technology could continue changing the industry.
What could the industry or the government be doing differently in your opinion? I feel that estate agencies would benefit greatly from mandatory qualifications to become an estate agent. This is something that has already been tried and tested in the lettings industry and was a great success.
The government could change the additional dwelling supplement and make it refundable if a property is sold after 12 months. Having this tax is prohibitive to builders and developers as it adds an extra4 per cent tax for a second property, leading to many unviable projects.
What are your predictions for the market in the years to come? The increase in property prices over the last 18 months is simply unsustainable, so I suspect that the housing market will become more steady in the coming months.
Born and raised Born in 1973 and raised in Stirlingshire
Education I attended Balfron High school before heading to study a BA Hons in marketing.
During a financial crisis at a previous employer, my hours were dropped so I decided to study for a post-grad diploma in surveying.
Family Wife Gillian, and children Nathan and Gemma.
CV My first job was a milk round.
I also tried my hand in the culinary sector and worked as a chef while going through university.
First home A flat on Battlefield Road in Glasgow
Plans for retirement I might be 20 years off of retirement, but I would love to move somewhere by the sea eventually – a man can dream.
Personal motto What David wants, David gets.