George Roberts, Cushman & Wakefield

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This week two exciting things have happened. It's snowed in the UK and we've been lucky enough to speak to George Roberts the Head of UK and Ireland at Cushman & Wakefield. Read on to find out why you should never be afraid to have an opinion and why it is important to own and learn from your mistakes (not retreat into a dark hole)!

Hi George, could you briefly describe how you first entered the property industry and map out your unique career journey to your current position.

I joined the industry on the DTZ graduate programme. After the first year in the valuation department I moved to the City agency team where I spent two further years. This gave me an amazing insight into both Office buildings and of course the City office market. I left DTZ after 3 years and joined JLL initially in the City, but then to the West End where I established its tenant rep team. This expanded to a wider role of running the West End agency team.

After 14 years at JLL, I joined C&W with the role of growing our tenant rep business.  Working along side some of our really talented colleagues we built the market leading team. 4 years later I was heading our London Markets business with responsibility for tenant rep, agency, investment, residential and development teams.

As someone who has achieved alot in their career, what advice would you give to a young person at the start of their own journey?

Be inquisitive, don’t be afraid to ask, have an opinion and have the confidence to believe that your opinion matters just as much as someone with much more experience!

Everyone is terrified of making mistakes and sometimes a misstep can feel like the end of the world. Is there a particular mistake that you have made that actually turned out to be a great learning experience?

It is corny but we all make mistakes, the key is to learn from them. Early in my agency career, I remember telling another agent about a pitch success that we had had. As soon as I had said it, I realised that the information was confidential and could jeopardise us as we negotiated the appointment terms with the client. I made the right call to inform my boss that I had let the “cat out of the bag.” My boss used the opportunity to inject greater urgency into getting the appointment confirmed which was duly done. No harm done, but the lessons learnt were clear ones. Treat confidentiality for what it means! When you make a mistake, it is never the end of the world, speak up!

 

 
Harri John