When I joined Potter Space as Estates Surveyor back in May 2020, we were in the middle of the first, strict lockdown and, to be honest, I was not sure I would still have a job.
However, the team at Potter Space quickly reassured me that COVID-19 would not impact on the development plans. Not only that, but I was also very impressed with the way the business had adapted, filling me with confidence that health and safety was prioritised.
My lasting impression of the first day was being directed to the all too familiar hand sanitiser. How times have changed!
I immediately felt a part of the team, even though we were working apart. My colleagues, together with the accounts and admin teams provided me with all the background documents and information I needed to learn about the five business parks and ongoing projects.
I was fortunate that I had already met some of my colleagues prior to joining Potter Space. Indeed Jenna Strover, who is Head of Commercial Delivery, was my counsellor at my previous employer. I am indebted to Jenna as she has taught me a lot throughout my years as a surveyor. She also helped me achieve my RICS chartership before and during my time at Potter Space, by offering countless hours of support and onsite experience.
I also met our Property Director, Rob Barker playing Thursday night football. We built up a great friendship, despite rivalry on the field. I am pleased to hear that Potter Space are as keen as me about social events, where you can meet other professionals, and we are all looking forward to starting these again once we return to some normality.
Indeed, I also bumped into my fellow Estates Surveyor, Alex Carter, at a social event a couple of years ago. I really do appreciate the time he took to show me around the business parks in Ripon, Droitwich, Selby, Ely and Knowsley, and introduce me to our key customers. He also has provided great support with my RICS submission.
It was particularly pleasing to be allocated a project in my first month, despite the pandemic, when I was tasked with preparing a feasibility study to refurbish a footbridge. Despite having no experience in this area, I was able to execute the task successfully, through a combination of the teams’ knowledge and experience and my own research, with the work scheduled to begin in June.
As far as ongoing work is concerned, I am working closely with Alex in the procurement and management of building works for new units, as well as progressing refurbishment projects, repairs, and maintenance across more than 1.6m square metres of commercial space.
All site visits are well planned, adhering to Government guidelines, allowing more time for surveys and projects to be undertaken, thereby minimising mistakes and maintaining client expectation.
Although we don’t have as much opportunity to see the whole team face-to-face, we continue to communicate through weekly Microsoft Teams meetings, a WhatsApp group and social media.
It has been an unusual but enjoyable ten months at Potter Space, during which time I am particularly proud of achieving my RICS chartership, establishing an excellent relationship with my colleagues, and becoming a valuable member of the team, despite the restrictions caused by the pandemic.
As for the future, despite the vaccines I am still apprehensive that we will not get back to normality in the next 12 months. However, I forecast a very busy year for Potter Space, with some exciting plans for our business parks, as we continue to provide a ‘Home for Business’ for our customers.