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Tue 26 May 2020
The final instalment from our Commercial Team in the Meet the Team at Home series. Michael Blake is a Director at youngsRPS and has an impressive amount of experience and expertise within the commercial property sector, in the North East and beyond…
How long have you been at youngsRPS and give us an overview of what you do day-to-day?
I am Director of the Newcastle commercial property office of youngsRPS and have been with the company since the merger with Stanton Mortimer in 2017. Previously I had been with Stanton Mortimer since 2002, and before that I was an equity partner at Lamb & Edge, which later became the Newcastle office for GVA, now Avison Young. I am involved in various aspects of commercial property, including management, landlord and tenant work, lettings, valuation and investment work. I advise a number of property owners including property investment companies and Charitable Trusts.
What attracted you to your industry?
From an early age, I was very interested in the built environment and initially started out on a degree in architectural studies. I was firmly science based at school however, I soon realised I lacked the basic art and design ability to make it as an architect… It hit home during one project when I struggled to evolve wallpaper designs from natural plant forms! I am no William Morris. I looked for an alternative route, which involved buildings, but not their design. I therefore, went down the urban estate management route, which led me to becoming a chartered surveyor, and I never really looked back.
What would you say you specialise in?
Nearly every commercial property decision is driven by valuation advice. I am a valuer, a RICS Registered Valuer, and I use this expertise in all the advice I provide across the various areas of the work that I am involved with on a day to day basis.
What has been your greatest achievement?
Outside work, probably producing three well rounded kids and seeing them establish themselves in their own right. In the office, there is no one specific thing that springs to mind, but perhaps winning a large management commission, or acquiring, on behalf of clients, a high value investment, is always very satisfying
What has been your biggest challenge?
Steering my businesses through difficult economic times, such as the recession that followed the financial collapse 10 years ago. The lessons we learnt from that will help us to deal with the situation in which we find ourselves at the moment regarding the COVID-19 crisis.
How do you get the best out of what you do?
Adopt a pragmatic common-sense approach to solving problems or achieving a result. In our line of work, you need to be strong, but I try to avoid confrontation wherever possible.
What do you find most interesting about your industry?
Early on in my career, a senior surveyor told me that surveying was not a property profession but a people profession. That is very true. I find the diverse range of people I work with – clients, tenants, other professionals, really fascinating.