I grew up on a dairy farm in South Ayrshire but my studies took me over the border to Cirencester where I gained a Masters in Rural estate Management. I then spent three years in Yorkshire qualifying as a rural surveyor.
In May 2017 an opportunity arose to return to my roots and join Galbraith. My favourite part of the job is wrapping up and donning my wellies – and often my waterproofs too – ready to carry out a valuation inspection of a farm, having enjoyed getting to know the farmer over the kitchen table, usually with a cup of tea and a biscuit or two!
A typical day in the oﬃce revolves around email correspondence and report writing, whether that’s for valuation purposes, sales particulars or preparing a compensation claim. Days behind the desk allow you to catch up with the necessary admin and you are deﬁnitely thankful for this when the typical Scottish weather prevails.
I am fortunate enough to cover the south-west region so time spent out of the oﬃce is very varied. One day I could be driving down the coast to the Rhins of Galloway to carry out an inspection, on another I could be lifting my passport, grabbing an early morning coﬀee and boarding a plane to carry out a valuation on the Inner Hebrides. I have had a few false starts with cancelled ferries or ﬂights when visiting the isles. A memorable moment was taking a ﬂight to Tiree in dire windy weather, with the threat of not being able to get back that evening. I was certainly glad to touch down both on the Isle and back on the mainland. You don’t get to experience that every day.
Days spent closer to home are welcomed as I usually know the client I’m meeting or I am able to forge a link with them through common ground. That’s a nice part of the job.
I often get asked what I do on a day-to-day basis and my response is: I value and sell farms as well as undertaking professional work, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I could be valuing a poultry unit for the bank one day and the next I may be getting keyboard angry with a utility company over damage caused to land through no fault of my client’s.
One of my biggest personal achievements was sitting and passing the two-day exam to become a Fellow of the Association of Agricultural Valuers – an accolade only a small handful in the company hold.
Galbraith certainly has a mentality of work hard but play hard too. We are a great bunch and enjoy quarterly land agent meetings where we exchange stories and have a good catch-up. We’re also not afraid of a competitive challenge with hockey matches, tennis games and charity events keeping us busy out of oﬃce hours.
When you work in the countryside, every season oﬀers something new, but come rain or shine the work needs to be done.