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Emma Smith

Associate

I joined Alder King’s Gloucester office as a graduate surveyor in 2006, successfully completing the 2-year APC course in 2008 and achieving RICS chartered status. I then left in 2010 to fulfil a long-held ambition of mine to travel. When I returned two years later, the company offered to take me back and I got a job in the Bristol office as a surveyor in the Retail Agency team.

In 2014 an opportunity arose to move over to Industrial Agency – an area that has always interested me – specialising in the acquisition and disposal of industrial and logistics properties across the Great Bristol region. I cover a large ‘patch’ that encompasses Bridgwater in Somerset, Stroud in Gloucestershire and Chippenham in Wiltshire.

I was promoted to Associate in 2017 and have continued in my Industrial role, where I’ve built up my expertise and acquired new skills. It’s easy to learn ‘on the job’ here because everybody is so supportive and approachable. If there’s something you’re not sure about, you just pick up the phone and ask for advice from Agency staff in other offices.

One of the best aspects of the job is the variety – I’m often out visiting sites or clients, and there’s always a new set of project challenges. In addition, there’s frequently a big crossover with other departments and disciplines, such as Building Consultancy or Planning, so we regularly get the chance to share experiences and learn from specialists in different fields.

“The company combines tradition with an open-minded approach that’s receptive and open to ideas.”

I’m currently the chair of the Industrial Agents (IA) Society, Western Branch, which promotes knowledge and expertise amongst Industrial agents. I was a committee member and was nominated in 2017 for a two-year appointment as chair. All Industrial agents from across the region sign up to the IA. Every year we hold events to raise money for charity – last year we set out to raise £5K for Motor Neurone Disease.

There’s a good work-life balance at Alder King and the company supports a lot of after-hours activities. Our Agency department also likes to go out regularly on an informal basis – it’s a good way to catch up on work matters and enjoy ourselves at the same time.

One of our strong points is staff retention. I think one of the reasons is that we’re not too big – you can get lost in a larger company. Here, you’re not just a number in a system, you’re treated as an individual. There’s a feeling of everybody ‘mucking in’. The company combines tradition with an open-minded approach that’s receptive and open to ideas. And if you hit the criteria, there are plenty of opportunities for promotion.

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