Cooke & Arkwright employs new graduate surveyor

Rob Lane has joined the Business Rates team

18 November 2020
  • Rob Lane Cooke & Arkwright Business Rates department

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Cooke & Arkwright continues to be very active in the commercial property market during these challenging times. We are working harder than ever and are still growing and recruiting with a full commitment to Wales. We have recently added to our team and employed three new graduate surveyors. First up, meet Rob Lane, who has joined our Business Rates team. Originally from Porthcawl, Rob now lives in Cardiff and is currently working towards his RICS accreditation.

Tell us a bit about your background and what led you into property as a career.

I originally studied Geography at Swansea University and was unsure what I wanted to do upon graduation. A Geography degree provided a good foundation and exposure to subjects such as economics and demographics that are directly related to the Real Estate industry. Having always had an interest in the built environment, I decided to make the move towards a career in property by undertaking a RICS accredited postgraduate degree in Real Estate at the University of Reading.  After seeing a vacancy at Cooke & Arkwright I had no hesitation in applying and was very happy to be accepted into the Business Rates department.

Tell us about your time so far at Cooke & Arkwright and what an average day for you has entailed.

My time as Cooke & Arkwright so far has been interesting and engaging, and I’m learning a lot very quickly! Everyone I have met has been very friendly and keen to provide help and guidance wherever possible.

The average day in the rating department consists of a variety of tasks including gathering property comparables and undertaking valuations, reviewing rating assessments and finding scope for appeal, assisting with site inspections, and providing calculations or floorplans. Enough to keep me on my toes!

Can you say something about the support and training that you are getting?

Despite obstacles presented by current restrictions, my team have delivered support and training very effectively and are always available to offer a helping hand in office or remotely. The Covid-19 pandemic has failed to stop Cooke & Arkwright’s efforts to invest in the future and I feel lucky to join especially during these uncertain times.

What have you learned since starting your new role – has anything surprised you?

Rating is a multifaceted area covering many sectors including industrial, retail & leisure, office space and more. This is providing a steep learning curve through exposure to core fundamental skills such as valuations, critical thinking and communication.

It is surprising how dynamic and ever changing the field of rating can be in finding scope to help clients.  This requires keeping constantly up to date with appropriate case law and government policy, and ensures that work is never repetitive or boring!

How are the current circumstances impacting your experience and the work that your team is doing?

Due to the current pandemic office capacity is limited so there’s less of a ‘busy buzz’ in work which means meeting people individually rather than as a group. Work is also more office based at present as site visits have been restricted, but hopefully restrictions will become gradually more relaxed allowing face to face interaction with clients and colleagues to resume!

Within our team communication is key due to the nature of the work, however our department has handled the situation very well with regular briefings through video team calls which keep work running smoothly and spirits high!

How do you like to spend your spare time?

I enjoy running to keep fit, entrepreneurship and I’m hoping to get out onto the water kayaking soon!

Cardiff Waterside is a significant property holding for Aviva Investors at almost 500,000 sq ft. Our experiences show the benefit of working with a regional specialist where occupational markets can be unlocked with a good team with excellent local contacts. Ben Bolton and his team have done this for us for many years and been fundamental to our success and a very low void rate in Cardiff.

Matthew Leach, Arriva Capital Waterside