The adage “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is something that our Business Development Director Jamie Chamberlain subscribes to. While he has a phenomenal amount of knowledge relating to our services, he is the first to admit that he does not have the technical expertise in those areas and instead takes great satisfaction from connecting people to the right expert, rather than knowing all the ins-and-outs of building surveying, valuation or management.
Jamie joined the AWH team in December 2016, more or less straight from university where he studied Engineering. While he enjoyed the course, he discovered that he did not want to build a career in that area.
After spending some time applying for various roles he did not really want to do, the opportunity to start at AWH came through a recruiter who asked whether he had ever considered a career in Business Development. Jamie was immediately drawn to the role and explains that one of the aspects of working for AWH that appealed most to him getting to know an industry he was somewhat familiar with.
Surveying is something I have always been interested in. Surveying has been in and around the family as a term for a long time because both my father and grandfather were surveyors.
Although he briefly considered whether he would seek to become qualified as a surveyor, Jamie discovered a natural affinity with Business Development. The client-facing side of the role just seemed to fit his natural skillset and personality.
I found I really enjoyed the interpersonal nature of the business and I get to meet lots of interesting people. I am quite curious in general, which I think really helps in this job.
Jamie loves being able to go to networking, being able to connect people, find solutions to problems, and then hopefully being given referrals in return is very satisfying.
When Jamie joined AWH, there were a few company networking events in place already, which had been set up by his predecessors. Jamie recalls that these networking events initially felt quite daunting. However, he quickly found his feet, and discovered that – for him at least – it boiled down to finding someone he got along with and who it could be good to work with. As he fostered these relationships, his new contacts would invariably invite him to other events.
That’s how it happened really. I can trace my network back to three or four people, who were very kind to me with some introductions and opening doors for me to attend other events.
Jamie focussed on developing his network for the first couple of years and feels it is now at a point where he can more or less meet who he needs to through one or two introductions within his network of contacts. Jamie’s approach focusses very much on the interpersonal side, seeking to get to know the people within his network contacts and not just what they do.
I have found it best not to talk about work too much. People appreciate it when you are genuinely interested in them.” Jamie explains. “And as much as it is a numbers game, I very much believe in quality over quantity. It’s no good trying to speak to every single person in the room at a networking event. I have learned that having three good conversations in an hour is much more valuable.
Although the makeup of the team at AWH has meant that the Valuations side of the business has been where he has spent most of his time, with recent key hires in other service areas – such as Building Surveying, Rights of Light and Property Management – Jamie sees tremendous opportunities to grow those areas, which he is really looking forward to.
It is really exciting to be able to delve into areas we have historically been strong in, while simultaneously picking up new areas of the business.
When thinking back over his time with AWH, one of the moments that has stuck with Jamie is when the AWH Valuations team received the “Highly Commended” award at the Bridging & Commercial Awards. As he looked at the judging panel, it struck him how many of them were people that he works closely with as part of his established network, and who had all put the AWH team forward.
It was not an area we were not massively involved in before I started.” Jamie explains. “Obviously, the guys doing the actual work need to be applauded, because while I can bring the work in, if it is not looked after properly, we would not have been recommended for anything. But having that network in place made up of people who are happy to put us forward was a really nice feeling.
For the last year, Jamie has enjoyed passing on his experience to Kate Marandola, Business Development Manager. Having worked alongside the AWH surveyor and valuations team for a long time, Jamie has found it really interesting to distil and pass on what he has learned to Kate. But he is humble enough to admit that he has definitely learned things from Kate as well.
Whether you are an existing client or are looking for an expert in Building Surveying, Commercial or Residential Valuation, a Right of Light issue or Property Management, please do get in touch with Jamie or Kate by calling 0800 071 5517 or by emailing them at email@example.com. They would be delighted to speak to you.