What do you do at MRG?
I work on the real estate desk focussing on asset management, investment, leasing and development for property companies and investment managers. I work closely with Matthew Evans, combining our 30+ years of experience to offer solutions to the industry.
What are you most proud about that you have achieved in your career to date?
Being UK Managing Director of a leading property recruitment firm and helping it grow from a small single UK office to a global business with 14 offices across 7 countries. I learnt a huge amount during my time there and I’m enjoying bringing some of those ideas to MRG and helping it with its growth strategy.
How did you get into recruitment, and why?
Not unusually, I “fell” into it like many others. I was in a graduate role with a finance firm that had nothing wrong with it, except it wasn’t very exciting and certainly wasn’t meritocratic. The opportunity to be directly responsible for my success, from a financial and progression point of view, is what appealed to me about working in recruitment. I also loved the idea it was about talking to people all day long. I interviewed with large established firms but ultimately chose a recently started property firm and was one of the first people in the door, and stayed for 17 years!
What energises you about working in this sector?
I look at it as working in the real estate sector as much as the recruitment sector. I love being part of the property industry as it is such a tangible and key sector, being on the recruitment side you get to meet people involved in high profile developments. Also, you help shape these businesses as the individuals within them help determine their successes.
What’s the biggest thing that’s changed in recruitment since you started?
The move from being very heavily phone call focused to a lot more online communication. When I started you didn’t have emails on your phone and LinkedIn didn’t exist. It was nerve racking calling businesses cold, and the softer online approach now is hugely beneficial, but speaking to people on the phone (or in person) is always the best way to build relationships, and the concern is newer people in the industry don’t always see this.
What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
People think I am a southerner, but I’m proudly Scottish.
What’s the best advice anyone has every given you?
When I was brand new and focused on cold calling, I was nervous to pick up the phone, but my manager told me “They can’t hit you from the other end of the phone!”. At the core of this, it reminds me that there’s nothing to be afraid of when speaking to people, you’re just talking.
But in reality, it was the quote I was introduced to by a client “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?
Approachable, Composed, Considered
And finally, who would play you in the movie about your life?
I’m often told I look like Adrian Dunbar, despite the substantial age gap!
Get in touch with Christopher for an informal chat about how he can help you and your recruitment needs.