Patrick Harley-Blake Q&A – Finalist in the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023.
Meet Patrick Harley-Blake (MRICS), case study number four in our series of interviews with finalists in the Residential Property category of the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023. Patrick is a Chartered Building Surveyor and Director/Owner of Honeywell Survey & Design Ltd.
After doing a BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment in college, Patrick studied for a degree in Building Surveying at Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett) and started working part time for global firm, Faithful and Gould. In his case study, Patrick explains how he came to be where he is today, what it’s like being a surveyor and how he feels about being named a finalist in the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023. Read on or click here to download our Q&A with Patrick and keep an eye out for more case studies from other finalists over the coming weeks. The RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards ceremony will take place on Friday 20th October at The Londoner, Leicester Square.
Being a surveyor, what does a typical day look like for you?
Due to a knee operation I’m not out surveying at the moment, but before this my mornings would usually involve catching up with emails before visiting sites to undertake any surveys booked in that morning. After lunch, I’d then either go home or back to the office to complete the survey write up, check over any previous reports I’ve written and get them issued to clients.
On top of this, as Director, I might make a few courtesy calls, chat with my Office Administrator to see if they need any support and, where I can, work on business strategy.
What made you consider a career in surveying?
Being a surveyor is what I’ve aimed for from the start. My late father was a self-employed land surveyor and I would sit with him in the office, watching him work. I didn’t know it at the time, but perhaps this played a subconscious role in my interest in surveying.
At school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be. I did A-Levels for one year but didn’t connect with it. In my final year in school, I worked as a labourer for a builder which was hands on and really interested me, but I wanted something more professional. I was also fascinated by architecture, so that piqued my interest in buildings.
What qualification route did you take and why?
After doing a BTEC in Construction and the Built Environment in college, I had lots of options ahead of me and chose to go down the Building Surveying pathway because the pathology and design side of things interested me.
I studied for a degree in Building Surveying at Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett) and started working part time for global firm, Faithful and Gould.
Fast forward 9 years and I have started my own successful business in Honeywell Survey and Design Ltd and am proud to have been named a finalist in the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Definitely achieving APC and getting Chartered. It was a great personal achievement, but I also had a lot of support from my company and peers.
Becoming Chartered gave me more confidence on both a professional and personal level. Everyone experiences imposter syndrome at some point in their life, but becoming Chartered helped to validate that I was capable enough as a well-rounded surveyor. Now, when speaking with other professionals, I have a real sense of confidence in what I’m saying.
What do you love most about being a surveyor?
Early on in my career, it was how much I was learning constantly and pushing the boundaries of what I knew. There was always a challenge and I was never bored. Right now, with a young family and another little one on the way, it’s the flexibility – I can be at home when I need to be and around for my family.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of joining the profession?
Go where the opportunities are – let them lead you. Have a goal in mind but don’t just focus on one thing. I had my mind set on becoming Chartered as soon as I could, but I had lots of opportunities in between to gain more qualifications and build my expertise.
When I started out, I was doing commercial work, and progression was a lot quicker than expected. I was a little unprepared for the added responsibility so early in my career. My advice to anyone interested in being a surveyor is to learn continuously and be prepared to prove yourself from the start.
How does you feel being named a finalist in the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023?
Shocked and chuffed with a little bit of disbelief. It was a complete surprise! I put a lot of effort into the case studies and application, but there were so many great surveyors out there with big presences in the field and on social media, so I feel proud to have made it through to the shortlist.
That said, I’ve had a good, varied career so far and it’s great to be recognised for the hard work I’ve put into building my business and supporting the industry.
If you’re interested in being a surveyor, find out more about Sava’s vocational Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation here. If you’d like to meet more of the finalists in the RICS Matrics Surveyor Awards 2023, take a look at our previous Q&A with Joe Ellison.