017 Men’s Health week In Surveying with Aaron Daniel and Joe Ellison

During Men’s Health Week in June 2020, Marion Ellis caught up with two young surveyors Aaron Daniel and Joe Ellison. They talked about the surveying profession from a wellbeing and diversity perspective.

Aaron Daniel is a Valuation Surveyor, operating in both the residential and commercial markets.  A specialist in reversionary and long-term secure income investments, he spent several years in private equity, becoming AssocRICS and a RICS Registered Valuer in 2015. He began his consultancy in 2020, working directly with other SME’s, serving London and the South East. Aaron believes becoming his own boss has provided more flexibility and greater balance between his work and family life.

Joe Ellison is an award winning Chartered Valuation Surveyor working at Pinnacle Surveyors. Qualified in 2019 he mainly carries out Mortgage Valuations and Level 2 Surveys, in a mix of corporate lender and private work. Joe was a finalist in the 2019 British Mortgage Awards and Valuation category winner for the RICS Young Surveyor of the Year.

Supporting Diversity in the Surveying Profession

Diversity is a big topic in The Surveyor Hub, and we deliberately wanted to invite two young, white, male panelists to talk about diversity and wellbeing in our profession, and what’s going on at the moment.

“I always worked in property valuation, and whether that was in a state or in a civilian agency, I’ve also been surrounded by white men, generally older. Only in my last company did I get more exposure to a variety of people from different backgrounds, because we were geographically more spaced out,” Aaron starts.

“A stereotypical surveyor is an older, white man,” Joe continues, “I spent over two years in training with an older surveyor, who taught me about habits right from the start, that it’s normal to call and get some fast food while you’re in the middle of an inspection. So you’re automatically led down that route and forgetting about your health as well.”

“What is needed,” Joe adds, “because we’re all capable of it, is actually encouraging people into any profession from the ground up; encouraging more women, more people from different backgrounds to do it, because everyone brings a different perspective.”

Braving Visibility on Social Media

Since surveying is not an online job, sometimes surveyors shy away from connecting with the professional community in social media space. However, Aaron has been active with LinkedIn lives, and he shares his motivation for it and what effect it has had for him.

“Maybe as a consequence of working alone, and even more so in the past 12 weeks, where I was totally removed from society, I felt it was very important to keep in touch with my counterparts in the industry. It just happened that I was on LinkedIn, I saw content, and it generated a disturbing emotion in me. So I just wanted to say something, and I didn’t think about it too much, I just recorded it and put it out there. It was really just reaching out to people and trying to build connections. I’m quite a sociable person, and I liked the office environment when I was in it. But being withdrawn from any kind of work was something I found difficult, and I wanted to talk about how it’s okay to say when you’re having a bad day. I couldn’t agree more that physical and mental health are linked together.”

Why You Should Get Involved With Awards

Joe goes on to share his experience with the awards in the surveying profession and what it meant for him.

“I’ve got no idea who’s nominated me for the British Mortgage Awards. I’m new to the awards, but it spurred me on, because those younger than 30 years have to do a quite in-depth testimonial, where you talk about the different features of your career. It was actually really good because it got me thinking about what I’d done, and that was not just benefiting me, it was benefiting surveillance as a whole. I ended up being a finalist, and then within the Valuation category of RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of The Year, I still don’t know how I did it,” says Joe.

How to Support the Young Generation of Surveyors

For those who are just starting in the surveying profession, RICS Matrics supports new members to expand their skills set and gain confidence through seminars, events and training.

Joe and Aaron share other ways on how younger and older surveyors can support each other.

“Trying to find the balance between work and personal life has become so important, especially now when maybe a lot of people are going to end up working from home more than they were before,” says Aaron, “So trying to create more time for yourself, and realising what’s important, because it’s very easy to get caught up with cracking six appointments in a day.”

“I think we need collaboration between all of us as surveyors, and with other professions like brokers and real estate agents as well,” Joe adds. “I think we need confidence to speak our minds and to learn more. If we are going to be the business leaders of tomorrow, we need the training that isn’t just the technical, we need business training as well. That is where RICS Matrics plays a great part, in letting us have our own group to just meet and be ourselves, and be able to discuss all the different things that we’re doing,” he concludes.

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Connect with Aaron Daniels

Connect with Joe Ellison

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The Surveyor Hub is a proud partner of  Lionheart, the benevolent fund which supports RICS members and their families.