Reuben Miller talks about the experience of having his own SME surveyor business, how it has evolved and where he gets his support from.
Reuben is a MRICS Chartered Surveyor and RICS Registered Property Valuer with 20 years’ diverse real estate experience in a wide range of residential property types across London and the south-east. He works as a residential chartered surveyor and RICS valuer at RM Surveyors.
He is an expert in mortgage valuations for banks and building societies, and a broad range of surveys and RICS valuations for homebuyers, investors, corporates and charities.
Different Ways of Learning and Relating
At the age of 15, Reuben Miller was diagnosed with dyslexia. Despite difficulties in learning, he finished his education in later years, which allowed him to become a surveyor after working in a family estate agency for 15 years.
“At the age of 15, it was probably a bit late to find out I was dyslexic,” he says, “but I’m glad because you also pull it to a positive, there is a strength there in connection to a different style of learning. I didn’t go to university at 18 like a lot of my friends, and I felt left behind and a bit of a loser for not having that. I have given myself a hard time over the years. Going back to school was a new experience from that perspective – from feeling like a loser, failure and thick to suddenly thinking, I can do this, I want to do it and I can achieve it.”
“Fifteen years as an estate agent has given me a good robust awareness of the people in their homes and the investments and development worlds there as well,” he continues. “With home purchases, it’s always relational – big transitions like a new baby, kids moving away, marriage, divorce or death, they drive that change. I’m sensitive to that, and relating to people when there are traumatic drivers around those home moving decisions is what I like about this job.”
Health, Wellbeing the Place of LionHeart
As his core values, Reuben highlights physical and mental health. For him it is important to listen to your body and mind and take proper care of yourself. He also talks about his involvement in LionHeart, a charity for RICS professionals, past and present, and their families.
“Work can take over and it’s easy to just give up, especially when you’re running your own firm. I also think our culture bows down to work,” he explains. “It’s hard when we learn through burnout and through getting ill, or landing up in trouble physically or mentally that we need to look after ourselves. Then it’s too late.”
“I’m interested in giving back and I’m massively interested in mental health. I love that there is a charity for RICS members to support them with financial counselling and legal advice. I think in this time of COVID, there’s just a massive intensification of stress, pain and struggle, and I think LionHeart has got a really valuable place.”
The Experience of Running a SME Surveyor Business
Reuben continues talking about the experience of having his own business, how it has evolved and where he gets his support from.
“I’ve got strong networking, marketing and sales skills from my background,” he continues, “but I’m still developing that and discovering how to make that fit for surveying and valuation work. It’s a bit lonely being self-employed. Getting the support of peers is so important. I’ve built a team that’s continuing to evolve. That tunes into one of my core values, which is community and the family. The people around us in our work lives are our family, and having a community of support is massively involved in that.”
Empathy and Humour as a Surveyor’s Superpowers
In his personal life, Rueben has been through highs and lows. He talks about what he learned from living through personal tragedies and the importance of having empathy in the surveying business.
“My son Max drowned in 2005. That’s a very shocking and painful experience to go through, for a parent to lose a child. But from that, I think I’ve gained more sensitivity and empathy, and I value support, because I had to get up from a very low point and find a way forward. When I’m dealing with people who may be lost a family member or they’re getting divorced, there’s a level of connection, which I think I’m able to tune into. I’ve done a lot of personal development work. Having respect for others and their feelings and emotions is hugely important.“
“Fun is a really powerful thing,” he adds. “You don’t want to do pranks on your clients, but you do want to relate in a joking way. Sometimes it’s a really quick way to create a bond, let go of stress, feel close and feel some synergy.”
Reuben Miller is an MRICS Chartered Surveyor and RICS Registered Property Valuer with 20 years’ diverse real estate experience in a wide range of residential property types across London and the south-east. He works as a residential chartered surveyor and RICS valuer at RM Surveyors.
He holds a Master’s of Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in Property Development and Planning from London’s South Bank University, and is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS).
He is an expert in mortgage valuations for banks and building societies and a broad range of surveys and RICS valuations for home buyers, investors, corporates and charities.
Connect with Reuben Miller:
– LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/reubenmiller
– RM Surveyors https://rmsurveyors.co.uk/
– LionHeart https://www.lionheart.org.uk/
– How To Fail With Elizabeth Day https://www.elizabethdayonline.co.uk/
– Contact Marion https://lovesurveying.com/contact/