Savills Ireland’s director of development and consultancy on fatherhood, graveyards and ice cream.
What is the worst travel experience you’ve had while working in the property industry?
Running out of petrol on the M1 outside Dublin, in a single lane of traffic due to construction works, at rush hour and in the height of summer. My passenger refused to get out and push the car – he thought I was joking. We were very late for an important meeting.
What has been your most embarrassing industry moment?
Mistakenly interviewing the son of one of Dublin’s largest developers for a job in our company, when the meeting was meant to be about discussing our appointment as a lead property adviser on the family portfolio. Questions about what grades he secured in college did not bode well for getting the appointment.
What’s the best work decision you ever made?
Not to take my first job based on salary but going to the firm with the best people. Also, constantly upskilling and making an effort to move around different sectors to gain more experience.
What’s your greatest work achievement?
Building the best development consultancy team in Ireland.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To employ people who are better than you, as they will help drive you and the business forward.
What was the best industry after-party you’ve attended?
It was a Ballymore function. Sean Mulryan and his team know how to throw the best parties.
What’s your business motto?
Lead by example.
Who is your business idol?
Willie Walsh of International Airline Group.
What’s your favourite property in Ireland?
Ballyfin House, outside Abbeyleix in Co Laois. It’s a great example of what conservation should look like.
Who do you most admire in the industry?
Irish housebuilders. They’ve had a tough few years, but their importance to the Irish economy and the delivery of housing stock is now being understood.
What’s the best thing about the industry?
No matter your background, it’s your ability and results that count.
And the worst?
The sector is still very male dominated. It is changing, but slowly.
If you weren’t in your currentpost, what would be your dream job?
Stockbroker. I love watching the ups and downs of the market and dealmaking.
What one thing would you change about the industry if you could?
I would streamline the legal process.
What could have the biggest impact on the industry in the next 10 years?
The retail built environment is going through a revolution. What the impact will be is yet to be fully understood.
What was the first record you ever bought?
George Harrison’s Got My Mind Set on You – cringe.
What was your first car?
A Honda Civic in boy-racer black.
What’s your ideal holiday?
Two weeks in Uzès in the south of France. No phone or internet access and a cache of good books.
What was your childhood ambition?
To be financially independent, but the plan to be an archaeologist was never going to achieve this.
What’s your favourite way to relax?
A good antiques auction or going for a long run.
What’s your culinary guilty pleasure?
Vanilla ice cream with an espresso thrown over it.
Do you have any weird, unusual or exciting hobbies?
I like to visit graveyards in other countries. It’s always interesting to see the different customs around burials. I went to one in a small village in Austria, where nearly every grave had a single lit candle. It left a very strong impression of community.
If you had a dinner party and could invite three famous people, alive or dead, who would they be and why?
Robin Williams, Billy Connolly and Peter O’Toole – I enjoy a good laugh.
What’s the best restaurant you’ve been to?
Locally, Weirs in Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath, and Le Mas Candille in the south of France.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Central Park, New York.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
I would be less worried about what other people think and ensure my two daughters are the same. People with this mindset are more liberated to do what is right for them.
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Five minutes with: Mark Reynolds (Savills Ireland)