Adrian Lunn, head of property group Eddisons’ Sheffield office, on how he got started in property, his top TV and music picks, the celebrity he would most like to meet and his number-one travel destination
How did you join the property industry?
Standard route really, via an urban land economics degree at Sheffield Polytechnic from 1983 to 1987. I didn’t know anything about property, nor anyone in it, but I liked the urban aspects of geography so I found this course, which looked like it would also get me a job.
What does your job entail?
Two and a half years ago, I was asked to set up a brand-new Eddisons office in Sheffield. My job was to establish it and grow it into one of the leading property consultancies in the region, which we are now in the process of doing. It has been hard work but fun. Sheffield firm Fernie Greaves joined the group just over a year ago, with another acquisition imminent.
What do you like most about the property industry?
We are lucky to be able to get a real insight into a huge variety of businesses, from Sheffield’s steel foundries, restaurants and offices, to its factories, warehouses, residential blocks, hotels and bars. Meeting clients, agents, occupiers and other people involved in the industry – and the professional network you build and create – means there is high level of job satisfaction.
The opportunity to help make a difference to the community you work in, and love, is also a great privilege.
And what do you dislike most about it?
Its lack of diversity, on both a class and an ethnicity basis. Things have improved over the past decade but there is still a long way to go.
What would you change about the property industry?
I would make it more accessible. The industry needs to make itself more welcoming and market itself better to schools and younger people, and it is great that Eddisons has done a lot on apprenticeships. Organisations such as the Regeneration Brainery, for which I have been a mentor, are doing good work in this space.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
I am from a working-class community where education was not considered a priority. My first challenge was to learn how to learn, in an environment where educational achievement was not overly encouraged.
Playing football helped me enormously and I was lucky that I qualified for a full grant for a polytechnic, as my parents did not earn that much – it gave me the chance I needed. I worry that the current student-loan situation deters less-well-off young people from going on to higher education.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I am so proud of my daughter Yasmine Lunn qualifying as a chartered surveyor and winning the national Women in Property Award as a student. I would like to think that her understanding of how much I love my job has influenced her in her own career choice and success.
What do you value in people?
Hard work, a sense of humour and not taking themselves too seriously. I value anyone who places importance on making people feel at ease in any situation.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
Build your own network.
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