Angela Lowe, senior director based in CBRE’s Edinburgh office, on how she joined the property industry, her top TV and music picks, how she would spend a million pounds and her number-one travel destination.
How did you join the property industry?
A friend from school provided me with information on a job doing “business space” at Healey & Baker that sounded interesting. I did not have a property degree and my only relevant experience was working for a residential estate agency during summer holidays. So, when offered the job and a place on a conversion course at the College of Estate Management, I jumped at the opportunity. Studying while working was hard, but it is a great way to learn while gaining experience at the same time.
What does your job entail?
Offices are my passion and it’s something I’m focusing on. I advise landlords on new developments, refurbishments, lettings and sales. The office market is going through a design revolution due to global influences such as climate change and Covid-19. ESG and the user experience are all in sharp focus and influencing all our projects, from the refurbishment of period properties to large, new offices in city centre and business park locations that will compete on a global stage.
I also work with businesses on their occupational strategies. I enjoy learning about their business needs and drivers, then implementing a strategy that often involves finding them a new home. Offices are no longer just a commodity but an important part of the culture of a business and the talent agenda.
What do you like most about the property industry?
The culture. No day is the same. The projects, people and passion are what make it so great.
And what do you dislike most about it?
The lack of diversity, I am afraid to say. While we are seeing improvements that should have a positive impact in the future, there is currently a lack of senior females in the agency market.
What would you change about the property industry?
I would love to see more innovation.
A lot of things have not changed since I started. Better use of technology and data must be the key to this.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
Continuing to be relevant in a fast-changing world – you want to be at the forefront. I have always been a bit of a swot and enjoy learning, so I spend a lot of my spare time on personal development and upskilling.
What are you most proud of in your career?
The Charlotte Square Collection is a project I am very proud to have been a part of. Having worked on it since its inception, the team set a new standard in the refurbishment of these buildings, originally designed by Robert Adam in 1791. From establishing the brand through to securing occupiers new to both the square and Edinburgh, the location has been transformed.
What do you value in people?
Integrity is so important. I have benefited from great mentoring throughout my career and learnt from some of the best, who have had long and successful careers by treating people with respect and having a strong moral compass.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
Focus on developing your business and client relationships at the outset. It is never too early to get out there!