testimonial – Jake Loftus
I joined Townsend Chartered Surveyors in January 2017 having spent time managing property in Spain following my graduation from Newcastle University in 2016 with a degree in Countryside Management.
Within six weeks of starting I had been given responsibility for the day-to-day management of an estate, and was soon assisting with a vast array of different work including planning appraisals, BPS applications and mapping queries.
Managing this I have been involved with every aspect of rural estate management; from renovating estate cottages to carrying a major planning application from the initial design stage to submission of the application, and afterwards handling negotiations with the local planning authority. I have been given the opportunity to run with my own ideas, while at all times having the close support of the whole office.
Working closely with the firm’s senior partner I have also been involved with litigious dealings with tenants, handled a dilapidations claim from the outset including negotiating with other agents, and carried out and assisted with valuations of various types, including a leasehold enfranchisement valuation of a former pub and multiple Inheritance Tax valuations of different property types.
From the outset I have also been encouraged to try my hand at more agency-focused areas of the firm’s work. This has included property agency, where I prepared a 200 acre dairy farm for sale, dealt with the owners and prospective purchasers, and drew up the particulars and plans. I have also been involved with the marketing of woodland, fielding enquiries from prospective purchasers and negotiating boundary issues with the purchasers.
In addition to this my favourite job at the firm has been entitlement trading. In my first trading season I assisted with selling Non-SDA before being given responsibility toward the end of the season for SDA and SDA-Moorland. Realising that this was what I enjoyed most and where my talents lay, the firm encouraged me to get more involved with the trading and I was soon given responsibility for the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish trading desks as well as SDA and SDA-Moorland in England. This proved a rewarding challenge as I furthered the firm’s reputation across the UK, resulting in a record number of sales in the Scottish market and helped cement the firm’s name as the UK’s leading entitlement agents.
In terms of professional development I was given the opportunity to take my CAAV exams in my first year, passing the written exam, and then being made a Fellow of the association in December 2018 after passing the practical and oral exams. I have also been given support with starting my APC, encouraged to go on CPD events and have been given six weeks per year to undertake a part-time RICS-accredited master’s degree at Harper Adams University.
The responsibility and trust I have been given during my time with Townsend Chartered Surveyors has enabled me to develop my existing skills as well as new ones, and I have learnt a huge amount.
Jake Loftus joined the Estate Management team at Strutt and Parker in St Albans.