With a team of 40 staff at Oakley, we've plenty of people to introduce you to that can help with your property needs. This week, we'd like to introduce you to one of our Commercial Team members, Leigh Doherty. Leigh helps our clients by valuing all types of commercial property from land to restaurants. In addition to this, he supports the process of negotiating terms whether it be on a freehold or leasehold basis.
How long have you worked in the Property industry?
I have been working in the industry for 24 years. I left college and travelled the streets of Brighton in search of a job in the property industry because I'd always had an interest in property. I handed my CV in to a local commercial agent, and was fortunate enough to get invited to an interview and was successful in getting the role of ‘Junior Negotiator’. This was my first property focused job which lasted for 13 years, until I eventually left and focused my career in the Residential sector for a while, before finding myself returning to Commercial property once more in my role at Oakley Property.
What do you like most about working with Commercial Property owners and tenants?
No two jobs are the same as an agent and this keeps my work interesting. I love meeting new people and genuinely find it interesting learning about a prospective tenant's business idea. It's an exciting time to meet a business owner, when they have a vision in their mind of their perfect property and how they're going to fit it out and I can help them make this become a reality by negotiating the right terms. As well as dealing with new businesses, on the client side, I have dealt with some vendors for over 10 years so would call them friends rather than clients.
What has been the most memorable commercial property that you have sold or let?
It would have to be a fishing pond I let. Not the most glamorous thing to mention but I will never forget it. My colleagues thought I was mad and when it came to valuing it, I have to admit that I struggled but, I managed to find a tenant and the rest is history.
During your career, have you noticed any changes in commercial property trends in the local area?
Generally, the commercial market has shrunk due to the sheer amount of residential development within Brighton & Hove. Looking back to when I started, the Town as it was then is almost unrecognisable and we are even valuing ‘air space’ (the potential to build on top of an existing building) which is a norm in London that is now becoming more necessary in the city of Brighton and Hove too.
Do you have any outside hobbies that help you perform at work?
I recently auditioned for the Wedding Singer Musical and managed to land a main part for which I’m really proud of. I have never danced, sang or even acted before so perhaps it’s a mid-life crisis! It certainly helps with my presentation skills! Most of my evenings are taken up with rehearsing now, because the show opens soon on the last week of October (Tickets are still available at www.blods.co.uk ) I hope to see some friendly faces in the audience!
What do you like most about working at Oakley?
My favourite part about working for Oakley is the staff, which is what everyone else has said in their Meet the Team blogs too. We are almost like a family here and I know that I can rely on any of my colleagues, at any time. It's a very supportive working environment.
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