My journey to property: Louis Maycock, Senior Party Wall Surveyor
Louis Maycock is TFT’s newest Party Wall & Neighbourly Matters specialist. Since joining, Louis has been asked to help the Pyramus & Thisbe Club (party wall surveyors club) with its inclusivity initiatives for the industry. With National Inclusion Week on our minds, he told us that the industry is headed in the right direction, but says there is a lot more to be done.
How did you get into the industry and what led you to your current role?
I have always had an interest in property development (I blame the TV shows Homes Under the Hammer and Grand Designs for this!), so in the lead up to going to university, I wanted to find a degree course that would help me learn more about property development. The courses available at the time were not property development-specific, but were typically geared towards graduates becoming Building Surveyors.
On the week I graduated, I flicked through the yellow pages (shows my age) and called up every local building surveying practice seeking employment. Two weeks later I was invited for an interview and landed a job with Simon Levy Associates.
Although I was being trained as a Building Surveyor, my boss was making some landmark developments in the party wall world and I took keen interest in understanding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. After gradual exposure to party wall matters and a further post graduate study, I decided to focus all my energies into this service line and become a Party Wall Surveyor.
Have you come across any particular challenges within your role/the industry ?
I have had a wonderful career to date; one full of opportunities. I think the industry has come a long way in terms of diversity and inclusion, but we still have lots of work to do.
Amongst the party wall world, which is typically white male-dominated, I know only of only handful of surveyors that are Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), and even less that are women. This does not mean that industry is non-inclusive, we just simply need to demonstrate better that there are a variety of attractive careers within it for everyone.
Do you have any advice to give people who don’t know too much about it or who are considering going into the industry?
First and foremost, never believe that your ethnic background, colour, or gender will be a limiting factor to your success in this industry. Yes, you may not see loads of people who look like you physically reflected in the industry, but that is ok, be a part of the changing of history. Also, diversity comes in many forms, a lot being non-physical. Make an effort to get to know your colleagues’ backgrounds and you will find that everyone has unique experiences to share.
Our industry is full of so many different roles and career paths. Have a look on the RICS website and get a feel for all that we do, or better yet, reach out to firms and professionals; ask questions!
Oh, and last point(!), in terms of study, do make sure that your course is RICS-accredited!
Click here to view Louis’ full profile.