60 seconds with Zo Walheim - Chartered Building Surveyor Team Leader, Earl Kendrick Associates

This month we had the pleasure of meeting Zoë Walheim - Chartered Building Surveyor — Team Leader, Earl Kendrick Associates.

Scroll down to find out about Zoë's role, her proudest moment and what she needs a wetsuit for!  

You qualified as a Chartered Surveyor in 2014, how long have you been working at Earl Kendrick?

Since qualifying in 2014 I’ve been with Earl Kendrick for just over three years which has been really great as through that time the company has grown, we have rebranded, and we’ve opened regional offices both in Brighton and Manchester – it’s been a really exciting time.

What does your role include on a day to day basis?

It’s completely varied throughout each day, week and months; it involves quality assurance checking from work completed by my team and assisting them with running projects on site whilst undertaking my own projects, onsite inspections of buildings, preparing planned maintenance reports, as well as climbing scaffolding and inspecting contractors works!  There are also lots of financial reviews with excel spreadsheets too which makes it very varied.

What do you feel makes Earl Kendrick different in the market place?

I think the difference is that we realise it’s such a personal social environment working with occupied buildings.  Because we work predominately in the residential sector you are working in people’s homes and with members of the public.  Typically we are working with people who don’t understand the technical aspects of a building and how contracts are run, so we try to make it into a people business and make things as easy to understand and as clear as possible.

Who do you admire most in the industry?

My true interest in buildings is in heritage work, so surveyors who work on listed and ancient buildings, and have a real understanding of the archaeology and assessment of the materials that are used is what most interests me.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Take notes!! Make sure you record absolutely everything, from a telephone conversation, emails, text on your phone, and making sure you have a record of everything throughout a project so that you can determine your clients brief and ensure that you have met it correctly.

What is your proudest achievement?

Becoming Chartered was a real milestone for me, and since then opening the Brighton office.  We’ve opened it because we have clients on the south coast already; lots of the property managers we work with have clients who have a diverse freehold portfolio that isn’t necessarily restricted to a specific region.

What drives you crazy about the property management sector?

Within property management, because you are dealing with lots of members of the public who don’t necessarily understand the technical aspects, lots of people have very different opinions on how things should be run or how services should be provided so it can’t be challenging.  No day is the same and no project is ever the same either.

We hear you like wild swimming, tell us about that….

Part of it is living by the coast, I can’t walk past the beach without wanting to get in!   I’ve recently participated in the Great North Swim, a 2 mile challenge, and earlier this year swam a mile in the Serpentine.  Throughout the summer, as well in the winter now I have a thicker wetsuit, I always find the time to be out there.