In the High Flyers spotlight this week is Chris Kirk, who has joined multi-award-winning Templeton Robinson estate agents as partner.
What was your first job?
At 18 I worked for ‘Jump Zone’ in the Odyssey. Basically, I catapulted people into the sky!
What qualifications do you have?
I have a MNAEA diploma in residential property.
What do you attribute your success to?
I would say I have a positive attitude to work and genuinely love this industry and my new role as partner within Templeton Robinson. Work is my passion and I love the fact that every day is so different, we get to meet so many interesting people and I love the buzz both we and our clients get when we get a sale or complete a rental. I actually did my work experience in Templeton Robinson some 20 years ago, so to come back in as a director feels like a homecoming!
How would you describe yourself to someone who hasn’t met you?
Passionate and (hopefully) fun to be around! I also would like to be thought of as loyal and trustworthy.
Who do you look up to in business?
A guy in Northern Ireland who I have a lot of respect for in business is Ashley French (French Village/Orto). He is driven, determined and passionate about what he does. He has built up a great business portfolio. On a global scale, it would be Steve Jobs, who took over Apple when it was struggling and basically turned the company through innovation to the point where the share price increased by 9,000 per cent.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
The world of estate agency is very fast-paced, busy and demanding. It is a job where everyone on the team has to roll their sleeves up and do whatever it takes to take care of your clients. That could be anything from driving the length of the country to do valuations, viewings, negotiating deals, to organising and overseeing rental agreements to even answering the phone. It’s essential therefore to lead by example and never ask a work colleague to do something that I wouldn’t do. I also try very hard to treat everyone fairly and equally and inject a bit of fun into our days!
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland what would it be?
The length of time from agreeing the sale, to getting into a legal and binding contract between vendor and purchaser. In Scotland, when your offer is accepted there is a binding commitment on both sides which greatly reduces the chance of the sale falling through.
What website or app could you not do without?
Twitter – it’s good for keeping me updated with the news and sport.
What was the last book you read?
The Gruffalo to my two-year-old son! It's my mission to leave the office each night on time to make sure I get home in time for this essential part of my day. On a personal level, I enjoy reading sporting autobiographies when I get a chance.
What car do you drive?
BMW 330e Salon (PHEV hybrid).
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I’m not superstitious about anything in life, but when I go into a house I must always go out the door I came in.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Without doubt it has to be sport, in particular, hockey, cricket and golf. I currently play for Instonians hockey club, but I am aware that my days are nearly numbered.
What do you do in your typical day?
I start the day with a large coffee. I like to get into the office early around 8am to get on top of emails, paperwork and my list for the day. It is then my role to take the morning team meeting at 8.30am. On a typical day I would have 2-4 valuations and a number of viewings, mostly around the South Belfast office. During office time it could be anything from answering calls and emails to meeting with perspective clients. No two days are the same, which I love.