Victoria Aspinall

Victoria is a retail property and asset management specialist with a total of 16 years experience across the real estate sector including retail and industrial agency.  She is committed to ensuring client’s asset values are protected and increased by active management of tenants, budgeting and marketing. 

What’s a Day Away from Work for Me?

A usual day away from the office will be family time for me spent with my husband and two children, aged 2 & a half and 4 months – having breakfast together, baking with my daughter, running around the local parks and being active.  Whilst I don’t get much chance these days to spend a lot of time on it, I also have a passion for photography so like to capture our escapades!

What is your mindset anthem?

For me, anything by Linkin Park motivates me, whether that’s to get a particular piece of work or project completed or when I’m running – the music keeps my focus and motivation on track.

What drives my passion for diversity?

Since I started working in property in 2001, there’s definitely been a shift in the male/female split in the property sphere.  I believe in equality rather than anything specifically pushing women purely for the statistics – getting ahead should be on merit, male or female. I have been lucky in my career to have worked with quite a few inspiring female surveyors however – both colleagues and clients – who have balanced having a family alongside being a fantastic professional.  SInce becoming a mother myself a couple of years ago, it’s made me a lot more time efficient in the workplace.  Let’s just say, if you can handle 2 kids under 3 with only a single buggy on a rainy day, it makes you pretty good at problem solving at the office!

Advice for those starting out?

A lot of frustrations I’ve heard from those starting out in property is that there is the expectation that everything will happen at once – property is complex and I’d say to anyone starting out that you do need to build your experience and knowledge as much as possible.  Attend as many CPD events as possible, get to know other surveyors – peers, elders, mentors and network – I’ve made so many property friends over the years and it’s a small industry so definitely don’t make any enemies!

Biggest Myth About What I Do?

Other than the standard “so are you an estate agent?” Query, the biggest myth if you can call it that is that anyone working in property management is only there to “change toilet rolls”.  Property and Asset Management surveyors actually keep the client’s assets performing, their money in on time and net income maximised.

What did you want to be growing up?

For a long period of time I wanted to be a primary school teacher, that was until I did work experience which completely put me off!  I intended on going into languages to study German and Business at university but wasn’t sure of my ultimate career path and decided to work for a year before making the decision.  I stumbled upon a role at Jones Lang Lasalle and never looked back!

How do I maintain my and my team’s motivation?

I feel quite fortunate to work within quite a close knit team who I would also call friends as well as colleagues.  The great thing about this is that we are there for one another, so I am always happy to help a junior member of staff with something they’ve never encountered before, or to solve a problem.  Then in turn, I’ve often found when I’ve had a lot of deadlines, the same team members will offer an extra pair of hands to support me.  I think even in tough or busy times, this “work family” culture really helps to keep motivation – and if all else fails, a lunch or beer on a Friday lunch time also helps!

Proudest Moment?

It would be either passing my APC or winning the Birmingham City University Alumnus prize for post graduate achievement.  

Work life:

My company; Colliers International

Job Title: Associate Director, Investment Property and Asset Management – Retail Focussed

What I do: Essentially I keep client’s/investor’s assets performing – this can involve minimising voids, ensuring tenant’s invoices are paid and money with the client, increasing net income, budgeting and reconciling service charges including planned maintenance to keep assets in good condition, dealing with tenant matters and as I work in the retail sector, my role also involves marketing of shopping centres, increasing footfall and essentially working with tenants to make their businesses perform.  End of the day, if the tenants are trading well, they will be more likely to pay their rents!

How have I developed a sense of self confidence and belief?

I have always had a thirst for learning so if I encounter anything – work or otherwise – that I dont know what it is, or enough about it, I have to research it to feel satisfied that I understand it.  This thirst for knowledge has meant I’ve never got complacent in skills or information learnt some 15 years ago at university and am always looking to keep up to date and informed.  Knowledge is power as they say and whilst you can never know everything of course, if you know yourself that you are well read, it helps you believe in your abilities and is empowering.

Top challenge as a woman/juggling work life balance?

For me personally, juggling working full time with children has been a challenge and whilst the burden doesn’t solely fall on my head to look after them of course, I am always conscious to maintain a professional position as an associate director in the office but also be there every day if I can for my children.  I value my family and I also value my career and sense of self.  I find that since having children I am more focussed at work and would say that a lot of my professional achievements have been since having my daughter in 2016.  I have to be out of the office by 5.15pm so I dont have the option any more to work late.  This knowledge makes my decision making a lot more efficient and I am very focussed.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/victoria-aspinall-32481249 

Twitter: @vickygoodwin83 and you can also follow Colliers Shopping Centre Team at @CI_shopcentres for updates, articles and shopping centre news