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We’re pleased to welcome Dan to the team, and look forward to helping him to achieve his business development aims in his new role as Associate in the Reading-based business rates team. 

We spoke to Dan to find out a bit more about him – from his earliest job doing a paper round, to his self-professed useless ability to ride a mountain bike on one wheel!

So, where are you joining Vail Williams from? 

I am joining Vail Williams from Flude Commercial on the south coast, and before that, worked for commercial real estate services and investment firm, CBRE in London for 3 years. 

What do you specialise in?

I have specialised in business rates for the past 6 years now, helping clients to save money on their business rate liabilities – both historic and future.

What attracted you to your new post at Vail Williams?

I was attracted to Vail Williams both by recommendations from friends who already work there, but also by its reputation in the marketplace. 

For me, the main draw is the people, I left my interview with a strong feeling that I would fit in the rest of the team and I liked the firm’s values and focus on staff development. 

What are your ambitions in the role? 

I would like to increase Vail Williams’ market share in terms of rates advice in the Thames Valley region. I think that there are a lot of over assessed properties in the current 2017 Rating List, so there is a great deal of opportunity to take advantage of in my new role.

What’s the best thing about working in property, and why?

I enjoy the variety that each day can bring - even in rating! And of course, there is the social side of surveying too, which I enjoy.

What was your first ever job? 

I had a paper round when I was at school. It was 7 days a week, but admittedly my parents occasionally drove me around if the weather was particularly bad!

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

In terms of my work, I was told to take 10 minutes to make a to do list each day, and then to start with the hardest item on the list.

If you had to recommend a good book, what would it be, and why?

Orwell’s 1984. I appreciate it isn’t the most uplifting read, but I enjoyed it and think it was well ahead of its time in some respects.

Tell us a surprising fact about yourself

I like to think that I enjoy living life in the moment. In my last year at university, I picked up my girlfriend, Raimonda, after her shift finished at the local bar at 2am one Saturday morning. Naturally, we grabbed our passports and drove towards the Channel Tunnel. We just drove and ended up in Amsterdam just before lunchtime. We stayed one night and had a great time visiting all the sights but had to rush back in time for her next shift on the Sunday evening. It was great to be spontaneous – it helps to ensure life remains exciting! Raimonda is Lithuanian and 8 years down the line, I am still ‘trying’ to learn the language! Labas!

Have you ever had a hair-raising moment, if so, what was it? 

Whilst at University I managed to impale myself on a metal security fence when going to collect my bike from the locked grounds of the squash courts where I had played the day before. I slipped as I was trying to get over fence, and thankfully I leant backwards rather than forwards so the two spikes that went into my tummy didn’t hit any organs – one of the spikes went in and out!

What’s your favourite band?

At the moment I am listening to Queens of the Stone Age. Like most people I try to appreciate good music regardless of the genre. I have discovered some great stuff listening to BBC 6 Music.

If you could work in any other profession, what would it be and why?

If being a Formula One driver was not an option, I would probably want to work in law. At university I found the legal modules really interesting.