She has recently joined the Property Asset Management team in the Solent, as an Associate from commercial real estate and investment services firm, CBRE in London.
Deborah specialises in property asset management, service charge management and contract management, and has just completed an interim role with Aspire Defence Services, where she managed Ministry of Defence mixed-use assets as part of the Project Allenby Connaught PFI.
We spoke to her to find out more about what makes her tick – here’s a clue, Peewee, Powderfinger and Pamplona.
How long were you at CBRE and what did you specialise in?
I worked for CBRE for 5 years between 2010 and 2015. I specialised in the property and asset management of mixed-use, national property portfolio/s on behalf of financial institutions, local authority pension fund managers and high net worth individuals.
What attracted you to your new post at Vail Williams?
I was attracted to the post because of Vail Williams’ reputation in the regional market, as well as both its size and potential.
What are your ambitions in the role?
My ambition is to work with the team to raise the profile of Vail Williams’ property asset management team and be instrumental in growing the department.
What’s the best thing about working in property, and why?
It has to be the variety. Each day offers up different challenges to tackle and resolve, and this is something that really motivates me.
What was your first ever job?
Working on my parent’s property. I was made to work for a very small pay packet at a very young age! I had a variety of jobs – from cotton picking, mustering and sheep drafting, to getting up at 5am to milk our dairy cows, feed the smaller animals (chickens, sheep dogs, orphaned lambs/calves), and all before catching the school bus at 7am to travel 70kms to the nearest primary school!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I have two. “If the light isn’t on at the end of the tunnel, walk up there and turn it on yourself!” and “Always manage property as if you are the client”.
If you had to recommend a good book, what would it be, and why?
I am a bookworm and can think of several, but my current favourite is Bryce Courtney’s Four Fires – a tale of perseverance through adversity, as a family strives to rise up the social ladder, in spite of those who seek to keep them down.
Tell us a surprising fact about yourself
I learnt to ride a motorbike at the age of 5. I was the proud owner of a little Honda Peewee 50.
Have you ever had a hair-raising moment, if so, what was it?
I ran in the Pamplona Festival (Running of the Bulls) in 2002… Never again!
What’s your favourite band?
Australian rock band, Powderfinger.
If you could work in any other profession, what would it be and why?
Architecture or interior design. I love old buildings with character and learning about their history. I particularly enjoy visiting quirky interior design schemes.