A day in the life of a Bell Ingram Land Agent - by Sarah Tyson, Head of Valuations
Variety is the spice of life for Sarah Tyson, Partner in Perth’s Rural Land Management Department.
Spread across 10 offices, our land agents in Scotland and the north of England oversee many hundreds of thousands of hectares across our clients’ private and corporate estates, dealing with anything from property sales and valuations to managing estate staff or dealing with nature conservation issues.
While life out of the office is perhaps the most interesting part of the job, an office-based day still involves many different tasks and liaison via telephone and email with the wider team involved in each project.
The number and spread of jobs on the go at any one time means it is important to be a quick thinker and have the ability to switch between tasks.
To give you a feel for the variety the job has to offer and demonstrate the extent of what we can do, we take you through a typical working day in the office for experienced Land Agent, Sarah Tyson.
Email advising client on prices for private sale of farmland and buildings in Perthshire.
Pulling together key heads of terms, including price, to put to a client’s neighbour who needs to bring a water pipe across the client’s property in Ayrshire, including technical details for road crossing as provided by engineer.
Discussion with colleagues over a valuation needed for a Scottish property involved in a divorce case likely to go to court in England.
Arranging estate meeting with keeper, farm manager and handyman for Estate in Inverness-shire. Also dealing with invoices and contract for house cleaning firm for same estate.
Liaising with lawyer, QC and client over telecom mast site on a farm which is going to Scottish Land Tribunal hearing.
Writing to clients regarding proposal received to buy stone from derelict farm buildings following site meeting last week and further review of repairs to farm buildings.
Checking terms for Perthshire farm sale after offer received by sales department.
Dealing with enquiry for AMC funding from a purchaser who wishes to buy a property for use as farm shop and play area. Advised he speaks to local planning authority in Aberdeenshire as first step.
Reviewing comparable properties and draft report with a colleague valuing a high value residential property in the west of Scotland.
Providing fee estimates for valuation of land sales to neighbours, probate/ inheritance tax valuations and advice on purchase of buildings adjacent to client’s existing farmhouse, all in central Scotland.
Discussion with third parties over level of payment for timber extraction access to be taken over an existing forestry road in my client’s woodland, central Scotland.
Checking information provided by client for review of values required prior to transfer of estate in Inverness-shire to his children, including hydro-electric scheme and wind turbine, farmland, cottages and deer stalking rights.
Reviewing heads of terms for option and lease from a windfarm developer.
Reviewing salary levels for client’s staff on a managed estate, together with overall staff packages including vehicle, clothing allowance, telephone etc.
Liaison with estate contractors on nesting bats and owls, and electricity disconnection/re-routing for building due to be demolished.
Completing valuations for purchase of woodland and farms for pension fund providers, central Scotland.
And the everyday tasks of being a professional such as doing timesheets, issuing fees and keeping everything on the right file – whether hard copy or electronic.
Land agents are certainly Jacks and Jills of all trades, covering a breadth of geographical locations, types of work, people encountered, knowledge bases and challenges.
Whether you are a landowner, tenant or professional adviser wondering who can help you out with a property issue, get in touch with your local office – one of our team will probably have experience of exactly your issue.
If you are considering a career in rural property, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling us a bit about yourself and your aspirations. We are happy to consider those looking for a change of career as well as those seeking graduate opportunities – a lot of land managers started their working life in a different job!