PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, DEVELOPMENT, INVESTMENTS…& IMPROV COMEDY!
An intriguing combination and one that demands excellent time management (not to mention timing) to pull off. With the Edinburgh Festival well under way this week’s ‘Day in the Life’ focuses on Peter Aitchison, MD of Property Management Firm, Biggar & Hay Ltd and member of ‘To Be Continued’, an improvised comedy group playing to sell out crowds at the Festival this month.
So just how does he manage to combine the two? And does the coworking community at Collabor8te provide him with an endless source of material……?
Tell us about your business…
I have been the founder and director of Biggar & Hay Ltd since March 2016, but I have been in the property industry since University when I bought a flat and let it out to course mates to pay my way! In 2000 I set up, and remain a partner of, P & M Investments building up a property portfolio which contains both residential and commercial property. My portfolio is primarily based in Glasgow, but I invest elsewhere in Scotland too. In the last few years I have begun to manage properties for clients in addition to my own.
As demand has grown for this service, particularly from overseas investors, I have expanded my business to include advice and assistance in identifying and purchasing property for investment, and thereafter providing a development, letting and management service as required. Many clients use the full service, but I pride myself on offering a tailored product for clients and I’m responsive to individual requirements. Because of this, the job is diverse and I have to wear many hats, but all that is part of the joy of being self employed.
There is no typical day for me, but most days will include some or all of the following – researching the market and legislation to keep up to date; liaising with clients, designers, tradesmen, suppliers, retailers and tenants; and admin, social media and accounts. Oh, and this month, every now and again, I’ll check the tickets sales for the evening show!
Why Coworking at Collabor8te?
Access to meeting rooms and flexible desk booking policies mean that I can drop in and catch up on paperwork and meet clients, whilst still being hands on in the management of property projects across Scotland. The excellent WiFi means that I can Skype my overseas clients easily too.
What do you do on non-work days?
As the intro suggests, my main passion is for all things comedy. At the moment I am performing at the Edinburgh Fringe in a show called ‘Absolute Improv’. It’s on every night in August and has a similar format to ‘Whose Line is it Anyway….?’ The great thing about improv is the transferable skills. Confidence you can think on your feet, being able to say YES AND to all ideas rather than NO CAN”T, listening, public speaking, communication and dare I say it – every now and again – being funny! All great skills to help you perform better at your day job. I also love spending time with my family: cycling; sailing; going to the park or anything that tires out two very active under 4s!
What are your 3 top tips for success in business?
- Understand, evolve and treat with equal importance – where you are now, the journey you will go on and where you want to get to.
- Listen, listen, listen. Do not write off or ignore advice and opinions that you do not like.
- Embrace, expect and prepare for change, it is the only thing we can guarantee.
Check Peter out at the Fringe – buy tickets here
Coworking means different things to different people, and frequently different things to the same people on different days! Collabor8te is a hive of industry, activity and entrepreneurial energy. The facilities – including the mix of desk spaces and meeting rooms – mean that you can work on your own business, whilst enjoying the community and networking opportunities at your own pace.
The monthly packages are flexible to suit your business needs as they develop. Coworking can benefit a whole range of business types – whether you are a service based company or product focused. But don’t take our word for it – in this ‘Day in the Life of’ series we aim to give you a flavour of the mix of businesses that operate from our Montrose Street base, and let you hear from our members what coworking at Collabor8te means to them. Check out our space.