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089. Positivity, YSOYA and Supporting RICS with Rory Murphy
Episode 8914th July 2022 • The Surveyor Hub Podcast • Marion Ellis
00:00:00 01:02:21

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How do you continue to maintain a positive mindset and attitude?

A positive attitude - even if it is just a smile - improves the way people see you (and even your company). Positivity is infectious and being enthusiastic and optimistic can often make other people follow suit.

In this episode, your host chartered surveyor, industry coach and mentor Marion Ellis chats to Rory Murphy, Commercial Director for Vinci Facilities. Rory is also the chair of the Member Engagement, Experience and Value working group within the RICS.

Marion and Rory talk about everything from what it means to be positive, They also talk about "Young Surveyor of the Year" awards and Rory’s work supporting the RICS.

Wherever you are, listening to this podcast - whether it is driving around in your car or walking the dog - we hope you enjoy the conversation.

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Transcripts

Marion Ellis 0:01

Welcome to the Surveyor Hub Podcast. I'm Marion Ellis. In today's episode, I'm chatting to Rory Murphy from Vinci facilities. And we talk about everything from what it means to be positive, young surveyor of the year and Lori's work supporting the IRCS. Wherever you are listening to this, whether it's walking the dog, or driving around in your car, then I hope you enjoy the conversation. Hello, Rory, really good to have you on the podcast today.

Rory Murphy 0:36

lovely to be here. But I've been looking forward to this.

Marion Ellis 0:39

Do you know what I haven't been really excited? And I was thinking is because I'm excited to talk to you. But it's not.

Rory Murphy 0:46

It's not been actually given.

Marion Ellis 0:50

Because it's the first time I've recorded a podcast in a couple of months. And I've really missed it. So obviously, I'm excited to talk to you but I'm more excited to be getting into it, which is good. Again, that's good. And typically, because I've now decided to record a podcast, my IKEA delivery will be here in about half an hour. Yeah, that's fine. If we get a bit of a disruption, then we'll just have to deal with it. I'm gonna set shelves and a mirror.

Rory Murphy 1:23

Building and while whilst we're talking, that's fine. If I'm less interested in an Ikea bookcase, then I'm not sure that podcast is going to end well.

Marion Ellis 1:33

Rory Introduce yourself because they'd be whilst a lot of people know you there are a lot of people who have no idea who you are, introduce yourself to the listeners.

Rory Murphy 1:42

nds. We've got two and a half:

Marion Ellis 2:41

I know, I asked people, you know, on the podcast, and as people that, you know, some surveys have heard of earners. Some of my favourites are surveys that no one's ever heard of. Could you get some really interesting conversations? But I want to I had you on the podcast because I'm quite interested to know more about you and your work. And I think we met I think, probably at an awards do might have been Young Surveyor of the Year awards a couple of years ago, I think it was. Yeah, and I remember going, I'm feeling really nervous because I didn't know anybody. And you were so welcoming and friendly. And that was nice. So thank you for that. Welcome. Sometimes we go to these events or these networking things. And, you know, it's quite a big ask sometimes, but and I remember I had to nip off to get the last train at 20 past 10. So I missed all the shenanigans that go on. youngster over the year award. They've actually just announced I'll put a link in the show notes. It's out, isn't it? You can start applying for the next one.

Rory Murphy 3:49

Yeah, and I definitely encourage people to get involved in that. And we want one is easily one of the best nights of the year in terms of the actual award ceremony because it's so much energy in terms of there being 250 young surveyors in the room. But, but in terms of Yeah, the whole judging that the whole principle of sort of celebrating the best talent is, yeah, it's fantastic. And, yeah, 100% a lot of people support it. I mean, I'm judging again this year in the Facilities Management Asset Management category. So, but yeah, it always amazes me. I love judging it because you get a real perspective of young careers. And sometimes I'm absolutely astounded by how far people have gotten their careers in the first few years, their careers make me feel pretty prolific. And then on the night is great to see because as a judge, you judge your own category. And then ultimately, you judge the winners of each of the other categories for the young thread. Yeah, so you get to see. Yeah, really fascinating, sort of, sort of VISTA across all the disciplines within RCS. So it's really a fantastic event in itself. And two, I think it's a brilliant idea in terms of generating To excitement around videos, but yeah, it's fantastic.

Marion Ellis 5:03

nt that they had was November:

Rory Murphy 5:40

Get a guest speaker slot next time.

Marion Ellis 5:43

Oh, God, no. But you know, what I was, what I really found insightful was that you know, I sometimes, you know, in my head, I'm very residential surveying that's, you know, my, my background. But there are people who listen to this podcast, who are Q SS, or who do rural or minerals or, or whatever. And, and that really struck me that other people are interested in this podcast. So I was quite pleased to get that.

Rory Murphy 6:12

Yeah, that's good. Yeah, yeah. And, as you say, it's a celebration. I mean, your podcast reaches out to the whole surveying profession, but it puts sometimes we can get sort of siloed in terms of the sort of roles we do. And, yeah, that's why I love the unsparing here because you get such a wide variety of sort of skills and backgrounds. And, and if Yeah, the other thing about that particular event for me in terms of on the evening is that one, one is pretty much all the people from their own businesses. So you have the people that have helped in their careers, but their mentors, so it becomes quite tribal, it is wonderful, because you can see the excitement, and the support from the businesses, which all these young people work for, but also that from their support from their peers and everything else. It's yeah, it's massively motivated. For us that helps lead the profession to the answers that come through.

Marion Ellis 7:03

Yet it is. Yeah, it's really positive and encouraging. And, this year, I'm judging the mentor of the Year category. In the past, I've judged the residential and the valuation. And what struck me particularly residential is that a lot of SMEs are people who work for themselves. And I think that's great that they, you know, that they put themselves forward to do that. And if anybody wants to have a chat about how to go about it, you know, maybe we'll do a podcast or get a webinar or something sorted, because I think it's really important that, that people do that. So I will see you on the night again. Be very glad rags on. You mentioned, you know, in your intro, at the start, you talked about the business that you work for you went straight into numbers. Tell me about what you actually do. You talked about FM, that's facilities management. Yeah. Yeah. What actually is that?

Rory Murphy 8:02

say we've got two and a half:

Marion Ellis:

I want to make a joke about FM and being a radio DJ, but I can't say

Rory Murphy:

one of the things when I came into it, I came from a construction background and we'll get on to why ended up in FM but FM when I came into it 12 to 13 years ago, had had this sort of image that it was all cleaning and soft services. And one of the reasons I got involved with the RICS was that I wanted to help professionalise people's perceptions. The industry was professional, I think people had a perception of RSFM they just do the cleaning, or they do the toilets, or they do it well, it's much more technical than that. And, and what sets so I suppose what I've seen over the last 12 years, or what I've wanted to champion I think is that I want to attract people into the FM sector, so as surveyors or facilities managers or anything else so so it's been really important for me to show that looking after complex assets is a complex project and over the time over so where we are now in terms of the whole digital built environment and how we use technology has come on massively in facilities management sector and is now again, another exciting thing to attract people into the business. So So yeah, so it's funny with FM I think people either you think they work for a radio station, or they think you're a cleaner or a caterer. So, so yes, so my whole role in life is just to get another note is it's a fantastic industry, it's very technical, then please come and work here.

Marion Ellis:

If there is any consolation as a residential value you spend half your time arguing with people are what the Daily Mail thinks house prices are going to do. Yeah, you know, you can't wait. Let me ask you about you know, how you got started as a surveyor because we do like a good career journey. How'd you get it?

Rory Murphy:

So I mean, it is traditional in some ways when I look back, and in terms of I, I joined table drivers, it was a construction business at 18. I did my A levels back in 1986, which was a reflection was a World Cup year, and I put pretty much zero effort into my reflection, I think I spent an awful lot of time watching football and getting out and then when I looked at my level results in summer was highly disappointed with how football. So I spent a few months thinking am I going to university or not, with the grades I've got, I'm not sure I've got many, many offers anyway, and ultimately, I decided to go into work. And I took a job as a trainee Qs I didn't know what QoS was with a construction business in my hometown in Portsmouth and we were building a huge at the time, city centre redevelopment. So I joined that as a trainee QMS. And I loved it and got loads of responsibility very quickly. I mean, as a youngster, I had friends who had gone into work in banks or gone into other roles back when we were sort of at 19. And within a year or two, I've I felt I was being responsible for a whole plethora of things where they were still developing so. So I suppose I went into that and went on to a day-release sort of programme. So I could stand up and put up release myself, but I don't really study. So. So I did that for three or four years in terms of just developing myself working four days a week and a colleague one day a week. And then as you grow through that, that project finished after three or four years and then went on to run as know become a fully qualified QA s and then look after my own projects. And then ultimately through time, look after a sort of basket of projects. And ultimately right through to about 2006 became the commercial director for all our high-rise complex projects within the UK is totally dry. But in the interim through, I mean, through that those 20 years, I also did some other roles in terms of design management, and I did construction management for two or three years at BIA at the airports all with the same employer. I've been with the same employer for my whole career, which again, is probably unusual these days. But I've got an awful lot of experience of the built environment and not just being a surveyor. But and through that, I've got my qualifications in terms of qualified and got chartered back in 2000 was trying to look at it 2002 Somewhere around those sort of areas. And I suppose up to 2008 That was my construction experience as a QA, but ultimately running sort of commercial performance for building business. And then in 2008, we had this sort of property crash and Taylor Joe as it was sold off their construction arm to Vinci, which are of huge French business. And when that takeover happened, I've got given the opportunity to work with our MD to set up the facilities management business of Vinci, which was a number of businesses to pull together. And we've done it ever since. So since 2008 to 2022 Now, we've built that business and I suppose to me that that's when my role changed from being a purely commercial surveyor, I think, to that now developing and running a business. And so it was a blank canvas really brought together some businesses, we develop the culture, we delivered, we developed the whole business plan, and the values of that business. And I think, for the last 14 years, my life has been very much seen as a commercial lead for the business and very much proud of it as via, but much more developing and running a business and understanding what that means. So that's a bit of a pain picture in my career. But

Marion Ellis:

yeah, it's interesting, because I think a lot of us get to a point in our career where we're not doing the surveying anymore. And, and yet, you know, I mean, I, I miss it terribly. Yeah, you know, but I know it's not the job for anymore, and I can do more reach more people do different things with a different hat. But for a long time, particularly when I was working the complaints and claims teams that I used to run, you know, I had a bit of an identity crisis. Now, I'm a surveyor or not, I'm am I, you know, a manager, director. You know, what, what am I now and, and I come across a lot of surveyors who, you know, we really strongly identify with being a chartered surveyor. Yeah, we have a very fixed view of what that looks like. Yeah. And then as you go through your career, as it will Different things happen, opportunities come up. And, you know, I tell a lot of my coaching clients, you know, you do what you do, you just happen to do in the world of surveying, yeah, opens up all sorts of opportunities to do lots of different things. And I still very much class myself as a surveyor, I just happen to work in this particular way. And I'm interested in all things built environment, you know, but we do have that identity, you know, how did you? How did you find it, you know, going from the tools to actually, you know, running businesses and budgets?

Rory Murphy:

Yeah, I think it was a progression. I think it's, I mean, one advantage of the career path, maybe both as followed, and a lot of people follow is that, having begun as a trainee us and, and understood and worked from the ground up, I can relate to any of our teams here. So say, I'm talking to our surveying teams on a project, or I'm speaking to anyone within our business. I've got experience across that whole range, I think, I think there is there is a step change. There's a skill set you have as a surveyor that does naturally assist you to be a business leader. I think that that, undoubtedly, I think in terms of and as long as you allow yourself and your career to grow. So take those opportunities to not only concentrate on maybe the financial commercial elements in the role, but that begin to look at the operational elements begin to look at, look at things from a different stakeholder perspective. So what might your customers need? What might the projects need? What about? What about your operational team? So? So I think you develop over time. And I think if you're, if you're lucky enough in your career, and I've been blessed, I think it is that as long as you've got time to grow, don't try and do anything too quickly. Because I think that's a risk because you do have to develop yourself, but But I think, I think you can equip yourself with all the skills you need to be a business leader, as a surveyor, I need you right. It's interesting listening to you. I'm hugely proud to be that chartered surveyor. And that's my anchor that's given me my base skill set. But equally so when I'm talking about running our business in a sustainable way or responsible way, or how we deal with our supply chain, or how we might treat people that that's all come from, I suppose, the values that I've espoused as a surveyor, I think I think that's part that's part of me, it's how I've grown and so I don't, I don't see. Yeah, in my mind my development has been absolutely couched in being a surveyor. There's the technical skills that we've learned, but there's the way you run businesses and the way you view the world for me is all part of it.

Marion Ellis:

Oh, that totally resonates with me. I think, you know, for a lot of surveyors, you do the job in silo but you just, you just start to get interested, you know, how do the admin processes work? You know, what does finance do? I remember when I worked for Coke But many years ago, I ran an admin team. And I could tell some of them had great potential. But they just didn't know, you know, how businesses worked. They didn't know what the finance team did, for example. Yeah. And so I put together a little business development programme for them, you know, and it was just, you know, once a week, someone from that department would come and talk to them, you know, and it really, because a lot of people come into the job, you know, particularly an admin level, and it's quite a bit of a big ask, they've got no business experience, they've not gone through, you know, studying and, and all of those things. And yet, some of them have now become surveyors, you know, they moved on and, and I think, for me, that was early on, where I got a real insight into how I could make a difference like that. Because I and what resonated with me, when I first started, I got a graduate scheme job with Lang Lang Holmes, as it was at the time, and we moved around the country, we did you know, different house building things with different departments. And it really opened my eyes as to the bigger picture. Yeah, and yet, when you're trying to do a technical job, and you go out to do that job, you don't get to see that bigger picture, I think we as, as leaders, or further down the line in our careers, you know, have a responsibility and opportunity to show people, you know, lift the lid, so it's not mysterious that the warts and all, you know, so that they can do better. And yeah, it was quite, quite interesting to

Rory Murphy:

Yeah, no, I think it's for me, it's, it's interesting to listen to is that what I've tried to do with all our teams, is you've got to understand what you've got, I suppose have a technical role to do. But in the bigger picture, what's the point? So so if you're on a project, so what is the clients driver? So why if you're building something for a client, and it's got a completion date, next, what why is that completion date important? What what's driving that? So so you've got to be empathetic around understanding the drivers for the project, it's not just say that there may there may come times when you have to put more pressure in places because the end date is an example. Or the requirement is such that you need to make sure you're satisfying the client or if you work with your suppliers, what, why? Why might your suppliers be under a bit of pressure or understand their perspective? So I'm always encouraging our teams to make sure you understand everyone's perspective, all the stakeholders perspective on the project, and then you're much better at managing it, you've got to understand the other person's point of view that you can't just focus on your own and say, right now that I know what I'm doing, but yeah, okay. But in the context of the decisions you're making, or the role you're doing, what is the point? And what are we doing here? What are we making what we're delivering? So? So yeah, I think that's, that's when people grow, I think you if you, if you just do your task, you will always see your task, you need to get your head up and look around and go, right, what in the round, why are we doing what we're doing? And in a way that from a facilities management perspective, I suppose in this part of my career, that's, that's a little bit easier to articulate to people. So when we when we're delivering a school, or we support a school, it's all about the educational outcomes for the children. So how do we make sure that the role we are doing is supporting that that's, that's absolutely

Marion Ellis:

having that bigger vision, isn't it of what's the purpose and, and for me, you know, I'm very much about making sure people have safe, warm, dry homes roof over their head. The way that I happen to do it now is through coaching and sports, supporting surveys and just chatting about stuff. The way that I do it, and I can reach more people that way than I ever could just doing the, you know, one off jobs, you know, doing inspections, but you've got to have that, that vision and understanding and purpose. And I think sometimes with some surveyors, and I think, I think that's why I like the young surveyor of the Year Award, because they've got that aspiration of what you want to do. But we tend to lose that or why did we become a surveyor? Yeah. And that's one of the questions we always have on the podcast. You know, why, why? Why is that and they always start with Well, I fell into it. Yeah, somewhere along the line, there's been a property journey, you know, built environment inside somebody's uncle or mum or whatever was involved. What was that for you? Was it sort of? Yeah,

Rory Murphy:

I mean, I think, yeah, no, I mean, I think it's right. It's financially if I talk to people in facilities management, a lot of people say they fell into that. So I've sort of fallen into two things. Maybe so for newsreaders, they're falling in FM, but, but the hook for me was and still remains is that we sort of you create things so when certainly from a construction perspective, I love the fact that you came and you learn this very quickly in your surveying career as a QA So that say that is that you come together as a group and you create something and then that's something tangible. And then you move on, and then you create something else. And I found that, yeah, really exciting. And then you build in the fact that as a surveyor, you've got a sort of financial angle, a legal angle, a contractual angle, it was it was a real variety of a job. And I think, and whether that's when you're very new in or, or even now, my weeks are completely eclectic in terms of the things I deal with. And maybe that's why I remain enthusiastic. So I'm certainly not, I'm certainly not in the job, this category. But the but as a young surveyor coming in, it's like that there's, there's a world of opportunity here to get involved with so so grasp everything you can and whether that's from a building surveyor perspective, a QoS perspective or residential status, there's, there's always lots to cover.

Marion Ellis:

Let me ask you, why are you so enthusiastic and positive? Because you just radiate this positivity and enthusiasm whenever I meet you? Or maybe it's just me, I don't know. You always seem quiet have a positive mindset. And that's really hard to maintain. How is that just how were you born like that or

Rory Murphy:

born this way? Yeah, no, it's not I think, I think you have to be I mean, look, I don't doubt on it. There's days I'm not positive about stuff. But but I think you've got to always push forward. I mean, I've said I've been, I've really enjoyed my career, and I continue to enjoy my career. And it is not and it's not without its challenges. I don't doubt that but that it goes a little bit back to being a leader in terms of I've got a responsibility to the tune off as people that work for us, or actually anyone I meet in the surveying profession, whether it's on your podcast, or when we're out and about a young surveyor of the year, or if we're doing stuff for the various boards represent. So I am enthusiastic about it. So but there's, you have to, yeah, I'd say I suppose that I understand that the way my demeanour does affect people's perception of me or how they feel about themselves. And so it's not, it's not like in any way at all there, but it I enjoy what I do, and I want other people to be enthused about doing what we do, and

Marion Ellis:

it's quite infectious. Yeah, when someone else is positive. You know, you and you're having a bad day, you know, you can even without having a conversation, you can turn things around and quite quite infectious.

Rory Murphy:

I mean, we're, we're here in London today. And we've got three of our team, I can see it in one of the meeting rooms down there, just having a meeting, three of our surveying team now, they wouldn't necessarily bump into me that often during the course of the year. So just nipped out, got them all a coffee, it's that little interaction and no cracking on and happy. It's just that you do have a role. I think I learned in my career Early on in my career, I learned maybe in their sort of late 80s, early 90s, where were senior managers in my business weren't quite as, as available and supportive to the younger surveyors. And I can remember that, that having a real impact on me, it's so where someone would come in, so a more senior person would come in and, and say I really like a coffee or throw their car keys so I parked their car. I was like, I'm never I will never ever, I will never be like that with anyone. You know?

Marion Ellis:

When I worked in Lemington, spa, many years ago, I was asked to move the boss's car, and I literally I think had a panic attack. Don't ever driven a little Corsa thing to move

Rory Murphy:

It's even inference, isn't it to go? Well, look, I can't be bothered to park my car. You

Marion Ellis:

know, I think this is where we as you know, leaders, managers, where we are in our careers, we can break the pattern. Yeah. And it doesn't have to be that way. I was just recording a presentation for a conference next week. And I was recalling my own experience of getting a claim. On my on my first survey, I got a claim. I mean, I really, and I then worked in complaints and claims my career. But, you know, whilst I, you know, I know what I did wrong and missed. One of the key things as I reflect back was, I didn't feel I could talk to my peers. There wasn't that culture of checking in. Oh, yeah. Okay, you know, let's just grab a coffee. There was literally none of that. It was a lovely office. There were loads of characters there. You know, but, you know, I felt quite intimidated. I didn't feel like yeah, and then this problem happened and, and it came about because I didn't I knew I knew about it. I was worried about it, but I didn't feel I could have a conversation to talk about the decision making that goes on. You know how I would approach and how I would report it. But now we know we do better. And I think we, you know, as leaders and for people out there as managers and running businesses, it doesn't have to be that way.

Rory Murphy:

No, no, I think, no, I think as well, if you give us if you give a bit of yourself, people will always I don't think, Jen genuinely, I think people would come to me with anything to talk about whatever role I'm doing. I think if they felt they needed to talk about something, my dad would always be open, I think they'd feel. And that's important. That's important to me, because you can't do the roles we do without being confident that that people are happy to share good and bad things with you around or things that are wearing them or, and yeah, and I love the fact that people come to me and go, crossroads, this thing's really bothering me. And, and we'll talk through it. And they'll go off and go, alright, yeah, okay, though you might not solve it. But actually, one, they've talked about it, and you've given a bit of your problem, share doesn't turn and give a bit of yourself and genuinely given a bit of yourself. I think that's the thing I'd always I'd always give because that's important. Because that that interaction. For me, it's it's there a bit of the day, and if that's a bad thing for them, and that will they won't move forward. So having 10 minutes of my time, or half an hour, whatever it takes. Absolutely, no,

Marion Ellis:

I read a book a number of years ago, I think it was called the unwritten rules of the game. I think it was, and effectively, you know, it was a book of its time. But effectively, it's like having an open door policy. Yeah, but don't bear walking. You know, if you think about and I remember I used to work with have an open plan office, but you don't walk and talk to the boss. Yeah, and those things happen. And I think we need to break down barriers. How was locked down for you? Because you sound like a really social person? Yeah. These people, you know,

Rory Murphy:

yeah, no, tough. I didn't. Ya know, I didn't respond well to lockdown. I don't think. Yeah, I want to do like working in isolation in reality, which we, which we all do, particularly in the early days. I mean, if you go back to March 2020s, it was 2021. The, yeah, those first few months were a real shock out albeit in the first few months there was it was there was so much going on for a work perspective, in terms of crikey, how are we going to deal with all of these millions of problems that you've never had to deal with before. But for me, being at home one being at home all the time, I found really difficult because I'm used to seeing people around me all the time. So that that that didn't help. And then for me, the non separation of home and work I found really difficult from from a deeper relationship point of view and how it felt in myself in the merging of work and home to me didn't work because I'm not a different person at home than I am at work but you have a work persona so so to Finish, finish work and then walk out of my I'm lucky because I had a little office at home to work in but we'll get my office and then my family's there literally in a second. It's just like, it's very difficult to

Marion Ellis:

have we sort of have a transition, don't we? I remember. I mean, I've worked from from home by myself for a number of years now. So my biggest challenge initially in lockdown was what I've got to feed these people their space. I think my husband tried to work off the kitchen table for about two hours until we were like nah, ain't gonna work. But I remember when I used to work in, in an office and the drive back home that 20 minutes or whatever it was, was I could listen to the radio I could you know, decompress you know, come home and get changed. And you just sort of shaped the the days and the use or and when you work from home by yourself. It is different and you do have to have boundaries. You know, I'm in my home office here. If I look to the side of me, the kids are bloody put all of their making things and there's stuff there. You know, it's when people encroach into my space. So you've got to have have boundaries. And it is hard and it is a different mine mindset. And I know it's funny the things that you notice though, so my husband started to use the spare bedroom upstairs and I've got a what would be an old Victorian house or dining room downstairs. So we never see each other kettle on you know, yeah, but I remember walking past the room once and some of the things that he'd say he never listens to this podcast no but he something like the corporate language like let's just circle back Yeah. Oh, that kind of just think who you I was married to a guy like that.

Rory Murphy:

Funnily enough. I have my son My son would had his first year at university in the first year. You've looked down. So it was only there for one term and then was home for the second two terms. And, and it's similarly with him, although he would have taken the Mickey as opposed to doing it seriously is that we've sort of had have a water cooler moments together, we come down to the kitchen, have a coffee, and you'd say I didn't really any talk as if we were colleagues as well. I was I was funny, because you messaging someone for coffee now that would stand up as you would at work around the kitchen. So yeah, I mean, it was an old period. And, and the other thing that really resonated with me, which which has stayed with me, actually, is that and we talked about being a leader and being responsible earlier, but the responsibility all of a sudden have been of having certainly during COVID, sending people to work in COVID, in the COVID periods, weighs heavier, weighs heavy on me, and then senior leadership team, it was it was so so making sure that we were sending people to work safe making sure that those that weren't working when they were furloughed or at home or if there was a multiple of things to consider from a people perspective that it really it really affected me in terms of my responsibility in a positive way. I always knew I was responsible. And I'm not I wouldn't say that. But but all of a sudden, when you have a sort of catastrophe like that happened, which is which affects everyone's wellbeing, and also just their, their their lives. It was yeah, I found that I found that the combination of being at home having having a lot of things to deal with that were unusual. And thinking Christ, how do we look after all these people that work for us? We got through that. But it was it's been positive for me.

Marion Ellis:

It's been quite humanising experience. In many ways. So how do you manage your mental health?

Rory Murphy:

Yeah, I mean, I, what now? We're all then or always. So yeah. So I mean, the I do try to keep myself fit. So I think having a release, and having just talked about the fact that I make sure we don't just sit in the Sydney office and come out. I mean, I've got, I do like to exercise. So I use that as a sort of proxy really.

Marion Ellis:

what do you do in exercise?

Rory Murphy:

I'd do well, a lot of running. And I mean, I do used to do quite a lot of triathlon stuff, but I don't tend to do too much at the moment because that sort of got quashed during COVID. But I do like and I'll run most days, or I'll grab the bike or I go for a swim or go to the gym or do something. So I'll try to

Marion Ellis:

I'd love it if you if you just said I do Zumba. Yeah. That to me...

Rory Murphy:

Maybe I'm just lying completely, maybe, maybe actually, as a ballroom dancing on a Monday and I do. Rock or whatever it's called on Wednesday.

Marion Ellis:

So maybe challenge yourself and do something a bit different.

Rory Murphy:

Yeah, no, I think I should tell you, right. Yeah. I mean, so. Yeah, that is interesting.

Marion Ellis:

The exercise, though, and how much of a difference it does make to mental health. Yeah, that said, though, I find if I'm stressed, I can't run.

Rory Murphy:

Yeah, I mean, what I find with running is that I can run a lot, I suppose, is that that does help me sort stuff out my head. I mean, I don't run with headphones, I run sort of, I don't have any attachments. But sometimes I get to the end of the run and go, Well, I've actually sorted out my head. Now I can visit things that need a bit of unwinding, you can do. But, ya know, I've always had that capacity to do it. And yeah, in terms of it's interesting, we talk a lot more about mental health.

Marion Ellis:

We never did in the past.

Rory Murphy:

Which is quite right. And I mean, as I said, I don't think yeah, am I always am I always upbeat? I think I've I think we have a persona at work, which which I think or professionally that said, work professionally, that is important. But yeah, am I am I always up to 100% of the day and absolutely not. And but do I recognise do I recognise the things that make me happy and I do understand the things that will will trigger a say around?

Marion Ellis:

Yeah, I think I think that's a really important thing. It's knowing what gets you back to Okay.

Rory Murphy:

Yeah, yeah.

Marion Ellis:

you know, it's knowing that the highs and lows happen. But then you do have the ability to get back to Okay, but what is it that grounds you whether that's exercise, you know, going out for a walk, you know, for me, it's often just having human contact with somebody else because I work from home myself. You know, I was excited today. you know, but it's knowing what gets you back. But okay. Yeah.

Rory Murphy:

Recognising others as well, I think it is knowing people to just make sure that you I mean, we check in with people a bit more than maybe you did, maybe we ever had before. And, and we'd have a lot more conversations. I have a lot more conversations these days about how People are feeling and one to ones with my team. It's always a conversation that starts with how are you it's not a task-orientated one to one where we meet up all my team, I'd meet once a month, and then once a week is agreed, but they always start with how is everyone? How are you? And then

Marion Ellis:

yeah, but the trick is in the answer there, wasn't it? You know, I had that on my mastermind this morning. That I run for small businesses and, you know, how are you? Oh, we're busy. It's busy, a good thing is busy a bad thing. I say to people, yeah. And you know, it's sort of showing up, you know, being honest with your answers, and that it's okay to say actually, no, I'm tired. Oh, this has just happened. I just getting it off your chest? I can't, we can't talk about our IRCS. So I know you've mentioned it a little bit. For those who are listening who may or may not know, I'm a current governing council member on the UK, I represent the UK and Ireland. Region with along with Louise Archer. Yeah. You're you've got involved in ISS in lots of different ways. Tell me about that. What kind of things are you currently involved in.

Rory Murphy:

Okay, so, I mean, it was historically on the UK and Ireland, World War Two that's come to an end now that was on there for about six years, which was, which was good. And I think my original involvement came about with a sort of FM Working Group as it was, which then became a professional group. And, and then subsequently, I've got involved in quite a bit in terms of the FM side of things with, with case studies and supporting RFCs around that, and then moved really, as I got more embedded, I think, recently, I helped share or chaired a responsible business group, which produced a report on running responsible businesses in real estate. And now, I'm chairing the member engagement and experience and value group the sort of which is grown out of the sort of Levy Report on sort of post pre labour really, but in terms of how do we drive our member engagement back up and the experience and the value for money that our members have. So it's, I'm now chairing that, that group, which is a group of about 14 people across, across various roles within the RSCs. But the five world regional board chairs, we've got three governing council members on there, we've got two or three local, local sort of representatives from the UK, so and one for matrix as well. So that's been that's the sort of main activities me at the moment in terms of RFCs. That continues, and it's been hugely rewarding in this current period.

Marion Ellis:

One of the things I've always been interested in is the gap between what happens at the top, you know, you've mentioned all these committees and boards and different things. And how that is then translated through to the survey on a wet Tuesday in Margate. Yeah. That survey, one. Always mentioned it. But you know, be really curious about that gap. And, you know, yes, our IRCS has been through a challenging time. Yeah, you know, I don't want you but I feel like it's, at least it's facing in the right way, in terms of direction, and there'll be more to come. So as we record this, it's just before the big shard review, which is due out and I'll put links to these things in the shownotes, as they come available. So it's a real period of change and rethinking. And, you know, we talked about our identity as a surveyor as individuals, but also our identity is our IRCS. And what does that mean globally? And as well, in the UK, with all of these activities that you've been doing, what have you learnt most about surveyors?

Rory Murphy:

Well, it's interesting, I suppose. If I think about now, the current work I'm doing on this move group, one of the things we were social beasts in terms of we, the real push, I mean, there's been lots of things that through this group, we're trying to make sure we become better at doing it and we've been URSS together collectively. And whether that's transparency or CPD or that type of thing, but what people really struggle what surveys are really striving for is the ability to keep connected and communicate and share knowledge, and socialise and network and, and so a lot of the work that we're focusing on at the moment, in conjunction with the RSS is this is us working hand in glove is to build back the resources and give the ability for people to connect so so for people to share knowledge, and not digital has got a place to play in this. But But But absolutely. How do we get together how do we share how do we work together so I I think surveyors like to meet other surveys or and also other professions from the built environment. But But I think so what, what have what have I learned? What I've seen is that it's a reaffirmation for me that going back to this social nature of maybe the two of us is that actually we like to come together we like to learn and we like to share and, and, and whether that's talking about the local residential market in in Bognor Regis, or whether it's talking about the sustainability challenges across the globe, we like to come and talk about these things. And so for me, I think it's about facilitating that ability to share knowledge and develop and communicate with each other so that we do feel like like-minded individuals, and when we're when we're learning together, I think that's the other thing for me is that we can all be so busy in our day jobs in our in our roles, actually taking time out together to come together to talk about anything and everything gives us all a bit of a broader perspective, I think, I think that's what I've found, in terms of what surveyors want, or

Marion Ellis:

it's really interesting, though, because it's a quote, Kevin Costner, you know, it's not built it, and who will come, you know, because you can build, you know, networks and say, this is happening, but it's the whole engagement pieces in it and encouraging people to come forward, and to share and, you know, and I think that's perhaps something that's, that's, that's lost. Time to come back and find what when people turn up to, you know, if we go to a networking event, we're going there for a purpose. Yeah, you know, and, and people will come for the content. And I find this in the circles that my work, they'll come for the content, but they say for the community. You know, some of the best posts in my little free Facebook group, are not surveying, technically related, you know, related. They're just, like this fun thing that I've seen on holiday when I'm meant to be switching off, you know, and it's that community piece. And I suppose, you know, when I think about when I joined our IRCS and got qualified, I didn't go to my ceremony for my NPC because I didn't know anyone else who had I wasn't member of, I think it was J. O Jr. organisation or something, it was called, at the time, wasn't involved in any sort of quite, quite isolated until I started to get more get to know more people and put yourself forward. And there's a huge network there. And you're right, I think we are, we are social, but I think what we get from it is that network of support. Yeah, it's building relationships. Yes, we can share but it means that you know, when there is a problem, oh, I know somebody who I can call or somebody Rory will know about this.

Rory Murphy:

So people work with people don't need to be only about this. But if you go back to the first time we met at the start of the year award, we didn't sit there talking surveying gobbly gook for two hours. It's just a connection in terms of it was just,

Marion Ellis:

I don't think I spoke I think you just talked.

Rory Murphy:

probably, I probably did speak for the whole hour. Yeah. So hopefully you hours but but I think it's right. It's building those networks, where people connect on a social level. And I think, yeah, I think if you have events, CPD events or events that have content and a purpose, yes, that's great to get people together. And as long as that's a good quality and is useful to people, then they'll come but then it's the next element of it is the then have time to come together have time to build your own networks. And thinking about engagement as well which I will say is that we it wouldn't be for everyone. I mean, we mustn't, we mustn't be misconceived, that that, that some people are very happy to get their qualification with the RICS become a chartered surveyor, and maybe don't want to go to the local events and maybe take because they're very happy what they're doing, and that's absolutely fine. But as long as I understand that those events are there for them, so they can engage

Marion Ellis:

right, I think you're right, there's power in knowing there is something there and I found that with the women in Spain work that I've done, you know, I never set it up as an organisation. It just a summit thing that I did. We've got a Facebook group, you know, it's not that active, but knowing that there is something there is still massively reassuring. I think one of the other things that I really learned about surveyors is many of us, you know, we sort of talked about diversity and, you know, people of colour and women and all those things, I come across a lot of surveyors who are neurodiverse right, and so the thought of going to an event See some people's kind of hell? I wouldn't want to do that. Yeah. And so some people have thrived through lockdown. Some people have found it, you know, challenging. I come across a lot of surveyors. And we've had quite a few on the podcast. And that's how I came across it. Actually, quite a few surveyors were dropping in, I want to I happen to be dyslexic, you know, and oh, you know, autistic or whatever. And, you know, and we don't we hide it. Yeah. You know, we don't come forward with that, because that's a shame. And people work really, really hard. And so when it comes to events when it comes to, you know, reading things, you know, won't mention Modus. Yes, split views, I think we some people, but, you know, for me, the whole thing is, well, actually, sometimes it's quite hard to read something on the screen. Yeah, it's better to read something on paper. You know, it's so, so diverse. But we and I think for me, that's something ISIS does need to move forward. Yes, it's, you know, there's a diversity piece. But I think we need to also tackle that and recognise that some of us learn better in one way we read in another, and that makes it feel more inclusive. And we're more likely to feel part of it. And that sense of belonging

Rory Murphy:

that's absolutely the word I'm going to use. In turn, I'm going back to Moses in the journals, and that's a discussion is live at the moment. But like, I think that's, that's absolutely valid because and how we might manage it, and people can opt in and opt out. And but I think that there is a place for journals, and then physical things because people, some people like to read that some people like to read on the screen. Also, for me in something like a journal. If you've opted in, I don't suggest that everybody has to have a bit, but it is something of something of value. I think if you if you if you're, I mean, in a very small way you can people would go Oh, actually, I did get my magazine and I do read it or and people may well say that actually, no, I'm I'm not going to read it. So they need it, that's fine. But I think I support the fact that we we should have is whether it's physical journals is a bit like physical events versus a digital community. I'm not, I'm not massive on a digital community, I'll be working on LinkedIn or on Twitter, but but the thought of having to do all my correspondence or building teams or in a digital environment, is not something that massively appeals to me because I like to be person to person. But as you quite rightly said, that can be brilliantly appropriate for others. And I think we have to make sure that we engagement is inclusive. So we aren't we engage across a whole range of things. And I think maybe looking back, one of the things we've sort of challenged is this impression that we had digital only was like a catchphrase, and it's like, we can then be digital only at the mean, Christ. That's it, I think

Marion Ellis:

I think it was digital first, but not only.

Rory Murphy:

Yeah, okay, Digital First thing, but the bit, that even so I think it's whatever, however we want to communicate, we need to do it in an inclusive way. And that's critically important, as you say, across the whole diversities spectrum within the UK. But then globally, we need to make sure that there we communicate globally in a way that is culturally appropriate, or it's now that there's a lot of nuances with it. And so it's not simple engagement, and

Marion Ellis:

it's not. And then when you look globally, with different languages, and all of those cultural things, all of those things, but I guess it's the intention that we'll approach it that way. Yeah. But then also I think surveyors have got to put their hand up and say, you know, actually, this is what I need. Can you help me and somewhere in the middle, we'll we'll meet. Just before we finish up, I want to ask you about going for presidency.

Rory Murphy:

Even the best of the last? Yes. So

Marion Ellis:

well, I meant to put it in earlier on, but I forgot. But I want to ask you about that. So for people listening you applied, you've done lots of work RSS you've applied to be president, twice I did. Tell me about why that was and what the application process is like.

Rory Murphy:

So I mean, I think in terms of applying to be president, it was I suppose it was something that I aspired to. And, and also I felt it would be an affirmation of not only my career that sounds a bit poncey but an affirmation of my career, but also an affirmation of all the people who have helped me through my career. I think it was so something that I've seen as a huge honour to do. So. So I mean, both of these applications were in COVID. So and so I think the first time I went for it was 2020. And the application process was very much your sort of CV. Support to supporters would write that and the reason why you think you'd be a good president, you'd then submit that you then had a sort of interview in terms of a sort of personality trait interview type thing, which then led you through into a sort of Interview with a panel to start with in terms of the selection panel, pre selection panel. And then if you got through that you then ultimately did a presentation and recorded presentation to governing council who then strike vote. So, so that was a sort of abridged version of the process. And, and, and but all of that, actually both times I did it because I did it two years in a row three COVID. So the presentations were recorded, they weren't physical. So I went through first time, I was actually delighted to get down to the sort of final interview. And maybe a bit surprised in myself, I was like, wow, this is like, I've done really well to get this far. And delighted to do that. Did my presentation and then a whole series of questions and answers, which at the time, I probably thought didn't, didn't go as well as it could have done. And anyway, subsequently, I've found that wasn't successful. So I was disappointed, I won't pretend it wasn't. And then it came back the next year. And I was like, Look, I could sit here moaning about it, or I could have another go. And because learn from my experience before so so went back through the whole process, did all the same questionnaires to had the pre interviews and then got down to the final interview again, presentation with Governing Council. And actually did all that and answered all the questions and felt I did really well and genuinely and I'm not someone that would blow my own trumpet. So but I came off going on I've done really well. That's excellent. And then got a phone call four to six weeks later to say that hadn't been successful. So, so sure. So that was hugely disappointing. And, and was Yeah, difficult to take at the time. Because, and I've got I've got no worries about it's a straight competition. I'm happy with that. And it's straightforward. So I'm not moaning in any way, shape, or form about whoever got the presidency or the process or anything, the process was absolutely transparent. fine with that. But, ya know, massively disappointed. And, and so for me having gone through that process of applying to be the president twice and not getting it quite funny to then be approached about six months later to say, Oh, well, we could you help us with this big member engagement. They really got going on at the onset. So so I could have been

Marion Ellis:

I would have loved to be fly on the wall and see your face.

Rory Murphy:

Yeah, I was like, You do realise it. I've just applied to the presidency twice and not been successful. But it was fine. And, and yeah, I was disappointed. But equally, so. When Matt, as it was rang me to ask if I had to get involved in this member engagement piece. Of course, I'd want to help. And of course, I'm not going to that isn't in my character to walk away. I wasn't doing the presidency for my own well being I wasn't doing it to I was there because I genuinely wanted to support the profession. And secondly, absolutely 100% wanted, I felt disappointed for all the people that had helped me, you know, that was what really upset me it wasn't it because I would have loved to have been able to say, Oh, look, I'm now the president the RFCs. And there was so many people that have helped me through my career, that would have gone Christ. That's brilliant, you know, and so yeah, it was It wasn't to be.

Marion Ellis:

But I guess, you know, there's lots of resilience learning in there. And you know, that when you as you talk about it, the thing that comes to mind is some of the APC candidates I know. Yeah, who have failed and have to dust themselves back up often and get back up. So, so well done for you for, for, for doing that, and getting involved with member engaging because I think you're right is about the bigger picture of what we're all has to do.

Rory Murphy:

Similarly to you and all the people that helped with NRCS and are on various boards and do all the assessments and everything else, everyone's given their time pretty much freely and we're doing it because we do live the profession and you know what, that drives me, I don't say whether I'm the president or not, or whether I'm doing this activity with the move group or wherever I'm asked to do something else. I'll help because actually, being a surveyor has given me everything I've got, and still have a fantastic career, I was gonna say I've had a fantastic career, having a fantastic read, I hope and it's about me making sure that the next generation come through and have the same opportunities I've had and, and I didn't come from some great background in terms of my educational background and my social background. I haven't had come from that, but I want to make sure that I do everything I can that this profession is inclusive and supportive and as attractive to people coming through now whether that's me as president or not, or whether it's me just having a member engagement or doing a bit on a board. So bear in mind that I'm not doing it for me. It's it's there's plenty of other people coming through. There'll be sit on this podcast in 20 years ago. No, I met Rory once and he really encouraged me to be a surveyor and it can be now so

Marion Ellis:

it isn't that just actually the greatest thing I've, you know, I've had that, you know, when I, when I think about some of the girls that used to work in the complaints teams that I had, and that they're now surveyors, and they've changed their lives, you know, you just think well, gives any bit of a nudge that I gave, but what the difference that make,

Rory Murphy:

and I see people on LinkedIn now that have gone off and had careers elsewhere. And I've got one lead in Australia, that works for me 15-20 years ago, I suppose. And he's doing some high flying role in Australia. Now. I just the other day, I put something on LinkedIn, and he just dropped it out back and I went on boss, that's great. You know, what a really nice thing to say. It was just like, it was like he, he still remembers when we weren't together. You know, it wasn't it was like a really nice thing. For me, it was just that I'm speaking to him for 10 years, but it was like a really, I all I wanted, this is a personal thing. Actually, having said the other stuff as a person. I want people to if they've interacted with me, and they've worked with me, I've helped them I want them to always look back and go to know what that was. That was really helpful. That was a good time, my life that helped me and, you know, that's what drives people 100%. And so so that I can rattle off in 10 years time and think there's a whole cadre of young surveyors or middle aged surveyors by Name property that I've had a positive influence on. That's what I want to do.

Marion Ellis:

Rory, it's been really good to talk to you today. Thank you ever so much for your time. I feel like I want to send you a Blue Peter badge.

Rory Murphy:

I didn't always say that'd be the best podcast you'd ever had, I did say that.

Marion Ellis:

Maybe I should get some podcast badges.

Rory Murphy:

I mean, I look forward to this podcast getting more hits and all the other podcasts. That's what I always said to you. Share it. Yeah, they've got some surveyor royalty on it.

Marion Ellis:

Lovely and I look forward to catching you up catching up with you soon. Thanks for listening. And don't forget to rate review and follow the podcast. You can pop over to the Surveyor Hub community or follow me on social. I look forward to sharing a new podcast with you next time.

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