A Leeds-based quantity surveyor has been crowned ‘Young Surveyor of the Year’ after beating tough competition from hundreds of other candidates from all over the UK at the 2015 RICS Matrics Young Surveyor of the Year Awards, held at the Lancaster Hotel, London.
Leanne Kitson, a chartered senior quantity surveyor at Faithful+Gould in Leeds won the Quantity Surveying category, as well as the overall ‘Young Surveyor of the Year’ title at the awards, which recognise and celebrate the most inspirational young surveying professionals – aged 35 and under – in the UK.
Having joined Faithful+Gould in 2007 as a trainee, Leanne’s talent was quickly noticed and nurtured, allowing her to lead a national delivery programme of unique care homes for Sanctuary Housing. This involved setting up national framework using the Homes and Communities funding stream for the development of 2,553 new build extra care and general needs homes.
Prior to the development of the homes, Leanne became a Dementia Friend of the Alzhimers Society to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to live with dementia. This allowed her to create homes with innovative dementia design features on a budget, without compromising quality. RICS judges praised Leanne for her commitment and willingness to better understand her clients’ needs.
The judging panel was also impressed with Leanne’s dedication and commitment to inspire the next generation by visiting students at schools, colleges and universities to raise awareness of the vast range of careers available to all in the property industry.
The inaugural RICS Matrics Surveyor of the Year Awards launched last year and there are 12 award categories. Four of the category winners this year, are from Yorkshire and Humber (see below). Another winner from Leeds on the night was Alex Boyle, Managing Director at In-site Property Solutions who won the Commercial Agency category. The judges praised Alex for increasing the small firm’s profitability by cutting down on waste and improving productivity by refocussing a now highly motivated team and listening to the customer needs more.
Commenting on her award win, Leanne said: “It’s wonderful to be recognised by the RICS Matrics Young Surveyors of the Year Awards. There’s a big misconception that surveyors all wear hard hats and work on building sites. These Awards bring awareness to the diverse range of surveying roles available for all, not to mention those in the industry having hugely rewarding and successful careers.”
Speaking on Leanne’s award win, Victoria Hampson, RICS regional director, North & Midlands said: “The land, property and construction sectors lacks young talent, particularly females, so I’m delighted that Leanne’s talent and exceptional skills have been deservedly recognised. She is a credit to our profession and a fantastic role model, not only for others working in the industry, but for those thinking of pursuing a career in property.”
She added: “We have some exceptional talent in Yorkshire and Humber and I’m delighted that the region’s most talented young surveyors have been recognised for their exceptional achievements and commitment to raising standards in the property industry.”
RICS Matrics was first established 125 years ago as a networking and support group for those with ten years or less experience in the industry. Today, RICS Matrics groups operate across the UK, including in Yorkshire and Humber, and the inaugural RICS Matrics Surveyor of the Year Awards launched last year.
RICS Matrics chairman, James Baker MRICS of Faithful+Gould, headed up this year’s judging panel. He said: “Leanne is an inspiration for future generations in the industry. Her commitment to going the extra mile to understand her clients and end user’s needs, and improve the service she provides, is demonstrated by her involvement as a Dementia Friend with the Alzheimer’s Society.
He added: “Leanne’s achievements and commitment to providing an exemplary service to her clients, the profession and her employer is putting her in good stead for an exciting future with leadership opportunities. She demonstrates the diversity and opportunities available within surveying and is a great role model for those in the profession along with younger generations considering a career in the property industry.”