By James Patterson - CBRE Managing Director NSW, National Director Office Services.
I was lucky to find a career straight out of school that I really enjoy. After leaving boarding school in Sydney and returning home to Dubbo, I received my HSC results – much to the disappointment of my parents! Not good enough to return to Sydney at that stage to pursue a cricket career, I was firmly encouraged by my father to get a job in the ‘real world’.
I joined a local Dubbo real estate firm, Archbold and Samuels, run by two local identities – David Archbold (now Managing Director of IPG in Sydney) and Roland Samuels.
It was an amazing learning curve which, through David’s critical mentoring and support, allowed me to move to Sydney and start my commercial career with Baillieu Hardie Gorman (now Knight Frank). Through this very challenging period of my working life I received some good advice from my father, a self-employed businessman.
He is a man of great integrity and to him ‘a handshake is a deal done’. This is something I aspire to, even though the world is now a very different place. He gave me five key pieces of advice, which have been embedded in my mind from day one.
- Work hard and always do the extra 10 per cent.
- Maintain your integrity and, in your own heart, do the right thing.
- Always do your best, on and off the field.
- Make sure you treat everyone you meet on your journey up the corporate ladder with respect, as they will be the same people you may see on the way down the ladder. (To me, this key piece of advice is critical.)
- Never give up.
In 2001, I joined with John Byrne to start Ridge Property Consultants Pty Ltd – an Owners’ Representatives business model acting exclusively for landlords.
In October 2003, what was then CB Richard Ellis purchased the business model of Ridge and I joined the firm as Regional Director – Office Services, Australia and New Zealand.
I was subsequently appointed to the role of Senior Managing Director, New South Wales in 2006. It was a big transition moving from jointly owning a boutique company to running the national office services team and then the NSW business, which forms part of one of the largest commercial real estate agencies in Australia.
During this period and throughout my career I have continued to always live by the advice my father gave me. This is a wonderful industry that has provided me with amazing opportunities and the chance to meet and work with great people who have become close friends.
I have also been wonderfully supported along the way by my wife Libby, and three boys, Max, Hugo and Oscar.