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Brown: Chartered Surveyor career underrated

Top job: Shawn Brown, the new head of professional services at Rego Sotheby's (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The new head of professional services at real estate agents Rego Sotheby’s International Realty took a long and winding road to his profession.

Shawn Brown originally graduated with a biology degree from the University of Toronto but, unable to find a job in Bermuda, he moved into computing.

He said: “I worked in the IT industry for a bit, but I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life.

“I saw an advert for a trainee estate surveyor with Government and applied. Through that, I got a postgraduate diploma in surveying from the College of Estate Management in Reading in the UK.”

Mr Brown, 36, later passed the tough Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors exams and became a fully-fledged chartered surveyor.

He worked for an island bank in estate management before taking up his current post last month.

Mr Brown said there were several reasons why he was attracted to surveying.

He explained: “I’m not stuck behind a desk — I’m always out and about and there is also a dire need for chartered surveyors.

“In Bermuda, there’s a particular need for valuation surveyors. I’m the only Bermudian one under 40 I know of.”

And he added that the prestige and worldwide reputation of an RICS qualification meant that he could work around the globe if he wanted to.

But Mr Brown said: “It’s not a profession that’s popular. Everybody knows about accountants and lawyers or what not, but this profession is not really advertised or promoted out there.

“To be honest, I’m not sure why that is. I came across it through chance and I figured it’s something I wanted to do.”

But he added that Government was “trying to to get more Bermudians in the field” and offering bursaries to encourage Bermudians to move into the profession.

Mr Brown said his main role was property valuation and property management and also offering advice on portfolios of property, including how to increase their value and advice on disposals.

He added: “I manage the department and make sure it runs smoothly and efficiently and collect data like property sales, which involves speaking with agents in terms of sales.”

Mr Brown said: “I do enjoy it because based on the nature of it, it takes critical thinking.

“In property management, you have to think in depth on how to resolve issues — you have to be able to relate to people.

“And, in 21 square miles, I’ve been to several properties I didn’t even know existed in areas I didn’t know existed.”

He added: “Chartered surveyors are a very close-knit community — we work together and we’re willing to help each other out.”

Mr Brown, originally from Pembroke, attended the Berkeley Institute and finished his high school years at King’s Edgehill boarding school in Nova Scotia, Canada, before attending university.