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Fathers and daughters in property

Meet three dads and their daughters who have followed them into property
Written on 8/21/09

Tim and Rebecca Heal

Rebecca Heal, 27, a surveyor in the development consulting team at DTZ in Bristol:

‘My dad and I were always close, but now we understand what each other gets up to, day in day out.

I grew up surrounded by surveyors, and I always enjoyed the atmosphere of my dad’s office. I remember going there when I was about four and rummaging around in the stationery cupboard. My dad used to take convenient detours, on our way to go swimming and things, to do site inspections.’

We have always shared an interest in sport. He organises rugby trips and me and my fiance go along. They get along because they are both avid rugby fans.

Tim Heal, 58, a partner at Alder King who heads the Gloucester office:

‘Becks always showed an interest in property. She would come and do bits of work experience during the holidays when she was at school.

We do talk about property, but at the moment we have other things to discuss: she’s getting married this summer. I find it flattering that she has followed in my footsteps, and I’ll mention it in my speech at the wedding.’

Lewis and Emma Davis

Emma Davis, 32, director of Central Investment Properties, the London West End investment firm she formed with her father, Lewis:

‘My dad and I have been working together for three years and we haven’t killed each other.

It is not a normal father-daughter relationship: not many parents know what their children are like at work.

We do talk about work a lot when we are not there. We enjoy what we do, and my mother wants to know what is going on.

When my dad and I disagree, it is only about the way we should do something – we both want the same end result. When you work with a family member there is 100% trust.’

Lewis Davis, 61, director of Central Investment Properties:
‘Emma always wanted to be a singer, but we didn’t want that. When she finished school, I whipped her off to Davis Coffer Lyons, the firm I co-founded in 1972. I wasn’t working there any more, which was better for her.

‘By the time she was 19, I was surprised at how good her grasp of the industry was – she knew all the faces. Now we work in the same room and we laugh a lot. We go out to lunch together most days. Sometimes we eliminate work from our conversation and we go back to being daddy and daughter.

We respect each other’s skills. Emma shoots straight from the shoulder and tells you like it is. Sometimes she makes the call that I wouldn’t want to make. I know I can rely on her.’

Phillip and Sarah Nicholson

Sarah Nicholson, 27, a farm and estates negotiator at Savills in the West End of London:

‘When I was growing up there were always brochures around at home, and I would ogle at the big houses. I saw my father enjoy his job and the lifestyle it affords.
As a result of working in the same industry, I talk to my dad more than I would do otherwise.

Having something in common naturally brings us together. When I meet his colleagues they say: ‘He has told me all about you.

However, we have had to be secretive about what we are up to, and we often wind each other up because of this.’

Phillip Nicholson, 58, a partner at Carter Jonas:

‘Sarah is very discreet about her work. You have to be careful what you say about clients, even between father and daughter. I do tease her about what I know, but I’m sure her market intelligence is better than mine.

I didn’t push her into property, but she has still gone on and done it.
Sarah is due to sit her APC this autumn. I am an APC assessor and I help with APC training at Carter Jonas, so it has helped me to find out how the process is run at Savills.

I would say that, yes, property has brought us closer. Anything that provides a link between father and daughter is important.’

Read about three other father and daughters in property in the full article Daddies’ girls: Fathers and daughters with careers in property published in Property Week.