Denise Trollope

Principal, Business Rates Team

London, England, UK

Meet Denise Trollope

What is your role at Avison Young?

I am a Principal in the business rates team. I have been with the firm for over 30 years and am a past member of the board. I was the first women to ever pass the RICS Rating Diploma and am now Chairman of this specialist section (yes they still called me chairman)! I was also the first, and so far only, women to be elected as president of the Rating Surveyors Association (and that was 20 years ago)! How did you get into commercial real estate?

By chance. I studied geography at university and enjoyed the surveying aspects of the course (at the time this involved surveying a nearby park with a theodolite). When I left university I enquired about jobs in surveying and the careers office sent me some details. Luckily, amongst the information they sent me, was an advertisement for ‘cadet surveyors’ with the Valuation Office Agency. I was accepted, took the RICS exams by correspondence course and the rest is history! Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?

My long term partner and fellow surveyor. He has been a massive support over the years and has always encouraged me in my career. He saw the potential in me and helped me find the confidence when I doubted whether I was good enough to succeed. He’s been there in the good times and a shoulder to cry on in the bad! I bought him a mug once which said – “It’s the friends you can call up at 4am that matter”. I think that sums it up! What is the best advice you've ever received?

“Glass Ceilings” should not exist, if you are good enough you will be able to shatter them.

And for the young women who are just starting their careers, the advice I would give is do not try to be one of the boys. Be yourself. Never feel intimidated. Learn from those with experience. How has Avison Young supported you as a woman in business?

There is still a long way to go to address the imbalance in this male dominated profession. Its encouraging to see so many young women being recruited in AY, I have no doubt that the balance will even out with time as these fantastic young women become our leaders. When I first joined, the firm was unusual in having a number of women in reasonably senior positions and I was inspired and encouraged by them. It’s not been easy over the years and there have been times when I have wondered whether it has been worth it. It’s a much more caring and considerate environment to work in now than it was 10 or 20 years ago. What would people be surprised to learn about you?

The amount of time I have spent inside various prisons probably counts for a couple of years!

I am also pretty helpful in the lambing season!

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