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News & opinion

6 DEC 2018

Reflecting on a lifetime of achievement

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the most prestigious award for built environment professionals. It is awarded in rare, but compelling, circumstances to acknowledge an individual's outstanding contribution to the development of the built environment profession, together with the individual's commitment to RICS locally and globally. National Director at Colliers International New Zealand Alan McMahon FRICS received this significant recognition at the RICS Awards 2018 in New Zealand.

I joined RICS as a student of Heriot-Watt University in 1978, where I studied Building Economics and Quantity Surveying in Edinburgh, UK. Upon graduation, I chose not to pursue a career in quantity surveying, as I opted for a general practice pathway instead.

During my three years of monitoring by an assessor, I was lucky enough to gain a wide-range of experience in commercial property, valuations, rent reviews and agency before becoming chartered.

I have worked in the commercial property industry ever since, demonstrating a dedication to RICS and the wider profession during my extensive career at JLL, Knight Frank and now as National Director of Consulting at Colliers International New Zealand. I have also managed the property management, valuation, and research business units during my 20 years with the company.

"Over the last 31 years Alan has continually demonstrated his thorough professionalism, his talents, his knowledge, his research and forecasting, which is often accompanied with his wonderful dry sense of humour. In short, it is our view that he represents RICS' professional standards and delivery in the best possible way and has done so throughout his career, both during the formative years of RICS in New Zealand and ever since." John Cameron FRICS, RICS Awards 2018 New Zealand judge.

Currently, I head a team that provides consulting services, feasibility analysis for all sorts of development, and market presentations. We also frequently develop property plans for corporate clients and government departments, give advice around individual property strategies, and get involved in interesting land and building sales.

"Working in a team with designers, engineers and planners, on projects which result in high quality development, is some of the most satisfying work we do." Alan McMahon FRICS, National Director of Colliers International New Zealand.

Winning the Lifetime Achievement Award was very special to me. There is nothing like recognition from your peers. The fact that I know the previous three recipients of this award, who have all helped me along the way, is a good demonstration of how RICS works on the ground. At any time, I am acting as supervisor or counsellor for a candidate or two, which ensures the mentoring cycle is repeating itself.

Value of RICS membership

RICS qualification is frankly a passport to the property industry and I highly encourage professionals to get involved. While the qualification is undoubtedly a badge of recognition, involvement with RICS ensures other benefits, such as keeping you continuously educated. This ongoing education is invaluable, as it maintains your ability to keep giving sound advice and will sustain your career.

RICS Awards New Zealand 2018 tophies.jpg

Interested in submitting a nomination or attending the RICS Awards New Zealand 2019?

Find out more

Sometimes younger members, and prospective members, complain about how much work they have to do to become qualified and to start progressing up the ladder. But that's the point — the qualifications wouldn't mean anything if they were easy! It is essential, to maintain the reputation of RICS, that standards are maintained, so that when clients speak to or get advice from a chartered surveyor they know it is soundly based.