Adjusting The View: Relocating to Asia

David Massbery is a former member of the RREF RG10 Committee and has recently relocated to Hong Kong for work. Here, he shares his experiences.

My adventure in Hong Kong commenced back in late 2DavidMassbery012, combining travel through Asia with a selection of interviews with CBRE at their Exchange Square offices on Hong Kong Island. I had long admired the "Green Machine" during the best part of six years working in commercial property in Central London. In truth it was an easy decision to make once I had a received a job offer from CBRE's Office Services team, led by Rhodri James. I feel the timing of this exciting move came at a perfect moment for me - aged 27, equipped with experience in a mature market and had the appetite to challenge myself in a dynamic, diverse and competitive commercial city. I was able to share my decision to move to Hong Kong with my family over Christmas dinner and pleasingly they were fully behind my choice to relocate to Asia. This new opportunity promised to utilise my RICS Chartered Surveyor accreditation in addition to the portfolio of technical and soft skills I had developed principally through experience in the London market, however many of these originated at the University of Reading between 2004-7.

After saying my goodbye's (for now) I moved in to Hong Kong in May last year and haven't looked back since. Not surprisingly my job has been both exciting and demanding, however this was always to be expected given Hong Kong is one of the most competitive property markets in the world. A cosmopolitan city with a real "buzz", Hong Kong comprises a whole host of Expatriate nationalities in addition to the very friendly and fascinating Cantonese community. I would say if you like New York or London, then you will love Hong Kong - this a city that many describe as "Asia with a Western flair" and a city that punches well above its weight considering it's relatively small geography. Sitting on the doorstep of China, Hong Kong continues to present substantial opportunities for business across all sectors, whilst maintaining its fiercely independent personality.

In addition to the diverse and challenging nature of my job, this move has provided so many enhancements to my life - a fantastic opportunity to conveniently travel to new (and exciting) destinations, an 8 minute walk to work (via the world famous escalator), not forgetting the incredible number of new friends and colleagues I have gained, originating from all sorts of backgrounds and nationalities; all of whom continue to amaze with their new approaches and "can do" advice to succeed. Each day Hong Kong has something new to surprise me by, indeed whatever the future holds I'm proud of my current endeavours and I would highly encourage others to follow suit. The best piece of advice I could offer those starting out in property is to experience as much as you possibly can in your twenties. This applies to different avenues of commercial surveying; obtain experience at more than one company, expand your all-important peer network, and if the opportunity presents, step outside your comfort zone and take a step in to an unknown and stimulating market. I'm confident you would have a similarly positive and career-enhancing experience to mine so far in Hong Kong. Rather excitingly this is a part of my own professional journey that is only really just beginning!

David Massbery, 2007 graduate, CBRE Hong Kong

David recently attended the University of Reading Alumni event in Hong Kong which was part of the Vice-Chancellor's recent trip to Asia.

Further information

Please feel free to contact David should you wish to hear further about his experience working abroad or alternatively discuss your own ambitions:


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