From Ireland to NZ with love, two kids, and a career at QV
Quotable Value (QV) area manager Paul McCorry has come a long way in the last seven years – literally and figuratively.
He arrived here from Ireland with a pack on his back and his (now) wife by his side. He fell in love with the place, decided to stay, got married and had two kids. Now he’s responsible for the operational delivery of QV’s services across the Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Wellington, and the Nelson/Tasman regions.
We caught up with the keen gardener and die-hard Manchester United fan (please don’t hold it against him) to discuss business, the Wellington property market, and the high-speed rollercoaster ride that has been the year 2020.
How did you wind up at QV?
I was just off the plane in Auckland and had a Skype interview to become a graduate valuer in our Wellington office. Despite my thick Irish accent, I was offered the role and have been with QV ever since.
One of the key requirements of the role was to have your own car and as we had just got off a plane we didn’t quite tick that box. I recall calling my now-wife after I was offered the job and explaining we had roughly three days to buy a car, drive to Wellington and find somewhere to live. It was her birthday too!
Since then, I have been lucky enough to work in almost all of our business groups, including our rating valuation team, our market consultancy team, and as a valuer with our commercial arm, Darroch. I was appointed the area manager earlier this year.
What exactly does that job entail?
I make sure we deliver a best-in-class level of service to our clients – including to local government, lending and financial institutions, and ordinary Kiwi families.
A huge lever for our success is our people, so a key part of this role is ensuring our teams have the best tools, training, and development, giving them the confidence to be industry leaders.
What’s your favourite part about your role?
One of my favourite things about being an area manager has been getting to visit other QV offices around the country and getting to know the people who make this company work. One of our greatest strengths as a business is that we have local experts in every corner of the country and it has been very enjoyable learning from them.
What insights can you share with us about your local market?
Since 25 March, everyone has wanted to know what the property market is going to do next, but the truth is, no-one really knows, because no-one knows what the next chapter in the Covid-19 story is going to bring. If the virus comes back with a bang, then all bets are off.
In the local Wellington market, we have been no exception – a shortage of stock has meant open homes are back to being a socially-distant feeding frenzy and prices continue to hold up. Multiple offer situations are common and frustration is building for people who miss out. Often this can cause them to be more aggressive in their offer next time around, and so the cycle continues.
If I was to offer any advice to first home buyers in the market today, if you have a deposit and job security, you are in the driving seat – be patient.
How have you been surviving 2020?
2020 has been a crazy year, and with all that has happened it has flown by. During the first week of Level 4 lockdown we welcomed our second baby into the world. Otis Ray has very little idea yet how interesting and challenging of a time he was born into, but being in lockdown helped us get used to life as a family of four – and some of my colleagues got to meet the little guy during one of our many Zoom meetings.
At QV, we’re big proponents of work-life balance… what do you like to do in your time off?
Having two small kids means not a lot of down time. I am a massive Man United fan which involves a lot of 4am starts to catch the games.
As a child, I remember helping my dad in the garden and wondering how this could possibly be a hobby. Now, as I have gotten older, I proudly list gardening as one of my hobbies. I’m not sure when it happened – be careful kids, it sneaks up on you!
Finally, what advice would you offer people looking to become valuers?
Valuation is an excellent foundation to many careers. At QV, our area management team are all valuers, our general management team are valuers, our chief operating officer and chief executive officer were both valuers. The analytical skillset you develop will set you up for whatever and wherever you chose to go.
I’m a firm believer that your career is like an elevator – you chose the floor and when you want to get off.