Head of Property Management

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
08 Oct 2019
End of advertisement period
28 Oct 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Closing date 28 Oct 2019 23:00 (UK time)
Salary £41,526–£49,553 (Grade 8)
Location Edinburgh
Department Estates & Facilities - Property Management Division
Category Professional & Managerial
Status Full Time

About Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt University has five campuses: three in the UK (Edinburgh, Scottish Borders and Orkney), one in Dubai and one in Malaysia. The University offers a highly distinctive range of degree programmes in the specialist areas of science, engineering, design, business and languages.

With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt University has established a reputation for world-class teaching and practical, leading-edge research, which has made it one of the top UK universities for business and industry. We connect with industry at every level and develop programmes to match their needs – so employers get work-ready industry-fit graduates.

Heriot-Watt is also Scotland's most international university, boasting the largest international student cohort.

We have an established set of values that help us to nurture innovation and leadership, and show our commitment to continuous improvement and development in all our activities.

For full details on our University please view our Careers at Heriot-Watt http://www.hw.ac.uk/about/careers-at-heriot-watt.htm

About our Team

The Estates and Facilities Directorate leads the global provision for Strategic Planning and Operational Management of Estates, Facilities and Hospitality Services. Over the last five years the University has invested in new facilities such as; the Lyell Centre, a co-location project with the British Geological Survey; Oriam, a leading facility for performance sports; new and improved student residences; major campus refurbishment; and a new hotel. Over the next five years, there are a number of future exciting projects including the National Centre for Robotics.

In Edinburgh, the University estate principally comprises a campus site positioned within the green belt to the West of Edinburgh. It totals 154 hectares with some 100 buildings providing a developed floor space of upwards of 160,000m², together with grounds, roads, car parks, HV Electrical network, high pressure gas network, mains water distribution and pumping system and drainage. There are also other Scottish Campuses based at Galashiels and in Orkney. The University also has other Campuses located in Dubai and Malaysia.

Detailed Description

The University is two years into a five year capital plan, which has been developed in close collaboration with colleagues to ensure all areas of the University have world-class facilities to allow them to deliver their part of the strategic plan. Over the last five years the University has invested in new facilities such as; the Lyell Centre, a co-location project with the British Geological Survey; Oriam, a leading facility for performance sports; new and improved student residences; major campus refurbishment; and a new hotel. Over the next five years, there are a number of future exciting projects including the National Centre for Robotics.

Estates and Facilities is a key professional service directorate within the University’s Professional Services’ operating structure. Property Management is currently one of 4 divisions within the directorate. The directorate has around 300 staff.

Key duties and responsibilities

Reporting to the Global Director of Estates & Facilities , the post of Head of Property Management is a technical specialist role which will be responsible for the management of the University’s diverse portfolio of land and property. This includes dealing with all aspects of day-to-day management of the portfolio, including but not limited to:

  • maximising the rental income from the University’s estate;
  • providing advice on land ownership issues;
  • procurement of property valuations;
  • negotiating on all aspects of the leased estate including new lettings, rent reviews and lease renewals;
  • space planning;
  • the management of rates including appeals where required;
  • the acquisition and disposal of property where required by the University;
  • the upkeep of the property database;
  • instructing and liaising with solicitors and agents regarding any property transactions, disputes or issues;

Education, qualifications and experience

The tasks and responsibilities listed under the following Competency Headings form part of all leadership roles in the University at this level and it is expected that the role-holder will perform them to at least an effective standard at all times.

Management Responsibilities:

  1. Act as the Estates and Facilities specialist point of contact on all matters relating to property and space management including to lead, develop and manage the University’s approach to space planning and allocation.
  2. Manage the University’s property interests including oversight of freeholds, leases and licensees ensuring compliance with all landlord and tenant legislation and statutory requirements and ensuring that income/expenditure relating to landlord and tenant arrangements are effectively managed.
  3. Manage the database of Estate occupancy to ensure optimum utilisation, adopting professional and best practice space planning principles.
  4. Deliver property management services which are customer focussed and commercially driven.
  5. Assist the Director in maintaining and enhancing the value of the University’s assets.
  6. Responsibility for ensuring that the University complies with all its property ownership and landlord requirements.

Decision Making

  1. Provide advice and make recommendations to the University to support its decision making in all property matters.
  2. Provide timely and accurate advice to customers and stakeholders based on your technical or specialist knowledge.
  3. Assess the risks of various options and work with the relevant customer/stakeholder to achieve the optimum outcome.
  4. Following Procurement guidelines, negotiate with suppliers regarding prices and deliveries to increase financial efficiency.

Planning and Organising

  1. Ownership of accurate space records, including audits of space use and records retention for statutory purposes
  2. Support space moves across the University estate, to deliver space designs that meet their requirements.
  3. Plan, prioritise and organise the resources required for space planning.
  4. Develop new and improved statutory maintenance resource planning processes and procedures to ensure maximum resource efficiency.
  5. Develop, maintain and deliver the relevant Service Level Agreements.
  6. Manage delegated budgets ensuring compliance with University standing financial instructions.

Initiative and Problem Solving

  1. Provide advice and guidance on complex and non-standard queries, using personal knowledge and experience.
  2. Use initiative and creative ideas to resolve non-standard problems using experience and reasoning to reach an effective conclusion.
  3. Generate original ideas and innovative solutions through the provision of specialist know-how and advice as appropriate
  4. Gather and analyse requirements for systems in order to identify optimum solutions

Service Excellence

  1. Create relationships and networks with customers, partners and stakeholders, providing property and space information influencing decisions and creative solutions.
  2. Provide timely and appropriate guidance and advice on policy, procedure, legislation and local processes.
  3. Provide expert technical advice within your area of knowledge and experience.
  4. Work with colleagues within the directorate to contribute to and manage the continued review and improvement of the service.
  5. With the other relevant managers, ensure that all policies, systems, procedures and guidelines are in place to comply with all legislative and regulatory requirements related to statutory compliance of the estate.
  6. Set standards and lead by example.
  7. Ensure timely, accurate and informative provision of statutory and other reports and metrics.

Team Work

  1. Manage the relationships with all relevant external consultants and advisors e.g. legal advisors, property consultants, etc.
  2. Working with the Energy, Environment and Sustainability Manager to ensure the effective, sustainable utilisation of all University property
  3. Work collaboratively and effectively within the directorate, sharing expertise and contributing to the development of the directorate operational plan.
  4. Participate in working groups within the University and externally if required, sharing ideas, experience and providing technical advice.
  5. Deputise, as required or other senior colleagues in the Directorate.
  6. Champion and support a one-team culture across directorate and wider University.
  7. Working in partnership with the Heriot-Watt Research Park Manager in order to pursue and maximise all opportunities to develop promote the Research Park.

Clear and Consistent Communications

  1. Effective financial management, including maintenance of accurate rent and payment records, in accordance with University procedures.
  2. Produce relevant management information and KPI’s. Prepare reports and papers for committees or funding bids as required. Prepare agendas, take minutes of relevant meetings and prepare recommendation report on the back of property matters
  3. Write/review papers, policies, guidance and briefings for relevant audiences and stakeholders.
  4. Write letters, emails and other direct communication to individuals and groups.
  5. Interpret, prepare, analyse and deliver reports.
  6. Provide detailed explanations of systems, procedure or technical information both verbally and in writing.
  7. Interpret, prepare, analyse and deliver reports.


  1. Demonstrate the University Values at all times through performance and behaviour.
  2. Participate in ad-hoc duties to support the team/University and for personal development.
  3. Support newer or inexperienced colleagues within and outside the University by offering support, help and advice.
  4. Positively promote the University internally and externally through positive behaviour and supporting University-wide activities.

Special Arrangements

  1. Participate in the University's management out of hours emergency provision arrangements, if required.

This job description is intended as a flexible framework which outlines the key general areas of activity in your position. Other activities may be required which are not outlined above but which are appropriate to the position and grade. Your personal objectives (Forward Job Plan) will also set out specific tasks and objectives for you to achieve, including objectives to help your career development.

About you:

You will be a Chartered Surveyor and/or have extensive work experience with a proven track record of negotiating successfully in multi-stakeholder environments. Your understanding of Scottish propetry law will be sound and up to date – this will complement your extensive “client side” commercial property management experience gained either in public or private sector.

How To Apply

Applications can be submitted up to midnight (UK time) on 28th October 2019. Interviews will take place in mid-November.

This role does not meet the minimum requirements set by UKVI to enable sponsorship of non-European nationals. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK. For further information on this please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website: https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a dynamic and creative environment.

We welcome and will consider flexible working patterns e.g. part-time working and job share options.

Use our total rewards calculator: https://www.hw.ac.uk/about/work/total-rewards-calculator.htm to see the value of benefits provided by Heriot-Watt University.