Learner Case Study - Steve Funnell takes on the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation

22/May/2015
Ellie Parker

Current occupation: Owner of Funnell & Co. Estate Agents

Steve's story... 

If the criteria to enrol on the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation is to be driven and excited by learning, Steve Funnell is the perfect candidate.

Steve began his working life as a psychiatric nurse employed full-time at a Chichester hospital – but he soon got itchy feet!

Seeking a change, he spoke with his cousin, an estate agency manager, who gave him an insight into the property industry. Enticed by the opportunities in the sector, Steve took the plunge and applied for a position at Mann & Co., a local estate agency now part of the Countrywide group – and so began his career in property.  

Driven to do well, Steve soon started working his way up through the company, eventually progressing to a regional manager position. However, in 2002, he made the difficult but exciting decision to leave the company and start up his own Estate Agency, Funnell & Co., which opened for business in 2003. 

Whilst running his own firm, Steve insisted on furthering his education. He and his wife completed both the Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) and Non Domestic Energy Assessor (NDEA) qualifications between 2007 and 2008.  

Influenced by his friends in the surveying industry, in February 2015 Steve decided to enrol on the SAVA Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation to add another invaluable string to his bow. 

“I don’t believe in stopping,” Steve says, “and it’s good to cover all bases. The course gives me the opportunity to piece together all I’ve learned as an estate agent, a DEA and a NDEA, to become the complete package.”  

At Funnell & Co., it is not unusual for Steve to work 6 days a week and for long hours, meaning little downtime. After 27 years in estate agency, Steve says he has become “disillusioned” by it and adds that the diploma will help him “plan for the future”, take more control of his time and “provide a new focus”. 

But Steve won’t stop after gaining the diploma. Once he has joined the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) at Associate level, his next goal is to gain Chartered status and become a full member of RICS (MRICS). 

And some good news! Just days before my interview with Steve, he was offered a trainee position at a local surveying firm in Portsmouth, which is testament to the opportunities the diploma can generate. The firm has agreed to support Steve through his qualification, allow him to shadow existing Chartered surveyors and to help him obtain Chartered status once he is qualified.

Steve is currently halfway through the course and says: 

I would recommend it to anyone. It’s a great course; it’s well-structured, presented superbly and the systems are user friendly. You’re never afraid to step in and ask questions, and the trainers are always happy to stop and answer them. In particular, Phil Parnham’s classes are great and he often uses humour to hold your interest. 

“Get ahead of the game!”

He strongly advises that future learners get ahead with the pre-course tasks and leave themselves plenty of time to spare.

Steve is still learning, so there is much more to come, but we are very happy to see he is enjoying his time training with the SAVA School of Surveying. 

Good luck, Steve!

If you are interested in the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation and how this could lead to a new and rewarding career, visit the SAVA School of Surveying website for details or all the SAVA team on 01908 442158. 

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