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A coffee with… Martin Cunningham, Business Development Consultant at SDL Property Auctions

I’ve worked in estate agency for over 30 years, holding senior positions with several corporate estate agencies and auctioneers, and most recently running my own estate agency in Beccles. I’ve always worked in East Anglia and being the SDL Property Auctions regional expert for the region was an offer too good to turn down.

What is your business motto?
Helping people do well with property.

What is the best quality of SDL Property Auctions, and how is it different to other auction businesses?
Its culture and principles align with my own. Trust, honesty, and integrity. These values clearly permeate throughout the whole business from the leadership team, the valuers, the office team and even across its resource and supplier network.

What is office life like for you and your team?
Our head office is a professional workspace for the whole team. It’s welcoming, efficient for visiting customers and suppliers, and it even doubles as our auction studio which is a unique feature.

What is your approach to work / life balance?
Effective time management. I try to segregate worktime and family time whenever possible.

What is your approach to making contacts which are useful for the business?
Business is a contact sport. Maintaining a healthy relationship with connections and farming these on a personal level helps to develop and maintain business flow.

Who has inspired you most in your business life, and why?
Several people. I admire those with entrepreneurial tendencies who challenge the status quo and strive to improve stuff.

What is your proudest achievement in business?
I used to work for Archant Community Media and I secured a strategic partnership with Zoopla Property Group which turned a £5,500k pa loss making business into a profit of over £1.5m. I’m also proud of the active part I’ve played in developing the UK online property auction space.

What drives and motivates you?
Having worked in the UK property market for over 35 years I still get excited selling property; helping selling and buyers. It’s a real buzz.

If you hadn’t been a Business Development Consultant, what would you do instead?
Fighter pilot. If they could make a cockpit big enough for me 😊

What time of day are you at your best, and why?
Mornings. The early bird catches the worm and all that! Actually it’s a nice time to work without interruption.

Do you use Facebook, Twitter or other social media?
I use most social media channels but Facebook and LinkedIn the most. I also occasionally use Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

If you could have a coffee with anyone, who would it be, and what would be your choice?
I would have loved the opportunity to have tea with the Queen and discuss her life. Sadly no longer a dream that could become reality. I’m not sure I’m as drawn to having the same chat with our new King, but you never know what might happen in the future.

How do you relax outside of work?
I like to spend time with friends and family – often cooking a BBQ for them!