A Conversation With Mark Crichton Maitland

The Lee Baron team spoke to Mark Crichton Maitland, who has just retired from Lee Baron. Here’s what he had to say about his career and about working in the property industry.

What was the highlight of your career?

My time at LB hasn’t been my whole career, just one chapter, but certainly a highlight. After I qualified as a surveyor, I spent 23 years as a forestry consultant before joining Lee Baron in 2000.

Memorably, I managed a huge building on the steps of Glasgow and we spent several million pounds externally repairing it. Covid unfortunately interrupted the refurbishment with 6 months remaining. The tenants were unhappy that we had to down tools for a year with the building covered in scaffolding but in the end, the experience helped to improve the relationship between landlord and tenant, and everyone was extremely happy with the outcome. We all learned a lot from it!

What was LB like when your first joined?

It was unrecognisable from the business it is today. The head office was in Temple Fortune bang next door to a pub. Stranger still, we had no e-mails, so we wrote letters!

What has changed in the property industry in your career?

Everything happens a lot faster because of emails, which can easily get out of control. Margins are a lot thinner, so the pressures are much greater. Property managers did everything before the role of the Facilities Manager was invented. Specialists rather than jack-of-all-trades are clearly better for all concerned.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the property industry?

What’s most important is the relationship with the client and of course, the tenants.. That’s much more important than getting hung up on any systems we often debate like Yadri, Qube and Dwellant. Such systems should be there to help us do the job, and not become the job itself. Also be careful what you do, it’s a close-knit profession, so what goes around comes around.

What are you most excited about doing in retirement?

Well as for the R word – I’m not retiring! I’ve been a consultant since 2006 so this is really another chapter with a different hat on.

I’m farming 3,000 acres, I have a residential portfolio of 30 let houses, one-thousand acres of forestry and I’m building a few industrial estates. My wife wants to travel more and shooting is my sport, so I now have more time to do that. In future, it could be me writing all the emails and others doing the replying!


Mark Crichton Maitland