The chairman of property management and surveying group Scanlans is celebrating a 40-year career milestone.
Ian Stanistreet considered becoming a journalist or lawyer after leaving high school in 1978 but got a job as a trainee surveyor with Manchester city centre practice Frank Westbrook on £25 a week.
At the time, the practice was owned by Frank’s son Neil, a former Lord Mayor of Manchester who was later knighted.
Ian, 58, qualified in 1987 and shortly afterwards acquired the firm when Neil retired, becoming the sole principal.
He merged it with Scanlans in 1989 and became a partner. He was appointed chairman of Scanlans in October 2016.
Scanlans is a national practice with seven partners and 64 staff across offices in Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and London.
It has a residential block division, a facilities management arm and a surveying consultancy which focuses on commercial and residential property valuations, building surveying, LPA receiverships, expert witness advice, rating and leasehold enfranchisement.
Scanlans also has a 50 per cent share in Pad Residential, a sales, lettings and management agency based in Manchester city centre.
In its most recent full financial year, Scanlans increased turnover by 16 per cent to £4.4m, with growth across all of its operations.
Ian said: “When I began at Frank Westbrook, I was thrown in at the deep end. The firm was mainly involved in the management of properties owned by the Westbrook family and I was the first point of contact for tenants who needed repairs.
“I was also involved in the management of a large property portfolio in the Northern Quarter in Manchester, most of which was occupied by clothing wholesalers.”
He added: “I’ve never thought about leaving Scanlans and even at the age of 58 I am not thinking about retirement. My roles have always been interesting and rewarding, and these are exciting times for the firm.”
Alongside becoming chairman, Ian said one of his proudest achievements has been increasing Scanlans’ residential block management business from a standing start to over £2m turnover.
“It is still growing, year-on year,” he added.
He said Sir Neil Westbrook has been his biggest career inspiration.
“Sir Neil was a no-nonsense businessman who didn’t suffer fools. He got things done and was highly-respected. Sadly, he passed away four years ago.”
Commenting on changes to the profession and the Manchester landscape, Ian said: “Regulation has increased over the years. While most of it is necessary, it has increased the burden on surveyors and property managers. We are all much more accountable.
“Manchester is unrecognisable from 1978, when the night-time economy barely existed.
“The IRA bombing of 1996 was a catalyst for regeneration and the city has gone from strength to strength.
“There are a number of exciting mixed-use and residential schemes currently under way that will improve the city centre even further and push its boundaries into areas that have been neglected for years. This will bring much-needed housing and facilities for families within easy reach of the city centre.”