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Take 5 with Tom

05th October 2020

Take 5 with Tom

Barker is excited to introduce its team member, Tom Deacon, who has joined us as an Associate Partner. With over 15 years’ industry experience, Tom’s passion is to use the built environment to make a difference in society. We find out more…

Welcome to the team Tom! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thanks! It is great to be on board with the team at Barker. I am a Chartered Building Surveyor and I have worked for public sector clients for over 15 years. As my career has developed, I have become really passionate about using the built environment to make a real difference to society.

Over the years it has been rewarding to support clients to deliver projects across the public sector; whether that’s in education, central and local government, charities or the health sector.

I love the fact that my role allows me to spend time with the team in the office and be out and about visiting clients and seeing our projects come to life.  

What made you want to come and work for Barker?

Barker is a very well-respected practice in the education sector, so the company has been on my radar for some time now. As a business they are experiencing strong growth, so it is great to join the team at such an exciting time.

The most appealing aspect, and the one that sealed it for me, is Barker’s investment and development of estates technology. Through their sister company, EO Consulting, there is huge potential to support clients and help them maximise the use of their estates through smart use of data, energy saving transformation programmes and the use of technology. With limited funding in the public sector, this is a real differentiator in the market and a really exciting thing to be driving forward. 

What element of your job do you enjoy the most? 

Being able to spend time with clients, really understand their challenges and seeing how Barker can help solve these gives me real job satisfaction. I am heavily involved in client development and client account management and this is one of the most rewarding elements of the job.

What does ‘good’ estate management for the education sector look like to you?

It is all about thinking about the long-term benefits that organisations are seeking to achieve and then developing an estate strategy to get there. This isn’t always easy as time pressures often prevent strategic planning activity. Equally, tight budgets and the changing demands on buildings often prevent the longer-term benefits being realised. That said, having a clear estates vision and a simple plan that supports this will enable the right decisions to be made.

Given my passion for using estates data, I would also say that good estates management should be underpinned by useful and robust information that is gathered consistently, centrally held and regularly updated. It is the only way to stress test plans and come to the right decisions. 

Let’s finish with a fun question – if you could have any superpower what would it be and why?

That’s a difficult one. I always wanted to be a pilot when I was a kid, so perhaps flight? At least it would mean I wouldn’t need to travel by train to London in a facemask at the moment!