Matt Lockwood – Senior Associate (Property Investment), Aftersport Ltd Former PFA Player Representative and Dundee United/Leyton Orient Defender, Matt Lockwood, gives us an insight into his career as a Senior Associate with RPA Official Partner, property investment firm, Aftersport.
How did you get started in your chosen career? I was always very keen to invest in property during my football career and I had built up a nice little portfolio. I was introduced to James Patterson (Director or Aftersport) through the Professional Footballers’ Association. The Commercial Director of the PFA gave me James' contact details when I needed help with a particular investment. He told me that he knows lots of property guys but there is only one he trusts and that was James. I met with James that week and here we are four years later working together at Aftersport.
What does your role involve? My role is to go out and find potential investors and ambassadors. Having had a 22-year career playing football I have built up a reputation and a network where people know and trust me. We felt that the best way to promote Aftersport was for me to be the one who goes out and meets the players to explain what we do. The guys we are speaking to either know me or can relate with me because I was sitting in their shoes my whole career. I understand how they think and what they are trying to achieve during and after their careers.
Can you describe a typical day in your role? I am always trying to arrange meetings to see new investors and to find out what sort of things they are looking to invest in. I also show them what investments we have coming up and ones we have completed in the past. I go to lots of networking events, which opens up doors to meet new people. What I am trying to do each day is to find people that want to invest in property. For players that have no interest in investing in property, I like to sit down with them and find out why. I feel it’s important to pass on my experience and help them prepare for when they retire. A professional sports career is short and you need to make plans for life after retirement.
What has been your career highlight? I wouldn't say I've had one particular highlight but nothing pleases me more than when we help our clients invest in a deal and they are happy afterwards. Dealing with satisfied customers is always nice because you know you have done a good job and they will reinvest but more importantly they will tell their friends and colleagues about us. We have found that word of mouth is the best form of advertising.
Does your company offer work experience opportunities? How could these benefit RPA members? Yes. The best way to learn anything is to spend time with experts in their fields. If any RPA members wanted to explore this, we would invite them to the offices to spend time with the team. That's how I started. I had a genuine interest in the property industry but to spend time with the Aftersport property experts and ask them question after question to find out how everything works, was invaluable for me.
What advice would you give to a player wanting to enter your industry post-rugby? My advice would be to speak to the experts and don't be afraid to ask questions. Even if you think your questions might be stupid, just ask. It’s the only way you will learn. It’s no different than starting out in rugby. You work your way up the ladder by working hard and gaining knowledge, you get out what you put in. You’re always building up your contacts along the way and growing your network which is the important thing.
Salary expectations for your chosen career path? It’s hard to put a figure on salary, that depends what part of the property industry you want to work in. One thing is for certain, there is good money to be made in the world of property so if you are prepared to work hard, the rewards will follow.
If there are any RPA members who would like to get involved, please contact Matt Lockwood on 07813 393573 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about AfterSport please click here.