Under the spotlight: twelve questions for Ally Robin

We have been taking the time to get under the skin of the STAR recruitment team members to find out what makes them tick ….. and what ticks them off! This time it’s the turn of Director, Ally Robin.

1) How and why did you join STAR recruitment?

My business partner Nick and I met and both had plans and aspirations to have our own businesses. He took the plunge first and set up on his own and I joined him 9 months later as BBR. We built things up quickly with Hospitality and Construction recruitment desks and then took an opportunity to move into the new homes recruitment sector. Lots of hard work, building great teams along with us and 3 acquisitions later, we are the market leader for New Homes Recruitment in Scotland, arguably the top for the same in England with Maitland Selwyn and a really strong name in the packed and competitive market of Construction Recruitment.

2) What’s your favourite thing about working at STAR?

We have a really strong comradery in STAR.  It’s a small tight knit team and we all get along really well. There’s lots of trust.

3) What has been your best investment? 

It’s too hard to say – Maitland has propelled our group to being one the best in UK for New Home Sales staffing and a leader in training for the industry, but acquisitions of Maitland Selwyn and STAR recruitment were so vital too. I feel we negotiated and navigated the risks really well with both and each one seems to have been harder and more complex than the last.

Personally, a boring answer, but my house! I love a project house and have always bought houses I can add value to by doing up myself with help of some of our best tradesmen and trades clients whilst also getting to put our stamp on it.

4) What has been your favourite role, before joining property recruitment?

I absolutely loved working in high end fashion retail for Cruise clothing. An amazing company with great culture, great brands and such a fun job. I learned lots about service, standards and customer experience there. Loads of amazing clients and relationships. I even met my wife there! But I was spending all my money on clothes so had to move on!

5) What is your favourite room in your house and why?

I love the master bedroom. I like a hotel feel to a bedroom and we’ve achieved that by putting in a modern looking en-suite, lots of mood lighting, an integrated sound system and relaxed neutral colour scheme. It’s pared back with minimal essential furniture, no clutter. The best thing is one wall is floor to ceiling mirrored wardrobes that bring in lovely light and reflect the view from the bay window so you can all the trees surrounding the area and a bit of a view of the Pentland Hills. A nice place to sit and chill.

6) If you could add one dream feature to your home, what would it be?

We are looking into extending to make the kitchen bigger and open out our view of the beautiful surrounding trees in the back garden and also an attic conversion to create some more rooms for guests.

If I could do the ‘dream version’ and budget and planning permission weren’t an issue I’d have all glass extension with fancy glass that wouldn’t heat up like a greenhouse in the summer, a full dormer attic conversion with huge windows all round to admire those views of the leafy surrounding area and up into the Pentlands.

7) Where is your favourite holiday destination?

I loved Bali, Indonesia, I went with my wife before we had kids. It is a gorgeous place. Very spiritual, amazing scenery, culture and weather (when not stormy). Though my favourite thing was the incredible hotel suites and dining experiences (Sorry)!!! I love nice spaces and food. We had dinner for 2 on a table on a platform stretched over an infinity pool high up in the rainforest area looking over the surrounding forest and paddy fields.

8) What do you most dislike about your home?

Only that it’s not my forever home and I’d love to be adding dream features like the one in earlier question but need to keep sensible!

9) Have you any pets?

No! My family and wife’s have always had dogs. We don’t have one (yet!) but I’m under pressure from the family to get one.

10) What’s the first thing you would do if you won the lottery? 

Go on a trip around the world!

11) What is your favourite book and favourite song?

I don’t have one favourite of either but will say what comes to mind first. I don’t read a lot of fiction but Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is one that stuck with me. I only read it in my late twenties when my wife and I both read it as it was a book left in a holiday house we stayed at, so it holds lovely memories of then too.  I have a very eclectic taste in music – I especially love 80’s music, rock, soul, hip hop, electronic. I’d love to say something cool but Spotify says my fav song is ‘We don’t talk about Bruno’ from Disney’s Encanto… kids. (Though I must admit I do love it).

12) Finally, what 3 things would you take with you to a desert island?

Assuming all the essentials are taken care of (knife, fishing net, bed, sunscreen for me!) and I’m picking luxury items- then Music player, a football (I love playing footy), and my wife and kids!? (if not allowed to take people then chocolate!!!)