Sarah Hagen

Associate Partner, Office & Industrial Agency, Knight Frank

Looking forward, the biggest changes to our organisation in the post Covid era will be ... learning from the challenges we have faced over the last year and applying that to our market.  Adapting is key; well advised occupiers, landlords and developers have been working towards a more flexible working environment over the last 5 - 10 years, but the last 12 months has shone a brighter light on this.

There is no doubt we will see a stronger push from occupiers for more sustainable, smarter buildings that offer a destination which encourages staff to thrive in a safe, inspiring environment.  We'll likely see an increased focus on social needs and well-being and those landlords or employers planning for those changes will ultimately stand out.

The future vision for our organisation in Glasgow is ... always to provide our clients with insightful, market leading advice in all aspects of commercial property. As a multi-disciplinary firm, it's not just about what one department can offer a client; it's using a collaborative approach to ensure our clients are expertly advised in all areas.

The three best things about working in Glasgow are ... perhaps clichéd, but the people. It's superb to be working in a city of professionals that are not only talented and hard-working, but know how to have a good laugh and not take themselves too seriously!

Access to the outdoors and green space is another big positive. Glasgow has a greater proportion of urban green space than virtually every other city in the UK.  As awareness of social and environmental impact becomes increasingly prevalent, I believe this green space will become more and more important.  We are already witnessing this at some of the city's new office schemes, where developers are trying to blur those lines.

Thirdly, how close we are to some of the best scenery in the world.

My favourite part of Glasgow is ... the nightlife and live music scene which was actually one of the reasons I moved to Glasgow and I still love it.  I try to get to as many gigs as possible but, over the years one thing amazing to witness has been the expansion of the independent restaurant scene. The variety of options in Glasgow is excellent and I truly hope all the local and independent places are able to weather the storm. Michelin could give us some stars…

The most satisfying thing about my job is ... knowing that no two days are ever the same. That is incredibly satisfying and encouraging.  I could be acquiring a 100,000 sq. ft. industrial unit one day and leasing Grade A office space or sourcing development sites the next. It is that diversity that made the job so attractive.

Obviously we are deal driven, therefore meeting and exceeding your clients' expectations is great, but without a doubt the most rewarding part of the job is going through a whole project with a client, gaining trust and respect by providing insightful, valuable advice.  Unlocking that potential and turning it into something tangible and beneficial for clients is incredibly satisfying.

The biggest challenge I have faced in my career to date was when .... I graduated in 2010 which wasn't a great time to join the property market, but without a doubt Covid-19 and the crisis of 2020 has been the most challenging year. In a personal capacity, like everyone else, I have struggled with adjusting to working from home. Our job relies so heavily on social interaction which disappeared almost overnight.

I spend most of my working week on the phone to people and there's an overwhelming feeling that as human beings we are desperately missing that social interaction and sense of routine.  Don't get me wrong, the flexibility of working from home is superb but many still want an environment that is separate from home where we can collaborate, build relationships and learn from others.

Outside of work, I am passionate about ... music, sport….gin?!  During lockdown I've started my own vegetable garden and it's been a real sense of achievement seeing those 'babies' grow. I am a proper foodie so to be able to cook with my own ingredients is great. I am also a huge rugby fan, I've lived in Glasgow for nearly 15 years but still can't make Glasgow Warriors my first team…Ulster and Ireland always!

My approach to achieving work life balance is ... the nature of our sector is that one conversation can lead to an opportunity somewhere, so I think it's about working smart to ensure that you are alive to that.  Some days, it requires full focus on screens but one of the things I love about property and agency in particular, is that it's about building relationships - that doesn't always feel like work.

That being said, it's also about knowing when you should switch off, especially in the current climate. I like to put the phone down and turn the music up. For me personally, I know I am much more productive when I make time to properly recharge, by spending time outdoors and seeing family and friends.

First ever job? Shop Assistant at Superdrug

Favourite boxset? Friends - love a life-relatable Friends quote

Favourite band? Ooffft tough to choose just one - Fleetwood Mac

Sunshine or snow? Both - sunshine on the slopes.  Dreaming of having that again…one day

And, finally, what three words best sum you up? Approachable, Determined, Positive


  • Sarah Hagen