A spotlight on Tom Hobbis: Tom Hobbis, former greenkeeper, father-to-be and Amenity Specialist for Agrovista Amenity reveals exactly why he feels blessed – every single day.
As the end of his school life was approaching, Tom didn’t really know what his future held. However, a chance work experience placement at his local golf course made him fall in love with working in the great outdoors.
“I was offered a full-time role after my work placement at the golf course and found that working outdoors with early starts and early finishes was something that appealed to me – it just suited me down to a tee.”
After greenkeeping for thirteen years he moved into machinery sales, where he was working with some of the most prominent brands in turf care. Of course, he didn’t have any experience in sales at the time, but he wasn’t about to let that stop him.
“I’m a firm believer in the saying, if you don’t ask you don’t get,” said Tom. “I thought it was something I’d like to do so I just asked the company outright if I could have a job. They gave me one and in turn it gave me the experience I needed to be able to apply for the job with Agrovista.”
Tom was in this role for fifteen months before he saw the opportunity at Agrovista Amenity. He admits that it piqued his interest immediately, but this time, it wasn’t as straight forward as just calling someone up and asking for the job.
“Agrovista is a huge company and it seemed to tick every box for me,” continued Tom. “I knew a couple of people that were working there, and they explained how good a company it was to work for – in terms of support, training and development. It was quite a long application and interview process but fortunately I was offered the role and I’ve never looked back.”
Tom has now been an Amenity Specialist for just under two years, focussing his efforts on a variety of sites around Scotland. Tom clocks up the miles as his daily travels take him to some spectacular places on his home soil, including East Lothian, Perth and Aberdeenshire – to name but a few.
The best part of his day? A wee chinwag of course.
“It’s always a 5am start and it will be a case of catching up with customers; going over a quotation or looking at the results of some products that have been put down; talking about the plan moving forward – or just having a chinwag. I love a good chinwag! The conversation always varies depending on the site and each has their own objectives and goals. The whole aspect of the job is completely different, and it certainly keeps me on my toes.”
Tom makes an average of five visits a day to customers and even though two years might seem a long time, he claims that he still has some work to put in when it comes to getting to know all of his customers.
“I cover pretty much the whole of Scotland and it is still a learning curve,” he said. “I’m still in that period of getting to know my customer base on a personal level. Every customer is just as important as the next, whether they spend £2 or £20,000 – it’s essential that we offer the same level of service at all times.”
With customer service in mind, Tom believes that the bar has been raised even higher in this respect since Agrovista acquired Maxwell Amenity earlier this year.
“It’s been an exciting time to be part of this company. The portfolio of products that we can now put forward is second to none. I feel it has put Agrovista Amenity in a position where it is at the very top of the marketplace. It’s just a case of driving forward in the right direction – and that is exactly what we are doing as a company.
“Agrovista is supportive in so many ways, it is unbelievable, and someone is always at the end of the phone as well. I’m also currently working towards my BASIS and FACTS qualifications so there is a lot to look forward to.”
Life is good for Tom right now; not only is he in a job he loves but he and his partner are looking forward to welcoming a baby into their family (in just five days, in fact, at the time of writing).
“I’m a big family man and I love spending quality time with my partner and the kids. We’ve got another little girl on the way which we are over the moon about.
“Career wise – I couldn’t be happier, and the position that I am in now makes me feel immensely proud. To be able to go out walking on a golf course, a football stadium, a race course or the beautiful grounds of a private school and to be able to talk to people with the same shared interests – well it’s not a bad gig is it?
“I feel very blessed, every single day, that I can do this job.”
For more information about Agrovista Amenity, visit www.agrovista.co.uk/amenity
For the latest industry news visit turfmatters.co.uk/news
Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.
You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Turf Matters.