What’s your role at The Helmsley Group?
I work across several areas here – development, syndicated investment and client consultancy.
On the development side, I identify and then project manage opportunities, primarily in and around York. I also work with Ian McAndrew and Ed Harrowsmith on our syndicated investments and day to day asset management of our portfolio. I’ll also get involved on advising our clients on their property interests.
What does a typical day look like for you?
At the moment, my day begins with a shrill early wake up call, following the birth of my first child recently!
Usually though, my day is split between the office and being either on site, (typically making sure contractors are behaving themselves!), or splitting myself between meetings with tenants, surveyors and clients.
What are you working on at the moment?
The latest development project I have been working on is a scheme of 19 apartments and townhouses called NEON, which has proved very successful. In the first 10 days of marketing we sold 10 units and it’s been feted in the media for its innovation.
We have since done a number of similar developments at Clifton Moor. The Helmsley Group has just been nominated for a design award for its delivery of genuinely affordable homes to first time buyers. Historically it’s been difficult for them to get started on the York property ladder.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
It is great to be involved with development schemes from start to finish. Identifying an opportunity and then seeing it come to life.
There are always obstacles to overcome and a solution to be found, but ultimately seeing the finished schemes come to fruition is the reward.
What do you think the next year will bring for the property industry?
The performance of the commercial investment market ultimately lives or dies as a result of the performance of the occupier market, which varies hugely from town to town in the current world.
Overall those cities with a draw (such as York, with a large amount of its income from tourism and its high living standards) continue to see improving occupier demand. Whereas unfortunately many towns which do not have a similar appeal still have a historic oversupply of vacant commercial buildings, with next to no occupier demand and we believe they’ll continue to struggle.
There are always challenges, especially in such a potentially volatile economic and political environment. Overall though, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the year ahead and we see many opportunities in the property market.
Helmsley has established a substantial market share across York over the past few years and we continue to invest in locations that fit our acquisition strategy.