Now that you’ve been at Buzzacott a few months, how does it compare to being part of a larger firm?
The environment is very different both culturally and operationally. At Buzzacott, we have a pragmatic and straightforward approach to working with minimal red tape that enables us to deliver high-quality services in an efficient manner. The team are very close knit, so collaboration and communication are easier and better. This allows us to spend time getting to know clients’ businesses and build relationships, something that was becoming harder and harder in a larger corporate environment. I have really enjoyed my first few months with the firm and have been really impressed with the quality and professionalism of the team and with the support I have received to develop the real estate specialism.
What do you like most about working in the sector?
An important part of our role as advisors is to understand the business, its plans and current projects. Being able to actually go and take a tour around live property developments as they progress, visit construction sites to understand the status of projects and issues they are dealing with, and then see the finished “product” is something that I’ve always enjoyed. It’s a nice change from being in the office at a computer and adds valuable insight to help us give better more relevant support.
What are the biggest challenges facing the sector?
There is still a lot of uncertainty as the world rebalances post pandemic. This uncertainty is driving change in demand for real estate, for example commercial office space, and in some areas reduced rent or increased vacancies, which is presenting challenges for landlords. Access to finance for new commercial developments may be restricted. And there is still a shortage of residential housing supply. These challenges also present opportunities for businesses who are prepared to be flexible in how they work and adapt their historic practices to be fit for the future. Businesses that embrace the changes which have impacted the real estate sector over the last 18 months and accept the changing landscape are more likely to be successful.
Three top tips for clients over the coming year
- Engage and communicate with your advisors – there is a lot going on in the UK at the moment and we are well placed to support you, and to give views and opinions on what we are seeing in the wider market place.
- Times are uncertain but this is presenting opportunity as well as challenges – be confident in your business and business model and be prepared to take advantage of opportunities that arise.
- Retain focus on the medium/longer term despite the inevitable immediate pressures for some businesses in managing through the current challenges – this will enable you to set yourselves up for longer-term success.
Tell us about a career highlight
There are lots! Becoming a partner in 2007 and winning my first audit engagement that year with a small start-up business and developing that relationship over the last 14 years, to working with some of the most well-known names in the high street and winning the audit of a large FTSE 250 construction business. And of course having the opportunity to join Buzzacott in February 2021 - my career highlights are yet to come.
Who would be your ideal client and why?
I enjoy working with businesses that have ambitious growth plans, a strong brand and a clear vision. And with business leaders who involve you in that vision and planning, value the services we provide, and who I can have an open and honest dialogue with. Put those things together and you have the makings of an excellent client relationship that is both professional and enjoyable.