Hello - if it’s Monday it’s PJT day, so welcome to the latest update on key moves within our industry.
Let’s start this week with Leaders Romans Group, which has named Paul Aitchison as chief financial officer.
He has 16 years of experience, including eight years as chief financial officer for the successful Cote restaurant chain; now he joins an agency with over 160 branches, 50,000 rental properties under management and annual revenues of over £120m.
“I’ve led several management buyouts and acquisitions, plus put in place numerous bank loan facilities and refinancing arrangements. I have also implemented a number of systems that have increased efficiencies within the businesses I have managed – having always viewed finance as an important support function for the people on the ground making sales, I’m looking forward to helping LRG continue in its efforts to grow” he says.
Now up to Burnley where the Petty Real agency is setting up a call centre with some 100 employees fulfilling the firm’s aim of making it “a one stop shop for anyone looking to buy or sell a property.”
The call centre will be managed by Emma Taggart who in the past has worked for organisations including Manchester United.
"My task is to make Petty Real more accessible when the customer needs us, so I'll be drawing on all my life experience in customer service to do that" says Emma, who adds: “The property market is very traditional and has been slow to change in the past.”
Meanwhile in Manchester, buy to let business Property Hub has kicked off 2020 with five important hires.
Jawaad Alam and Jay Habib join as deal progressors to assist with pipeline sales; to assist with the rental management portfolio growth across the North West, Adam Smith has also joined as lettings negotiator; and Tony Barker enters the firm as sales force developer and Joe Hindmarch bolsters the back office as a management accountant.
“2019 was an incredible year for Property Hub.” says Rob Bence, chief executive. “We’ve needed to bolster our team for 2020 to make sure our investment clients are supported throughout the process and this is being replicated across all divisions of our business, from customer care and lettings to finance and marketing.”
There’s a senior appointment, too, at rental PropTech company Spotahome - a Spanish firm with a strong presence in the UK.
It’s announced that Alan Burns has become its chief financial officer; his previous experience includes travel tech firms Expedia and Hotels.
Burns has already appointed two new figures to his team - Mani Dillon as director of financial control, and David Anderson as director of commercial finance.
Spotahome hired a number of highly credentialed executives in 2019, including senior executives from Amazon and Uber as a result of $40m funding secured from Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.
The company says its platform “offers the most complete listings of apartments, rooms, studios and student residences for residential renting of over 30 days through an online booking platform, with online viewings, which allows tenants and property owners to save time and money.”
Another PropTech appointment - and a familiar name to many in the agency industry - is Dave Bexon,who joins Yourkeys, a platform to speed-up the exchange of contracts.
Dave has over 20 years’ experience in the new homes sector, most recently at Redrow. He says: “The Yourkeys technology is a step ahead of anything else in the industry. It speeds up the process, gives buyers a better user journey and everyone can track progress in real-time. In my opinion it’s a no-brainer for housebuilders.”
And finally this week the trade body Property Energy Professionals Association has announced the appointment of Andrew Parkin as its new chairman.
“I’m delighted and honoured to take on the role at an exciting time for our industry, as energy assessors will start to provide energy efficiency advice to complement their roles as assessors. Current and prospective property owners, whether of residential or commercials properties, will benefit as a result from warmer buildings and lower costs” he says.
So that’s it for another week - by next Monday it will be February and the UK will be outside of the EU. It’s never-ending change…and if a key figure in the industry is changing jobs, you’ll find the news here.
Until next week…