30 Aug Francesca Woodhouse, Progression in Property with Avamore Capital
At the end of last month, I shared with you my approach to the property industry coming from the mainstream banking sector and the associated results generated; originating £33.4m of debt in my first four weeks, averaging over 26 enquires, as Senior Business Development Manager for Avamore Capital. Being the new girl on the property block continued to give me a different angle to others and has led me to finish June with an enquiry quantum of £82.6m spread over 65 cases. Onto July, would this momentum continue?
I have been informed this month is when business starts to slow up for the summer. I have to admit this was a concern for me, however our Principal Michael Dean shared some great advice:“The key advantage of July is that because it’s quieter, you are more likely to have better attention from people who are around, as they have fewer distractions.”
And he was right. I persevered, connecting with relevant individuals and before I knew it my dairy was full: on and off of the trains; attending networking events; meeting brokers, entrepreneurs, and introducers alike. As a result, my second month’s quantum was £80m of enquires; I am delighted that the momentum continues.
The one networking event that stood out this past month was the annual Association of Short Term Lenders Lunch, which I was pleased to attend. The arrangement was fifteen people around the table, having the opportunity to voice your opinions and exchange views on current market conditions and other relevant topics. Being the only female present at this event, which is not uncommon in the property industry, when the BBC salaries topic was raised, I of course was opinionated on the difference between the male and female pay. This is something I feel strongly about and will come onto in future blogs.
I also reconnected with my very first manager from when I worked in Oxford many moons ago; as a result I was introduced to some local developers, and now have my first development facility of c£1.5m for four detached houses. This was approved, competitively priced, and has now moved into legals. The developers are well established and have been working in Oxfordshire for over 20 years. I arranged a visit to meet the team and see the site, as I wanted to ensure we connected and were on the way to building a trusting relationship (no pun intended).
I will be integrated with this team over the next twelve months; at site visits, helping with any queries that may arise, and being at the end of the phone should they need me. Meeting the team in person was very important to our working together, I wanted to cement their understanding that Avamore Capital are focused on performance and delivery for them; we are as much part of this project as they are. I know I say this a lot and that won’t change – relationships are everything in this business and developing them is my favourite and key part of the job.
Oxford – I really do see so much potential in Oxfordshire (I am not bias just because it’s where I am from), and this is something I am going to focus on over the coming months. Oxford has positioned itself on the international stage due to its high quality of living, decorated history, world renowned Universities, Hospitals and Science Parks; all which continue to bring housing demand in both the short and long term. There seems to be no waning in the demand, and so to prevent the housing bubble bursting again, it must now be time to think sensibly to increase the much-needed housing supply. This urgent need for more housing and the constrained supply in Oxford is well documented and frequently features in the press and research studies.
It is common knowledge to anyone working in real estate in Oxfordshire how hard it is to obtain planning. However, there has been a recent increase in approvals as local councils try to ensure their strategic plan of more affordable housing is reached. I spoke with a developer in Oxford last week, who has been trying to gain planning on a site for six years and constantly had it rejected; a few months ago, he received a letter from the council asking him to reapply for the eleven units, which he did, and he will now be building these come this Autumn.
I am going to spend these next few months focussing on Oxfordshire and building and growing key relationships within the property sector. If you’d like to discuss how I can help you make use of the growing opportunities with Avamore Capital in Oxfordshire, or another city, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I look forward to speaking with you soon.
+44 (0) 771 435 4118
Francesca Woodhouse, Senior Business Development Manager, Avamore Capital