With a BA in Geography from Swansea University, Lois Baggott joined the team as a Market Researcher in October 2017.
In her current role as Business Development Manager, she is heavily involved in the acquisition of land and investment opportunities for GRE Assets. Lois also plays a key part in managing the marketing department, monitoring budgets and ensuring the company profile is raised.
In this interview, Lois Baggott shares how her role has evolved during her time at GRE Assets, outlines how processes changed in 2020 and looks ahead to future projects.
What does your role as Business Development Manager involve and how has your role changed during your time working at GRE Assets?
In my initial role as Market Researcher, I mainly carried out research to support acquisition, but now as Business Development Manager I am more actively involved in finding new opportunities and lead the research and acquisitions department.
My role involves researching potential development locations, which meet our criteria – areas with ongoing regeneration, good transport links to London and affordable house prices. When we are introduced to a new site, I carry out the due diligence and value the new opportunities, working alongside the development manager to conduct an appraisal.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, I attended lots of conferences and meetings to grow our network of contacts for acquisitions and will look forward to doing this again, when restrictions ease and it’s safe to do so.
I am also heavily involved in marketing, monitoring daily activity, ensuring our newest acquisitions are marketed in the best possible way and all content is reflective of our portfolio and the direction of the business.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your role?
Like many businesses, our team has been working from home over recent months, but with offices internationally in Barcelona, Madrid, Riyadh and Dubai, we had experience in liaising with teams from other offices remotely, so were well equipped at the start of the March lockdown last year.
As a result of the pandemic, we decided to shift our land buying criteria to focus more on sites with the development potential for houses rather than apartments. The reason for this is we have seen a shift in demand, as people are working from home more and commuting less, so they are prioritising more internal and outdoor space when looking for their next home. GRE Assets has experience in responding to these shifts, which is why we have continued to deliver for our clients even throughout challenging times.
Can you tell us about what areas you’re focusing on for future acquisition projects?
Looking to the year ahead, we will be focusing on development opportunities in Kent and the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, areas which we have had positive experience in with our Riverside Park and Nene Wharf projects.
Kent has an unrivalled connectivity to London and Europe thanks to HS1, the road network and the Port at Dover; transport infrastructure improvements including the Lower Thames Crossing; and lower average property prices than elsewhere in the South East. Likewise, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc will benefit from the New East West Rail development, phase two of which is currently underway; has strong economic growth potential; high projected population growth; and a considerable amount of planned regeneration in the works.
As a team, we are excited about the year ahead and are looking forward to expanding our development portfolio, providing much needed homes at affordable prices, especially for those wanting to get onto the property ladder, and supporting the regeneration of the areas we develop in.
Connect with Lois on LinkedIn, here.