Having joined GRE Assets in 2011 as an Investment Analyst, Michael Bignell has been Development Manager for the past five years. He is responsible for managing the development process from planning to completion.
Michael is currently working on Riverside Park in Ashford, which is reaching the end of its second phase and the third phase is due to commence imminently. He is also working across the Nene Wharf at Fletton Quays project, which is nearing completion and the sales of the first apartments have just launched.
In this interview, Michael shares more about his current role and how it has changed during his time at GRE Assets. He also outlines what factors he thinks are important to the development process and what makes the company unique.
Can you tell us about your current role at GRE Assets and how has it changed since you joined the company in 2011?
My role has changed a huge amount since I joined the company in 2011. When I started as an Investment Analyst, the role was intended to give me a solid foundation in understanding the property market and all its various components. As time progressed, I became much more specialised in development and from 2015 onwards that’s been central to my role.
My current responsibilities include undertaking due diligence and assessing the viability of new projects in advance of making the acquisition. From preparing planning submissions and managing the day-to-day delivery of the project right through to the handover to the sales team or occupiers at project completion, I’m very much involved from start to finish. I also lead the internal and external professional teams including project managers, architects, structural engineers and quantity surveyors.
What factors would you say are important in ensuring the development process runs smoothly from start to finish?
An understanding of the project scope from the start is key. By identifying risks and planning for all eventualities, you will be prepared when challenges arise along the way. Problems as part of the development process are inevitable, but the important thing is solving them efficiently and ensuring they’re not repeated.
Having a strong project team with the right personalities and a common goal is also vital to the success of a development project. Communicating clearly and having well-defined roles will mean you can get the most out of everyone in the team and the completed project at the end will reflect this.
What would you say makes GRE Assets unique?
We’re extremely flexible and will always aim to stay ahead of the curve by investing in up-and-coming areas that have regeneration planned or underway. Our team has considerable experience across all areas of the property market which can be drawn upon to make quick decisions when we need to. GRE Assets also has the capabilities to construct large projects in-house.
Finally, we are proud to deliver for our investors long-term and would never compromise that objective for short-term profits. This is why we have clients working with us across many of our projects, because they have experienced our strong track record first-hand.
Connect with Michael on LinkedIn, here.Date: 9 February 2021