We sat down with one of our newest partners, Peter Devere-Catt of Devere-Catt Ltd, to discuss his experience in property management, his partnership with B-hive and his plans for the company.
Why property management?
I am not sure anyone grows up wanting to become a Property Manager, but my parents were both landlords (one of my earliest memories is of going to view a buy-to-rent!) and I grew up surrounded by that industry. After studying Economics as my first degree, I completed my Masters Degree in Building Surveying in 2008, and then secured my APC with Allsop to become a Chartered Surveyor. On qualifying I started working for Knight Frank, where my grandfather had been working until he was called up in WWII.
I really enjoy asset managing estates and portfolios for some of the London’s great landowners and I have been lucky to already build this business, taking on instructions from the Corporation of Trinity House and the London and Oxford Group. I always want to feel that I am adding value to the tenants and clients I am assisting.
Why did you decide to go out on your own?
When I set up my company, my dad asked why it had taken me that long. It was always something that I wanted to do. It just became the right time to take the step of doing it on my own.
What was your biggest concern about starting your own business?
Having run a block management business as a Partner at Knight Frank, including taking responsibility for sign off of client accounts and financial information, I was confident in setting up without external assistance. However, for me the big advantage of B-hive was the assurance for clients that you have the backup of a larger organisation and a demonstrable track record for tender purposes.
I have a friend who is a Partner, so that was really reassuring. Block management can often come with a lot of negativity. It’s people’s homes, so they can feel very strongly about things. It was really important that B-hive came recommended. Also, having all the back-office systems already set up has saved a huge amount of time for me. And my residents love the Dwellant portal – that has gone down very well.
My Account Manager, Nathan, was brilliant and I benefited from the flexibility given to me when it came to all the training – it is extremely comprehensive, but they tailored it for me so that it was really quite bespoke and I was able to focus on the systems training, there were not lots of things that I already knew how to do.
What is your key focus for Devere-Catt?
I am focused on providing the best service in the marketplace to prime Central London buildings and portfolios across block management, lettings management and consultancy. I have a particular focus on the historic landed estates of London and institutional clients including the Charity sector.
Do you have a favourite building that you manage?
I manage a number of buildings within the Trinity Village Estate, near London Bridge, and for me that area is both surprisingly beautiful and has a real community feel. The London Philharmonic Orchestra practise in the Henry Wood Hall on Trinity Church Square and it is home to what some claim is the oldest outdoor statue in London: King Alfred.
What are your goals for the next 5 or 10 years?
I want to grow to become a serious competitor in the prime Central London estates market delivering the best service available.