Deal or no deal?

Late on Friday night we learned that my firm had won the EGi most active firm in the East Midlands. The EGi ‘most active agent’ is the most sought after award. It is the seventh year we have won it.


EGi, the online arm of property bible Estates Gazette, published its comprehensive list of the companies responsible for the most transactions across all property types across all regions of the UK.

It is interesting to note the National award winners:

Overall Lettings – Jones Lang LaSalle
Investments – Jones Lang LaSalle
Office Lettings – CBRE
Industrial Lettings – Jones Lang LaSalle
Retail Lettings – Cushman & Wakefield
Leisure & Hotel Deals – Christie + Co

Both Jones Lang LaSalle and CBRE are American owned. It is interesting to note that outside London JLL topped none of the league tables. CBRE won in London and the North West.

The regional winners:

East Midlands – Innes England
East of England – Barker Storey Matthews
North East – Sanderson Weatherall
North West – CBRE
Northern Ireland – BTW Shiells
Scotland – Ryden
South East – Lambert Smith Hampton
South West – Alder King
Wales – Lambert Smith Hampton
West Midlands – Harris Lamb
Yorkshire – PPH Commercial

We are a bit pleased with ourselves.

By Tim Garratt Posted in Business Tagged CBRE, eats midlands, EGi, , JLL, most active agent

Nottingham – the market insite

At this time of year my firm publish the review of the previous year and compare it going back over five years. I have had to get up early each morning – for some reason those who do PR think is amusing to see me like a bear with a sore head. I don’t do mornings. But I did this week. Thrice.


Nottingham’s event was at the brilliant Nottingham Conference Centre – and it was a full house!

Some of the headlines:

* The general market is picking up
* Nottingham Offices are down – probably as a result of the WPL and current traffic nightmare
* Investments are steaming ahead

David Frankish from the CBI East Midlands was one of the first guest speakers and pulled no punches. The East Midlands has done ok, but only ok. There is room for improvement. He accepted that London was a world powerhouse but our region had the ingredients for potential growth. We need to grasp it. We have low inflation, jobless numbers are falling and Gross Value Added is predicted to increase.

Ian Curryer, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council was next and started with an apology. An acknowledgement that Nottingham had, in the past, missed opportunities. Also that the current £750m of infrastructure was causing short-term issues for moving around, but that the end result would be worth it. Ian was convinced that Nottingham was now ready to take things forward and was positive and optimistic about the future.

The general consensus in the room was one of positivity. Even Robert Hartley our MD suggested that “we never had it so good’ – although I am convinced there were a few gasps at that suggestion.

We perhaps have turned the corner. But I think we need to get a head of steam to push us through the election cycle that is going to hit us in just over one years time?

A Market Insite… for the East Midlands

Next week sees the launch of my firms annual research into the stare of the East Midlands property market. We hold three breakfast events – starting on Wednesday in Nottingham.


The document sets out the position for the year ending 31 December 2013 – and compares it to the last 5 years. Although it is at the printers at the moment and I’m sworn to secrecy there are some interesting facts emerging. Some of my colleagues re clearly feeling a little bullish too.

This from Robert Hartley, Managing Director’ “While there may be some headwinds to come, the improvement in the economy does seem to have gained traction and we can look forward to 2014 with some confidence.”

Whilst the picture was a little more considered by my agency colleagues in Nottingham,

“The Greater Nottingham industrial market held steady in 2013. Although activity dipped 15% on the previous year, takeup maintained the ten-year average There were mixed fortunes for the office market, with the city centre market putting in one of its weakest performances on record, while the out of town market fared much better. Although the number of deals in the city centre remained constant year on year, with one notable exception, the lack of larger deals above the 5,000 sq ft bracket contributed to a reduction in the 12-month takeup figures when compared to the previous year. In contrast, the out of town market achieved a near doubling in the number of deals, resulting in a 70% upsurge in activity. The stellar performance by the out of town market wasn’t quite enough to make up for the shortfall experienced in the city, with overall take-up figures down 8% to 402,300 sq ft by the year end.”

If you would like a copy of the report when it is published – get in touch! If you would like to come to the launch breakfast – likewise!

Welcome back!

So, that’s 2013 put to bed. Off we go again – hurtling headlong into to 2014.


I think we finished 2013 on a bit go a higher note than recent years – so let’s hope that wave of confidence carries on. As the saying goes, there is much to do!

So where are heading?

In terms of my professional life – I think this will be a good year – challenging but good. As the feel good factor continues we should see a ripple out from London into the regions. In fact one of the messages you might see is that London is over-heating – why not come somewhere cooler! More on that theme later – particularly around MIPIM in March.

My role at the Squash Club is set to be a little more challenging as we continue to try to attract people to this brilliant sport. The Clubs premiership team won’t win – but if we carry on the way we have played over the last few matches we might make the play-offs. Then the big event of the the year will be that we are hosting the European Club Championships in September. Up to 30 teams from across Europe will come to the Park to compete. I seem to have acquired the title “Tournament Director”.

I said I would think carefully about the blog. I have considered giving it a bit of a longer rest – but still think it has a place in my life. When I look back at the last year and what I have covered there is still a lot about Nottingham – not always complimentary. But always from a perspective that we can do better. So that is going to continue- but I am going to try and push Nottingham into a business plan as envisaged by Bill Grimsey. Even if I have to start writing it here! And thats where you come in – this is not my Business Plan – I think the people who tend to drop by here and stay / comment are all on the scale of interested / passionate about the City. More on that tomorrow …

Oh and finally, there will be those little things I come across that amuse or irritate me!

A bit busy!

I had a number of comments that the blog has been a bit quiet of late. I have been a bit busy!


There is a always a period running up to Christmas where we create a ‘deadline’ for ourselves – ‘can you get this over the line by Christmas’. We try to get things completed before the long break of Christmas and the New Year.

In the last few weeks the market does seem to have improved. I have put properties under offer and have let space on lease at a level not seen for some time. And long may it continue.

I think people are fed up of thinking that the property world is all doom and gloom and are trying to stimulate interest again. There are certainly more enquiries. Property that has stuck for some time is shifting – although perhaps that is a function of a more realistic view on value being taken.

We will publish our annual review of the market in January and I expect that we will see some movement in the figures – perhaps for the first time in five years?

So what will 2014 hold for the market? I expect that it will come out fighting in the early part of the year. We are still seeing some Government initiatives pump-priming the market.That will really bite in 2014 as much of that cash has a sell-by date of March 2015 on it! If we can generate some real interest in the market next year – it should carry us through the uncertainty of the following election year…

Fingers crossed.

Nottingham Squash – alive an kicking

If you a regular here you will know that I took on the mantle of Chairman of Nottingham Squash Rackets Club last year. It’s been an interesting ride so far! Tiaras and tantrums might be the title of the book when I get round to writing it!

Eddie Charlton - Nottingham Squash

Eddie Charlton – Nottingham Squash

One of my biggest challenges was to secure a Nottingham team to play in the PSL the professional league. Our previous sponsor chose not to support to the team and so we needed some new cash.

And I’m delighted that we have done it. In fact we have done it and some. We have raised more sponsorship than last year and will have a unique team in the PSL – it is almost all home-grown.

The team will be:

Air-IT Nottingham

We have managed to secure a very generous sponsorship deal with Todd McQuilkin from Air-IT. In the past Todd has sponsored David Lloyd Aspley.

But we have some new sponsors too:

Fantasy Squash
Press Association Images
Innes England

There is another change – the Air-IT Nottingham team will be managed by Mark Fuller from Fantasy Squash – he also plays!

Over the last few days Mark has secured the players who are confirmed as:

Eddie Charlton – World Rank 59
Emma Beddoes – WR 31
Emily Whitlock – WR 24
Lewis Walters – WR 96
Ollie Holland – WR 253
Dec James – WR 107
Mark Fuller – WR 183
Chris Fuller – WR 160
George Parker – England No.1 Under 17
David Wardle – Nottingham University No.1

This is fantastic news for the club and for local squash.

If you fancy seeing some world class squash in Nottingham next season – we’ll be selling Season Tickets shortly!

Situation Vacant – for a bright surveyor

The Nottingham evening Post used to be the place to go to for jobs – and I guess it still is. But not for what I am after!


This is a bit of an experiment. My assistant has decided that she needs a change after 6 years and is off to pastures new. She goes with my best wishes as I think it is a great career move.

But I need someone to replace her. The Evening Post is not really the place to go. Advertising in the national press is really expensive and last time I used it yielded little or no responses.

So I wonder if my blog might help?

If you know someone who is (ideally) qualified in the last 12/24 months to MRICS level, wants to work on some interesting projects, isn’t afraid of hard work (!) and can start very soon, I’d love to hear from them. There’s quite a bit of property management, valuations, Landlord & Tenant work and lots of other varied jobs!

It’s not hard to find me if you know someone who might fit the bill. I really just need a CV at this stage. And I’ll let you know via this blog how successful this approach has been!

Finally – an easy test. If you are the sort of person who admires those candidates (or aspires to be at their standard) on The Apprentice – save yourself the digital stamp…

MIPIM 2013 – a round up

My 10th MIPIM came to an end on Friday, the last three I have been variously involved in organising Team Nottingham – the private sector group of companies who ensured Nottingham retained a presence at this world property show – after the City Council couldn’t afford to fund the event.

Team Nottingham - decked out in Paul Smith!

Team Nottingham – decked out in Paul Smith!

All in all it was a pretty successful year. I think we had our best MIPIM ever – with three funded events. First a dinner for over 50 people, secondly a drinks party of around 200 and finally a brunch for 40 on the last day of the show. We kept Nottingham in the press and held our profile.

The numbers there were down I think. There was a story on the last day that out of 20,000 pre-sold delegate passes some 5,000 had not been collected. I don’t know whether this was true, but the restaurants seemed quieter. The weather was mixed – but it was the weather away from the Cote D’Azur which seemed to keep people away.

I met more (new) people than I have ever met previously – in 5 days I attended 16 ‘events’ – which is great for networking but less good on the waistline. The feet take a battering too as you walk between venues and stand for hours. Fortunately our apartment was within walking distance of the main hall (lovingly known as the bunker), so it was possible to get back and spend some time resting the feet!

So my next task over the coming week or so is to pick up those business cards and make contact again – to follow up. We have some really interesting opportunities.

Finally, there will be a handing over of the baton for MIPIM 2014 back to the City. If I’m honest I’m a little relieved, this is a big task which I try to fit into my day job. So to hand it over will be good. It also means I won’t have to deal with the conflict that can arise when a small group of people try to do the right thing – but face criticism and some hostility from various quarters. I don’t need that hassle anymore!

I’ll be at MIPIM next year. In fact, I’m looking forward to it as I think two major projects I’m involved in will be on-site in the East Midlands – so we will be able to shout about them…

Innes England – our award cabinet swells…

My firm pride ourselves on being at the top of the tree in our region. It’s a tough market and we differentiate ourselves by keeping our clients happy and being as active in the market as we can be.


We have won lots of awards in the last few years – some are voted for by our peers, others by clients. But there is one award which is fairly straightforward. It’s the Estates Gazette Deals Award. In essence you win by doing more deals than your competitors. We have plenty of competitors in the East Midlands – from large national companies to similar sized practices to our own. All vying for that spot.

But we won again last week – for the sixth year running.

It’s fair to say we are a bit chuffed. You can read the results here.

The Estates Gazette said, “It was another close shave for Innes England to once again secure the East Midlands title, but this year it was a fellow independent, FHP, that pushed it close. The latter had almost double the number of retail deals as its nearest challenger, yet the incumbent delivered strongly enough in offices and industrial to secure the win. Last year it was Lambert Smith Hampton that provided the toughest challenge.”

This follows hot on the heels of the Agent of The Year Award from Insider – back in October 2012.

This latest award is really important to us. Making deals is the heart of the firm. It’s not just doing the deals that counts – it also gives us unique market knowledge to then be able to advise on where property values lie. The information we have is first hand.

Onwards and upwards!

MIPIM 2013

I must be getting old – I have just got my badge for MIPIM 2013 – and it is “Gold” – as a result of me having been som many times! I think this is my 10th year. It is my third year of being at the beating heart of Team Nottingham.

I blogged back in January (here) that we had made a decison to go the the South of France to shout about Nottingham’s wares. And in two weeks time we will be there.

It has been a rocky road – as is so often the case when you have so many parties – but the team is a strong as it has ever been. It includes Boots – as well as some of the usual suspects – Gleeds, CPMG, Rizc McCay, UKR, Morgan Tucker, Cartwrght Communications, Geldards, Miller Birch, CPW and the City Council. My firm, Innes England also play a key role. In the team you can get a cradle to grave service if you want to come to Nottingham!

We are delighted that Peter Richardson Chairman of the D2N2 LEP will be the guest speaker at a dinner we are hosting on Tuesday evening – in front of 60 invited investors / developers as well as the team. We are having a drinks party for 200 on Wednesday and brunch on the thursday. I have seen the guest list – it is impressive!

The Leader of the City Council is cycling to Cannes again – raising money for Charity – you can see the details here.

I already have a full diary for the week – breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Canape sickness is quite common!

But the team also have some surprises for guests this year – as well as some incredible ipad applications showcasing the city’s assets! We even have a film produced y my good friends at Antenna.

All that we need to do is come back with a bunch of leads and leave everyone there with the impression that the only place they need to think about investing in is … Nottingham….