Jeff Breen, Building Consultancy Partner, leads Workman’s office in Guildford. Here Jeff gives us a preview into the life of a Building Surveyor and what the team has been up to since first opening in Guildford in 2015.
Having moved into new, larger offices in April this year and with a growing client list the team is set for further expansion.
From humble beginnings
Starting from a small serviced office in Guildford in October 2015, Workman saw the potential in establishing regional offices, offering staff a better work-life balance with a reduced commute, while remaining committed to servicing a strong client base in the South.
Fitting the brief, Guildford offers excellent links to central London on public transport and has an established road network. Easy access to the A3 provides access to the M25, M3 and M4 providing a stable and comfortable environment for future growth.
Our newly refurbished office is in a prominent town centre location, just a few minutes’ walk from Guildford mainline station. The bright and modern office at the top of the High Street has a breakout area, meeting room and capacity for approximately 25 staff, offering plenty of room for us to grow.
Q&A WITH JEFF BREEN
Q. Who are the key clients for Workman in Guildford?
A. We work with a wide range of clients including, AEW, Columbia Threadneedle, Knight Frank Investment Management, BlackRock, CBRE Global Investors and Aberdeen Asset Management.
Working closely with the firm’s property management team we also act for a number of individual clients through on a variety of different instructions across retail, office and industrial portfolios.
Q. What are your typical instructions?
A. Our instructions range from large Project Management remits and Lead Consultancy roles to a plethora of professional instructions consisting of dilapidations, PPMs, RCAs and landlord consents, to name a few. No two days are the same.
Q. What’s keeping the Guildford team busy at the moment?
A. We currently provide Building Surveying services across a portfolio of 19 buildings owned by AEW UK on Bath Road, Slough. This mandate provides the Guildford office with a constant work stream.
Recently, on the same portfolio, we have been instructed on feasibility studies for a new multi-storey car park and the demolition of an office block, as well as monitoring of tenants’ alterations, preparation of dilapidations reports and Lead Consultancy and Project Management instructions.
Workman was also involved with the client’s acquisition of the portfolio, providing pre-acquisition due diligence to the client on all 19 Properties.
Q. Are there opportunities for Workman locally?
A. In short, yes. Our clients own properties all over the UK and since we set up the Guildford office we have been instructed on a number of new opportunities in and around the town, most notably undertaking office refurbishments for KFIM at Eastgate Court. This project has evolved from initial cost plan and feasibility advice into multiple instructions for dilapidations, office refurbishments and licence to alter applications.
We have also acted on numerous town-centre instructions for CBRE Global Investors on a similar remit.
Through a contact at a local office agent, Workman has secured a property management mandate for a prominent town centre office which further enhances our future development opportunities.
Q. How does the regional office interlink with Property Managers?
A. It’s really important that the firm’s two service streams work seamlessly together, as there is a clear synergy between the two teams. I’m happy to say that communication with our colleagues in property management is excellent, with regular meetings and conference calls – especially where there is a joint mandate.
Q. What next for Workman Guildford?
A. This is a new office in a vibrant town offering London-esque instructions with exposure to the firm’s enviable client base. My intention is to continue to develop the Building Consultancy team as our work load grows.
Adding to that, the Guildford team’s next opportunity for growth is to develop a property management team, enabling the Guildford office to provide the Workman core professional services under one roof for the benefit of our clients and to further enhance Workman’s excellent reputation.
Q. What would you say to someone interested in a career at Workman Guildford?
A. Get in touch! This is an exciting time for the Guildford team, in a growing office with endless opportunities for career growth and exposure to some fantastic clients.
Anyone interested in being part of this journey should contact our HR team for further information.
We’re actually currently recruiting for a surveyor at Associate level, so if you’re looking for a role with a leading, independent building consultancy firm but would prefer to avoid the London commute then this could be your next role.
For more information view the role here or take a look at our careers page on LinkedIn.