Starting work experience at Marston Properties on the 25th June 2018 gave me my first real taste of living and working in London. At first it seemed like a daunting task coming from a small village in Derbyshire, I had never experienced working or living in London. Coming into the office on Monday morning was not daunting in the slightest however, meeting everyone in the office and introducing myself as the person doing work experience for two weeks everyone was more than happy to help and explain their role in the Marston Properties office. Monday consisted of an introduction to the office and an explanation of the different sections of the office and what they do. In the afternoon we visited various sites around Fulham that were in different stages of development, some near the end of the process and almost ready to go on the market and some at the very start of the development process. It was clear to see from the start that this was very different to how property works in Derbyshire, the pace being much quicker and the regulations being a lot more stringent in London.
Tuesday consisted of meetings with land agents in the West End in the morning and then more site visits in the afternoon. In the evening we went to the Wandsworth planning committee meeting at Wandsworth Town Hall. Having been to planning committee meetings before I had a rough idea of what to expect, this meeting was not like any other I had been to however, the room was full of people, there would be outbursts from people objecting to certain plans and people walking away happy from the meeting that their proposal had been passed. This was the reason that we were there, to see if one of Marston Properties planning proposals was going to be granted after being tied up with planners for around 18 months. With great relief the proposal was accepted so that now the development can commence!
Wednesday morning started off with the residential lettings department heading out of the office to conduct end of tenancy inspections. There was work being done on the property to repair it up to the standards required of a Marston Property residential unit. We then visited the Old Power Station and Foundry Mews in Barnes with the commercial lettings department of Marston Properties. Here we talked to some of the tenants and toured some of the offices in the building. It was clear to see that people where very happy with their office and enjoyed being in the Barnes area.
We started Thursday morning by updating a GOAD map of Wandsworth Bridge Road, updating the new shops on the previous map that we had been given. It was an interesting exercise to see how often shops changed hands on Wandsworth Bridge Road and what the profile of shops is and how it is changing. In the afternoon we carried out some appraisals for potential sites, working with yields and GDV’s it was interesting to learn the different yields required to make a development work to either re-sell or to keep as an investment.
Friday morning was spent with the accounts team going through the accounts and gaining an understanding of how they work and the various sources of data that are entered to make the accounts stack up. We also looked at GDPR and how that is changing the way companies can keep specific data on people and the ways in which a company can ensure that they are not breaking the new laws in place with regards to this. The afternoon was spent gathering comparable data on various potential developments to see what prices or rents could be charged depending on what area a property is in.
All in all, it was a very interesting week with plenty of opportunities to learn something new and experience London for the first time. My time spent at Marston Properties has only encouraged me more to pursue a career in property in the future.