I love working with creative people on exciting new projects! Sometimes, we require a large team to make our client’s dreams come true – and working with these new people only adds to the success of what we do. One person I have worked with on several occasions is James Forbes, Partner at Strutt & Parker LLP. James believes the ideal London property is one that feels like a ‘home with luxury’ instead of just a ‘hotel room with luxury,’ and our work together redeveloping property reflects this. To give a little insight into our process, I spoke to James about his thoughts on our work…
I have worked in prime areas of the London property market since 1997, and joined Strutt & Parker in 2003.
Specialising in prime central London residential property, I work closely with many international high-net worth individuals, and deal with some of the most high-profile properties on the market. I also work with a number of London’s top developers, buying and selling some the very best and most valuable properties.
I’m based in Strutt & Parker’s flagship Sloane Street office, working alongside my five partners, and a team of 90.
Importantly, each project we have worked on together has been bespoke. Every client has different requirements, meaning our involvement varies with each property.
When working on projects for developers, it’s important to be involved in project meetings from the very beginning. This includes providing feedback and agreeing on the layout, as well as advising on potential improvements, design and what the market desires.
Working together as a team is very effective in ensuring everyone has a joined-up view of the design and target market. I feel we have worked very successfully together, educating clients and ensuring the right product is created.
The projects we have worked on have been very successful and the only changes I would make, in hindsight, would be to encourage the client to invest more financially, in order to create the perfect design.
Occasionally, projects can look slightly under-furnished when restricted by budget – when you are selling a turnkey product this will only detract from the price.
My favourite project to work on was a large apartment on the first and second floor of a well-known Knightsbridge garden square. It was a ground-breaking apartment in terms of scale – the design, layout and finish were exceptional and a record price was achieved.
A first floor lateral apartment on a garden square is still a rarity and difficult to find in prime central London, but would be my ideal project. The market has definitely changed and evolved and purchasers no longer want the ‘hotel room’ look. A mixture of classic and modern design are the key to a successful project, and quality and tasteful interiors are also crucial.
Fashions change and London has a very varied mixture of architecture and property style so one size does not fit all.