With a diverse background from across the real estate sector, our focused team has a wealth of experiences.
Wherever a scheme is located in the UK, we have systems and procedures in place to efficiently work out the feasibility of each development we look at, but how do our team members’ various roles differentiate, who does what, and where do our individual expertise lie?
We decided to shine a light on our Senior Acquisitions Analyst, Robert Haynes, to begin explaining the ins and outs of life as a Delph team member.
Tell us who you are and what you do at Delph.
I’m Rob Haynes and I’m a Senior Acquisitions Analyst at Delph Property Group. In short, I am responsible for sourcing and appraising residential investment opportunities, pricing developments for sales and rental values, and investigating local market activity and demand. I also spend time meeting with developers to form ongoing business partnerships – it’s very busy!
How did you get into this area of work?
I studied Real Estate Management at Oxford Brookes University and then went on to work in property after finishing my degree. I started out working for a student sector developer, but I wanted to get into large scale transactions and developments, which is why Delph Property Group seemed the ideal next step for me. I’ve been at Delph for three years now and am really enjoying the busy and constantly evolving styles of developments that we acquire.
What does a typical day look like?
Generally, first thing in the morning we have a team meeting to discuss the various opportunities we are currently looking at or appraising, their pros and cons and, ultimately, selecting the projects we want to dedicate our time to. I then keep in touch with developers and agents through meetings or phone calls throughout the day to discuss these actions with them.
Other key actions on my daily to-do list are; liaising with our in-house construction team regarding the progress of our developments, researching local markets and prices, assessing areas of potential growth, and monitoring planning progress for city centre schemes. These are really important to keep up with as statistics and stocks change so frequently, which can make a drastic impact on our work and decision process.
Aside from these regular responsibilities, the acquisition team are often out and about around the country; looking at new opportunities, visiting the sites and other new build developments in the area to assess the local competition. Site visits are also a great way to get to grips with the area’s culture and residents, which help us understand potential buyer personas.
What areas of the UK have you been visiting for work?
Most of our latest projects are in the north of England, so we have recently been spending time in Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Liverpool – where we have just started selling our new development Orleans House. Cardiff, Bristol, Reading and Birmingham are also areas that we visit to check in on existing and potential development sites – their fast transport links to the capital make them consistent high-value opportunity areas.
What’s your favourite thing about your role?
Chiefly, it’s the satisfaction from seeing an opportunity in it’s infancy through to people moving into their apartments at the end of the process – there aren’t many roles that allow you to be part of a project from conception to fruition and I gain a real sense of fulfilment from this.
I think about putting myself in other people’s shoes to decide if they would want to live in a specific location and in a specific type of development, and if so, at what price? As every development could appeal to a different type of buyer or audience, this is an interesting and challenging part of every project.
Being part of a close-knit team who all work together and have fun whilst we’re at it is also a significant reason why I enjoy my role at Delph!
Which regions are you most excited about? Why?
Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham are already well known growth markets and we are always excited about opportunities in any of these locations. The city centres in these areas have been subject to major regeneration projects in recent years and there are more in the pipeline.
Leeds ticks all the boxes in terms of a city set for growth with large regeneration projects being completed (for example Victoria Gate shopping centre) and in the pipeline (Holbeck/South Bank), but has yet to really kick on in terms of developments coming out of the ground.
We see this as an exciting opportunity rather than a risk or waiting game, as when there is a healthy development pipeline but not many schemes coming to fruition, there are most likely developers struggling with funding, which is where Delph can help kick start their developments by forward purchasing.
Do you have any locations or properties that you currently have your eye on? I.e. what is on your ‘hot list’ of areas and types of opportunities that you are looking out for?
Rather than concentrating on investing in one area, we assess each opportunity on its own merits. We focus on all the major regional city centre areas, close to transport hubs, as well as commuter belt areas that are within an hour of London.
What are the top most vital things to consider as an Acquisitions Analyst?
It sounds corny but location, location, location – it’s at the top of the list when considering opportunities.
Furthermore, other key drivers are local demand, nearby competition, local retail and leisure offerings for residents or owners and future regeneration plans. If the location is stunning and has lots of potential, but there is nothing planned in terms of local development, then it wouldn’t be a top choice compared to somewhere like Leeds, which has lots of regeneration projects in the pipeline and lots of competition already making a start on development plans.
If you have a project currently being developed, or something in the pipeline that you’d like to discuss with us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities and there are many ways we can work together, such as forward funding, buying off-plan and forming pre-purchasing partnerships.