Industry meetups are off and running. Pleasure to welcome 50+ businesses working in or servicing Property & Construction at our inaugural industry meetup.

Attendees networked freely around the room. Participated in an interactive Q&A with panel speakers. Had the opportunity to organise 1-1 meetings in the room. All in the space of 2 hours.

Read 5 key points from each panelist, view other upcoming online meetups and watch the full length Q&A below.

Charles Haywood – Surveyance & Property Consultant (Managing Director of MacConvilles Surveying)

  • We have lots clients in the education sector who heavily rely on income from foreign students, so are cautious to carry out work due to uncertainty whether they’ll return in September
  • As sites reopen there’s material shortages which is making it difficult to restart projects at same pace
  • We are looking at modern modular methods of construction that will speed up processes
  • Have realised that a lot of the face-to-face assessments on construction sites can now be carried out online
  • The industry is being forced down the route of sustainability, green construction and energy saving. Difficulties can be when private investors want to build at the rock bottom cost so don’t see the benefit of saving money in the long term with sustainable measures

Sarra Hawes – Construction (Director of Hawes Building)

  • Similarly to Charles, we’ve had problems with sourcing materials particularly plaster and cement
  • Had lots of domestic jobs planned before the outbreak. Those people now are unsure whether they want to continue due to being out of work, furloughed or whether they want workers in their home
  • Productivity loss on building sites is up 35%. This is mainly due to social distancing measures, poor transfer of design information through new technology and lack of materials. Have to put in extra measures to ensure people on site are safe, as a result of that costs will go up
  • There’s been talk about allowing shift working on construction sites, however this could be open to abuse by businesses
  • Brexit had a huge effect on the construction industry. Delivery times and costs will increase, and general availability will reduce. Have seen a large number of businesses’ workforce leaving the country. As a result, we need to try and motivate younger people into the construction industry

Mark Deacon – Commercial Property (Partner at Graves Son & Pilcher)

  • Solicitors – on behalf of clients – are now looking to put clauses into contracts that should another outbreak of virus happen, rents and outgoings are frozen for a period of time. As a result, landlords will have to get insurance to cover that eventuality
  • Graves Son & Pilcher been forced to use social media more to promote what they do and properties. You can now have virtual walk throughs of the property where you can follow the agent round and ask questions as you go.
  • Can predict that initially that the appetite for having an office won’t be the same. Recent survey found that occupiers of offices said they could lose 20-25% of the space they’ve got, but still want an office space to allow staff to come in
  • When market reopened there was strong interest in buying properties, mainly from people who were interested beforehand and wanted to follow it through. However, the question now is whether that will continue. If you’re looking to invest in property it is still a good market with good deals to be had
  • If you’re rated an EPC F or G on a commercial building you cannot re-let it or renew the lease until works have been done to bring the rating up


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Wednesday 1st July


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Wednesday 15th July