Office to Resi: Mark Collins on CBRE’s major play

In his first column for PrimeResi, CBRE’s Mark Collins explains how he turned the firm’s resi business into a major player and why the acquisition of EA Shaw last year was such a big deal…

Prime residential property has been my bread and butter for over 30 years now.

I’ve worked across London on some of the most prestigious high-end schemes, and am thrilled to be writing a regular column for PrimeResi on the London prime resi market, and my views.

Since joining CBRE in 2011 from Harrods Estates, I have established and grown our successful residential business, using the truly global presence that this company offers.

CBRE has over 300 offices and 30,000 employees worldwide and this tremendous network is not only useful to our commercial clients, but in today’s international market it is of increasing importance to our residential clients as well.

This international reach is matched by our on-the-ground local knowledge. We acquired EA Shaw, the niche central London agents in November 2012, and are already benefitting from their in-depth understanding of British buyers, and the very streets and lanes of central London.

The merger with EA Shaw in November 2012 was a key moment for CBRE Residential

Data from Q2 of this year made it clear that UK buyers were playing a bigger role in the central London prime residential market. There have been a record number of properties sold “off-plan” despite the pickup in supply. As the area that constitutes prime central London continues to grow, with areas such as Nine Elms and Battersea achieving sales success few would have thought possible ten years ago, our coverage of the central London market has had to expand to match it.

Amongst others, the merger with EA Shaw in November 2012 was a key moment for CBRE Residential.

The move grew our expertise and presence in Central London, but it also complemented our presence in the City and West End markets. Lisa Hollands, EA Shaw Head of Residential, became our new residential Managing Director and brought with her a wealth of expertise, knowledge and contacts.

Today, CBRE Residential is a team of over 60 skilled and experienced professionals, highly motivated in our shared vision to cement our position as one of the most successful residential agencies in London.

We are also expanding our presence physically, with a brand new office space on the first floor of CBRE’s West End office, Henrietta House, for our clients and customers to enjoy. This space will complement our dedicated sales and marketing suite in Covent Garden, at 9-12 Bow Street.

The next major thing for CBRE Residential to look forward to is the RESI 2013 Conference.

The conference is now a major event in the residential calendar and allows all of us involved in the UK property market to tackle the wider issues that we face, and how we can work together to build more homes and meet popular demand.

Mark Prisk MP, the Housing Minister, and Deputy Mayor of London, Richard Blakeway will be speaking during the event, and I am sure they will give a unique insight into the UK residential market and the opportunities for those working in this highly competitive and rewarding industry.

If you are also attending RESI 2013, please come and introduce yourself to myself and the team. And, if you would like to get in touch about anything else, my details are on the CBRE Residential website.

Mark Collins is Executive Director and Head of Residential at CBRE

Views of Contributors are not necessarily those of PrimeResi or its Publishers