Managing Partner, Matthew Samuel-Camps, tells Insider we are looking ahead with “cautious optimism” as he hails our agility in implementing contingency and remote working plans at the start of the pandemic.
Despite the pandemic, we remained on track to meet our planned budget growth of 5 per cent at just under £17m until the final quarter of 19/20, as Matthew discusses.
“Approximately £1.5 million of transactions were resuscitated in the first quarter of 2021, once businesses had got over the initial shock of lockdown. From then on, we began to see an improvement in trading over the summer period, as businesses started to move out of a period of introspection.
“Despite the context of entering into a global pandemic, we continued to trade profitably thanks in part to our agility in implementing our business contingency and remote working plans, but also due to the significant commitment and positivity of our people – and it is this latter point that I am most proud of.
“The collegiate culture of our people and the way in which everyone pulled together to support our clients, played a significant role in enabling us to maintain profitability, but of course, it would be remiss if we did not admit it was a year without challenge.
“As a business we had to learn a lot about areas outside our knowledge. Every management decision had to be well considered not just from an economic and financial perspective, but also from a health and safety and welfare perspective – from how much PPE to buy and what type, to whether to allow staff out to inspect properties.
“We have been decisive and confident in our decision-making process throughout. We made a commitment early on to continue to invest in our business and our people – from staff welfare, and social and mental health wellbeing, to the roll out of a new career management structure which has seen us invest in business development, onboard new clients and grow our work with existing clients, whose continued support has been invaluable.”
This decisiveness was typified with the acquisition of Cowling & West in March 2021, a deal brokered at the height of the pandemic in 2020, which has seen Vail Williams extend its reach further west along the south coast.
“The acquisition of Cowling & West has been well received by both the market and our team, inspiring confidence in our business and motivating our people at a time of uncertainty, and I am pleased to report that we are already ahead of target just three months into our current growth strategy.”
In line with this strategy, we have made several key appointments in recent months, including office and industrial agency partner Steve Berrett in Gatwick, and valuation partner Dan Pearce to its new Bournemouth office.
Meanwhile, we are currently investing in a property management and occupier advisory IT platform and is also about to roll out a brand refresh and new website.
“We are in the process of finalising our accounts for 21/22 and expect our results for 20/21 to be close to that of 18/19. So, as we look ahead, we do so with a sense of cautious optimism, and will remain as committed as ever to investing in our business and our people,” concluded Matthew.
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