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18 December 2019
Significant commercial property deals and team development have made 2019 a rewarding year

As another year draws to a close it is an ideal time to take a step back and reflect upon the past 12 months in business.

It has been a year where we have been delighted to be involved in a number of significant property deals across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire at Garness Jones.

Amongst the highlights were acting for J R Rix and Sons Limited in acquiring Kingston International Business Park, which at the time was the largest multi-let industrial estate investment deal in the North of England in 2019.

We also sold Priory Tech Park on behalf of Allenby Commercial, which they had carefully developed and managed over a number of years.

We were delighted to be appointed by Wykeland to market and secure occupiers for Melton West, which is one of the most significant business park developments in the region, and of course we are currently marketing two vital city centre retail, office and leisure developments at Hammonds of Hull (former House of Fraser building), and King William House in Market Place.

It is fair to say we have been at the heart of big business deals and projects which will have a major impact on our local economy moving forward.

Estate management has also been an area of growth for us.

We were appointed by Hull University to manage part of their estate, at Kingston International Business Park and for an off shore trust the substantial 120-acre Humber Gate complex in Grimsby.

These are just a few selected highlights from our year, as each and every commercial property transaction carries significance for all involved. 

What has been particularly pleasingly for us has been the overall improvement in the quality of properties and clients we act for, which was certainly a priority when we set out our goals for 2019.

Perhaps most importantly, we have also placed a great deal of focus on our internal structure, team development and systems to improve our service to clients over the past 12 months.

It follows a wide-ranging customer survey, carried out about this time last year, from which we gained extremely valuable feedback.

As a team we sat and discussed what our exact role was.

That may sound funny from a business which has been around more than 20 years, but I feel it is important not to assume what you have always done is right, but to stop and ask ‘are we doing the right things in the right ways?’

The view we collectively came to was that we manage people who own or occupy property.

That is important, as it is people that count. Property is there to support what we and others want to achieve.

As well as the survey we also took on board feedback from one-to-one discussions, and we gained valuable information to improve how we deliver our services.

Of course, we were pleased to be rated highly in many areas of our activity, but more importantly we gained guidance on where we could improve.

That led to us putting in place a number of changes which have particularly revolved around personal development, communication and online activity.

It resulted in investment in IT, which we believe is key to business development, and an emphasis was placed on getting our team structure right.

I am delighted to say that in 2019 an excellent leadership team has naturally emerged from within, highlighting the great talent we have here at Garness Jones. With a team of 30 people it is certainly important to have solid leadership.

With Paul White leading agency, Simon Preston leading commercial management and Matt Johnson and Liam Parker overseeing our residential business, we are making great strides with our growing management portfolios.

They are of course supported by the wider Garness Jones team, whose contributions I am very grateful for.

In summary, it has been a good year – on the back of several years of continued growth – but there is always room for improvement.

We are passionate about providing a great service, not just a good one, and equally passionate about the region we serve, and of course, doing the best possible job for the people we meet and work for.

That will remain our focus for 2020.

Dave Garness

Significant commercial property deals and team development have made 2019 a rewarding year

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