Get to Know… Spring4
Our monthly “Get to Know…” posts provide the opportunity to learn more about our global, leading tenant representation member firms – what sets them apart as best-in-class in their markets, the expertise they offer their clients, and the value they provide during every stage of their clients’ journey to find the perfect space for their business.
Have real estate needs in the UK? Consider the experts at Spring4.
1. When was your company founded?
Spring4 was founded in 2002.
2. How long have you been a member of Exis?
Spring4 joined the organisation in 2015.
3. Are there specific areas of focus/expertise that Spring4 practices?
We advise a variety of tenants throughout the UK with a specific focus on financial and insurance companies.
4. What is the current size of your team?
We have 15 full time employees. 11 specialise in real estate, 2 focus on project management and the final 2 are support staff.
5. Amount of square footage secured in 2017:
Approximately 550,000 sq ft.
6. What are some of the credentials/characteristics/values you look for when hiring your team – to ensure you offer the highest quality service possible?
The business has historically favoured hiring highly motivated and independent young professionals who have recently completed their graduate or post-graduate degrees. This allows our employees to enter a working life where high expectations and best in class service are the prescribed standard. It also allows us to shape the development of our new hires and to encourage them to approach challenges differently to our competitors. Spring4 will also fund a 2-year RICS qualification process so that our graduates can become fully qualified Chartered Surveyors.
7. What are Spring4’s core values as a company?
Integrity, professionalism and enthusiasm.
8. How would you describe the CRE atmosphere in London/the UK?
In June 2016, the UK held a referendum vote on whether to remain a member of, or leave, the European Union. The public voted in favour to leave the EU and this is known as the “Brexit” result. The immediate aftermath of this created huge uncertainty for both occupiers and landlords throughout the country. The process of withdrawal is complicated and the longer-term impact is unclear. As a result, the markets have softened as tenants demand enhanced lease flexibility and higher levels of incentives in order to commit to new leases. The reduction in demand has been matched by a tightening supply pipeline as landlords hold back on speculative developments. It will take many more years for the full impact to be understood and much of this hinges on how far the UK Government goes in removing itself from an organisation that it has been attached to since the 1970s.
9. Most valuable advice you can give a client in today’s overall CRE atmosphere:
10. What are some upcoming trends in the CRE industry that you feel will affect how companies do business?
The serviced office sector has taken the London market by storm in recent years. WeWork is the biggest influencer of this as they have now become the second largest occupier of office space in London after the UK Government. This is particularly impressive as they only opened their first business centre here in 2014. Serviced office take-up overall accounted for between 20-25% of all office take-up in Central London in 2017. The short-term flexibility that these businesses offer has attracted start-ups, SME’s and even certain corporates to take space with them. This is linked to uncertainty around Brexit but also a movement that started before the referendum where smaller tenants began favouring a simplified office model. The result is that the sub-5,000 sq ft conventional office market has been severely damaged and it is forcing landlords to adapt what they traditionally offer.
11. Why is exclusively representing tenants important to you?
It ensures that our clients get the very best deal through impartial, expert advice. It is also a lot of fun as we come across so many different people, sectors and cultures.
12. Most valuable feedback you’ve received from a client:
We tend to get insightful, industry specific feedback that has helped us over the years deliver targeted advice to new and existing clients. An example of this would relate to the insurance industry in London. Lloyd’s of London is the world’s leading insurance market and it is physically located in a single building in the City of London. Understanding the geographical sensitivities of how close certain insurance companies need to be to this building has been vastly insightful. An insurance client can totally disregard an office relocation option for the simple reason of a property being on the wrong side of a specific road!