This week, we spoke with the Managing Director of UKconsulting firm Property Solutions Ltd., David Barrass, to find out how the organization is harnessing the power of MBAs to grow its business.
Property Solutions is a niche consultancy that provides expert advice on service charges to property occupiers and landlords in the office and retail sectors. The company is based in Bristol, South West England and acts for a number of large profile occupiers on a national basis. They employ around twenty consultants with a range of skills and have been running since 1992.
Due to the size of the organization, roles are less specialized and active participation is encouraged. One of the main characteristics they look for in potential employees is a high level of professional and academic training in disciplines such as business, accounting, engineering, and surveying.
The company currently has two MBAs on their staff, both from the University of Bath, School of Management. Dominik Adamus did his MBA project at the company and was offered a full-time position when he graduated in 2011, while Anastasia Zatolokina, a current Bath MBA student, recently joined the team as a marketing manager.
The brief for Dominik’s initial project was to optimise customer value propositions and create a marketing strategy within the service charge management industry. David said that Dominik’s research helped the company realize that they can communicate their message more clearly to customers and based on this they’ve been making improvements to front-end of their website.
Anastasia’s place on the Bath MBA is being sponsored by Property Solutions and David told us that their roles are complementary. He said that having MBAs as part of their team enables the organization to punch above its weight by using research to speak knowledgeably and with presence within the industry. “It also helps to have someone who can look at the big picture strategically, anticipates change and has the training that allows them to continually make improvements”, he said.
The company also works actively with other business schools such as Loughborough, London Business School and Kingston University to conduct research because very little has been published on the service charge industry. According to David, the size of the market is about GB£4 billion in the office sector, and it's approximately the same for the retail sector.
The company is keen to set down benchmarks for accounting practices, and transparency. David says that the company is now in the process of repositioning their business to retail centres as a result of Dominik’s and Anastasia’s work. “It’s always interesting to go from strategy to delivery. The most satisfying thing is seeing the entire process through and having thorough research helps us set parameters that we use to make better decisions and make us more credible”.
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