The moment I knew property was for me arrived as most things have done so far in my life, as a bolt from the blue, delivered by a strange mix of hard work, creativity and good fortune, writes Colin Sinclair of KQ Liverpool. Though as I have always said: “You make your own luck!”
It was back in 2010.
I’d always had a ‘kind of’ connection with property; I bought, owned and developed The Boardwalk club in Manchester, leased and operated Aqua bar, took office and warehouse space here and there for the different businesses I’d owned and then dealt extensively with property agents, developers, local authorities and regeneration officers during my six years at MIDAS, Manchester’s Investment & Development Agency.
I certainly hadn’t trained to be in property and definitely wasn’t a qualified developer, surveyor, architect or anything ‘proper’ like that.
What I did know though was business, commerce, marketing, brands, place-making, inward investment and regeneration and over the past decade I’ve added a great working knowledge in all things science and technology, innovation and higher education too.
Anyway, back to what happened in 2010.
The bolt, as I recall it, hit me in a lift in Churchgate House in Manchester. I was MIDAS chief executive then and as the lift doors closed a colleague from another authority stepped in and congratulated me on my “appointment” as CEO of a local authority… I was shocked. Just a few days previously I’d been called by the headhunter to discuss the position and hadn’t at that time even returned his call, as I’d known instinctively that particular role wasn’t for me and I didn’t apply.
But change wasn’t far away. Almost simultaneously I was offered a fantastic job as a director at family-owned property firm Bruntwood, tasked with helping to diversify their then primarily office development business into a leading force in owning, operating and developing science & technology parks and innovative workspace.
I can honestly say there isn’t a better business in the country to learn property from than Bruntwood and my six years there played such an important part in informing and inspiring my current thinking here in KQ Liverpool. Buildings are so much more than bricks and mortar and it’s the service and support you provide to the occupiers, the customers, that counts most of all. That and really cool design!