Resi investors: keep tenants happy

By Doug Morrison

Institutional investors must learn that management is key for residential investment

Peter Pereira Gray, managing director of the Wellcome Trust’s investment division, was in a meeting about a £300m money transfer when the phone rang. It was a tenant, who was actually trying to get through to the charity’s “gardens department”. Pereira Gray took the call.

It is the sort of experience that, as Pereira Gray told delegates at Resi 09, would make “the blood run cold” in those who are used to arms-length dealings with tenants. The point is, he insisted, he would take the call again — it goes with the territory in residential investment.

Management hassles are often cited as a reason not to invest in the sector, but Bruce Ritchie, managing director of London specialist Residential Land, suggested the downturn is forcing a change in attitude.

“We’ve had more time on our hands to concentrate on management. That led to us joining the housing ombudsman scheme and improving the quality of service that we offer, which has become more fundamental for us as a business.”

Residential investment: the management agenda

“If we are going to create a world-class investment market, it’s about understanding that there is an operating business here, and you have to get that right”
Peter Pereira Gray, managing director of the Wellcome Trust’s investment division

“We’re dealing with people’s homes, and we have to be respectful of that”
Roger Southam, chairman of Chainbow

(Doug Morrison, Property Week)

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