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I was delighted to be joined on the podcast by Alex Harrington Griffin, a young investor who followed his father and uncle into the industry. His energy is predominantly centred around land and planning, and in the few years since property became his full-time focus, he’s been involved in deals from care homes and car showrooms, to securing planning for 151 units.
Alongside his for-profit work, he’s also a big advocate of improving local communities, and through his volunteering and charitable efforts, he’s won awards for community development and raising awareness of youth homelessness.
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Using Transferable Skills in the Industry
Having been a marketing professional before moving into property, Alex has a keen interest in understanding what consumers want. Because of this, he has been able to bring his marketing skills into the property industry, particularly when working with landowners.
When he entered what he describes as a ‘mature apprenticeship’ in the industry, he noticed the that the way in which most developers or buy-to-let investors approach vendors directly, was still too inward-looking.
Thanks to his marketing experience, he has succeeded in working directly with landowners, by employing a simple marketing technique – showing the landowners what their potential uplift is, and what benefit they will be getting from working with him and CDL Property.
The Importance of Education
Following on from this basic principle, he also identified quite quickly that educating the land or property owner is the key to mutual success. Through this, he has developed a checklist to give to every landowner, which educates them on how to ask the right questions of the potential buyer, with the aim of building a trusting relationship directly with the vendor.
This strategy has certainly paid off. When Alex spotted a care home with potential for development in Gloucestershire last year, he quickly identified the ways in which both parties – the care provider, and the company who owned the building – could both get what they wanted.
As the middle-man, Alex was able to purchase and hold the property for the end-buyer, which meant he bought the care home for £600,000, and sold it just 8 weeks later to the second buyer for £700,000.
So, although it can take time to build a relationship with an agent, and understand the needs of a potential buyer, it’s a strategy that can certainly yield big returns.
What’s Your Favourite Book?
Screw Business as Usual – Richard Branson
Alex Harrington-Griffin Links & Resources
You can also follow Alex himself on Twitter here.