For this investor, focus is the name of the game. Unlike many investors Oliver Steele-Perkins believes that building a property portfolio is a full-time job and not something you can simply do ‘on the side’. After working in the trade, getting educated and dabbling in property investment, Oliver came to the conclusion that the simplest route to success for him is sticking to what he knows best; project management. After all, it’s a skill that many people overlook. For Oliver though getting a project from pre-construction to post-construction is not as simple as some may think.
“My interest in property was sparked early as my father is a chartered surveyor,” he says. “For years he was a partner in a successful estate agency chain and also developed property. Before I went to university to study construction management I spent six months working in his offices and on various building sites of a local building company in Somerset. This gave me a valuable insight into office based and site based project management.”
During Oliver’s work placement year at University he got a real sense of the practicalities involved in working on site as a labourer. “I was out the door at 5.30am, then a company bus ride for an hour and a half to the site and then a day’s graft working as a carpenter on a new build 105-bedroom nursing home and doctor’s surgery before getting home around 6.30pm.
“After university I started working in the property industry as I’d always had an interest in property and was keen to learn. I worked in Oxford and London initially as a negotiator and then property manager looking after a large and mixed portfolio of property for both UK and overseas landlords. The position progressed into that of a Project Manager (PM) when the owner of the company asked me to start preparing investment property for refurbishment and then overseeing the build phase. The finished property was then either let and returned to me or my colleagues to manage or it was sold. This was a very busy position, the stress increased when the company owner asked me to project manage the conversion of two maisonettes into a stunning house which was to be his family home. It was a fantastic project and also when I realised that there was an opportunity for providing independent project management services to residential homeowners. This was the start of the project management journey that led me to my work today.”