Meet the adviser: James Leaver from Knight Frank
Mon 8th January 2018, 3:05 pm
The Sitematch team catches up with James Leaver, partner and head of public sector at Knight Frank, as well as a longstanding adviser at Sitematch events.
Can you say something about your role and responsibilities at Knight Frank?
I am head of public sector at Knight Frank. I have spent my whole career to date advising public sector clients from local authorities to central government departments and agencies.
You have been a part of Sitematch for a number of years now. Has your approach or objectives for the event changed over the years?
As we have become more familiar with how the event works we have developed techniques to help the local authorities we chose to advise prepare for the day and, of course, we foster new relationships ourselves too. We like to enter into the spirit of the event which is about connecting people, opportunities in our exciting capital city and networking. The property industry is a people industry. It always has been and always will be and that is why events like Sitematch remain relevant.
Could you provide an example of how previous participation has benefitted Knight Frank?
We tend to treat this event more for networking with public landowners and developers, some of which are already clients of ours. There are, of course, tangible examples of conversations that have generated business leads for us to follow up but, given public sector procurement rules, more often on the private sector side for us in the shorter term.
What advice would you give to local authorities that have not yet attended the event? How can they best prepare?
It is easy to get something from an event like this, even if you attend in a reactive state, as this event has networking value that is better than many others. But those authorities who get the added value are the ones that are clear about their objectives and the messages that they want to deliver to the development community on the day. They are clear about who should represent them and deliver those messages. For some the emphasis could be the property team presenting forthcoming disposals, for others it might be the housing or regeneration team wanting meetings with contractors and developers with estate renewal or PRS expertise and then there are the economic development teams simply wanting to promote the wider regeneration opportunities in their borough.
As an advisor, how can you add value to the meetings that take place at the event?
If a local authority has the clear objectives I have described above, our agents can help with preparations of messages and materials for the event and then use their “match making” skills to ensure that the right private sector delegates book in for meetings with them to add value.
Knight Frank will team up with Enfield, Harrow, Housnlow, NHS Property Services and the Ministry of Justice at the next Sitematch London on 8 February 2018. To secure your place at the event and book meetings with these councils, contact Josie Brewer on 020 7978 6840.