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13 November 2019
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Book of brilliant things

Roger Amos
Roger Amos is director at Ayer Associates Limited

7 April 2016  


I always loved this Simple Minds track and as the latest arrangement from a recent live set played through my headphones I thought: “What a great title for my next column!”


There is a line that talks about the wheels on a fast train, though the one I’m on at the moment is anything but. 


We’ve been working with one of our clients on a review of their property portfolio as part of a wider property strategy. This has involved providing them with a snapshot of all of their properties and sites including allotments and open space in terms of headline condition – current use, surrounding areas, proximity to local transport links and development opportunity. 


This has been fascinating. By working in partnership with their corporate estates team, we’ve been able to bring together lots of disparate property data into a suite of summary property reports that will now be put together as a book.


Meaningful property data is so important to an organisation and its key business decision-making – short, medium and long term.


While this project does not include condition surveys, we have been able to give a high-level summary in terms of condition. For example, if a park building is boarded up and/or out of use within the overall use and condition of park that it sits within. Thanks to the input by the corporate estates team, we have also been able to incorporate valuations, unique property reference numbers and the legal status (freehold or leasehold).


What was encouraging to see at the most recent session with our client was the coming together of so many parts of their organisation and this property data being the focus and helping them to work collectively to the common good. It also means they are scrutinising all assets, so nothing gets missed and meaningful debate can be had on the future of their portfolio, considering frontline services, housing needs, office accommodation and community benefit notwithstanding planning restrictions to a particular site.


Portfolios are often reviewed in silos by type or within each directorate of an organisation. It is refreshing to see a more strategic and holistic approach being taken, upon which key decisions for the collective good can be made. It is also very scalable – the work done to date can be expanded as part of the wider asset management plan. These are valuable and business-critical assets – a book of brilliant things indeed!

 

Roger Amos, formerly of Ealing Council, is director at Ayer Associates Limited