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Richard Howells

Richard Howells has been the CEO of PropList Ltd since August. PropList is a commercial property listing portal which "removes the distraction and noise of residential property when you’re looking for a commercial space"

EXPLAIN A TYPICAL WEEK IN YOUR WORKING LIFE:

My days start and end with SEO – where we are, how people are searching and how we can improve. The rest of the day is a mixture of sales, marketing, and tech development. We’re growing at around 160% a quarter at the minute, so each week is busier than the previous one

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING YOUR INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW?

The use of technology and data in the industry. The role of the agent is changing, and organisations are looking at software to make these changes without reviewing business processes. The choice of software can make a huge difference, both good and bad

AND WHAT ARE THE BIG OPPORTUNITIES?

Exactly the same as the biggest challenge, the use of technology and data in the industry! If we get it right then the whole profession can be revolutionised – we need “Good Tech” not “Prop Tech!”

HOW DO YOU GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR STAFF?

By respecting them and their abilities, as well as understanding what drives them. Above all, being honest and open with them.

WHAT WAS YOUR LAST MEETING ABOUT, HOW LONG DID IT LAST, AND WAS IT PRODUCTIVE?

We generally work in “scrums” so meetings are brief and around whatever project a team is working on. The last one for me was this morning at 9am, updating on tech, marketing and the business development plan for this week. It was concise, five minutes at most, and very productive.

HOW MANY EMAILS DO YOU GET IN A DAY, AND HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE TO READ THEM?

On an average day it touches the two hundred email mark, and no one in property has enough time to get through their emails! Absolutely everything that comes into my inbox is scanned then prioritised. I try not to get too distracted and do have set times when I ignore them

DO YOU ANSWER WORK CALLS OR EMAILS AT HOME? WHAT’S THE RIGHT WORK-LIFE BALANCE?

I do pick up emails and calls at home and over the weekend, but not in ‘family time’ – strictly no phones over family meals, and similarly if we all sit down to watch a film together

HOW DO YOU HOPE YOUR COLLEAGUES WOULD DESCRIBE YOU?

Competent, outgoing, supportive

HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

Creating and working with a brilliant team at GVA and then getting the chance to do it all again at PropList

ANY PARTICULAR FAUX PAS OR EMBARRASSING MOMENTS IN YOUR CAREER YOU WOULD PREFER TO FORGET?

There has been a fair few over the years, most of which aren’t repeatable!

PET HATES?

Bullies, of any description

IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF SOME WISE ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I love travelling, and certainly didn’t explore as much as I’d have liked to. I’d tell 18 year old Richard that the world is a huge place, don’t be afraid to try anything, and don’t worry so much

HOW DO YOU RELAX AWAY FROM WORK?

Family time is the best way to reflect and unwind. I love the kitchen and can usually be found attempted Italian cuisine, and I’ve recently returned from my first canoeing holiday!

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE BIRMINGHAM BUSINESS COMMUNITY?

There is an enormous sense of pride around businesses in Birmingham. We are all honoured to be involved in its growth.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE PROBABLY WOULDN’T KNOW.

I once appeared on “One man and his dog” many, many years ago…I lost!

YOU CAN TAKE ONE BOOK, ONE FILM AND ONE CD ONTO A DESERT ISLAND – WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Blues Brothers and Miles Davis ‘Kind of Blue’

YOUR FIVE DREAM DINNER PARTY GUESTS, DEAD OR ALIVE?

Terry Pratchett, Kenneth Williams, Marco Polo, Amy Johnson and Douglas Adams – my two favourite authors, two explorers and Kenneth to hold it all together!

WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO EAT FOR YOUR LAST SUPPER?

I would have to be my favourite Italian dishes – Saffron Risotto to start, Rabbit Pappardalle and Affogato al Caffe (with a glass of Ameretto). Pignatello to drink with the meal. It sounds complex, but these dishes remind me of my first real job working in an Italian restaurant in Warwick. It’s sadly long gone but it’s where I learnt to cook and where I made some amazing memories.

Kirsty Cove

Head of sales and lettings at FleetMilne

15th May 2019

Luxury apartments in great demand

Development at the heart of The Jewellery Quarter expected to sell out off-plan

21st February 2019

Financial advice firm moves onto business park

New tenant means building is fully let

10th December 2018

Expanding city agency welcomes new recruits

Commercial property firm invests in young professionals

2nd January 2019

Investors show continued confidence in city

Big-money commercial property deals still flooding in

1st November 2018

New faces boost commercial property team

Investment in the growing warehouse and distribution market

21st December 2018

Small businesses struggle to find office space

No sign of new plots coming onto the market, agents say

9th November 2018

Double deal for commercial property experts

London-based leisure brands arrive in Birmingham

21st May 2019

Charity tie-up to celebrate milestones

Two organisations join forces to mark their 30th anniversaries

29th April 2019

Chris O'Riordan

Managing director of Firestarter Business Solutions

7th October 2018

Letting agent strikes gold

Commonwealth Games team will move into Brindleyplace

16th May 2019

Birmingham makes the top ten

Research reveals it's one of the UK's fastest growing cities

27th March 2019

Three new partners named at law firm

Appointments made as practice prepares for further growth

13th May 2019

Is serviced office boom coming to an end?

Commercial property experts share their thoughts

1st April 2019

Clare Lang

Partner, mfg Solicitors

28th February 2019