Meet Kevin Wither, Head of Landlord

06 May 2020. Features.

Kevin Wither, Head of Landlord, for Peldon Rose, discusses how the industry has changed during his time as part of Peldon Rose, and how he’s established a dedicated Landlord offering.

How did you get into the construction industry?

Good fortune and taking a leap, I was a qualified pub and hotel manager leading on relief management. I’d travelled a lot and gone all around the country, all around London and all around the M25 looking after pubs and hotels when their people went away, and I’d just had enough.

I crashed on a friend’s couch for three months, fully recharged, and then I decided to go and do something different – and that was a general labourer on a building site. Then, purely by chance the project manager on the job offered to teach me how to be a project manager.

From there I was a trainee project manager at Kentex (who are a subcontractor to Peldon Rose – small world hey?) I worked on fitout with them for about four or five years, and then went and tried residential project management, which made me realise the fit-out world is where I wanted to be.

I was at Thirdway Interiors for five years, progressed from pre con manager to project director. I then met Peldon Rose CEO JP, and he shared his vision of starting and creating a landlord team at Peldon Rose, and that’s how we are here today.

What made you choose Peldon Rose?

It was an alignment of aspirations. Over the years I’ve seen things done in a lot of different ways. Peldon Rose’s vision of creating and offering a service directly to landlords, working with professional teams and the landlords themselves, offers something tangible and needed in the current market.

The landlord market requires a different mindset from its contracting teams. It’s essential to understand the needs of the landlord and the aspiring tenant, rather than designers who are purely tenant focused.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Seeing a space develop from an inspiration or a thought into something real, and being able to be a part of that from the beginning all the way through to the end – that’s definitely what does it for me, and it’s much more prominent in the landlord space.

We see a building that is dilapidated or run down, collaborate our thoughts with the client, design it, build it, see the project flourish – that’s really something special.

The landlord team can create something brand new - we’re actively looking to reinvigorate offices and workplaces.

How do you see the market changing in the next decade?

I think things will change massively in the coming years, - the creation of our team speaks to that.

The investment in the London market happens from across the world, the mindset will start to shift here. There’ll never be a complete stop in the agent market, but more and more landlords will realise that they have to be able to do it themselves, they’ve got to be able to defend their own buildings, they’ve got to be able to defend what they’re selling.

Historically landlords would have delivered to shell and core or Cat A. What you’re now finding is, because of co-working spaces and a shift in the market purely based out of the evolution of society. Society is more challenging now. People don’t just accept the bare minimum. They ask questions; ‘what else is there?’ If they don’t like it, they won’t do it. Before, people would have been hamstrung into taking a new deal because they didn’t have lot of choice.

Three to six months ago before COVID had created uncertainty, we were in a buyer’s market. The tenant or someone wanting space in London drove the demand, with the ability to shop around and assess features and offerings.

Landlords will have to work harder to get people into their buildings. They’re going to have to be smart space ready and of course, technology based…

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