I have been fortunate enough to gain experience in various teams and roles during my four years at Grosvenor – something which the company itself has actively encouraged. Right now I am now helping to lease the retail units in a major 42-acre urban regeneration project in Liverpool city centre. This is due to open in 2008 and consists of 165 shops containing around 1.4 million square feet of retail space.
My task is to identify potential retailers and present the benefits of being part of the new development. I then work closely with agents, architects and solicitors to deliver a deal. It’s all about negotiating effectively, managing the due diligence process and exploring ways to harness the full potential of one of the biggest regeneration projects in Europe. Although I am based in London, I need to spend two days a week in Liverpool.
The biggest challenge is to get retailers to sign up in a tough retail market – and to sell them a unit that has not yet been built (or in same cases designed!) The design and building work is still in process, so I need to work extensively with agents and architects to agree terms and structure deals. There can be quite a lot of pressure at times but, although I work with considerable autonomy, I always have the support of colleagues when I need it.
The ongoing professional development is also great. I have received training in negotiation and presentation skills, advanced Excel and personal PR, and I am also completing the first-line manager’s course. Grosvenor is clearly committed to keeping its people, so they invest heavily in your career at every stage.