Home Property "I'm a leader of standards for property consultants" Edo Mapelli Mozzi

"I'm a leader of standards for property consultants" Edo Mapelli Mozzi

by Asa
26th Nov 12 7:33 am

The 29 year-old Banda Property founder tells Asa Bennett how he’s shaking up property consultancy

Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi… now there’s a name that’d be hard to forget. Especially for regular readers, who may have read the 29-year old property consultant’s blistering critiques of Nick Clegg and Ed Balls for the mansion tax.

As he later tells me, the mansion tax “is only going to affect 0.1% of the country…well they probably employ 10% of the country. This would have knock on effects!”

Why is his opinion so respected? He’s been working as a property consultant for the richest in London for years. Moving to set up his own firm in 2007, Mozzi now manages several construction sites (8 in London), with 10 staff and hundreds more working on his projects.

Incidentally, the name “Banda” comes from the Swahili word for “hut”. Mozzi himself conceived of the idea for his firm while in his Kenyan “banda” in Lamu.

Not only does he have a way with words, but when I caught up with him, he’s got a business to match.

How did Banda get started?

We started in 2007, when I was an independent project manager at the time doing up houses in Chelsea, Fulham and Notting Hill for private clients of high net worth. On the back of that we were having a lot of requests to buy or help buy new properties.

We had come across a couple of properties where people had used buying agents to acquire properties and hadn’t been given proper advice on construction costs and that sort of thing.

There are other guys who do what we do and look after 20 or 30 people per person, but they’re ex-agents. Their mentality is still to sell something. We look after only 3 or 4 clients.

We take it very much from the opposite side, trying to cross every t and dot the i… we almost give you every reason not to buy something!

That way, if you do buy something, there’s no surpises. Because we do the project management too, we can’t run away at this point.

If we haven’t told them something, they’ll find out and they’ll blame us.

Banda Property Edo Mapelli Mozzi

How did it grow?

It has really been 100% through referrals and recommendations from one client to the next. We’ve had a lot of families, brothers and friends. The advantage is they come to us fully committed.

It sort of snowballed just from the first two or three clients, after we identified the gap in the market.

We also managed to pick up a lot of business that other such consultants couldn’t do for people who wanted to buy projects.

How has the industry been?

The buying consultant industry has got much bigger in the last 5 years.

With the lack of stock, it has become more of the norm and a lot more competitive.

When you have 60% to 70% of client properties being bought by overseas people and higher net-worth, fewer properties coming onto market, they don’t need to sell.

We’ve had as consistent growth as it can be, the market has been very up and down in the last five years which can play against you but also in your favour.

Very quick knee jerk reactions at government levels have caused months were absolutely nothing happens in the markets.

We now do 20 to 30 acquisitions a year and develop just shy of 60,000 square ft of residential property.

What’s the ambition for the next few years?

We have started to push out throughout the world but have curtailed that for the moment due to market insecurities and to look after the core business here.

We’re continuing to grow in London and will carve out a stronger niche for ourselves in the areas where we can really add value.

Our aim is to be the main boutique property consultancy in the high net-worth industry and really push the standards and be a leader of standards in the whole industry.

A lot of unregulated unprofessional people are doing the service… you get 70% of acquisitions for those worth more than £1m done through buying agents, which is a big figure!

We’re all about setting standards, putting the regulation in place and making sure it’s done to the right standard.

Great, thanks for your time Edo!

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