Hollis is an international, independent real estate consultancy with offices in Amsterdam, Ashford, Belfast, Berlin, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Madrid, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Munich, Newcastle, Nottingham, Welwyn Garden City and Winchester.
Joining Hollis straight out of university in 2006, David McBride is now Partner and Head of Hollis’ Manchester office.
What inspired your career path?
I have always found commercial property fascinating because of its ever-changing nature. The last year alone has been a roller-coaster for occupier trends, government policy as well as the wider economy and global issues. COVID-19 is a prime case in point. Businesses have been forced to rely on remote working strategies and it will be interesting to see how this impacts occupational demand across both traditional and flexible office spaces. As restrictions begin to lift, the industry will need to adapt and innovate quickly.
What one piece of advice do you wish you’d been given before you started your career?
Say yes to the scary stuff! Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone will not only help keep things interesting but will help you progress faster in your career.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned throughout your career?
Your team is your greatest asset, especially in professional services. Over the last three years, the Manchester team at Hollis has doubled in size as we have expanded our client base and diversified our service offering. Our approach is simple; we hire the most talented people, provide the best training possible and create a culture that makes them want to stay.
What do you see as your future business challenges?
With social distancing in place across the UK to help limit the spread of COVID-19, maintaining ‘business as usual’ and inspecting buildings is an ongoing challenge. At Hollis, we are exploring alternative solutions to address these challenges. An Incident Response Team has been established to assess each site and implement a safe inspection plan. This typically includes inspecting vacant buildings where possible and ensuring surveyors aren’t required to travel to site together. We’re also making use of technology; our in-house drones are being deployed to limit face-to-face interactions and our own H360 data capture technology can produce panorama images and tours that significantly minimise the need for on-site visits.
What legacy do you want to leave?
A commitment to sustainability. Last year, we achieved the first ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating for office occupiers in Manchester, when we relocated to a larger office. The office is set within a 1960s building and is a prime example of how it’s possible to create sustainable workplaces within older properties and not just new builds.
What’s your proudest achievement?
We’ve been working hard to develop a leading specialist technical due diligence offering in the North West. Our Manchester team has coordinated more than £2.5bn of commercial property transactions over the last three years and we’re proud to be able to help our clients on this scale. At Hollis, we look at real estate from an investor’s perspective and with our dilapidations expertise bring valuable insight on how landlord and tenant matters can affect capital expenditure.
When you are not working, what do you do to relax?
I enjoy digging up the golf course, travelling and good food. Although, I’m soon to be dad for the first time so my relaxing days are no doubt numbered.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current role?
I would set up a scuba diving school somewhere very hot. The Manchester scuba scene is somewhat lacking…