2 years in the making…OBI

Joe Averill | 06 August 2018

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later” – Richard Branson.

Today marks my second year at OBI and what a journey it has been so far. Since I made the leap from the world of technology it has been onwards and upwards. It was a daunting experience making the jump into the world of real estate at OBI – I had no property qualifications and no experience, but the belief instilled in me from the start by the directors, in particular Will Lewis, gave me the confidence to develop in my role and make it my own.

Confidence isn’t something that has come to me naturally growing up, however over the past two years the desire to push boundaries and willingness to step out of my comfort zone has led to vast improvements. The backing and support of my colleagues has ultimately provided a platform for me to develop both personally and professionally.

The support of the business was reflected this year, as I was fortunate enough to receive recognition amongst my peers, with the privilege of achieving the following;

i) Manchester Young Talent Awards – Property Professional of the Year,
ii) Made in Manchester Awards – Business Development Professional of
the Year
iii) A Magazine 30 under 30.

There’s been a lot of hard work, but I’m under no illusions that without the time, effort and guidance of my team, in particular Andrew Cowell, who is constantly there to support and provide guidance, it would have never been possible to receive this recognition.

Over this last year I set out several goals, one of the biggest being public speaking which has always been a stumbling block for me. This goal was achieved recently as I participated in a prop-tech panel at XYZ as well as delivering a presentation at the St James Club, Manchester’s oldest property network. Anyone who knows me will be well aware public speaking has been something I’ve shied away from, but it’s something I’m keen to continue to do more of and improve on – they say the first one is the hardest!

It is very rare even today, that businesses empower their people, such as pushing them to improve their profile, contribute new initiatives or support personal development. This is a unique business with a strong culture which is facilitated largely by a subjective approach to the recruitment process which focuses strongly on personality and how people relate to each other, as well as skill-set.

OBI continues to move at a rapid pace with so many exciting initiatives upcoming which I can’t wait to share with you. Before I joined the business I saw huge potential and always believed it could be a hugely influential player, and I think we’re starting to see that now.

We have recently rebranded dropping the ‘property’ from the company’s title, choosing to move forward as OBI as we undertake new initiatives that go beyond real estate – investment, technology, digital and much more – which will be revealed in the coming months! This a young dynamic workforce with talent in abundance and I’m excited to a part of the future here.
It’s an exciting time to be working in this city. The future looks bright for Manchester, it is consistently making big strides forward and is full of potential. We have an unrivalled business community which is driven by people always willing to help. I’m lucky to always have an outlet when it comes to support or advice required. On that note, this year I’d particularly like to thank Naomi Timperley -Tech North Advocates, Steve Kuncewicz – BLM Law and Richard Faulkner – Silicon Valley Bank, for all of their help when it was needed.

What am I looking for in the immediate future? I am eager to develop and accelerate the journey in my career, so I suppose the next step I am looking for in my career is for a mentor. I spend most of my time alongside tech businesses and I would love a mentor that sits within this eco-system, whether it be a VC, tech business owner or someone may be able to add significant value to my career. If you have any suggestions, or think that you might be the right individual, then please get in touch.

Here’s to a successful third year!

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