Introducing Ben Davies

16 July 2020
  • Ben Davies Cooke & Arkwright

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In the next of our series of articles introducing members of the Cooke & Arkwright team, meet Ben Davies, Associate with the Retail & Leisure agency. He describes his work with the firm, how he’s enjoying getting out and meeting clients again, and can’t wait to get back playing ice hockey!

Tell us about your work at Cooke & Arkwright.

Working in the Retail & Leisure department, I mostly deal with agency matters, in addition to landlord and tenant instructions. This usually involves high street retail but also incorporates shopping centres, leisure schemes and new developments.

Give us an overview of what an average day for you could entail.

The diversity of the work makes the role interesting as no two days are the same, save for the current climate which as most people know feels like groundhog day! Returning to the office this week has been a welcome change. Typically, I deal with enquiries and leads for the Retail & Leisure property we have available and arrange viewings. I discuss new instructions with clients and conduct inspections of the property before making marketing recommendations. After successful marketing, I am involved in negotiating new lease terms and finalising the deal.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

The ability to get out on site and meet new people, as opposed to remaining in the office at the desk all day, is appealing! Whether it be meeting a client to discuss a new instruction or making new contacts with franchisees who want to take their new concept to the market, the social interaction and client/retailer engagement certainly makes the job more interesting. We are lucky enough to benefit from an industry that thrives off establishing these relationships, meaning informal meetups and drinks are often required!

What advice would you give someone starting out in property now?

There are many different roles within the surveying world so I would suggest gathering as much information as possible to see what most appeals to them. The property world is changing and certainly with the challenging times we find ourselves in, it would be worth exploring the impact this may have on the pathway of choice.

Tell us a bit about your experience of working from home.

The transition has been handled well from both the wider company and certainly a departmental perspective. Daily video team calls help to create the office environment from home and due to the nature of our work, it is fair to say most of it can be conducted from our home offices. The easing of lockdown restrictions has made things a little easier, as I’ve been out of the office most days recently on inspections and various meetings. I do empathise with those that have young children though, as having to juggle their needs at the same time sounds enough to push anyone over the edge!

Apart from work, I must say I’ll be glad when I can get back to the ice rink for a few exhibition hockey games with the local Cardiff sides and catch up with my team mates!

I have worked with Jeremy Symons over the past three years successfully leasing and buying property in support of my business. I continue to be very pleased with his knowledge of the market and expertise. Our relationship over this time has resulted in acquiring 20,000 sq ft at Capital Business Park in Cardiff, leasing 11,000 sq ft at Southpoint, and subsequently leasing an initial 42,000 sq ft at Parc Bedwas, followed by a succession of expansions of a further 11,000 and then 47,000 sq ft, enabling us to centralise all of our operations at Parc Bedwas in a single 100,000 sq ft facility. The acquisitions were completed at the perfect time for tenant purposes and the rent fixed throughout the term at very economical rates. A job well done.

Bob James, Aerfin