x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

A property investor’s helping hand

It's a long day for Richard Bradstock, director of IP's new office in Abu Dhabi. He lives in Dubai and works in Abu Dhabi.

Richard Bradstock says people are looking to invest overseas because of the volatility in the local market. Silvia Razgova / The National
Richard Bradstock says people are looking to invest overseas because of the volatility in the local market. Silvia Razgova / The National

Richard Bradstock, 32, from the United Kingdom, joined IP Global as a consultant in Dubai in 2010, and earlier this year was promoted to become director of IP Global for Abu Dhabi. IP Global is a full-service property investment company that helps investors to purchase global property. To date, the value of the property their clients have invested through them is over US$1.5 billion, across 26 markets worldwide.


My nine-month-old son wakes me up. I’d love it to be half an hour later. I eat a banana on the go – I’ve never been a big breakfast person.


Three days a week, I drop my son into nursery in Umm Suqeim. I often have a morning meeting in Dubai shortly after, then I drive to Abu Dhabi. My wife, who I met seven years ago on my first day in the UAE, is a teacher for a Dubai primary school. When her contract finishes, we’ll move to Abu Dhabi.


I arrive in Abu Dhabi. I have a chap who effectively runs my diary, so I’ll work out with him who we need to speak to and what the day holds. Typically, I have four or five meetings every day, each about an hour long. I meet my clients all over the place – often at hotel lobbies or at client’s offices. Sometimes they come to our office on Airport Road, but people are busy so generally I go to them. It does mean I get stuck at traffic lights a lot. During the meetings, I talk about the various property markets and lay out their investment options. People look to invest overseas because of the volatility in the local market – we’re trying to provide lower risk, stable, long-term alternatives. Also, many Brits and Australians want to buy property in their home countries, so we help with that. About 60 per cent of our business is London-based. I own properties through IP Global in London, and I’m from near London myself. We’ve just gone into Chicago and we’re about to go into Miami and Melbourne, so these are markets which we’re tipping as being good to get into right now. But there’s still excellent value to be had in London and New York. Most of the properties we deal with are in the $600,000 range, but they go up to around $4 million.


In between meetings, I send clients information to follow up with. So if I’ve talked with them about a particular property, I’ll request details on that property to send them. We have a product development team in Hong Kong, with tendrils all over the world, that does our analysis and research. We then get given a lovely pack about a particular property, so we sales people don’t have to do a great deal of research ourselves. We get a lot of referrals through existing clients from friends of theirs, and we also work with distribution partners. If the clients of wealth managers or private banks would like exposure to property, they’ll introduce their clients to us. We don’t do cold calling.


I typically eat a sandwich from Costa at my computer for lunch, which gets really dull. My lunch break is as long as it takes to eat the sandwich. It’s then that I browse through the property sections of the Telegraph newspaper, which contains a lot of chat about the London property market. Those additional titbits of information are often so valuable.


If I don’t have any meetings in the afternoon, I’ll be booking meetings, following up with introductions and chatting with clients on the phone. There’s a lot of existing client management to be done because we’re trying to provide an ongoing customer service, whereby we’ll provide updates on the market, valuations and advice on what to do with properties. I have about 140 clients, so I try to touch base regularly with as many as I can. I’ll also be assisting my team with any concerns they have, or going on meetings with them if they need assistance.


I often have meetings past 7pm and then drive home, which is not always very popular with my wife. I tend to get home between 7pm and 9.30pm. If I get back in time I’ll play with my son, but sadly that’s not often the case.


Dinner is whatever my wife cooks. She’s Irish, so it’s very hearty food. I’ll then send a couple of emails, and I’m in bed by 11pm. I love my job. I enjoy dealing with decent people and by and large, most people are very decent. As much as it is a sales job, IP Global does have a strong ethic, which sits well with me. We are genuinely helping people.


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