Five Minutes With… Nick Samuels, COO at Bold & Reeves
We chat to Nick Samuels, COO at Bold & Reeves, to find out about life behind the scenes at the company – and also what it takes to carve a successful career in the property industry.
How did you start your career and what were you doing before you joined Bold & Reeves?
I started my career in property back in 2004 at Foxtons. I was basically the guy on the phone who bothered you about getting valuations. I worked my way up through various different departments and ended up as their Director of Expansion. I helped open 57 branches and oversaw numerous mergers and acquisitions. It was a very exciting part of my career. After that, I did some consulting both abroad and domestically, working with prop techs, start-ups and larger businesses.
I joined Bold & Reeves two years ago as the COO. I’m here to drive the business through growth and change management. The real push is to keep driving the business forward and acquire more clients. We have the BRMS (a business rule management system) software that underpins our success – that’s what separates us from any other property management business and it’s what we continue to focus on.
What does your role as COO entail?
While Bill Shipton, the CEO of Bold & Reeves, focuses on how the business operates externally, I look internally. I look at how we streamline the business and make us operate more efficiently. From HR to marketing, you never really know which hat you’re going to wear on a different day. It’s a varied role – each day is very different, which is exciting.
What do you find most compelling about the business model at Bold & Reeves?
It’s two things: our people and the platform. That’s the key difference between us and our competitors.
Our BRMS was built by Bill many years ago and continues to develop. It really underpins our success as a business. We are the leading ultra-high-net-worth property management company in London for that reason.
We also pride ourselves on the level of service we provide. We are very lucky to have incredible people working for us, and we’re constantly looking at how to improve that balance between our tech and our people. Plus, we’ve been operating for nearly 10 years. We know this market incredibly well and we have had clients who have been with us for that whole time.
What is so unique about the tech at Bold & Reeves?
The platform itself is a unique product. It combines asset management with task-based solutions. It allows our clients to see everything from when we’ve changed the lightbulbs through to the swimming pool maintenance. Every single thing that’s done for a property is recorded in that system – from floorplans to photos.
When a client goes to sell their property, the maintenance of that property is all recorded. We put great emphasis on planned maintenance over reactive maintenance because if you maintain systems it helps them last longer. All of that is driven by our BRMS, which ensures those things don’t get missed.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face at Bold & Reeves?
I think our challenges are also our strengths. Our people are our most important asset along with the platform. As we grow as a business, we hire more people and the dynamic changes and we have to learn how to deal with new pressure points. However, we spend a significant amount of time ensuring that we hire the right individuals to come and work for us.
What is a highlight for you?
There are so many. One highlight for me is watching people grow. Last year, we took on an intake of assistant property managers – some with very little experience. Watching them grow and develop is very rewarding.
Another highlight is watching the company grow and succeed year on year. We have a brilliant client retention rate, which says everything about the quality of our service.
Forming third-party partnerships has been really important, too. We’ve really diversified the Bold & Reeves offering over the past couple of years. For example, we have exclusive deals with Tysers insurance. Bold & Reeves clients get a discount on their premium, which is great.
What advice do you have for people looking to start a career in luxury property?
It’s a tough market and to be successful you have to work hard. Get your head down, put the hours in, and listen to the people around you who are doing well. Why are they successful? Ask lots of questions. If you work hard, you make your own luck.
What is on the horizon for Bold & Reeves?
We have recently licensed our platform to Mister Peele in California and they’ve just opened in New York. And we are continuing to have lots of conversations about white labelling our BRMS to other businesses. We are also growing the team in London, further partnerships and referrals with estate agents. There’s lots going on in the business. It’s an exciting time.
To find out more or to join the Bold & Reeves platform, please get in touch with Henry Browne via: firstname.lastname@example.org