This month marks the 10th year anniversary of Revolution Projects and we’re quite proud of how far we’ve come. The company has grown and evolved over the years and we are now thrilled to deliver high-end Residential Projects for U/HNW clients in the UK and abroad.
But what are the hidden challenges when delivering a high-end Residential project? Is there a magic formula for success? Who better to ask than our Residential Projects expert, Alison Wardle. Alison started her career on industry projects and is now using her business expertise and unique approach to coordinate the delivery of bespoke residential projects for high-net-worth Clients all over the world.
Let us give you a sneak peek of the Residential Project team she works with and what’s to come!
Q1: How did you end up in the world of High-End Residential Property Projects renovations?
It all started when our founder, Phill Grocott, was unexpectedly asked by a colleague if he would be interested in bringing a failing High-end Residential Project back on track. And that was it! I joined the company at the very beginning to assist with the first Residential Projects and thought it would be an incredible opportunity to use my previous experience working with construction industries and support Phill to bring advanced project management to high-end residential projects. We wanted to maximise the best value for money for clients, bringing industrial expertise, leadership and surveillance to each detail of the residential restoration.
My first high-end residential project involved a full strip out and refurbishment of a Grade II listed farmhouse and barn. It was unique, exciting, challenging, high-quality and immensely rewarding. That’s also the time when the company started creating the Residential Team that we have today.
Q2: I am sure that a lot of people are a bit confused about the services you provide – are you High-end Residential Project Managers, High-end Residential Building Renovators or Residential Property Consultants? Some may even think of you as a High-end Building Contractors.
Ha! I know what you mean and as my boss would say, we are a different kettle of fish!
We are Project Managers and we act purely in the client’s interest. We project manage the end-to-end restoration of high-end residential properties. This means that we engage specialist consultants – like architects, lighting consultants or interior designers – builders and specialised contractors. Whether it is a listed building, a one-off contemporary residence or getting a failing restoration project back on track, we lead and implement the day-to-day technical decisions and communications so that our clients have time to focus on what is most important.
Our relationship with the Clients is based on trust. Trust is at the heart of everything we do and our clients know that we are fully focused on delivering their residential renovation projects. We’ve got it all covered!
I think that makes us unique.
Q3: What was the main lesson learned after the completion of your first residential building renovation project?
Residential projects are demanding, and we soon realised that we needed not only a bigger team but a high-performance team to plan the project, negotiate contracts, manage risks, implement the work and deliver it to closure.
Following the successful delivery of this first project, the word spread, through word of mouth only, and we went on to support several other failing projects to a successful end. I suppose the reputation of the no-nonsense northerner team was formed!
The team that we have today is a mixture of skills, cultures, and expertise which gives us incredible richness and depth. It gives everyone the time to focus on what is important to provide the best quality proposal to our clients.
What we now have in terms of development processes, delivery practices and client interface is the result of years of refining and tweaking. It’s a continuous process: every project is different, every client unique and we are constantly improving.
Q4: Why do you think high-net-worth individuals need to use a Project Management company, like yourselves, to renovate their high-end properties?
I think it’s a combination of a couple of things:
I don’t have the correct words to describe this but I always think a high-end residential renovation project requires rhythm to establish and maintain the project pace. In the sense of regular meetings/communications, whether online or in-person, our systems run all day every day and what we commit to is written in stone!! Any cancellations or missed deadlines are the exceptions, not the rule. I feel this is a very strong feature of who we are, which probably origins from our industry background.
Q5: What does a high-end Residential Project look like nowadays?
Our residential projects always start with discovery, which is mostly asking a lot of questions: Which is the best way to achieve the Clients’ request? Which features do clients need? Which new products or technologies are there today that we need to consider?
From that, you get long lists of work items, work packages and issues to consider and our Residential Project team prioritizes those on a roadmap. Our Quantity Surveyor is fully engaged during the initial stages when we go to tender and value engineer the tender returns from specialised contractors and consultants. This is also the stage where we will solicit planning permission from the local authorities. Our project coordinators will then review the roadmaps for each work package tracking and progressing issues, checking implementations, communication planning and all the other tasks that come with each project.
As an independent project team, we challenge the balance between design and costs, respecting both creativity and the Client’s requirement while ensuring practical solutions.
Q6: What has been the biggest change in the style of the high-end Residential Project Management team, compared to your first projects?
There is a lot more gathering of information at the initial stages, more scrutiny of costs than there used to be in the past, and a lot more quality control in general.
If there is one thing that we have learned from our years of experience, it’s that knowing the project inside out is the key to predicting what’s going to happen – before it happens. It is a large responsibility that we take very seriously.
Q7: What is it that you enjoy most about supporting High-end Residential Projects right now?
I love the work we’re doing on Graded Residential properties in London. The challenges of working in the city and knowing that we are contributing to the city’s enduring appeal, littered with exceptional period properties full of character, great history, and outstanding features. A game-changer, I think.
Q8: What can we expect from Revolution Projects High-end Residential Projects before they turn 13?
I think my boss will be best placed to answer this question! However, we are working on a more robust marketing strategy that will maximise our networking with High-end Residential clients. We want to reach out to a wider community because we know they will greatly benefit from our services.
Managing a high-end residential project abroad is another challenge we can’t wait to start. A lot of our clients have residencies across the globe and we want to give our clients continuation and peace of mind, helping them renovate their high-end residential properties outside the UK.
Importantly, our leadership team continues to develop the team, investing in each team member to make sure they achieve their own goals and working together to make us a more efficient team than we are today. Just my opinion.
Q9: What do you think will be the #1 focal point for the next year?
Our promise is that Revolution Projects Residentials will always give you what you need to deliver your high-end residential project with dedication, trust, commitment, and expertise. We’ll give you the technical and project expertise and feedback where you need it to optimize your project and make your house your home.
Q10: You are offering a FREE Consultation service for new high-end Residential Projects. We hope this interview has convinced people to take advantage of this service and encourage them to call you. In the unlikely case someone is still in doubt, what more can you say?
Personally, we are all looking forward to really interesting discussions with everyone who calls us, and we will make sure we answer any question honestly and openly! Give me a call!
Want to learn more about our High-end Residential Projects?
This blog is based on our own client experiences. Written by Emile Malaney. 06/09/2022.