#4: Will Blakey | CEO, MyOfficeMove.co.uk
Will Blakey is CEO of MOM (MyOfficeMove.co.uk), the online marketplace for moving office.
Will is also an investor in start-ups, such as Den Automation - the innovative light switch & plug socket business - as well as being an online business and life coach (link here) with a mission to help people "become the best version of themselves & live the life they want".
As an industry outside (Will's background was as varied entrepreneur in security, marketing and sales), Will is starting to shake up the traditional office agency market with his latest business, helping users of the platform find office premises and move into them as seamlessly as possible.
Despite his success to-date, Will see MOM as complimentary to the property agencies and fully appreciates the services & skills offered by existing brokers & agents.
Speaking with Will reminded me of Anthony Hitt's comments. Speaking from his role as CEO of Engel & Volkers (the residential estate agency) he identifies three areas where brokers / agents will continue to thrive:
- Offering outstanding customer service. The right personal touch can build life-long relationships in a way in which technology is yet to imitate.
- Utilising tech & data themselves in order to increase the service value. Data is useless without the correct means of interpretation. Expertise is still important in harnessing data and technology to arrive at considered advice.
- Agents should target the higher price points (in commercial, i think this extends to the larger and more complex transactions). The more bespoke & complex the problem, the more scope there is for an intermediary to add value.
My guess is that, while MOM (and, at a more granular level, companies like Hubble) will continue to make the market more efficient (in terms of time) , the complexities & cost implications of many office moves are such that there's still a heavy reliance on good advisors. Will is clearly of this view and keen to ensure that MOM is collaborative in its approach to the market; he is not seeking to be a stand-alone solution, but to improve parts of it.
Wellness is important part of Will's life and experience to date. It's interesting to hear his view on how it's a growing part of what many of us are looking for in our work places. Clearly, an element of this is tenant / occupier-led in terms of how office space is fitted out. It does seem, however, that it's an area that demands more attention from developers and landlords than if often currently gets. If you're interested in this, there's plenty of events & resources to follow-up with:
- A good summary of the issue of wellness in the work place is here;
- Wellness 2018;
- Work place trends;
- Work 2.0 conference;
Will's favourite real estate tech innovation is Giraffe 360 - well worth having a look at their website!