In Conversation: Mark Weedon
May 23, 2012
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Today, we speak to Mark Weedon, Head of Residential and UK Alternative Real Estate at IPD (Investment Property Databank).
Could you sum up your role?
I’m responsible for client management, product delivery, product development, business development, public relations and sponsorship relationships for IPD’s UK alternative sector real estate performance measurement services. Until recently I have been only been responsible for IPD’s UK residential service and my role still includes being head of residential at IPD.
And that of IPD?
IPD are the global leader in performance measurement for the large scale, professionally managed property investment industry, producing market indices and benchmarking services to assist investors, fund managers, agents and consultants in their analysis of the property market and the portfolios they own/manage.
Could you tell us a bit about your background?
I studied economics with French at the University of Kent, including a year abroad at University in Grenoble. After university I worked as an analyst for British Gas before joining IPD as a graduate trainee analyst and haven’t looked back since then.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m not sure I have a typical day. My role encompasses so many different client groups and internal functions that two days are never likely to be the same, whether I’m delivering presentations to clients, attending committee meetings, discussing business strategy, planning an event, attending a conference or meeting potential subscribers to our service, I usually make it to the office in Farringdon at some point. I guess every day has in common that I have too much to do!
What are the main day-to-day challenges you face in your role?
I’m constantly juggling priorities, principally between delivering our core products and services to existing clients (residential, healthcare, rural, forestry, hotels) and trying to develop future business and profile. My biggest challenge is not letting anything slip while focusing on the most pressing task at any time. Whilst often guided by necessity it is a challenge to manage my own workload, particularly allocating time to longer term projects.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your role?
The most satisfying aspect of my role is when an event which has taken months of planning and preparation comes off and my clients are happy. For example, the annual residential index launch has become a key feature on the residential sector calendar each year and it takes plenty of effort to assemble a good quality panel, market the event effectively, prepare my launch presentation and deliver it effectively on the day. So far I’ve received great feedback from our client group and the sector at large on our residential launch events and this year’s saw a record attendance of 230 people join us on the day.
What’s your most memorable moment or proudest achievement?
Probably making it into Property week’s “RESI 100” list last year (at number 92!). I was so pleased that people had voted for me as an influential person in residential property and proud as punch when I appeared in the printed edition! It was great to know that the work I’ve been doing to demonstrate the strength of investment performance in the UK Private Rented Sector has made a difference to the residential sector. With a bit of luck and a few more votes perhaps I could break the top 90 this year!
What’s next for IPD?
The IPD alternative real estate investment department (i.e. me) has got plenty going on in 2012. Most notably we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Property week on the RESI conference again this year and will be hosting an IPD branded breakout session on the future of residential investment at RESI 2012. We’re also excited to be working on a new IPD conference this year which will focus on investment into alternative real estate sectors such as residential, social housing, healthcare, infrastructure, hotels and student accommodation. Look out for this in October.
Finally, what’s your favourite London landmark?
Hmm, that’s a tough one but I think I have to say the entire new King’s Cross station area (King’s Cross and St Pancras) now that both have been so well redeveloped in the last few years. The whole area just looks so good compared to the pre-development state and the facilities are superb now. I no longer have to go into the West End to buy presents for my wife; I can just pop to St Pancras on the way home. I just really like it there!