Celebrating 40 years of business diversification

January 2, 2019

Last year was a significant one for George F. White as the firm strengthened its foothold in the North East commercial property sector, celebrated a year in its Newcastle city centre office and expanded its range of services. Richard Garland is head of the Tyne and Wear division and is spearheading the development of the business’ on-going diversification from its rural roots across the urban sectors. Here, he looks back at the business’ journey and forward to the future as the firm gets ready to celebrate its 40th anniversary

George F. White was formed by George White (who remains as partner in the firm) in 1979 in the market town of Alnwick. The business began as a small team of rural consultants – an industry we are still proud to serve comprehensively to this day – and as George’s team grew, so did our service offering of specialist services.

Thanks to the foundations George laid, the business has been able to diversify with notable success – a journey we continue today. Over ten years ago, we took the decision to invest in our planning and development team; they now represent over a quarter of our business, with success being driven by high-quality specialist advice. This is a model we are now replicating within our commercial team. Already covering commercial property valuations, landlord and tenant and agency services alongside an energy consultancy (including commercial EPCs), this year we’ve added building surveying to our offering through the appointment of James Cullen, who recently joined us as head of building surveying. This has been a successful move and, in line with our plan, we are looking to expand the team in 2019.

Our Newcastle city centre office is now an evolving hub for our planning and development, lettings, energy and commercial property teams. In 2019, we plan to further strengthen our presence in the urban market, both in Newcastle and further afield.

Alongside investment in our Tyne and Wear offering, we have been working hard on our strategic expansion plans and have identified potential to grow turnover by 25 per cent over the next three years. That includes significant investment in the business’ systems, offices and flexible working systems.

We have a clear plan as to where the partners and team leaders wish to take the business over the next three years. At the heart of that is a focus on our client care and the quality of our output; the way we communicate with our clients and our colleagues has changed beyond recognition during my time at the business. We have significant investment planned over the next year. Alongside the focus on quality, we are also modernising our whole business, including our offices, providing a high-quality environment for our clients and staff, whose needs have also changed. As part of our strategic investment, technology will allow all our staff to work more flexibly and deliver a higher-quality client service. This business is built around succession and the Millennial generation will be the key to our future success. Rather than resisting change, we are proud to be embracing new technology in the constant drive to make us stand out.

George F. White

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