Head of Commercial Property Management, Black Grace Cowley
Ben Quayle is the head of commercial property management at Black Grace Cowley, the leading firm of chartered surveyors and estates agents on the Isle of Man. Ben grew up on the Isle of Man and always knew he wanted to return home. After spending six years working in London at one of the UK’s leading property management firms, Ben returned to join Black Grace Cowley. Ben has been pairing his wealth of experience with best in class property management and accounting software to continue Black Grace Cowley’s drive to provide service of the highest calibre.
The commercial property market on the Isle of Man has historically been small enough to be managed using spreadsheets without too many complications. However, the market's recent rapid expansion has driven property management firms to rethink their approach.
Black Grace Cowley previously outsourced their accounting, but they recognised that bringing this in-house would ensure better visibility of their portfolio and enable them to scale more effectively. With this understanding, Ben was tasked with answering the question ‘what technology will provide us better portfolio visibility and ability to scale our operations effectively?’
It made sense to bring this growing sector of the company under one roof. By managing our accounts in-house, we have the team set up so that you can turn your seat and speak to someone in accounts, then turn the other way to chat to the property management team," says Ben
Ben’s time in London gave him the opportunity to experience the latest industry trends and see how new platforms were automating and connecting the different aspects of property management. Armed with this knowledge, Ben realised there was a valuable opportunity to bring Black Grace Cowley into a new era.
Ben’s experience with a wide range of property management systems gave him a good understanding of the importance of finding a solution that was fit for purpose. He wanted to find a solution tailored to Black Grace Cowley’s needs and growth aspirations, at an attractive price point.
Around this time, one of Black Grace Cowley’s clients recommended they take a look at Re-Leased. Ben began to look into the Re-Leased platform and was immediately impressed. The ability to scale the platform to fit their specific needs was a major drawcard.
What I really like about Re-Leased is that as we bring more and more properties into our portfolio, we can increase our use of the software in line with this. It gives us the power to accurately budget going forward.
In addition, the cloud and mobile accessibility of Re-Leased align really well with Ben’s focus on modernising the firm's property management experience, particularly the mobile app suite.
Being able to automate many of the manual tasks that the team currently handles will also ensure more time can be spent enhancing the services clients receive.
As Black Grace Cowley gets set to enter a new era with Re-Leased, Ben is excited to play a part in reinventing commercial property management on the Isle of Man.
We can sometimes be a little old fashioned on the Isle of Man. I am excited about this opportunity to bring us into the 21st century.
When we’re up and running, I'm looking forward to pitching our services and having people say, ‘Black Grace Cowley is doing something different, it's not the same old, same old.'
Introducing a platform like Re-Leased over here will certainly put us ahead of the game.