Meet the boss with a lifelong passion for property
A day in the life of Nathan Priestley, the chief executive officer of the Priestley Group.
As chief executive officer of the Priestley Group, it goes without saying that no two days are the same.
We’re going through a significant period of growth at the moment, so my time is often split between our key businesses – Priestley Homes, Priestley Construction and Priestley’s, our new sales and lettings agency.
At the beginning of the week I could be at a site visit in Yorkshire or attending meetings all day in London; while on other days I might be travelling to meet investors in cities such as Hong Kong or Dubai, or working through the night to get things done.
So here’s how a day of mine typically plays out:
6am – 11.30am
I wake up and check my emails for anything urgent.
There’s time for a quick breakfast before a weekly conference call to catch up with one of Priestley Homes’ sales agents in Hong Kong. I then set off for our Leeds head office about 7am.
I’m at my desk for 7.30am, already halfway through a black coffee while reviewing my diary for the day.
I’ve a busy day ahead, with a few on- site meetings, so now’s the time to focus on the tasks throughout the group that need my immediate attention – signing off on project costs or new designs, for example.
Now it’s time to oversee two heads of department meetings. The first is with the managing director of Priestley’s – my brother James – to go over the progress of the launch of our new sales arm, which we’re incorporating into our successful lettings offering. Everything’s going well – the new signage is in place at our Leeds and Bradford branches and we’re on track to get the website live.
My next meeting is with
Rob, who heads up Priestley Construction.
We use this time to go through the status of live and upcoming projects – there are 14 in total for Priestley Homes and external clients – and look at numbers.
A key scheme for us at the moment is Conditioning House in Bradford; planning’s been granted and we’re just setting out a few specific details before work starts in a couple of months.
11.30am – 1pm
Before heading to this afternoon’s two site visits, I have time to fit in a workout in our office gym, then shower and grab some lunch at my desk.
I speak to my PA to catch up on anything that might need my involvement while I’m out and review priorities.
2pm – 6pm
I arrive at my first site visit to our Hanover House development in Leeds city centre to check on progress and help with any specific issues.
All’s going well – we’re on track with converting the Victorian property into apartments, which have all sold off- plan.
So, it’s on to the next one over in Bradford – 12 Piccadilly – a grade- II listed office space we’re converting into 15 apartments.
While there I look at some scheduling changes that have been suggested and have a quick call with our new head of design, John, to clarify some of the detail on the value engineering exercise we undertook on the scheme.
Then it’s time to get back on the road; I’m being driven to a late evening meeting in Manchester with a prospective client.
I take various calls from the senior team and hold a conference call with our solicitors to review and instruct all current property acquisitions and the sales of our finished apartments.
6pm – 2am
I meet them in Manchester’s Spinningfields for dinner to discuss how Priestley Construction can help deliver a major residential scheme they have planned for the city centre. It’s very productive, with lots to follow up on for both sides.
I then travel back home.
I fit in a brief cardio session and then get back to work – a few emails, checking budgets and contract reviews, to free up some time on tomorrow’s to- do list.
Before bed, I can’t unwind without reading a book or watching some TV – I’m currently
The E- Myth getting into by Michael E. Gerber and working my way through Suits.
I might be travelling to meet investors in cities such as Hong Kong or Dubai.
We welcome contributions for our new Day in the Life column. Please email submissions and a photograph to greg. wright@ jpress. co. uk and ismail. mulla@ jpress. co. uk
No two days are the same for busy chief executive.