Continuing our new series: we interview Tracey Hartley (Director of Residential) of The Howard de Walden Estate, who leads The Estate’s £1.2bn residential portfolio. She talks about her vision for Marylebone, what she could not live without and her passion for property.
Q: What makes London special for you?
A: London is my home town – I was born and bred here. It is a global and resilient city, where there is always something happening.
Q: What could you not live without?
A: Coffee, my kids and Virgin Trains.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself?
A: I am a Chartered Surveyor by profession and chose to go into the residential sector. What could be more important than people and their homes. I was a Director of Residential Operations at Grainger plc and a member of DCLG’s Private Rented Sector Taskforce. I am thrilled to come to a heritage property portfolio in a beautiful part of London. I feel at home here as I grew up in Shepherd’s Bush, west London.
Q: What are the vital ingredients of a great team?
A: A real mix of personalities with different experiences and energies to succeed. Plus, a willingness to roll up their sleeves. I have been welcomed by everyone at Howard de Walden Estate. My values resonate strongly with The Estate’s.
Q: What is the biggest decision you have made in your career?
A: The biggest challenge of my career was going self-employed, then leaving self-employment to join Howard de Walden.
Q: Why did you join The Howard de Walden Estate?
A: I was approached by The Howard de Walden Estate when I was running my own business. It was going well and was successful. But I visited the office in Marylebone and came away buzzing. I was desperate to get my hands on the portfolio. I was incredibly flattered to be offered a job and started six weeks later.
Q: What is your vision for Marylebone?
A: To be the landlord of choice, offering high-quality, safe and good value for money properties in prime central London location.
Q: If we gave you £1m, where would you invest it?
A: I would invest it in technology to enhance our customer offering.
Q: What major projects are working on at the moment?
A: We have lot on the go with additional units. We don’t build stadiums, but make incremental changes to improve customer service. We constantly strive for improvement.
Q: The Spring Statement is coming up, if you became Chancellor for a day, what would you change?
A: I would stop clobbering buy-to-let landlords and find the money to embark on a major national social housing project. I believe in quality social housing and it should not have a stigma.
Q: Any tips for anyone who is entering a leadership position for the first time in their careers?
A: Ask when you don’t know something. Be honest, do not worry about making mistakes and be authentic.
• Our thanks to Tracey Hartley for her help with this piece. The Howard de Walden Estate owns and manages a large portfolio of rental properties in Marylebone with a diverse range in both size and character.