Neil Keating

Neil was born in Harrow and graduated as a Building Surveyor from Kingston University in 2006. Neil  qualified as a member of RICS in 2008 whilst working in London for Trident Building Consultancy Ltd.

In 2011 he moved to the Midlands, opening its Birmingham office and was promoted to Associate Director in 2012. Neil joined Realis Estates as a Director in October 2015.

 

1. What is the key to a successful development? Finding a site for the right price, securing interest from tenants, building a good quality product and making a profit. 2. Describe your perfect team for a development. It’s the usual suspects for me starting with an agent to assist in tenant interest, lawyers to draft the essential papers, a helpful bank manager and an enthusiastic design and construction team. What makes the team perfect for me is keeping the communication flowing at all times, good or bad! 3. Describe your favourite development you have delivered. This would have to be my first real development project at Birmingham Road, Wolverhampton. Even though I was working on behalf of Realis as an external Project Manager, I was able to deliver the refurbishment, sub division and extension of a dilapidated 28,000 sqft Matalan Unit. The site was transformed into three new retail units pre let to Aldi, Poundworld and Iceland. Every time a drive past the site, the car park is full and it’s satisfying to see a successful development trading well. 4. What is your most inspirational development by another and why? Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. I visited Singapore on my honeymoon and was fortunate to have dinner at the top of one of the towers. For a development to include three skyscrapers with what looks to be a boat balancing on the top of them all is a great piece of design and engineering! It catches your eye wherever you are around the city and with its mix of shopping mall, casino, hotel, restaurants and rooftop infinity pool, it’s a place I would certainly revisit. 5. What is your best personal achievement? I would have to say two. One was being the first Keating to go to university and obtain a degree in Surveying. The second was becoming a Director at Realis, it’s a great achievement for me and I still feel very privileged that I was given this opportunity. I still enjoy seeing ‘Director’ on my business card! 6. What is your favourite past time? I moved to the Midlands four years ago so it’s always good when my wife and I can catch up with friends and family over good food and a few drinks. I enjoy my golf but could always do with hitting the ball straighter! 7. What is your favourite quote? “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” 8. Which charity do you support and why? I’ve supported the Red Cross as I think it’s important to help those who haven’t had the support and opportunities that I have been given growing up. I also support Cancer Research UK. I’ve lost family members to Cancer but I’ve also had family members who have been successful with their battle against the disease. Cancer Research UK is helping people to beat the disease and live longer with their families so I’m very proud to support it. 9. Who inspires you and why? I have a lot of time for the surgeons and nurses in this country. With their knowledge and expertise they are able to save lives and look after the sick. They see a lot in their day to day jobs which I couldn’t cope with and I find that inspiring when I’m faced with challenges that will never compare to what they are tasked with sometimes. 10. Who’s influenced your career most and why? My father Neil Snr got me interested in property at a young age. He developed residential properties when I was younger and as soon as I worked with him during my weekends and school holidays I knew that I wanted to be a developer. He didn’t have the benefit of university or an education in property but knew what he wanted to do, worked hard and has been successful. I wouldn’t be where I am now without his influence and guidance throughout the years. 11. What’s the best piece of advice you could give to someone? Always treat people how you want to be treated, no matter what position you are in life. It’s always important to say please and thank you also! 12. What is the thing you like best about your work? It’s very cliché for the property world but everyday can be different. I enjoy the diversity of our industry where one day I can be looking at a potential site, another can be spent in meetings on current projects and some can be having lunch with contacts where our next development could come from. 13. What’s on your desk? PC, phone, property magazines, iPhone and coffee. 14. What’s your favourite holiday destination? I’m split between two. One is Barbados and the other is Anna Maria Island, Florida. Both hold fond memories for my wife and family and both have great beaches! 15. What’s your favourite gadget? My Fit Bit watch. It’s a great tool to help get in shape when used properly!