FONN Interview - In Conversation with Nikhil Patel
The below was an interview between Nikhil Patel, Managing Director of Flamingo Investment, and FONN Construction. Originally published on the FONN blog - https://blog.fonn.io/en/case-study-flamingo-investment-group/
In conversation with Flamingo Investment Group...
Using an industry focused digital platform to help pull all of our team together, improving the project efficiency, and making the communication process a lot easier and more streamlined, Nikhil Patel, Founder and Managing Director Flamingo Investment Group.
Tell us about Flamingo Investment Group
I founded Flamingo Investment Group in late 2016, immediately after graduating from university, and my Sister joined full-time a year later. We’re a family led business, and the big decisions are often made around the dinner table!
We started by considering single unit apartments and houses to buy, renovate and flip, but quickly realised the opportunity to grow into larger multi-unit residential schemes. Our first project was an apartment in Chelsea, London, which we renovated before selling on. This was a great project to start off with, and won us the International Property Award, alongside Galliard Homes and Telford Homes.
Since then, we have adapted our model and are now working on larger development schemes of 25+ units, where we are in fact using FONN to collaborate with our external teams.
Great, tell us where and when did you first come across FONN?
I first heard of FONN at a Qandor event where I met with CEO and founder of Fonn Jan Tore Grindheim, and then heard him speak about the product. This was in November 2019, and by early 2020 we were users!
How does Flamingo Investment Group use FONN, and what value does it bring to your company?
We began working on a multi-unit development project at the beginning of 2020 and have been collaborating closely with our external team of planning consultants, architects, transport consultants etc. to deliver the project.
We were quickly faced with a barrage of information being dumped into one email chain, with over ten people CC’d in, and numerous drawings and updates being sent back and forth. It all became very messy. Using an industry focused platform helped to pull all of our team together. We now have separate folders for different aspects of the project, and the ability to issue updated drawings and comment on them in a clear fashion. This immediately stopped information being lost and made things clearer for each member of our team to follow. Our external team have all taken to FONN really well, and it has made the communication process a lot easier and more streamlined.
How is business today?
It’s a tough time across all industries, and property development is no different. The coronavirus outbreak has slowed down the housing and construction market, and it’s too early to comment on the impact this will have on the near future. For Flamingo Investment Group, we are lucky that our pipeline stretches beyond the immediate future - we are looking at projects over a period of several years, in which time we’re anticipating a recovery from any global economic impact that Covid-19 will have created. We’re still moving in the sense that it is "business as usual," and are actively looking to acquire more sites and development opportunities.
What is the biggest challenge over the next few years for Flamingo Investment Group?
Putting aside the current and future impacts that Covid-19 will have on the industry, the biggest challenge we are facing is sourcing new deals. Whilst there are lots of “opportunities” out there, finding the right land and development opportunities that stack up correctly is always a challenge for SME developers. To combat this, we’re actively turning to tech-based solutions to speed up our identification, due diligence and bid processes, to help us grow our pipeline. It’s an exciting time to be a developer, with the growth of the PropTech industry making life slightly easier, simplifying and speeding up our processes.
Overall, we’re very excited about the future of Flamingo Investment Group - we’re looking forward to seeing our current projects come to fruition and adding many more of these along the journey!