Tadhg Flanagan, managing director of Breezblok, on how he got started in property, his favourite film and radio show, his number-one travel destination and the celebrity he would most like to meet.
How did you join the property industry?
It’s clichéd but I didn’t intend to join the property industry; I fell into it. My background is in customer service, but I joined the serviced-office market in the early 2000s as a regional manager. So much has changed in the office market since then, and what we expect has changed drastically. I set up Breezblok (formerly known as Business Space Made Easy) in 2016.
What does your job entail?
I may be a managing director, but as with all small businesses I get involved in all aspects from negotiating new space through to supporting builders and making the coffee. As you can imagine, the flexible office market is really buzzing at the moment, with landlords and tenants looking for people like us to fill up their grey or empty space.
What do you like most about the property industry?
I like the variety on offer. The property industry is unlike any other. It is made up of an eclectic mix of people and daily hurdles from the pandemic through to branding.
And what do you dislike most about it?
It has a bad reputation and as a consequence it doesn’t get the recognition and support it deserves. It creates so many opportunities for the local area, for employees and for businesses. Working in the flexible office market, I can see the tangible difference I make to a business, from striking up the right deal or being flexible, which can make the difference between a business booming or collapsing.
What would you change about the property industry?
The industry has been stuck but the pandemic, politics and cultural changes, especially in my sector, mean that it’s changing daily. I would like to see that continue. Changes to, say, planning classification mean there are more opportunities and spaces/places can thrive, which is so exciting.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
The greatest challenge I’ve had to overcome is to get people on side. My background isn’t solely in property, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get it.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’ve had a long career, and there are many milestones I’m proud of, but I’m most proud of where I am today. I’ve created a business and I’m growing it. I am hands-on, so I work directly with landlords, suppliers and clients. I see the rewards daily as a consequence, which makes me proud.
What do you value in people?
Honesty, open-mindedness and willingness.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
There are a sea of people with qualifications and degrees, but what sets you apart is you. So my advice is for individuals to be themselves – don’t feel you have to conform to old norms and behaviours. That will allow you to shine through.