Belgravia have opened their doors to the media world, allowing us unique access into what truly goes on behind the scenes, and by gaining a real-life insight, we share a newfound appreciation.

With Live Projects across Manchester, Liverpool, Luton and Preston, what does it really take to manage such a diverse portfolio?

As the operational lead of Belgravia, we delve into the daily life of Christopher Howell, the CEO of a family developer, responsible for navigating the company through their most turbulent yet rewarding and successful years during global economic uncertainty.

Christopher identified 5 key roles that form part of his wider CEO responsibilities.

Management: The intricacies of managing multiple projects simultaneously requires you to efficiently prioritize tasks, communicate effectively with the team and ensure projects stay on track. It is vital to set a precedent for the wider team to follow.

Growth: My role is to ensure business continuity and to be visionary in my pursuit of growth. Always thinking ahead. Always analysing the past to steer our growth, both personally and as a wider business. It is vital that we never stop learning.

Relationships: To enable growth, we understand the importance of networking, and how you build and maintain relationships with funders, investors, contractors, media, sales teams, and key stakeholders.

Research: Longevity requires future proofing. We understand the important role that regional masterplans play in creating a cohesive property solution that benefits the local community and delivers on market gaps that local councils have identified. Trends like BTR, co-living, and 15 minute neighbourhoods, deliver products that service growing demands.

Risk: As a family business, it is even more important to ensure continuity and succession planning. Therefore, balancing risk against reward, short versus long term, and cost versus benefit are vital metrics to enable longevity.

Behind the facade: What does it take to be a developer in today's market

Knutsford Guardian: Christopher Howell, CEO Christopher Howell, CEO (Image: Belgravia)

Work with best in class : You are only as good as your team. Work with teams that are better at their job than you. Welcome them into your wider family, and give them the tools to flourish.

Learning when to say no - set boundaries:  With people, with yourself, and with developments. The responsibility can weigh heavy on your shoulders to ensure business continuity. It means that sometimes we need to walk away from schemes if they pose a greater risk than we can burden, even if we have invested a large amount of time and money. Ego holds no place in business.

Exhaust every avenue but don't sweat the small stuff: There’s always something more that can be done. Have the determination to exhaust every avenue and a door will open. However, It can become very easy to get caught up in the less important - there will always be more to do. Being busy doesn’t mean being productive.

Fail until you succeed - but learn, quickly:  Life is full of lessons. Trust yourself to make a mistake and learn from it. Get very good at assessing risks V rewards, benefits V effects, and ups V downs.

Be committed, even when nobody is watching:  Time, patience, determination and commitment, doesn’t always result in visible growth. But trust the process. Trust in yourself through accountability, flexibility, and self-belief.

Community: Focus on commitment to delivering schemes that serve and build the local community. Ensure developments take inspiration from community impact, sustainable urban development, and add social value through building lasting partnerships.

Balancing family life

Juggling everything from building iconic and ground-breaking developments, all the way through to changing nappies and bathing a newborn; it's all in a day’s work.

Christopher puts his work ethic down to his upbringing. Growing up academically rich but cash poor, family and community was pivotal to the man he has become.

Christopher quickly understood the importance of education in bettering the lives of those around him and it is those same qualities that he cherishes to this day, with his family for support, and of who form the basis of his motivation.

Stresses, struggles and encountering setbacks taught Christopher the importance of overcoming challenges, and now forms part of his DNA. Through challenges, resilience was forged; and through overcoming setbacks, self-trust was built.

Any given Tuesday

06.00 – 07.30  Emails

07.30 – 08.00  Time with my newborn baby and fiancé

08.00 – 09.00  PT, health, fitness and mindfulness.

09.00 – 10.00  Prepare for the day, and commute into Manchester

10.00 – 13.00  Meetings with our development team, development updates, progress reports, tender agreements, sales teams, BTR teams.

13.00 – 15.00  Business development, meeting new team members, reviewing documents, meetings.

15.00 – 19.00  Marketing, acquisitions, sales, solicitors, sign off invoices, planning reports, design updates.

19.30 – 21.00  Family time

21.00 – 23.00  Emails, schedule planning.

What’s next for Belgravia

Knutsford Guardian:

With developments in Manchester, Liverpool and Luton being brought to market in the coming months, and following on from their 2 hugely anticipated schemes in Preston, Belgravia are set for a record-breaking 2024.

Christopher Howell, CEO of Belgravia commented, “We are delighted with the growth in recent years. The teams are committed to the exciting developments that we will be bringing to market throughout 2024.”

Belgravia’s focus is on key major cities across the North, and they are always open to new and exciting opportunities.

Contact for more information.