Thomas Balasahev used the skills he learnt in the diamond industry to give his property firm a cutting edge. Words by Hardeep Sandher.
Montague Property is a small business with big and “disruptive” ideas, according to its founder Thomas Balashev.
It only arrived on the London real estate scene in 2015. Yet now it has an extensive and diversified property portfolio that spans London, Berlin, Cyprus and Dubai.
For Balashev it has all been part of a wider strategy to serve ultra-high net worth clients in a more personable manner. Plus, he uses the latest technology to deliver results.
“Although we are a small boutique business, our ideas are what I call quite ‘disruptive’ – meaning we can work at scale to provide clients with a personable approach that delivers results,” he says.
Montague Property, based in Fitzrovia, has grown from a single real estate advisory service to incorporate a development and finance arm as well.
It is Balashev's willingness to challenge buyers and harness new technology that has seen his firm grow in such a short space of time.
He uses the example of a client in South Kensington who spent three years struggling to sell a £6.5m home.
“He needed someone to convince him to restage the house and relist the project at a higher price.
“It is a tough decision to make, to ask someone to invest £1m in a property and relist it for £9m. It is a gamble.
“But it is also a solution to a challenging problem that other agencies might be scared to provide. We were able to do it with successful results,” he says.
But it is the group’s move to combine the latest technology with property services that makes Montague Property out.
“Buyers of prime, high end property are changing. They are younger. They are digitally savvy and they way they interact and work with estate agents is different from 30 years ago,” he says.
“And then we have technology that is transforming the way the world buys, sells, rents and researches property.”
Balashev believes his company is one of the few that is able to deploy the power of custom-built market-leading technology.
It has been specifically developed to remove the barriers and inefficiencies that result in developers missing out on new opportunities.
He adds: “The technology makes the process of identifying new land opportunities more streamlined and far more effective.
“We can spot the most attractive opportunities faster meaning we can act on them more quickly on behalf of clients.
“It gives us a real edge we believe, particularly as we can provide an unprecedented amount of information and attention to clients even though we a firm of ten employees only.”
But it was his background in diamond retail which gave him the skills he needed.
“Working in the diamond business helped me build my knowledge about what high net worth clients need and want,” he says.
“It helped me build relationships with clients that I would work with again and again on a regular basis. In property I have used the same process and as a result seen the same trends occur.”
Notably, Balashev is working with a number of high-profile developers. This includes Sobha Group in Dubai on its 8m sq ft Sobha Hartland project in Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City.
It is the only freehold villa, quad homes and apartment community along the Dubai Water Canal.
In Cyprus, the the group is working on the Limassol Marina project, a collection of luxury villas and apartments on the marina.
Find out more about Montague Property,which is based in Mortimer Street, Fitzrovia, from their website.
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Or discover the Mayfair property which was once Winston Churchill's home and is now available to rent in Oh Yes, Minister.
Find out about Monaco's Luxury Building Boom and whether supply can keep up with demand.
Or read Royal Plans about how Grosvenor is consulting on plans to redevelop the Cundy Street flats, in Victoria, where Charles and Camilla began their romance.
Read the full version of this article in the Mayfair Times.
Picture credits: Andy Lowe, Coral Room Sexy Fish.