Jan Dale

Issue 97

Owner, Urban Base

What did you set out to achieve this year?

2023 has been a challenging year for everyone and almost all businesses have had to commercially adjust to the current climate. From the off-set of 2023 we had to ensure we maintained the ability to continue with the usual strong dynamics of running a specialist property business with our valued clients at the forefront of our business, and retaining our clients loyalty was critical to us.

Has everything gone according to plan?

We actually didn’t have a plan as such. In such a volatile market our aim remains for continuous communication, working with vigour within an industry that is in challenging, and fast changing times. However, did everything go as we expected, in a very short word – no! Resilience kicks in, we pick ourselves up and march forward with true grit spirit and determination to meet clients’ needs at this unprecedented global time.

What are you most proud of this year?

In business, the team make me proud of the agency every day. We are an incredible happy bunch of hard-working dedicated property experts, and the team make me proud of everything we have achieved, not just this year but the past eighteen years. We are guilty of being the “nice” kids on the block, and long-term relationships are an absolute reflection of the whole team’s approach to our business. To give a shout-out to one special client in 2023, being appointed by Jim McIver to source a whole block of tenants for the stunning Ouseburn Quays development, pushed the team to their limits in regards to sales pace in this market, and the power of the team’s dynamics kicked in – and we did it, still smiling and a wonderful new client as a result ‘Urban McIver’ a winning team was the result.

Being on the boards of Lumiere Durham, and the Dunelm Foundation were both special events in the calendar. Supporting the wider community and raising valuable funds for those in need at this time, including the CDCF Poverty Hurts campaign whose ambition was to raise one million in funds for our local families in need. We are proud and privileged to be able to support these amazing fundraising teams.

Monty Python probably had it right; always look on the bright side of life. However having the absolute pleasure of Sir John Hall, DR launching a new residential scheme in Newcastle, Sir John gave a most inspiring speech to our guests about working hard in business, pressing for what you believe in and treating everyone as a family and with respect along the way.

Tell us about your team?

The URBANISTAS, as we call ourselves, are a family. We don’t always agree, and some leave the nest (…and return), and we like to challenge each other – this is good for our clients and business, as we are constantly aiming to improve, we are very good at pushing boundaries: good, better, best – never let it rest – til your good is better and your better is best…some say ‘she’s never happy’!

What has been the most enjoyable deal you’ve been involved with?

This is impossible to answer. I am so incredibly lucky to work in a world of luxury property, along with truly exceptional clients. However a happy day was meeting Mr Harry Banks, OBE DL of BANKS Group, what an honour, and the Urban BASE team are now part of the BANKS Group family taking the new business BANKS Homes forward with passion and genuine desire to be the best in the industry. Rekindling a long-lost business relationship with Ian Baggett, CEO of Adderstone Group, was a genuine unexpected delight, as we present Hanover Point, the finest luxury apartments on the toon. Supporting Expo Sunderland’s Future Cities event and working with the VAUX development sites has been incredibly rewarding to be having impact to the future housing opportunities across our region.

What have you learnt about yourself this year?

The current climate is tough, and I have realised I have a natural half-full glass resilience allowing my emotions to survive the ups and downs in business which you don’t see coming, and have no control over. Business is not full of friends, however I am gifted to have so many wonderful clients, many of whom have become lifelong friends. However, some pass you by – my personal approach to everything I do in business doesn’t allow for the “don’t take it personally” approach to be an option.

Describe Your 2023 in three words….

Tough. Resilient. Driven (always).

What are your aims for 2024?

Genuine success, contentment and happiness with everyone we work with. Along with some great sales and friendships along the way.

However, the personal ambition for 2024 has to be… a hole in one!

Wishing everyone very best wishes for the year ahead!

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