2017 has started at a breakneck speed with records being broken all over the place. But whilst we are enjoying the present we wanted to take the time to look back on a fantastic 2016. We wanted to share some of the highlights of the last year with you:
Top of our list of highlights is Warsaw where our 3 year young branch doubled its annual revenue in 2016. Not only did the number of deals closed increase (by 29.5%) but we also managed to improve the average value per deal (by 57.4%) demonstrating a growing brand awareness in Warsaw.
Much of this success is due to the performance of our website and our various successful marketing campaigns which have allowed Hamilton May to significantly increase the number of visitors. We are converting a higher number of visitors whilst also attracting more people to the site thanks to more good quality properties. We are visited by approximately 30,000 users monthly of which 40% are returning visitors already familiar with our brand.
We are particularly proud of our performance given that the macroeconomic prognosis for 2016 was not very optimistic with the expected decline in mortgage approvals stemming from the increased thresholds for deposits (from 10 to 15%). Hamilton May had a trend-bucking outperformance here where we closed sales for over 40 million PLN selling in excess of 4,000 square meters of prime central property across Warsaw & Krakow. We look forward to continuing such trends in 2017.
2016 also represented a great success for us with the primary market and our development partners. The primary market continues to go from strength to strength with a record number of transactions taking place in Hamilton May last year. We have noted increased activity among young people making greater use of governmental subsidies and on the other hand individual investors have decided to eliminate their low-interest deposits in favor of investing in apartments to let.
Hamilton May has been particularly active in cultivating these developer relationships where we have strengthened our co-operation with the most prestigious developers in Krakow and Warsaw. Noted successes have been achieved in prestigious developments such as Cosmopolitan Tower, Woronicza Qbik, Złota 44 & various Angel Group investments. This culminated in us achieving a record price on Platforma Mieszkaniowa’s portal selling a 200 square meter penthouse located in the sought-after Wiejska 11 investment.
The rental market also saw significant growth with the volume of deals up 25%. With increased mobility and better salary-to-rental price ratios (currently an average Polish tenant pays approx. 40% of their monthly salary for rent which is down 10% from a decade ago) this trend is likely to continue. In 2016 Hamilton May rented over 400 premises totaling in excess of 30,000 sqm.
Manager’s Pick – Personal Highlights
In truth all of the above would not have been possible without the team we have around us. All our successes are as a direct result of the hard work of those within Hamilton May, therefore this section is dedicated to them. To be precise our 21 experienced and helpful property consultants, our 4 incredible photographers, our two marketing gurus, our genius in IT who makes the company tick and our office manager, assistants, property managers and contractors who boost the team’s capacity and make things run smoother. Our professionalism, knowledge and attitude allows us to assist those with the most exacting needs – indeed this team work was on display at its best when we assisted one of the world’s largest government organizations with their temporary relocation requirements last summer.
We signed agreements with more than 10 consulates in 2016 where attention to detail, speed and confidentiality were a must. Our diplomatic and embassy partners can be confident that we have the tools, properties and expertise to help them make the move to a new city smooth and comfortable.
Our impact in the Polish residential market was perhaps best demonstrated during the 6th Annual CEE Investment & Green Building Awards Gala back in October. Hamilton May founder, Robert Watkins, was invited to join the jury, made up of senior decision makers from throughout the country. During the gala Robert Watkins presented the award for Professional Service Provider of the Year.
Trends and Growth
Looking forward is a lot harder than looking back but the first few weeks of 2017 suggest a big year for Hamilton May. We are on the back of a record breaking Q4 for 2016, January has just closed with the best start to a year since our inception in 2004 and we have increased the size of the team by 15% overnight to in excess of 60 people. With new Business Development Managers in Krakow and Warsaw and a growing yet experienced team we believe we are well placed to help our clients with their property needs in the top two cities in Poland come 2017.
We wish you all the best for the year ahead and look forward to assisting you in whatever way we can.
The Hamilton May Team