Bob Page​

Managing Director​

Is there ever an ideal project?

You won’t believe this, but it’s normally one where the client begins by saying, ‘this is my dream’. I immediately build a picture of the important parts to them—and communicate it to my team, because if you don’t understand the client’s vision, then the whole thing kind of just turns into a commercial process. And that’s going to miss the whole point of what we’re doing.

At all times, it’s the clients idea that counts, the client’s aims that matter—it’s their place and it has to work for them.

What makes projects more likely to be a success?

Relationships, discussions, open dialogue, if you like. But it’s needed by everyone on the team. You have to be able talk about details, or work through problems with a client, or agree how things need to be done—it takes patience sometimes to help clients who might be less familiar with building processes or construction techniques or different materials.

Fundamentally, it’s about treating private clients with respect and understanding how invested in the project they are—that goes for everyone on the team.

I try to instil into my team that willingness to engage with clients throughout the project—you have to be willing to make time for people.

What can clients do to mitigate risk in their project?

The greatest risk is in the management of the people involved. How they work together as a team to focus on the client’s objectives can make or break the build.

As a contractor, we obviously field a team of people whose main role is to look after the project, to coordinate between the client, the architect, the QS and the subcontractors, and to manage the process on site. And to some people that looks like a cost they can cut out by going direct to a builder, and so they can, but when you do that you increase the risk in the project. With larger companies that are well managed and professional and have established professional structures and processes you don’t have the same exposure.

Bob Page began his life in building as an apprentice carpenter and joiner, working his way up as site agent, then contracts manager and managing director roles at building companies throughout Essex and Suffolk. A more dedicated man you will be hard pressed to find.