Centrick's Chairman James Ackrill with newly appointed Group Managing Director Phil Johns

Centrick, the leading Midlands-based property specialist, has welcomed Phil Johns to the helm after his appointment as Group Managing Director. Bringing extensive experience in strategic leadership, tech solutions and business development, the independent firm hopes this new appointment will accelerate its growth plans for 2021 and beyond.

With over 16 years’ experience working in the property industry, including 13 months as Centrick’s Group Operating Director, this appointment sees Phil Johns step into a new role focused on strengthening and diversifying the businesses offering. Building on Centrick’s success during the pandemic, this will initially see investment in its Estate Management, Asset Management, New Homes and Lettings provisions.

James Ackrill, Centrick’s Chairman, commented on Phil’s appointment:

“Having worked shoulder to shoulder with Phil for the past year – one of the most challenging in Centrick’s history – and starting 2021 in a far stronger position than we ever could have anticipated at the start of the pandemic, I have seen first-hand his tenacity and determination to deliver for our clients, our team and the business. Phil and I share the same vision that initially drove me to start Centrick 15 years ago – to run a property operation that takes a fresh approach and always puts service at its core – and I look forward to working alongside him as Centrick continues to grow from strength to strength”

The foundations for Centrick’s growth strategy have already been firmly laid, with its New Homes sales team projected to have its best year on record, as well as Estate Management division already seeing 20% growth in the pipeline for 2021. What’s more, Centrick has recently onboarded a number of significant new developments under its Build to Rent and asset management portfolio.

Commenting on his plans for Centrick, Phil says:

“It’s fantastic to be starting off this new year assuming the role as Centrick’s Group Managing Director, so that we can truly build on the momentum of last year and deliver on our customers’ changing needs. Our agility as a business saw us sustain healthy year-on-year growth, despite working through the pandemic, even exceeding our targets in multiple areas of the business.

“If there is one key learning that we as a business have taken from the pandemic, it’s that to be successful in the current climate, we must remain open to change and ready to pre-empt what will happen in the market, maximising the offering to our customers. As we’ve seen, government guidelines, restrictions and legislation are moving all of the time and, to remain market-leading, we’ve invested significant energy, resource, and funds into ensuring that there are processes and systems in place enabling us to consistently deliver high levels of service to our customers.”

Like many, 2020 presented ongoing challenges to the way that Centrick worked. Overnight, the business migrated to a full remote working environment for its 130 members of staff; all while working on the roll-out of its virtual viewing platform for its properties, which saw Centrick become the first agent in the Midlands to take its full lettings portfolio online.

This all went hand-in-hand with internal successes for the business too, which saw team expansion including 12 new recruits and, most prominently, Sarah Hammond’s appointment as Estate Management Director.

“The property industry has long been regarded as traditional sector; however, this has to change to keep pace with the expectations of our customers. Centrick is already a forward-thinking business and I am focused on an effective blend of technology and customer service solutions, so we can deliver a product that our customers love.

“2020 demonstrated the incredible culture that exists within the Centrick team and through that we achieved great things. Now, I’m looking forward to 2021 and the fantastic opportunity to make our service even better – watch this space!” concluded Phil.