I spend my life looking at risk…
I spend my life looking at risk… Can we build a development scheme within budget? Will the houses sell? Are we overexposed in that region? Are there any foreseeable issues with the site? ‘What ifs’ upon ‘what ifs’ of being a development funder. At times, this can bring about a fairly negative mindset which can be a bit depressing.
It was good, therefore, to get away for a few days cycling in the Alps this summer with my son. But risk appraisal was never far from my mind; I thought of this whilst tearing down a hill at the better part of 60 kph on two strips of rubber tube, each barely thicker than my thumb!
I am not, and never have been, comparable to Chris Froome!
What I really thought was “there is no way I would condone this level of risk taking in my professional life”. How could I support a rank amateur riding a race quality super-lite carbon bike at speeds close to that of a pro-Tour de France cyclist? Those that know me will attest I am not, and never have been, comparable to Chris Froome!
Some risks need to be taken
However, my point is that we all have to live a little. Some risks need to be taken, not recklessly or without due care, but you can’t live in an over-protected bubble.
And that’s a point professionally as well, we need to build new houses, lots of them, particularly affordable new homes. Not every site or scheme is perfect, most have blemishes and challenges to one degree or another.
Hats off to the risk takers!
So, hats off to the risk takers – those professional house builders who take a risk, stake their money and time to build the new home we desperately need. I know they do it for profit, it’s not pure altruism, but it is time that we championed the risk takers a bit more. We need to support the risk takers and I shall try to do so!
Stuart Parfitt is Managing Director of BLG Development Finance and can occasionally be found tearing down mountains at great speed.