AREA makes key hires amid growth

As the business embarks on a strategic growth plan following a hugely successful year, AREA has made a series of new hires.

AREA has expanded its team with several new appointments | PBSA News
AREA has expanded its team with several new appointments.

Established in 2021, real estate consultancy Alternative Real Estate Advisors (AREA) specialises in purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), Build to Rent, Hotels and Automotives. Over the last two years, the company has grown from two Directors to a team of ten – and has made several new appointments to support its PBSA and alternative living sector operations.

Jamie Prickett has recently joined AREA as a Senior Surveyor from Savills, where he spent two years working on Middle East Capital Markets with a focus on hotels, serviced apartments, Build to Rent and co-living. Jamie will further strengthen the investment services team while adding international capital markets expertise. 

Among the other hires over the last 12 months are James Barrack, who has joined as a Senior Surveyor. He joins from JLL with four years of experience in the real estate industry, working on residential valuation and long income capital markets focusing on alternatives real estate. 

Having worked in residential valuation and alternative capital markets, James has a strong understanding of the living sectors and is well placed to provide detailed advice and underwriting to clients to help them enhance the value of their operational assets.

“As we grow, we are able to offer talent at all levels an exciting work life with exposure to the best and highest profile clients in the Alternative real estate sector. We are currently actively looking for people that want to learn quickly and fast track their career in this fast-paced part of the market with excellent rewards.”

Matthew Neal, Director, AREA

Having joined the team in April, Ben White was previously at developer Manner, where he supported several PBSA and other commercial asset transactions from acquisition advice and brokerage to feasibility reports, cost plans and planning opportunities.

Jonny Hosein joined AREA as a Graduate Surveyor in 2023 after working for 18 months at West End Office Agency. Before beginning his career in the property industry, he graduated from the University of Reading with a BSc in Real Estate.

The new hires will join Directors Richard Servidei and Matthew Neal, who are both market leading specialists in transactions and operational real estate, and Associate Directors Sam Bolton who specialises in brokerage, and Tally Russell on the operational real estate side of the business who joined in 2023 from JLL, bringing with her eight years of Living expertise across PBSA and Build to Rent.

“We have had a brilliant 12 months growing both our investment and operational instructions significantly with a range of asset managers and institutions, which has meant we have been able to expand the team considerably and hire talent to support the Directors and Associate Directors.

“We will continue to expand both in terms of people and services, as we look to consolidate this success and increase our ability to support clients in Alternative Real Estate with the unique strength and depth of insight and detail they have become accustomed to.”

Richard Servidei, Director, AREA

In three years, AREA has advised on over £1bn in transactions despite the challenging market context and has operational oversight on 24 living schemes for clients including over 4,250 PBSA, where it has helped save clients significant operational costs, and driven rents up 10% year-on-year. During this time, the firm has become market leaders in tendering operational management agreements, with the team completing over 4,000 operational beds in the last 12 months. 

The consultancy offers holistic transactional and operational services to clients with assets predominantly in the PBSA, Build to Rent and Hotels sectors. In the last 24 months, the team have advised on over £2bn worth of assets, releasing operational cost savings and increasing rents by an average of 10% across all assets.