There is a ‘genuine disconnect’ between sellers’ pricing and buyers’ valuation of a property, Takla says, the effect of which is intensified by post-Brexit uncertainty and George Osborne’s ‘toxic’ tax changes. But for the Egyptian-born with ‘an incredibly strong client base’ in the Middle East, the turbulent period has made London ‘cheaper’ and increasingly desirable to ‘dollar-pegged’ clients.
Having recently celebrated The Collection’s seventh anniversary, Takla, who founded the firm, is proud of the firm’s growth since its inception in 2009. After working for some of London’s top agencies since 2002, the fluent Arabic speaker established the agency to fill in a niche in the buying market, where sophisticated buyers require careful attention to their highly custom needs.
Since then, she has led acquisitions worth over £650 million for HNWs from 41 countries, including highly successful business leaders, royalty, Forbes-listed billionaires and Bollywood stars. Through her experience, extensive network of contacts with developers, banks, law firms and other intermediaries, as well as a truly multinational team, The Collection under Takla’s strong leadership is thriving in the prime central London market, the dynamics of which are distinct from the rest of the UK property market
The firm relies on her knowledge of the market, which according to a peer ‘often keeps the most precarious of deals on track’. She has just launched its property development arm which offers a ‘full service’ to clients, 80 per cent of whom are referred to her by previous clients. ‘[It’s] a testament to our ongoing emphasis to deliver outstanding customer service in a highly personal way,’ she says.
She believes in focusing on ‘continuous service review’ to match clients’ ever changing needs, no matter how simple or complex they may be. An example of The Collection’s attention to detail is their unique offering for Indian and NRI clients. It is in fact the only UK property company offering Vastu Shastra services (in-house), which are based on the philosophy of ancient Indian architecture. ‘It’s certainly the icing on the cake,’ she says, while she describes an incident where a prospective buyer was wary of buying an otherwise ‘perfect’ flat, which had the ominous number thirteen.
She says the lack of Vastu knowledge in London properties used to be ‘a very frustrating process’ for the Indian diaspora. As a result, she says, clients warm to the firm’s understanding of what is most important to them: ‘We work very, very hard to make sure that clients really see us, regardless of where they are from, as extensions of their families here in London.’
Besides the Vastu offering, The Collection has recently launched its development arm to satisfy a growing demand from her influential clientele, and are currently managing development of over £25 million of residential property.
The independent agency’s services deals with the entirety of the property ownership cycle, from sourcing the best homes and investment opportunities to developing them in order to maximise value, and even assist in the subsequent sale of properties where appropriate.