Up close and personal with Marcus Angell, SilverDoor Apartments

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In the latest of a regular series, we find out what makes some of the leading figures in the serviced apartment and aparthotel sectors tick. This time, we speak to Marcus Angell, managing director of SilverDoor Apartments.

• The best part of my job is…
I think it’s coming in everyday and seeing the culture we've fostered in the office. Witnessing the team growing in volume is a really rewarding part of my job as managing director.

• The most challenging part of my job is…
To have what we do accepted as a default internationally has definitely been one of the most challenging parts of my job, but if it was easy everyone would be doing it wouldn’t they.

• Biggest achievement in business…
Founding the company has definitely been my most defining achievement in business. I started SilverDoor, though it was actually called Hotdigs at the time, in my one-bedroom flat in Chiswick, which was my office at the time. Now, having a team of 127 staff and an £8 million turnover will always be a significant achievement for me and something I am incredibly proud of.

• My biggest mistake in business was…
I think as far as business goes, I’ve taken risks but I wouldn’t say as a result of that I’ve made many mistakes over the past 19 years. I like to think I’ve learnt from the mistakes I made in my twenties which I’m sure my previous employers would have agreed were plentiful. I had quite a reputation for getting fired, and had three separate employers make sure of it. I don’t blame them though – I would have fired me at the time too!

• If I wasn’t working in our industry I would like to have been a…
I’m really fond of the fundamentals of bricks and mortar. It’s where most of our serviced apartments starting point lies, and that aspect combined with my penchant for the underlying mechanics of things would probably lead me to being a bricklayer or a mechanic.

• The best piece of advice anyone ever gave me was…
‘’People can say what they like as long as I can do what I like.” It’s straightforward advice that I take to heart; our opinions are all very well but more importantly so are our actions.

• If I could tell my 18-year old self anything it would be…
Not to plan so far in advance. I came from a family of dedicated architects and naturally gravitated towards the idea of graduating as one myself. But what I didn’t gain in passing the right exams to get to that finishing line, I gained in personal understanding that you don’t need to have everything planned out to appreciate where you are going. You have to get on with it and make the most of your opportunities, and that’s exactly what I did.

• The person I admire most in hospitality is…
I was hired by a subsidiary of Foxtons in 2000 and I admired Jon Hunt, the CEO at the time, immensely. He was ruthless about detail, in particular office policy, which personally reflects my principles in our offices. He also had an adamant approach to openness when he was conducting business propositions and it’s something I keep close to mind to this day. It wasn’t just his ruthless characteristics in the office I respected. He had an undeniable ability to know when to sell which resulted in him selling Foxtons for £370 million in 2007; it’s a real testament to how resilient of a salesman he was.

• The person I admire most in history is…
I don’t think there is enough focus on history, especially with the younger generation today. It seems that Brexit is discussed far more frequently than anything historical. I have to honour the truism of choosing the Queen for this question. I can’t help but admire her undeniable resilience throughout the years. I think it’s remarkable she’s as busy and active at the age of 93!

• I am surprisingly good at…
With all of the travelling throughout the year, I’ve become accustomed to packing suitcases and have learnt to be really good at it. I’m a detail orientated person – I think it’s just how my eyes and brain work, so I’m surprisingly good at household electrics and getting into the mechanics of cars when they break down.

• I am surprisingly bad at…
I am quite bad at having sympathy for illness, myself included. To be fair, I’m not very good at buying food or clothes either. They’re not things that particularly interest me so I leave it to my wife Angie. I do trust that she’ll do a better job at it than I will.

• My perfect day off would be…
It would start by making boiled eggs and soldiers. I’d then like to spend the day pottering around my garage, fixing up the bits and bobs lying around that belong to my boys. It would also be great to spend some time giving my cars some much needed attention as well.

 

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