Job Title: Land Negotiator
Employer: Croudace Homes Limited
Job: Land Negotiator
About my job
What does your department do?
Land acquisition and land promotion. This involves identifying development opportunities either by site searching (reviewing Local Plans and Development Documents prepared by councils), using Insite computer software or introduction by a land agent.
A full site appraisal will be carried out which includes a site visit, review of planning documents or planning strategy and valuation. The valuation will involve in depth sales research of the area, take-off (measuring quantities and build cost) and establishing off-site cost including S106 contributions. Croudace uses their own developed valuation software to prepare valuations.
What might a typical day involve?
Unless I am close to a deadline my typical day would be spent working on several different projects at one time. No day is the same as the last, one morning I could be on site walking around a field or in the office preparing a valuation or having a breakfast meeting with an agent discussing our requirements.
What is the best part of your job?
I really like that no two days are the same. You have the best of both worlds in that you are in the office as well as out on site. It is a very sociable job with lots of networking events and agent events to attend. I like that I work for a housebuilder (as opposed to a land buyer for a promoter) because I can see the end product. Croudace do everything in house so you can see the whole project progressing. It’s incredibly satisfying and rewarding to walk round a completed development and see families moving in to a site that you have acquired.
The industry is also very involved in charity work which I enjoy. This year I was lucky enough to go to Guatemala with a team of about 25 of us. The trip was organised by RDAS and was for the charity Habitat for Humanity. We went over there to help families build homes, stoves and latrines. I wouldn’t have been involved in this if it wasn’t for my job and I am very grateful for that.
Every part of my job is enjoyable, its not just what I do day to day!
Why did you choose this career?
I knew I wanted to work in residential development but I wasn’t sure what my options were. When I was about 15 I did some work experience for 2 weeks at Linden Homes and happened to be in the land department. They were very good at involving me meetings they had, discussing sites and taking me on site visits. I loved that the role seemed challenging but also quite fun. I spoke with the land director about what I should study at university to best help me in a career in land buying.
Preferred degree would be: Planning and development, Real Estate Management, Geography (with MA in planning/real estate).
How did you get into your job?
I did a sandwich course and took a year out after my second year of uni. I spent that year working at Croudace as an undergraduate and then they offered me a permanent position. Taking a year out of uni was the best decision I made as not only did it help me in my final year with all of the knowledge I gained but I was also offered a job at the end of it.
Is there any advice you would give to someone looking for a career in your area of work?
My advice would be to get as much experience in the industry as possible. This could be shadowing someone in a land role for a couple of weeks or a summer internship. There is a lot of competition for these roles and having experience on your CV will really help you stand out. Most companies (Croudace especially) are quite happy to have a university student help out for a couple of weeks.
Questions & Answers
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy going to the gym and keeping fit.
I like going to music concerts and festivals and the west end.
Seeing friends and socialising.