Tuesday 15th December 2020

Working within the built environment

I never had any intention whilst growing up to work within the built environment. As many children do, I followed the example set by my parents...

Working within the built environment

by Lizzie Lamb, Senior Surveyor (Living Advisory – Affordable Housing)

I never had any intention whilst growing up to work within the built environment. As many children do, I followed the example set by my parents and their friends when considering what my future career path could look like. However, the interest in residential property was always there; I’d sit at my Grandma’s flicking through the pages of her magazines until I got to the property sections at the back. My Dad would always save me the Home section from the Sunday papers and my Mum and I loved watching various property programmes on TV. As I had no-one in my life who worked in the industry, nor any mention of the possibility of such a career from school career services, I didn’t consider the possibility that this interest could become a career.

As such, I stuck with my favourite subject at school and read history at university. When I graduated, I did various internships in industries which naturally led on from history, such as PR, advertising and magazine publishing. When I secured my first job aged 22 at Condé Nast, I was really chuffed - working for the likes of Vogue and Vanity Fair was a dream come true. However, as my role progressed, I realised that I needed a career with more social purpose, in an environment that would not only support me, but also challenge me to learn and enable me to look outward far more.

How lucky I was that a friend suggested I look at property graduate schemes, leading me to find the JLL graduate scheme and my place on the residential pathway. I started the graduate scheme in September 2015 and rotated through our development consultancy and investment teams, working alongside developers such as Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley, and the residential valuation team, undertaking loan security valuations for private and commercial banking clients. This process gave me an invaluable start in the industry and also allowed me to work alongside some amazing mentors.

I joined the affordable housing consultancy team in April 2017, and finally found a sector of the industry that had the depth and substance I was looking for. Since completing my Master’s degree in Real Estate Management, and subsequently qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor in May 2018, I have remained in the team, regularly undertaking valuations to support the acquisition of land for social housing development, and for sales and marketing purposes of shared ownership units. In addition, I provide financial viability assessments to form part of planning applications and secure affordable housing provision in new build developments. I am also active in the S106 agency market, providing agency advice to bring together the developers who build, and the housing associations who buy, new affordable home of social housing, and feel very grateful to have such a diverse role.

Having grown up in London, I’ve witnessed first-hand the need not only for more housing, but for more genuinely affordable housing. I feel pride every time a scheme I’ve worked on achieves planning, or I go past an affordable housing development that I have been involved in, knowing that my work and the work of my colleagues will make an active difference to people’s lives.

I think the trials and tribulations of 2020 have shown us all just how important your own built environment is, and I’m endlessly proud to work in a sector which isn’t overwhelmed by such challenges, but constantly moving forward to create and enable the communities that we have all relied upon so heavily this year.

Please do reach out and get in touch!

Lizzie Lamb, Senior Surveyor (Living Advisory – Affordable Housing)



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