Historically, boardrooms and building sites are not known for being particularly female friendly. According to the Office of National Statistics, women make up only 11% of the construction workforce. But with an increasing number of construction companies supporting women in the industry a small cultural revolution is beginning.
And as Katy Jordan, Managing Director of Milton Keynes-based house builder Storey Homes will testify, women in property and construction are really making an impact and beginning to change the established face of the property world.
Katy is no exception. Qualifying as a quantity surveyor in the early 90’s, she went straight to work for Essex-based Countryside as an Estimator. Progressing through the company, Katy was promoted to development and then land manager. After 11 years with Countryside, Katy left as a board member of the London & Thames Gateway Ltd managing £100,000,000 of construction expenditure.
Following a number of years working in property development and as a development management consultant Katy, was invited to join the board of a small house builder as Land and Development Director in 2011.
In January 2015, Katy was appointed managing director of family-owned Storey Homes. She has been tasked with pushing the company’s growth strategy and rolling out the firms’ largest scheme, 152 homes in Warwick Road, in the centre of Bedford.
So after a year in the role, what is it that Katy wants to achieve for Storey Homes? Her answer is definitive. “To be the best developer in the region.”
“We are passionate about creating unique developments where people what to live. Because we are a smaller house builder, we can spend that extra time with our customers and deliver a unique home they will appreciate and treasure.
“Our buyers are attracted to living somewhere that is brand new, that no one’s ever lived in before. We have a duty to deliver a product and experience that lives up to people’s expectations.”
At the moment Storey Homes is building at two sites, a development of 14 town houses in Ampthill and 152 residential units in Bedford, their largest development yet. Ampthill is a unique development of private homes in a gated community, within walking distance of the town centre and close to excellent schools. Buyer’s confidence in the market is translating into sales - " nearly half the properties have sold off plan without a show home.
The Bedford scheme is on the former De Montfort University site in the town centre, with a range of homes to suit a variety of prices points. The next phase of homes is due to launch in the spring, with completions set for the end of the year. All the homes in Bedford will be available with Help to Buy, which Katy says has been a real incentive for buyers, in particular local people.
Storey Homes might be one of the smaller housebuilding in the market, but the company, under Katy’s leadership has big aspirations. It has a substantial land portfolio that it is looking to promote, as well as new sites and opportunities for growth.
Explaining the company’s approach to growth Katy says: “We take a twin-track approach when assessing new sites. We strategically purchase sites in areas where we can see growth, but also that we would want to live in ourselves. This gives us a unique perspective, keeping our purchaser’s aspirations at the forefront of our growth plans.”
With Katy’s tenacity, customer focus and strong track record in development Storey Homes’ 2016 is already looking like it will be extremely successful.