Alexandra Deol - Land Manager
CALA HOMES (NHC) LTD.
I initially applied for a role on the graduate scheme in Sales being somewhat ignorant as to what working in the ‘Land’ department entailed. I knew I liked the development world from my degree in Geography (BA), studying spatial mapping, demographics and global economics, along with seeing the success of my family’s property business in the Midlands. However, I was unsure as to how to start my journey and wanted to get the best opportunities, which is why I applied for the graduate scheme with CALA. From here, I was asked if I would be interested in working in the Land department rather than Sales - it was the perfect choice!
I enjoy the whole process of buying land from the first site visit to shaking hands on the deal (the best bit), to seeing the showhome open and people moving in. It is very rewarding seeing people living in something CALA has been able to bring to life. I have been fortunate to progress from Land Graduate to Land Manager through a genuine passion for creating new communities in desirable locations along with the range of training courses available at CALA, and saying “yes” to as many networking events and external meetings as possible (which has been a lot...!) I am currently on CALA’s Building Leaders Programme to develop my management and leadership skills to enable me to get the most out of my role and working alongside my team.
Being the only woman in the Land department in our North Home Counties region has definitely given me more opportunities than challenges and has inspired me to prove I am just as good as the boys! I found the role initially challenging as there are still some older views in the industry about how women fit in. This is something I am happy to see is rapidly changing and has been doing so over the last decade. I feel lucky to come into the industry at a time where so many women before have championed our cause and set up groups and support networks to include all.
My friends still occasionally look at me blankly when I say I ‘buy land’ as it’s not a common role among people, especially women my age, which is something I am glad to see CALA trying to change with the introduction of more female Land graduates into the system. I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing the hard work of the Land and Planning teams be transformed by the Commercial, Technical, Construction and Sales teams into REAL homes for REAL people...