With experienced gained from a varied career in the UK new homes industry, Sam Johnson has a lot to share about progressing to her current position and how the sector might appeal to anyone looking for a rewarding job right now.
Sam, what’s been your career path through housebuilding and property development?
I have been working in the housebuilding industry for 21 years now. I started out as a sales advisor on site at Barratt Homes – I threw myself into it, and loved being able to support customers throughout the home buying experience. Over the years I progressed to sales manager, where I had to take on the responsibility of managing a team of five or six sales advisors, and throughout the years I gained experience with a range of new home developers – including Fairclough Homes, Elite Homes, McInerney Homes, Persimmon Homes and Rowland Homes – before I joined Miller in May 2013.
In 2016, I was promoted to sales director for Miller Homes in the North West. Now I’m responsible for the sales and marketing of Miller Homes’ developments across the region, covering locations from the south of Cheshire to the north of Lancaster.
When did you know that working in the new homes industry was the right decision for you?
Straight away! I love new homes and finding great spaces for people to live in. It’s also great to see communities grow and develop. The thing that I like the most however is seeing the amazing interiors of some of our show homes and knowing that we build houses which are better for the environment. I also loved working on site – that feeling of being able to help people reach their dreams of homeownership is like nothing else.
Are there particular projects and/or people that have been especially inspiring in your career?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing people and some really exciting projects. Perhaps the projects that I like the best are the ones that turn a previously disused site into a new and thriving communities.
I’m excited to be involved in our new Woodville Place development that form part of the Omega project in Warrington. We’re looking to build 200 new homes as part of a wider scheme that will see economic regeneration, improved infrastructure and effectively a new community being built from scratch.
What is Miller Homes’ policy on recruiting apprentices/graduates?
We’re always on the look out for new talented individuals to join our team. We run apprenticeship schemes to help introduce young people to the housebuilding industry and just this year we welcomed Kelly-Jo Eccles, who is training as a joiner, and Joe MacDonald, who’s training as a bricklayer, at our Croston Meadow development in Leyland.
What do you believe makes housebuilding a great industry for people to work in?
There truly are never two days the same in the housebuilding industry and so it’s just ideal for people looking for a varied career. It’s also great to see the new homes being built, the new interior trends and to help people along on their buying journey and to quite literally help people find the home of their dreams.
What do you think the housebuilding industry needs to do to inspire more of the right applicants?
In the housebuilding industry, there’s such a variety of roles out there for a whole host of different ‘right’ applicants. I think there simply needs to be more awareness out there about the benefits of a career in this business, particularly targeted at young people.
This is something Miller Homes is trying to tackle by approaching and attending careers days and fairs at high schools local to our developments, to help highlight what a career in housebuilding can offer as well as help out students with their interview and CV writing skills.
Are there roles you are looking to fill currently and are there enough candidates of quality coming to you right now?
We are always looking for new talent to join the industry, help grow the business and support our customers. The market is buoyant and we have some ambitious growth plans in place, so we would encourage interested parties to get in touch.