Jonathan Alexander, director at National Housing Group, shares insights into what a typical day in the office looks like, what his responsibilities are as an acquisitions and development director and shares his prediction of the future.
Where were your roles before joining National Housing Group and what were you doing?
I’ve been working in the property industry pretty much my whole working life. In one of my previous businesses, I converted disused or abandoned properties into multi-purpose event spaces, working with brands on product launches and sponsorships. Some of the major projects I worked on include Apple’s iTunes launch in Europe, and MTV awards ceremonies.
In 2016 I decided that I’d had enough of developing and selling property privately. In 2018 I started working in the social housing area, and in 2020 Stephen and I had a conversation about the potential for National Housing Group.
What is your role at National Housing Group and what are your responsibilities?
As part of my role as director of National Housing Group, I have several key responsibilities. Firstly, I find properties to acquire that we can develop, and then I appraise those properties to see if they are feasible for development and housing needs. Once that is established, I will oversee the applications for planning permission, manage the build and construction, and ensure the property is ‘turn-key’ ready for the providers and the residents. I love finding the opportunities and being able to take it from an idea to a finished vision.
Name three tasks you have to do every day as part of your role?
Three things that are part of my everyday life in this role include running appraisals on the properties we’ve been offered, checking in on our construction sites either through site visits or by speaking to contractors, and I’m always looking for new lines of materials to source for our developments, understanding carbon net zero better and retrofitting our properties.
What’s the best thing about working at National Housing Group?
National Housing Group is striving towards making a social impact. Our work is underpinned by a desire to help deal with the homelessness crisis and improve the quality and value of social housing.
I think our Green Homes Initiative is going to make a real difference, not only for the providers we work with, the tenants in our properties, but also for the environment as a whole. Our aim is to limit the impact on the environment by using energy efficient and sustainable products and materials, which in turn lessens the risk of our tenants falling into fuel poverty, which is a risk especially in today’s climate.
I really enjoy being part of a team – I have a responsibility to bring certain pieces to the table, and if I do that correctly and trust the people around me then we succeed and deliver together.
How do you relax outside the office?
I love spending time with my two kids, although you can argue that isn’t always relaxing! I also regularly attend art classes. Still life drawing can be very de-stressing. I also enjoy relaxing when I travel.
What does the future hold for National Housing Group?
There is a positive future for National Housing Group as awareness of who we are and what we do grows. As we continue to develop more units we continue to learn and improve our processes with every development, enabling us to keep providing more and more high quality properties for those most in need.