Julian Carey, group property director, Stenprop
Stenprop’s group property director talks fast cars, starting a business and running until he falls over.
What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?
Going out on my own and setting up C2 Capital [the property investment company Carey co-founded with Ellis Campbell Group in 2009]. I was pretty naïve when I started but learned a huge amount in a very short period of time and it made me realise how hard it is to make money, and hence how appreciative you should be when you do.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Treat people as you wish to be treated. What goes around comes around and property is a small industry.
Who do you most admire in the industry?
Anyone who starts a business. Lots of people talk about it, but very few take the plunge.
What’s the best thing about the industry?
The work ethic. Property is full of people who work hard to earn a good living, which in turn inspires others to do the same. Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to enjoy ourselves when we’re not working.
And the worst thing?
The industry’s reputation. We must be more diverse, more dynamic and more focused on customers’ needs.
What one thing would you change about the industry if you could?
I’d increase diversity in the industry. On the whole the property sector does not reflect the profile of our customer base, whether that be tenants or investors. We need to be more relatable to help build trusting relationships that benefit all involved.
What’s the best work event you’ve been to?
A day at racing track PalmerSport. I love cars and driving fast, so it was heaven for me.
If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you like to be doing?
Something that combines being outdoors with having fun. Maybe a racing driver or a ski instructor, although I doubt I’m talented enough for either.
How will the industry have changed in 10 years’ time?
Technology will mean we all spend a lot more time talking, networking and negotiating with each other and a lot less time completing manual tasks that don’t add value, like inputting data and compiling reports.
What could have the biggest impact on the industry in the next 10 years?
Driverless cars and trucks. It will fundamentally change the way occupiers assess and value location, which is the principal driver behind most property values. There will be some big winners and some big losers, but, on balance, I believe it will be good for society and the places we live.
What was your first car?
A grey Vauxhall Corsa. It looked and handled like an egg but I loved it all the same.
What’s the first thing you ever said to your wife?
“Can I help you?” She’d turned up for a new job with the company we shared an office with at the time and I was quick to offer my help when I saw her arrive in reception.
What’s your favourite way to relax?
Some form of exercise, typically gardening or running.
What was your childhood ambition?
To be a vet.
Do you have any weird, exciting or unusual hobbies?
In 2016, I organised a relay race for two teams from the source of the Thames to the sea. Nobody had done it before – or so I believe – and the winners finished in 28.5 hours, having each run about 33 miles. We raised £25,000 for charity.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
On a plane. I could split my time between working in London, the best city in the world, snowboarding in the Alps, lounging around on the beach and watching F1 races wherever they happen to be.
What’s your most annoying habit?
Jigging my legs. I have a lot of energy and it likes to get out that way.
What do you hate having to spend money on?
Insurance. It’s been a bad deal all my life but I guess one day that might change.
What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Glastonbury 2010. Muse, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, The Black Keys and more. Even the weather was good.
What sport/exercise do you do and – honestly – how good are you at it?
Running. I’m very determined and stubborn. I’ll never walk but I’m not that fast. I ran the Berlin marathon and passed out as I crossed the finish line – I went straight from running along to lying flat on my back but I didn’t walk one step.
What’s the best sport event you’ve ever been to?
Truck racing at Donington Park. It’s just mental.