Johnathan Crawley, UK managing director at MiddleCap, on how he got started in the property industry and his proudest career achievement. He also shares his cultural tips and his number-one travel destination.

Johnathan Crawley 1

Johnathan Crawley

How did you join the property industry?

I started my career as a commercial real estate lawyer in private practice, working for a couple of big players in the city. I then switched to an in-house role at a large property development company, before making the move to a more corporate managerial position at MiddleCap.

What does your job entail?

I am responsible for MiddleCap’s UK operation, leading a small, dynamic, multi-disciplinary team. I am essentially the conductor of the orchestra! The company entered the UK market in 2018 and since then, we have been working on a number of exciting commercial projects across the capital that will become pioneering smart and sustainable buildings.

What do you like most about the property industry?

I love that as developers, we see the whole process through – from an initial concept design through to being able to see, touch and experience the final space. While every project goes through a similar cycle and process, every building is different. Property is a fascinating sector because there are so many disciplines involved, so there are endless opportunities to learn and broaden your experience.

What do you want to change about the property industry?

The property industry is a broad church, with a whole host of skills and expertise required to bring projects to fruition. There is therefore a huge opportunity for people of different backgrounds and experience to pursue careers in different fields, but we still desperately need more diversity across the sector.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

I have taken a slightly unusual route into the position I now have within the property industry. It was difficult to make the move from being a pure commercial real estate lawyer to having a more corporate, in-house, leadership position, but I am glad I followed that path as it has provided me with a good skillset upon which to continue to build.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I am proud that I have been able to move to the commercial development side of the industry and be involved in projects that are pushing the boundaries when it comes to smart technology and sustainability. Southworks, our first scheme in London, has recently been awarded a Platinum Smart Building Certification – the first in the UK and only the second globally to receive the accolade.

What do you value in people?

Honesty, energy and enthusiasm. I like to work with people who are willing to learn and passionate to drive things forward.

What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?

The great thing about a career in property is that it can go in many directions, from asset management, investment and development to architecture, engineering and construction. Think about your skillset, where you are best suited and what you enjoy.