Krishma Kapoor, property and development consultant at property management company SLC Property, on how she got started in property, the superpower she’d like to have and her number-one travel destination.
How did you join the industry?
Property was not always my number-one career choice. That all changed when I undertook a placement year in a commercial property firm in the West Midlands. I was inspired by the work it was doing and exhibited at Mipim UK. This sparked my interest even more. After completing my master’s degree, everything fell into place when I came across transport property specialist SLC Property at a careers fair. I have stayed there ever since.
What does your job entail?
My role covers transport projects, primarily third-party-led rail projects negotiating heads of terms for freehold acquisition and leases. I have also worked closely with train operating companies to redevelop railway stations as part of wider masterplans, in particular repurposing redundant or under used space for commercial and community use. It has been interesting to work with local authorities and Network Rail to plan the future of stations and make them more integrated into the community.
What do you like most about the industry?
I enjoy building relationships with clients and stakeholders at the early stages of a scheme. The property projects within the rail industry, in particular, are unique. I enjoy that construction activity is quickly tangible, and you can identify all the achievements involved in the process.
And what do you dislike most about it?
Planning can be a slow process, due to its nature. That said, I have enjoyed working with SLC Property’s planning and environmental experts to get a deeper understanding in this area.
What would you change about the property industry?
Diversity is really important in property and the industry needs to do more to have greater representation. As a young female of a south Asian background, this is something I am particularly passionate about. I want to promote the vast career opportunities that you can have to people from all backgrounds.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
There is an observation that females have to prove themselves a bit more than males in the industry, although I do believe this is changing now. As a young female, this was an initial challenge to overcome as I first took part in meetings when leading land negotiations for major rail projects. This is why it is so important to work for a company that supports you in developing your skills and confidence.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Growing up in Birmingham, I felt particularly proud to have been part of creating a new station for Perry Barr, which was a key interface for people visiting this year’s Commonwealth Games. My work helped to secure associated land agreements for this redeveloped station.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
I would recommend networking as much as possible and do not be scared to ask people questions. Learning from your peers is so important and there are many great events, such as industry-wide talks, which are a great tool to learn from and network.