Sarah Goldman, senior portfolio manager at GPE, on how she got started in property, her TV and music picks, what she would do with a million pounds and the superpower she wishes she had.
How did you join the property industry?
I have always had an interest in property and the built environment, whether it be looking in the window of estate agents or reading the new-homes section of my father’s Sunday paper. Each year, my school ran a ‘Take Your Daughter to Work’ day. My dad was an accountant, so I desperately begged other family members to adopt me for the day! Both my uncles were in property (one commercial, one residential), so I was very lucky that I got to see two very different parts of the industry from quite a young age.
What does your job entail?
Currently, I am a senior portfolio manager at GPE, with a focus on our retail assets, which now make up just under 25% of our holdings. Every day is different and I love the variety that my role brings. Last week, I met with an international retailer that was looking for a single global flagship store in London. Next week, I am interviewing two graduates as part of GPE’s commitment to take on two interns from the 10,000 Black Interns programme.
What do you like most about the property industry?
It has been proven many times that the places we work in and interact with affect our health, our mental wellbeing and our performance. The property industry has a unique opportunity to create places that really impact people’s lives.
And what do you dislike most about it?
The lack of awareness. I do think property as a profession is becoming more recognised, but I don’t think we as an industry do enough at school level to help educate potential surveyors on the opportunities the sector can bring. I was the very first person from my school to have studied land management at university.
What would you change about the property industry?
While I think the industry has made huge strides forward in the last couple of years, more work needs to be done to promote gender and racial diversity and tackle pay gaps. We can’t just talk the talk; we need to walk the walk.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
When I started as a graduate at CBRE, the property world was challenging. At times, I was the only woman in the room. Things are changing for the better now, but I remember my first Mapic was a sea of men in suits…
What are you most proud of in your career?
I am proud that I have managed to have a career and also bring up two amazing children. Finding the balance is hard, particularly for women. But I am lucky that I have worked for some great employers who have supported my wish to ‘have it all’ and helped me achieve a balance that works for me.
What do you value in people?
Honesty, reliability, openness and creativity. We work in a collaborative industry – team players will thrive.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
Be brave. My father used to write ‘DADG’ at the bottom of every invoice he sent out to clients. Someone once asked him what that stood for. The answer? ‘Don’t ask, don’t get’.