Hannah McNamara, co-founder of specialist consultancy P-THREE, on how she got started in property, her top TV and book picks, the superpower she wishes she had and her number-one travel destination

Hannah McNamara

Hannah McNamara

How did you join the property industry?

I had no idea surveying was even a job as I did not do enough research into the property master’s I had signed myself up for. I then started at Cushman & Wakefield on the graduate programme. I had no set ideas about what I wanted to do and eventually specialise in, but I wanted to immerse myself in a variety of sectors. After a few years, I met Justin Taylor – who later co-founded P-THREE – on a project, which sparked my passion for a future in retail and destination creation.

What does your job entail?

I am so lucky as I get to spend my days helping my clients create places that people love and that have a positive impact on the communities around them. Property is physical, but it can create feelings and emotions and has the possibility to empower people – forming places that change people’s lives and alter the course of a city’s future.

I also work on behalf of landlords leasing prime retail space across the country, which gives me an insight into what retailers are looking for.

I have been fortunate enough to work on huge city centre regeneration projects up and down the country, including St James Quarter in Edinburgh, Battersea Power Station and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It does not get better than that.

What do you like most about the property industry?

I love the people element of my job. Every week I have meetings with agents, landlords, retailers, marketing teams, shop fit-out teams, investors and many more. I find their stories and perspectives so interesting. I soak up their thoughts and ideas, using them to help create thriving places of the future.

What would you change about the property industry?

The property industry still has a long way to go on diversity. That is not only gender diversity but also in terms of social class, backgrounds and religions. We need people in the profession who think differently and reflect the communities on whose behalf we are making decisions. When this improves, the world of real estate will be all the better for it.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

I am not from a classic property background: I did not go to a private school, I did not know anyone in surveying and I am from the north. But I have used the above to help me stand out and have made sure I was memorable.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Setting up my own company had always been a dream of mine. I did this with Justin Taylor and Thomas Rose in 2019. We wanted to be in control of the team culture we created. It has been a really fun journey, growing the business and fulfilling our vision. There is still a long way to go.

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

Make as many market connections as you can. Put your hand up for everything and go in with enthusiasm and passion. You will soon find your ‘thing’ and then forge a career making a difference.

Cultural recommendations

Something to watch: 

Like everyone else, I have binge-watched Happy Valley and The White Lotus and am now watching Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty on HBO. It is shot beautifully and shows how Jerry Buss, then owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, transformed a sports game into an all-star event. We now see so many of the things he introduced in sports games around the world. It is this challenging of the norm that I want to bring to places of the future.

Something to read: 

I have two small children, a business to run and a mountain of ironing that resembles K2 – I do not have time to read. I have a half-read copy of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin next to my bed. The first half was very good; one day, I will have time to read the second half.

If you could have one superpower: 

If I could have one superpower, I would like to be invisible. Juggling bringing up children and working full-time is hardcore. The challenge is good, but sometimes I would just like a bit of peace and quiet. If I were invisible, I could quietly curl up on the sofa and read the other half of the book I am yet to finish.

Top travel destination: 

My number-one travel destination is Seville in Spain, which I am desperate to go to. Everyone I know who has been loves it. I am drawn to the excitement and possibility when you go to a new city; there is so much to discover. Some warm weather would also be nice.