Kimberley Benson, sales and marketing director at Barratt Southern Counties, on how she got started in property, her top book and podcast recommendations and the celebrity she would most like to meet.

Kimberley Benson headshot

Kimberley Benson

How did you join the property industry?

I joined Barratt’s ASPIRE Graduate Programme in 2010 in west Scotland, which involved two years of rotations within various departments. It was an exciting time to join the industry, which had just found its feet again after the financial crash. After completing the programme, I was promoted to field sales manager, and within six months I was promoted again to sales manager.

What does your job entail?

I run the sales and marketing function for Barratt Southern Counties, and I work with a fantastic team to create exciting marketing campaigns and deliver sales across the home counties.

What do you like most about the property industry?

No two days are the same in this industry. You have to be quick on your feet and a problem-solver. Housing itself is undeniably the backbone of the British economy, and buying a home is the biggest, most important purchase someone will ever make. Property is so much more than just bricks and mortar – you live your life in your house. All your major life events will happen under your roof.

And what do you dislike most about it?

There are always challenges involved in delivering a new site from planning to completion. When it works, it is a well-oiled machine, but it needs close supervision. However, these challenges are what make my job exciting. I wouldn’t work in property if I disliked it.

What would you change about the property industry?

I will always champion the need for more women and a diverse workforce in this industry. I believe that regardless of your background, gender, ethnicity or sexuality, there should always be the opportunity to work in this industry.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

One of the biggest challenges I have faced was the jump from a graduate role to management. It is quite a big change and a challenge to establish yourself. I have made some huge moves both in terms of my career and across Great Britain, having worked in both the western and eastern Scottish markets, London and now the South East. You need to be able to adapt and know your stuff inside out.

What are you most proud of in your career?

The success of my team is my greatest achievement. I am always incredibly proud of the people with whom I work. It is so important to support the individual members of your team to enable them to reach their full potential.

What do you value in people?

Dedication, drive and relentlessness. I value the people who strive to be the best they can possibly be. The human aspect to the work is incredibly important to me – we spend most of our lives with our colleagues, so it is important to feel like they are friends and share a mutual trust and respect.

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

Go for it. Working in property is the most exciting job you can do. As long as you have an open mind and a hunger to learn, you will find success.


Something to read

I like anything by Rupi Kaur but especially Milk and Honey. I keep coming back to it. I love the raw energy behind the work. Rupi is able to articulate things that I would never say out loud, and her work captures feelings that are so personal and that we can all relate to.

Something to listen to

I love Business Wars, a long-running podcast looking at two competing businesses within the same industry and diving into their backgrounds. I particularly enjoyed the Estée Lauder vs L’Oréal episode, which does a fantastic job at capturing the need for businesses to adapt and reinvent to compete in the ever-changing beauty market, and how a business can grow from one woman selling make-up at home to a commercial empire.

The celebrity I’d most like to meet

The celebrity I would most like to meet is Cher. She started out with a budding female autonomy in a male-driven industry and has transcended to music legend. Cher has had an incredibly long career but she is alive to the fact that she must adapt to stay relevant – without losing who she is.

If I could have one superpower

If I could have one superpower, I would love the ability to see into the future and predict what is going to happen in the housing market – not just this year but in the next 10, 50 or 100 years. It would save us a lot of money, effort and sleepless nights, and would certainly make my job a lot easier.