‘Making a positive influence on people and their communities’
In our regular Q&A column sponsored by Carter Jonas, we ask Toby Lambert, who leads the firm’s residential development (East) team, what’s happening in his sector and what he loves about working and living in Cambridgeshire.
How did you get into your industry?
My grandfather was my biggest influence. Being a surveyor, he inspired me to get a job in the industry and my property journey began in 1996 at an independent estate agency in St Albans. This gave me the grounding and experience I needed, before putting myself through university and on to the start of my surveying career.
What does your job entail?
We principally act for private and institutional landowners, who are seeking to promote and unlock their land for the delivery of much-needed new housing across both private and affordable tenures.
What do you like most about it?
I get a buzz from working with my clients from the outset, delivering on a strategy and eventually seeing their vision come alive.
What are the main challenges?
Currently, they are numerous issues impacting the sector. These include the proposed revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and delays to the planning system, many of which are a product of a lack of resourcing for our planning departments. Rising interest rates and build cost inflation are also causing their own issues.
What developments in your business/industry are you most excited about?
We have recently appointed a new CEO to lead Carter Jonas, joining us in September. I am excited to understand more about his vision for our business and its people.
What opportunities/challenges do you expect in the next six months?
The headwinds mentioned previously will continue to influence our industry in the short to medium term, however, there is still the opportunity to make a positive and lasting influence on people and their communities. This is something that drives me.
In relation to the above, what advice would you give to a client/business associate?
Believe in your business. Keep to your principles and look after the people supporting and working with you. We’re all in this together!
What is the most exciting thing about doing your job in Cambridge?
Cambridge never stays still and is always innovating and evolving, as it has done successfully over many centuries.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Achieving MRICS status in 2004.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in your line of work?
Firstly, remain true to yourself and remember that your hard work will be worth it. And, don’t burn bridges! It’s a very small industry.
What couldn’t you get through your working week without?
An oat milk latte.
Your favourite local café/restaurant/gallery/attraction and why?
My choice would be The Wine Rooms on Hills Road. The atmosphere and food are very good, accompanied by a fantastic selection of wines from around the world.
Your favourite book/painting/podcast/etc and why?
As an avid reader of history and politics, I would have to say All Out War by Tim Shipman.
About Carter Jonas
Established in 1855, Carter Jonas is one of the biggest and most respected UK property partnerships. With 34 offices across England and Wales, its Cambridge hub is one of its principal locations. Its team advises and supports clients across residential sales and lettings, new homes, planning, development, commercial, property management, building consultancy, infrastructure, energy and as well as on rural matters, including estate management, sales and natural capital.