‘You end up living and breathing the property you’re selling’
In our regular Q&A with Carter Jonas, we ask Megan Cracknell, a member of its New Homes team, what’s happening in her sector and what she loves about working and living in Cambridgeshire.
How did you get into your industry?
I was really interested in property, so applied for some jobs with local agents. I ended up in a lettings department at the age of 19, where I worked for several years, and then moved into sales. When Jason Capel joined Carter Jonas Cambridge as head of new homes, I was approached to join his team. With such demand for housing and a shortage of stock, it seemed like a fascinating area, and a chance to get involved with schemes from their inception. I leapt at the opportunity!
What does your job entail?
Our team deals exclusively with the sale and marketing of new-build homes and residential development, working with developers, purchasers and investors. Our involvement can be right from the beginning, advising on target markets, the house type mix, design and layout optimisations, and the marketing strategy. The list goes on. After launching a development, we work with purchasers, often buying off-plan. A key part of our job is bringing the vision to life. We help with everything, from kitchen choices and design, and progress sales through to completion, keeping both purchasers and developers informed.
What do you like most about it?
The variety and involvement from the early stages. You end up living and breathing the property you’re selling. I love getting show homes up and running, and helping people realise their plans.
What are the main challenges?
Managing expectations with build programmes is always tricky. While we try to plan for every eventuality, builds can encounter unexpected delays.
What recent developments in your business/industry are you most excited about?
We recently launched our new show home in Bucklesham, Ipswich. This site has been really popular. We’ve had a fantastic first few weeks which is really positive for our client, Castlemore Homes. We’ve also secured an exciting new development in Over, with Hayfield Homes, launching this autumn.
What opportunities/challenges do you expect in the next six months?
Interest rate rises and variations in mortgage deals have discouraged some purchasers. There is a lot of uncertainty, so it’s taking longer than usual to agree sales.
In relation to the above, what advice would you give to a client/business associate?
Be realistic and look around. Some good mortgage products are still available.
What is the most exciting thing about doing your job in Cambridge/Cambridgeshire?
Cambridge is just such a beautiful place to live. Full of history yet vibrant and innovative. I feel lucky to live and work here.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Being promoted to Associate level. It’s a huge step in my career development and I feel very proud.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in your line of work?
Do it! There are lots of routes into property – just don’t be afraid to apply. Once there, take time to understand your clients and treat them well.
What couldn’t you get through your working week without?
Coffee. It keeps me going!
Your favourite local café/restaurant/gallery/attraction and why you like it?
The Wrestlers, on Newmarket Road. I absolutely love Thai food, and in my opinion no one does it like The Wrestlers. It’s a really relaxed atmosphere and always busy, which is a good sign.
Your favourite song/album and why you like it?
Proudly, I am a huge Swiftie and can often be seen/heard from some distance singing along very badly to any of her songs. Getting tickets to her show next year is probably my highlight of this year!
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.