Meet the Team- Sallyanne George, Development Manager
08 March 2021
Our ‘Meet the Team’ series features some of our fantastic employees across the different Lifestory teams to showcase their role in the business and journey with us so far.
In this instalment, we speak to Sallyanne George, Development Manager at Lifestory to learn more about her experience and what she loves the most about her role.
Could you tell us a little more about your role?
As a Development Manager, my role is to oversee a Lifestory project from land acquisition to occupation across both our Renaissance and Pegasus brands at the moment.
I initially joined Lifestory just over six years ago as a PA to the Regional Director Mike Gill. After 18 months in that role, I started to steadily work my way up to become Development Coordinator and got promoted to Development Manager in 2018.
My role is very exciting and multi-faceted I liaise with the internal stakeholders as well as external team such as experienced project consultants, contractors and investors to ensure the project is running smoothly.
Why did you decide to join and stay at Lifestory?
Prior to joining Lifestory, I was an Administrative Manager for a Grenada based University but wanted to expand my skills in a different environment hence why I joined Lifestory.
Once I joined Lifestory, I quickly discovered my passion for the development process through working alongside the experienced and dedicated team, going to see the different sites and seeing a tangible idea on paper come to life in the buildings that we are creating.
I am still learning and developing my skill set six years on which alongside the satisfaction I get from doing my job, is a great reason to still be with Lifestory.
What does a day in your role look like?
I can honestly say no two days on the job is the same which keeps it exciting!
As I work through an entire project lifecycle, my role changes and adapts to the current project stage. At the beginning of a project, I will work with the internal Lifestory, external project teams and architects to ensure the initial concept is maximising the benefit for the site.
Through the build progress, I will then work with the contractors on site to monitor costs and safety whilst at the end of a project, I will primarily work with the sales and project team, contractor, and the interior designer to ensure the building is ready for occupation whilst still managing communications with the operational team and all the parties involved and resolving any challenges which inevitably crop up.
What do you enjoy the most in your role?
I enjoy the fact that I am able to bring all the different skills set and experience of all the parties involved in a project together and ensure we all work in harmony to deliver a successful community.
It is particularly fulfilling to see a project once it reaches the completion stage, to see all the hard work that went into what started out as idea on a piece of paper and seeing a completed building which will host a new thriving community of people.
What are some invaluable lessons which you have gained in your role?
I have learnt so much throughout my time at Lifestory and I keep learning something new every day!
The most important lesson would be to never be scared to ask a question no matter how insignificant as it might be to you as you are working with a team with different experiences levels and you will always learn something by asking a question rather than staying quiet.
Another important lesson would be to always value the people who you work with and treat everyone with the same respect and consideration which goes a long way towards achieving success together.
Have you experienced any challenges in your role?
There will always be challenges when working on construction projects, it is just another part of the role but as you grow in your role, you will be able to anticipate those challenges better and identify ways to minimise future hurdles.
When working with a diverse group of people on a project, tricky conversations with third parties are always going to be a test but as long as everyone can communicate effectively and respond fairly, these challenges can be easily resolved.
What are your market predictions post-pandemic?
The housing industry is quite unpredictable at the moment, but the pandemic has definitely highlighted the need for better housing for an ageing population. I am also looking forward to the positive changes happening in the industry to address the environmental issues and how we will be implementing those innovations into Lifestory and our future projects.
Lifestory has a vast collection of later-living communities across a variety of locations ranging from Jesmond Assembly in Newcastle to Renaissance Rustington in West Sussex with new homes available to buy or rent..