Hiring Living Sector Leaders

With annual investment in BtR and PBSA at a record high, firms need experienced leaders to steer next stage of growth

Both the Build to Rent (BtR) and purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) sectors remain resolutely buoyant. Annual investment in UK living real estate was a record £18bn in 2022* and investor appetite shows little sign of flagging.

Investors and developers are increasingly turning their attention to the UK living sector in a less certain real estate market because of its defensive nature and resistance to economic cycles. BtR represented 35% of investment in UK living real estate in 2022, with transactions expected to accelerate again in H2 2023 (JLL). For PBSA, current occupancy is at record levels and expected to endure, delivering strong rental and income growth in turbulent period.

PBSA and BtR are emerging as resilient and attractive asset classes for investors because they:

Demand for both high-quality, professionally managed homes and student accommodation in the UK remains high, yet new supply is still not meeting demand. According to StuRents, the UK’s largest student rental service, there will be a shortfall of approx.450,000 student beds by 2025, while the UK rental shortage has been well-documented in recent years. Student accommodation accounted for 45% of investment in UK living sectors in 2022

While investor demand has slowed because of development viability against a backdrop of debt considerations and construction challenges, the market is anticipating a significant upturn in the second half of 2023. Recently, we have seen large deals and significant market activity, such as GIC and Greystar’s recent acquisition of Student Roost, driving current and future activity.

We are actively hiring senior, leadership roles as our clients across the living sector seek experienced c-level executives to pilot this next stage of growth. Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss shaping your recruitment strategy.

Whilst it’s undeniable that the real estate market is suffering the consequences of higher interest rates and economic decline, analysts expect an upturn in property deals later this year*.

This can be a dangerous time for organisations that don’t have a plan to withstand these challenges with the best talent. Often, HR mistakes are made in these periods that may solve a short-term issue but don’t support successful teams long-term.

Senior talent acquisition in Real Estate

Key considerations should be:

What’s the plan?

Given how long it can take to recruit a senior executive (a year is not unheard of), developing a three to five-year recruitment plan that supports your business objectives is vital. Who are the people you need in your business? How can you develop the required talent?

What are the risks?

We encourage clients to undertake a mapping process that assesses risk in their workforce. Identify where you could lose potential talent and which skills will be in demand over a longer period. What are the consequences of not meeting future demand from clients or stakeholders?

Plan for eventualities

This mapping process allows businesses to develop contingencies to mitigate the risks identified.  We work with companies on strategies that include succession planning, interim talent, and long-term recruitment pipelines. Every business should know their next hire before a resignation or new business comes in. Be prepared!

Who do you want to attract?

Who do you want to attract to your future workforce and how will you do it? We help clients understand what makes a company attractive to strong candidates. Develop your employer value proposition and identify areas for improvement. Many companies are looking at diversity, equity and inclusion targets over the next few years, as well as ‘softer’ issues such as company culture. Madison Lincoln works with real estate companies to develop lasting recruitment strategies and create a rewarding process for the candidates we engage with on their behalf. To find out more, get in touch.

*Financial Times “UK commercial property dealmaking at lowest level in over a decade”, 11th January 2023

Building the real estate industry forward

Whilst economic pressures will inevitably impact the real estate market over the months ahead, a guiding star, in the form of the construction sector, is expected to remain relatively buoyant.

ONS* reports that September 2022 showed the highest level of construction output (£15,125 m) since records began in January 2010, despite facing multiple challenges. Although the RICS agrees that construction output is around 6% up on a year ago and 2.5% above pre-pandemic levels, activity does appear to be slowing. The Q3 RICS Construction Monitor** cites upskilling the workforce as the key approach to lifting productivity over the next twelve months.

Senior construction and development jobs in 2023

Developers tell us that robust assets in desirable locations continue to attract funding, adding to an already impressive pipeline for many. To drive this growth, we work with developers to bolster their leadership so that they can build the all-important teams they need to ensure a skilled and experienced workforce.

In addition, the UK construction industry is expected evolve, according to Glenigan***, with areas of growth expected to be in residential (build to rent and single family), life sciences, warehousing & logistics, office refurbishment and fit out, driven by net zero energy use legislation. Meanwhile, increased Government funding will galvanise the education, health, civil engineering and community & amenity sectors. It’s an exciting time working with companies on their recruitment strategies to ensure they can exploit these emerging opportunities with the best individuals at the helm.

Diversity and inclusion in the construction industry

Many construction organisations have driven huge cultural change over the past few years with diversity and inclusion at the heart of their recruitment policies. This purpose is reflected in our own business, enabling us to connect with the candidates our clients want to attract more effectively. We specialise in actively encouraging senior candidates from under-represented groups, resulting in impressive shortlists that meet the brief.

If you’re looking to make a senior hire for your real estate business and want to benefit from our extensive industry experience, get in touch.

*Office for National Statistics. ‘Construction output in Great Britain: September 2022, new orders and Construction Output Price Indices, July to September 2022’

**RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Survey, Q3 2022

***Construction Industry Forecast 2023-2024 for the UK and Republic of Ireland, Glenigan

The #IAMWOMAN campaign is a joint effort between our sister company Madison Berkeley and Black Women in Real Estate (BWRE) to attract more young black females into the real estate sector and retain them.

“The real estate industry has terrible female representation generally” says Nina Zeilerbauer, board director of Madison Lincoln and co-founder of real estate recruitment firm Madison Berkeley. “It stands at just 13%. Our industry is white, middle class and overwhelmingly male and we are working with Hanna Afolabi founder of BWRE (Black Women in Real Estate) to attract a more diverse workforce into our industry. Without it, the sector will stagnate because companies want a diverse workforce, but there are so few candidates who meet that criteria.”

Each day this week the #IAMWOMAN campaign run by @BWRE and @MadisonBerkeley will share a young #womenofcolour’s journey into the UK #realestate industry. How they got there, what they do, why they love it and most importantly how you can do it too.

To follow the campaign, please go to https://www.madisonberkeley.com/i-am-woman/ and https://www.bwre.org/

For International Women’s Day 2022, Board Director Nina Zeilerbauer was interviewed by The Guardian to discuss gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping plus how to improve gender equality in the workplace. Nina discusses these issues from a real estate point of view - Read Here

For more information, on exploring diversity and inclusion focused recruitment campaigns within real estate, please email info@madisonlincoln.com

In the article, Nina talks about the current state of play, what more can be done and shares a number of interesting statistics and facts.


For more information, on exploring diversity and inclusion focused searches within real estate, please email info@madisonlincoln.com

For 2021 and 2022, Madison Lincoln would like to support Tiny Tickers, a charity that is very close to the heart of one of our board members Clare Coe.

A London newspaper recently picked up Clare’s story (https://www.mylondon.news/news/health/london-mum-dads-final-kiss-20973106) and we would like to continue to increase awareness of the charity which aims to improve the early detection and care of babies with serious heart conditions.

Furthermore, here are two links of two fundraising events to help raise funds for the charity.



Article written by Rachel Maguire (Co-Founder of The Job Share Pair – https://www.thejobsharepair.com/)

Job sharing is a hugely misunderstood working practice, and is certainly a rarity in the real estate sector.  The unknown.  Let us help with that…In simple terms, job sharing is the undertaking of a full-time role, carried out by two (or more) people. Typically one partner works the first part of the week (Mon-Weds) and the other the latter part (Weds-Fri). Job sharing is not the same as part time work, where the needs of the business are on hold for a couple of days. Job sharing enables full time (plus some) coverage to dedicate to the needs of a high volume, fast paced, intellectually demanding and challenging role. It is favoured by many in senior positions who would struggle to achieve the needs of a position, alone, in 5 days. 

What are the benefits?

The benefits are more obvious to those undertaking a job share. You achieve true work life balance and a forced separation from work on your days off. Your opportunity to burnout is far reduced in line with this. You continue to learn and develop within your unique microteam and you are able to maintain a stretching career in a high impact role. 

So many find they are at a point in their lives where flexibility is a must. Perhaps due to childcare, eldercare, health needs or (our favourite!) those who are wanting to fire on all cylinders in every aspect of life, ambitious career people who also have hobbies, finding joy outside of work, looking after themselves in the process, able to commit to work on their dedicated days with a clear head and a refreshed attitude. 

And for business? What’s in it for us?

There is a broad untapped pool of talent out there seeking out flexible ways of working. By offering flexibility you attract and retain key talent who may not be in a position (or have the inclination) to work the classic, outdated, 40 hour working week. Organisations are short sighted not to consider the cost implications of recruiting new talent, upskilling and the cost of lost productivity if individuals reach the point of burnout and flexible working options aren’t considered. By encouraging job sharing, businesses benefit from two minds, two sets of skills and experiences, two problem solvers and two networks in one role. There is no Wednesday hump day or Friday lull – a job sharer has 2 or 3 days to achieve, self manage and report back their productivity to their partner. What you gain as an organisation is motivated, productive loyal employees, committed to the success of your business goals. 

But can you really job share a senior role?

Job sharing is not just for administrative, junior level roles without team responsibility. Here are some case studies to illustrate the point. 

Still not convinced?

As Sophie Smallwood (co-founder of fantastic job share matching website roleshare.com) so brilliantly identifies, doctors, nurses, consultants, midwives job share job share, handing over to one another at numerous points in the day and week. If our lives are in their hands and they can do it, surely we can too.  

How we can help you

Job sharing means change. A change to the way that you have operated previously and a change to the business. In times of change we need to plan. What are the practicalities? What does the day to day look like? Who will lead on what? How will we handover? How do we manage performance? How do you ensure that you have coverage across all work and client interactions? The list of unknowns is endless. At The Job Share Pair, we demystify the nuts and bolts of job sharing and provide you with all the tools you need to make it work. Having worked as job sharers ourselves at Board level as HR Directors, we understand the day to day logistics of how to manage this transition, plan for various eventualities and set your job share partnership and business up for success. Our mission and passion is to make job sharing accessible for all. We hope that this introduction to job sharing has opened your eyes to considering its multiple benefits to business, clients, individuals and our communities. 

Still have more questions on job sharing, please contact Hannah and Rachel – hello@thejobsharepair.com

If you want to explore how to hire a job pair at executive level, please contact us – info@madisonlincoln.com

Are you looking for something different? Do you want your voice to be heard and have the ability to make the difference? Perhaps you are looking to move away from a traditional executive search business or maybe you are looking to move from contingency into retained work, we want to hear from you.

As a people business, we strive to want to find the next individual who can drive, challenge and distrupt the real estate executive search market. No search is the same and sometimes alternative solutions need to be found to help our clients. We like to be creative, agile and dynamic in finding talent.

We are passionate about real estate and we want our employees to feel the same. Follow the market, soak up the news and get close to the talent.

During 2021, we would like to add an experienced consultant to the business along with a researcher to help on future assignments. Interested? Please make contact and lets arrange a call.

+44 (0) 208 194 8248


What a year!! If you had asked me in January 2020, how to predict Madison Lincoln’s first year of trading, I would never have imagined a pandemic and the economy falling off a cliff.

On Tuesday 10th March 2020, Madison Lincoln officially opened for business. We were set to launch on Monday 9th but the sudden announcement of ‘Black Monday’ changed everything. Within those 24 hours, we spoke to many friends, family, and confidants and the general consensus was, ‘go ahead with the launch tomorrow, it might be a difficult couple of months but it will be fine.’ Thursday 12th March was my last day in the office until August! After a difficult first week, I spoke to a good friend who happens to be a Chief Risk Officer with an international bank and who had been following the pandemic very closely. His recommendation was to put the new business on hold and maybe relaunch in October/November time or take the year off!!

Despite that useful recommendation, we pushed ahead with the new venture. Over spring and summer, business development was difficult and month after month, the redundancies kept coming. Despite all of this, we remained resilient and determined and fortunately, we won some mandates. Whilst the initial business plan and subsequent business plans went in the bin, there were lots of lessons to be learnt and it gave us time to refine and develop our exciting recruitment services.

As we come to our first birthday, we are extremely grateful for the support and goodwill that we have received from our clients  and partners. With a year gone by, we are more confident that our service is a unique offering to our existing and future client base. Furthermore, we have observed with interest that our competitors have monitored our business model and have subsequently looked to duplicate it.

Moving forward, we have more exciting plans for the rest of 2021 and beyond. As the year progresses, we will look to expand and continue to pursue exciting talent to join our business.

There will be more challenges ahead but 2020 has given us the strength and determination to succeed. We will continue to offer our clients strong, agile and creative recruitment solutions.

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