Straight out of university, 22-year-old Danny Cheal embarked on his land career in the housebuilding industry.

Now with 21 years' experience under his belt, he has recently joined Avant Homes as the land director for the West Midlands. 

We caught up with Danny to find out what he has been getting up to in his new role and what success looks like for delivering Avant Homes' West Midlands portfolio. 

1.    Tell us what a typical working day looks like

As I'm new to the role there has been a lot of meeting people. 

Most importantly, I've been working closely with the Midlands team to identify where the opportunities are for Avant Homes in the West Midlands. 

The team and I have been working together to bring these opportunities to the table, so we can secure sites as quickly as possible to reach our end game of growing the footprint in the area. 

2.    Describe your role as land director

I've been brought into the role of West Midlands land director to give Avant Homes a foothold in this area over the next 12 months to move forward the portfolio for this region. 

At the moment my role is to utilise the layout, designers, and technical expertise in the Midlands to bring these new developments to fruition. 

3.    What is the most rewarding thing about being a land director?

My parents live over in Lancashire and when they come down to visit is when I see the most rewarding part of my job. 

When we go on days out it's great to come across a development and show them the legacy that I have been supporting the delivery of over the years. 

Taking a derelict or undeveloped site, and telling your parents that you were a part of creating the homes and communities is a great feeling. 

There isn't often a physical mark or bricks and mortar to signify your work so it's a great feeling. 
 

4.    Describe the most challenging part of your job as land director

The most challenging part of being a land director is trying to deliver planning consents. 

There is lots that can get in the way of progress such as oppositions from people against the development and the planning process can also be quite a slow burner. 

5.    What do you want to achieve as the land director for the West Midlands?

My main goal to achieve developing the portfolio and team for the West Midlands portfolio. 

We're at a standing start in that area at the moment, so we would like to get the number of units up to between 600 and 700 units per year. 

If I look back in five years' time and see lots of developments as well as a great team, then it's a resounding success. 

6.    Tell us what you enjoy the most about working for Avant Homes

The thought process of developing a housebuilders presence in a new region from scratch and being the first one in the door to build it up from nothing is exciting. This type of opportunity doesn't come along very often and I look forward to taking on the challenge. 

It's been a new experience for me coming into the business and understanding the people and the process. What I have found most enjoyable so far is having a senior management team that is accessible, honest and open for a decent discussion about going for the land opportunities I am pursuing. 

7.    What advice would you give people looking to work in the housebuilding industry?

With 21 years' experience in housebuilding, I have learnt that it's very important to work collaboratively with people and be a good listener.

Driving a development right from sourcing the land to when the last residents move in, it is always a team effort. As land director, I need that advice from all of the functions internally to achieve the end goal. 
 

Interested in becoming a part of the Avant Homes' team like Danny? To find out about our current vacancies visit our careers page here. 

by Avant Homes - 30 Nov 21