BREAKOUT STREAM 1: Focus on Lease-up 2: What a year, stories from the letting front-line

Panel discussion hosted by Stephanie Barbabosa, Lendlease
Panel: Freya Richard, Vertus; Natasha Cooper, Grainger PLC; Sam Smith, Dandara; Craig Allden, Quintain, Paul Hyams, Liv Group


Stephanie Barbabosa, Lendlease, Head of BTR – Stephanie Barbabosa was appointed Head of Build to Rent in August 2017, bringing more than 25 years’ experience in the multi-family sector to the role.


Freya Richard, Vertus – As a Real Estate executive and an accomplished leader, she has overseen diverse portfolios and large teams in multiple markets across the US. Since crossing the pond and joining Lendlease, she has launched the operating platform Living by Lendlease which will oversee a £1bn pipeline of rental communities throughout the UK. The first two assets, Park Central West and Park Central East, opened in central London in 2021. The communities have already received numerous accolades, including being shortlisted for a Civic Trust Award and Development of the Year at the British Homes Awards.



Sam Smith, Dandara – Sam has worked in the private rented sector for over 16 years and for the last 6 years within the Build to Rent Sector, previously working at Get Living and then joining Hamptons in 2017 as the Director of PRS and Build to Rent, and he has now recently joined Dandara Living as their National Head of Operations




Natasha Cooper, Grainger PLC – Natasha is a chartered surveyor who has grown up the ranks of the property industry, her successful career spanning over 10 years’ now sees her as an authority in her field having built her expertise at Grainger even before they forged their journey into the Built to Rent leader that they are today. Having headed up the lease-up of Brook Place in Sheffield during the initial lockdown and seen the site stabilised within 12 months, Natasha is now back in her full-time role as Renewals Manager, leading an engaged team in Newcastle, driving asset values through rental growth and retention. Natasha’s expertise lies in ‘seeing the bigger picture’ with regard to each asset’s strategy. Understanding the commercial viability of an asset alongside what makes it an appealing home is a skill that Natasha has, that allows her to drive value whilst putting people at the heart of what she does.


Craig Allden, Quintain – Craig joined the company in 2019 as a Senior Leasing Associate and was promoted to Leasing Manager in May of 2021, managing a team of 12. Craig started his career in retail as a sales advisor whilst studying for his English Literature degree and worked his way to becoming a Regional Operation Manager for a men’s lifestyle brand, overseeing their UK portfolio. At Quintain, Craig oversees the management of the Quintain Living Leasing Team. For the last two years, Craig played a significant role in helping deliver new leasing processes using technology already in place pre-pandemic but not designed to take over from the traditional leasing journey. During Covid new and existing online tools have increased leasing volume and enabled residents to move in sight-unseen from all over the world.


Paul Hyams, Liv Group – Paul’s career began in the hospitality industry. Over the course of more than 15 years, his exceptional customer service philosophies and natural management savvy moved him quickly into various management positions for hotel groups in the U.S. He helped open the Sofitel Group’s premier Beverly Hills property, served as Rooms Division Executive and Senior Front Office Manager at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco, and was a national hospitality trainer for Doubletree and Omni. Paul also has held positions in the Ritz-Carlton and Fairmont Hotels. While working in San Francisco in multifamily, Paul served as president of the Fillmore Jazz District Community Benefit District and on the board of the San Francisco Coalition for Better Housing. Paul was also very active in both the San Francisco and San Jose Apartment Associations in California. Paul has over 20 years’ experience in the Build-to-Rent sector in USA. As Vice-President of the US-wide company, Laramar, he looked after 3000 units. Paul has been back in England for the past 6 years, where he has been managing last sites in Chelsea for Mainstay Group and Rendall & Rittner. Paul also was opening Shard Place part of the Shard complex in London. Paul is now completing Cortland/LIV’s first Build-to-Rent building in Watford that is scheduled to open in March 2022.