“A career in construction is not just about muddy boots.”
Today my guest is Julia Starzyk, a property quantity surveyor, project construction manager and founder of Stars Projects London, a dynamic property consultancy focusing on cost consultancy and project management in the luxury £1m to £6m property sector.
From converting a 150-year-old building in Mayfair into a luxury seven-bed hotel to a modern apartment in Chancery Lane with raw concrete ceilings, she has project managed over 90 luxury property renovations and listed building restorations.
Julia arrived in England from Poland 11 years ago and has since worked her way up in the property industry, from assistant site manager to commercial director of a construction company, studying for and achieving two master’s degrees in the process.
Back then the property industry was fiercely male dominated, and while more women have joined and found success in construction, there are some things that still haven’t changed.
“I’m yet to work on a site where there are female toilets,” Julia says. “I tend to work on the smaller developments so if there is one then it’s usually a unisex visitors’ toilet. I am yet to experience that luxury!”
Julia founded Stars Projects London just before the pandemic hit, to provide time poor high net worth clientele with everything they need to renovate and refurbish their property without stress, mess or hassle.
We talk about the challenges this generated as well as:
- Why women feel the need to prove themselves in order to be on an equal footing with men working in property
- Managing expectations when it comes to cost, time and quality of a construction project
- From labour to material shortages, how BREXIT and Covid have affected the property industry
- How modern architecture is perceived in the capital and other trends in property development