Chapter 6 asks readers to consider the position of a property developer within the UK volume housebuilding sector. It contains a tripartite story that portrays a company director based on documentary analysis and real events, including everyday interactions and observations from industry. Part A examines common perceptions of property developers within popular culture and the architectural profession especially. Part B presents ‘George’, a composite character based on members of a fictional board of directors at development company ‘Pink & Knight’. The story then shifts from a narration of George, as character, to George as narrator. Part C presents George’s thinking around a staff symposium called ‘Back-To-Basics’, which is used by the author to roll-call Pink & Knight directors, as well as unpack everyday operational challenges and business decisions, including investment in product review and exploring design ‘tweaks’. The story extends empathy towards an actor rarely captured by research and invites readers to look beyond popular stereotypes that cast developers as villains. Here the developer is presented as a built environment professional and visionary change-maker; one committed to developing a ‘needs oriented’ retirement-living product, while keeping a close eye on build cost, profit margins and sustaining livelihoods.
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