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“Seeing residents move into well-maintained, safe, and beautiful homes motivates me to continue striving for excellence”

Cheryl Effiom, Project Lead at B&D Reside.

Cheryl’s decision to pursue a career in housing was driven by a belief that everyone should be afforded a safe, secure and quality living environment. From an early age, Cheryl’s mother impressed upon her, her own appreciation of homes as they went on viewings – this focus naturally drew Cheryl towards housing and the positive moments associated with that period of life. This interest continued as Cheryl became fascinated by the dynamic nature of the industry and the way that housing developments can transform communities and improve lives.

This passion was solidified through Cheryl’s experiences in various roles, where she has seen firsthand the positive impact of quality housing. Cheryl’s journey to her current career path was by no means linear starting out in accounting and recruitment, having studied Business Management and Accounting whilst at university. It was only after excelling here that Cheryl felt the need to take on a new challenge and transitioned to property management before going on to hold positions at some notable employers across the affordable housing sector. Currently, as a Project Lead at B&D Reside, Cheryl is leading an innovative digital repairs and maintenance pilot project which recently won the 2024 Housing Digital Innovation Award for Best Repairs and Maintenance Innovation. Cheryl shares this has been a career highlight to date given the cutting-edge technology used to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of repairs and maintenance processes and the ability to significantly improving the customer experience, something she has set out to do from the start of her career.

Noting that progress has been made to date across the industry, Cheryl is still keen to see an increased focus on sustainable and environmentally friendly building practices alongside a greater emphasis on technology and innovation in defect management. These would have enabled the delivery of more eco-friendly developments and streamlined many of the processes she has worked on, leading to more efficient and effective outcomes.

Whilst no journey is smooth sailing, Cheryl is inspired by the tangible impact that quality housing has on individuals and communities. Cheryl shares “seeing residents move into well-maintained, safe, and beautiful homes motivates me to continue striving for excellence”. Cheryl has also had the benefit of being inspired by industry leaders, colleagues and mentors who role model innovation and provide ongoing support as she progresses through her own career.

Wishing that she had embarked on her current career path much earlier on, Cheryl acknowledges the benefits of embracing experiences even if they appear unrelated as each opportunity can offer learning, growth and prepare one for future challenges. Cheryl is no stranger to challenges during her own career, reflecting on a specific instance which involved completing a large transformation project in an unprecedented time frame whilst needing to manage multiple stakeholders. Whilst it was an incredibly challenging time, Cheryl acknowledges that in having this experience she learnt a valuable lesion in leadership, adaptability and tenacity.

A key source of support has been the different communities Cheryl has participated in. Being part of the British Property Federation's Futures Advisory Board, as co-lead of the mentoring programme, provided her with immense support, mentorship, and professional development opportunities, allowing connections to be forged with senior leaders and young professionals alike, such that collaboration and mutual growth could take place. Cheryl adds “Since joining BWRE, I have also felt the contagious effects of this community which aspires to provide an uplifting and empowering environment, through its unique sisterhood”.

As Cheryl shares with us her own journey, she hopes that black women feel empowered and confident in their abilities. The industry has immense opportunities for those who are passionate and dedicated therefore, it is crucial that black women know their unique perspectives and contributions are invaluable to the industry, and they should never hesitate to bring their full selves to the table.

The Phenomenal Women campaign is sponsored by the RICS



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