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Multiple Skills Equals Success

Cambridge based Sam and Stephen Carter talk with Editor Richard Bowser

Over the years I have met many property investors, landlords and developers, and generally they fall into one of two categories. Those who have a practical background in the property build/trade and those who do not but whose expertise is more on the business and finance side. In my experience those who have skill sets in both of the above tend to achieve more as investors, while many a builder with practical skills will often create profitable projects, but without the right business acumen they will ‘earn a living’ but not much more.

Conversely, I have also met some property investors and developers who sometimes have an arrogant approach when dealing with tradespeople, with too little respect given for the skills and insights that a good builder can bring to a project.

Given the above, I was pleasantly surprised to hear more about the background of Sam Carter and his family when we met recently following on from his accolade as winner of the Commercial Development of the Year at the Property Investors Awards 2023.

As Sam and his father Stephen explained to me, it all started back in 1980 when Stephen Carter completed his City and Guilds apprenticeship as a specialised joiner, and then went on to become a foreman at some major construction sites in London, working on many well-known properties on Harley Street, Savile Road, The Ritz Carlton, Tower of London, and Harrods amongst others.

“Yes my father (Stephen) some 24 years ago went on to establish SJC building services, our sister building company based in Cambridge,” said Sam. “SJC Building Services completes high-end renovations for residential clients. Along with my brother Matthew, we had always helped out in the family business when growing up and that gave us a great understanding of how building and development works are carried out, with both of us working on site from a young age and grasping the basics before becoming multiskilled.”

As well as learning about property development in a practical manner on-site, Sam then studied business management at university and he went on to become a qualified financial adviser, where to this day he still helps people with wealth consultancy, especially with SSAS pensions. 

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