Future leaders: Sarah, Sophie and Yohance discuss their nominations for BPF Futures Tomorrow’s Leaders Awards

Posted on: 2019-05-01

A current UCEM student, alumna and Associate Tutor will find out if they have won an award at the BPF Futures Tomorrow’s Leader’s Awards ceremony tomorrow (2 May).

MSc Real Estate student, Sarah Hayford is in the running for the BPF [British Property Federation] Futures Promoting the Industry Award while Sophie Walker (MSc Real Estate, 2014-16) is among the nominees for the BPF Futures LandAid Award.

Our Associate Tutor, Yohance Harper is one of the nominees for the BPF Futures Diversity & Inclusion Award too.

To find out more, we asked Sarah, Sophie and Yohance a few questions about their nomination and what it would mean to win…

Sarah Hayford

Sarah Hayford, who began her studies with UCEM last year, is the Founder of The Land Collective – an online platform aiming to engage young people with the property market and the built environment.

– How did your nomination come about?

SH: Quite a few people that work on the platform with me work in the property and built environment industry already. My nomination came from one of the first people I spoke to when I started it when I was getting people involved just over two years ago. I believe that they have seen the growth and development of The Land Collective from a verbal idea through to what it is now and thought that it warranted a nomination, which is a really nice thought.

– How did you find out?

SH: I received an email from Harvin Chohan [current UCEM apprentice], the Chair of British Property Federation Futures (BPF Futures), saying that I’d been nominated and was invited to the Houses of Parliament to celebrate – I was so excited and overwhelmed as I’m not formally even working in the property industry yet! It was nice to feel recognised by my side project. I’d always seen awards like these but didn’t think I’d ever be nominated or involved!

– What would it mean to you to win?

It would mean a lot to me and it’s really a great feeling just to be nominated! Both a nomination and a win means that my work behind the platform, the platform itself and all those who work hard on it with me get a sense of recognition by such an important professional body within the property and built environment industry, which is absolutely incredible!

Even if I don’t win, the potential exposure that the platform will receive would be amazing – even if people only glance at the website once!

Sophie Walker

Sophie Walker is a Senior Surveyor at Gerald Eve LLP – a real estate advisory business headquartered in London.

– How did your nomination come about?

SW: I was nominated by the head of Gerald Eve’s HR department, who kindly referred the matter of writing up a testimony to our external public relations advisor. I was also nominated a second time by Jeremy Leahy, who is the graduate at Gerald Eve’s Manchester office and a fellow BPF Futures member, who sat at the recent round table held in Manchester.

– Why do you think you were nominated?

SW: I have been a LandAid [property industry charity supporting life-changing projects for young people facing homelessness] ambassador since 2016, but I was asked to take the role of lead ambassador for the north west in late 2017, after a number of successful fundraising events. I am now very privileged to sit on the north west board and assist wherever I can. Over the years, I have helped organise a number of fundraising events, including the Manchester Property Quiz, which is now a headline yearly event and I have just started a successful property treasure hunt, which is running for the second time in June this year, with already 20 teams registered. Alongside my fellow north west ambassadors, last year, we were able to raise over £6,000 for LandAid.

Furthermore, this year, it has been my personal target to increase the number of ambassadors in the north west. Due to the popularity of the 2018 events and by always promoting LandAid’s great work through site visits and informal drinks events, I have successfully recruited 15 new ambassadors, when previously there were only five of us. The more people involved really makes a huge difference and ensures that we are all able to make sure that LandAid is always at the forefront of north west property industry.

– How did you find out and were you surprised?

Whilst I knew I was being nominated, as people kindly asked me for details of the work I have been doing for LandAid, I only knew I was shortlisted for the award a couple of weeks ago, when I received an email from BPF Futures announcing the shortlist in advance of it being made public. It should be a fantastic event, held at the Houses of Parliament, and it will be really wonderful to meet all the others that are nominated for all their individually fantastic reasons.

– What would it mean to you to win?

It would be a real honour to win the award, but I know the other people in the category are all fully deserving also. It is an honour to be an ambassador for LandAid – a brilliant organisation that is successfully working towards its goal of ending youth homelessness. Any little we can all do, goes a really long way.


Yohance Harper is Associate Director – Investment Advisory at commercial real estate services and investment firm, CBRE, as well as a Tutor at three universities, including UCEM where he is an Associate Tutor on the Valuations, Investment, Property Management and Property Transactions modules.

  • Why do you think you were nominated?

YH: I was nominated based on my work though various industry roles to encourage equal opportunities (top down) and career awareness (bottom up) for students. In my work at CBRE, I am on the Junior Board as Head of Schools Outreach. I am Schools and University Subcommittee Chairman for RICS and take on this additional responsibility on top of my main job and roles as an Honorary Lecturer at UCL, Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths, University of London and, of course, Associate Tutor at UCEM.

  • How did you find out and were you surprised?

YH: I was informed by email and was surprised as I’m aware of the huge amount of work being undertaken by others and the quality of the submissions.

  • What would it mean to you to win?

YH: Winning would add gravitas to what I do with the schools program thereby attracting more attention from volunteers and school.


Best of luck to Sarah, Sophie and Yohance! The awards evening takes place at 6pm tomorrow. For more about the awards, visit www.bpf.org.uk/media-listing/press-releases/bpf-futures-tomorrow%E2%80%99s-leaders-awards-nominees-revealed