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Matt Forrest – Chief Executive at Thirteen Group

There isn’t just one path into the housing sector. And with the wealth of experiences many bring in from outside of the sector, this can be a huge positive.

In this episode, we sit down with Matt Forrest, Chief Executive at Thirteen Group. Matt joined the landlord and housing developer around 7 months ago, and we find out how his experience has been so far.

Matt has had what he describes as a ‘squiggly career’. He started out as a geography teacher and has taken on a variety of roles before reaching the housing sector. We discover what skills and experiences from outside of the sector he’s been able to apply to housing. He also offers advice for any future leaders coming into the sector from outside of housing.

Thirteen prides itself on customer satisfaction. We speak at length about what the organisation is doing to ensure that customers are satisfied and feel at home while retaining human touchpoints. Matt explains Thirteen’s approach to ‘good growth’, which allows them to expand while bringing customers everything they need.

We also cover the £300 million property investment that Thirteen has committed to over the next 5 years and the Homes England grant. We speak about funding, how the sector can afford to build at the rate it needs to and whether or not our data on our housing stock is accurate enough to make the right investments.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The value of utilising outside-of-sector experience.
  • Comparing linear career paths with ‘squiggly’ careers.
  • What has changed in the sector over the last 30 years?
  • How to grow sensibly and retain the human element.
  • Is our data on our housing stock accurate enough to make the right investments?
  • How do we fund the growing need for new housing stock?
  • Advice for future leaders coming into the sector.