EXPERIENCE Makers caught up with two high flyers, both of whom work for property front runners MAPP, to find out why they enrolled and what they gained from participating in the CX in Property – Future Leaders Programme.
Nikki Yates (pictured right) , MAPP’s newly hired Head of Occupier Services, took part along with Senior Surveyor, Lorena Calinov (pictured left), and agreed that the course dovetailed brilliantly with their aims and ambitions at work.
MAPP’s V2.0 property management strategy puts customer experience front and centre and both Nikki and Lorena – though coming from different backgrounds and from different strands of the business – felt the Future Leaders Programme demonstrated how customers were at the core of everything they do.
So why did they enrol on the course?
Lorena said she had wanted to do some studying and had looked around for suitable options. Nothing seemed to grab her until MAPP Senior Executive Director, Polly Plunkett Checkemian – a keen follower of Experience Makers – pointed her in the direction of the Future Leaders Programme.
Lorena said: “I had a lot of experience in residential and mixed use property management and really enjoyed working with the residents. The company I was with at the time supported my desire to set up focus groups with leaseholders so they could have a say in the management of the scheme they were part of. It was hard work, but rewarding to work directly with residents.
I’m more interested in the human side of property management
“’While RICS is a very important organisation in our industry and offers great guidance to surveyors, it doesn’t offer enough in terms of developing relationships. I’m more interested in the human side of property management and how we make buildings and services work for our occupiers. I was looking for something different, something which would help me make an impact.
“MAPP want us to grow and develop and that’s why I admire Polly. She wants us to be ourselves, to see the human side of property and one of the things which I enjoyed about the course was that it showed us how the industry has moved away from being only about bricks and mortar.”
Nikki Yates came to MAPP with 15 years’ experience as a property litigator, having started out in the industry as a property manager and then training as a solicitor.
She said: “My previous role as a property litigator was about legal expertise and dispute resolution, but I always enjoyed the relationship-building side of property management and was delighted to join MAPP in a role which demonstrates how seriously they take customer experience.
It fitted perfectly with the way I want to do things around setting up a customer experience strategy.
“I was only eight weeks into my new job, so the course turned out to be perfect timing. Basically, the Future Leaders Programme looked just like my role! It fitted perfectly with the way I want to do things around setting up a customer experience strategy.
“The advice was excellent and mirrored the discussions I have had at MAPP. Write your plan, be positive, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and adapt. Communicate it, get to know your customers and empower your people to deliver it. You can’t decide things based simply on ideas which come out of your London HQ.
“MAPP are very serious about customer experience; my role alone speaks volumes for that. We have fabulous on-site teams and they need to be empowered because what suits a swanky building in London isn’t necessarily what suits an industrial site in mid-Wales.”
What were the key takeaways?
It was inspiring!
“There were lots of things,” she said. “Professor Barnes on the historical context was fascinating, and , Dr Danielle Sanderson proved the link between customer experience and the bottom line. There was a great range of speakers, all of whom were walking the talk. It was inspiring!”
Lorena also found the programme to be engaging and motivating.
The resources and checklists that were provided were extremely helpful
“The resources and checklists that were provided were extremely helpful and it has been really great to have a space where we can talk about work but in a completely different environment,” she said.
“The definition of customer experience is much wider than I anticipated and I know now that we are all involved in it, whatever part of the business we may work in. For example, the occupier handbooks we provide – they are part of the experience and yet, they are also part of my job as a surveyor.
I have swapped contact details and I am sure I will catch up with other participants in the future.
“Having the course over a number of weeks has also helped me build a rapport with the other participants. I have swapped contact details and I am sure I will catch up with them in the future. I’ve even started reading books – and I want to talk to people about them! It was good to feel part of something and at the start of something.
“It was challenging because you had to engage with the speakers and also think and reflect on how what they were saying would work in your own company, or how you do things personally. But it was extremely well done and I would definitely recommend it to friends and colleagues.”
– able to use this resource to assist in driving change through the business and ensuring our focus remains firmly on user experience.”
Senior Executive Director, Rob Stark, said: “MAPP are delighted to continue supporting both Experience Makers and the Future Leaders programme. We sincerely believe that a customer-centric approach is the best place to start delivering excellence in service, and this course provides a substantial jumping off point in that regard.
“Both Nikki, as Head of Occupier Engagement, and Lorena, as a Senior Surveyor — closely involved in the delivery of consultancy services —, will be able to use this resource to assist in driving change through the business and ensuring our focus remains firmly on user experience.”
For more information, on the Future Leaders Programme see here
Experience Makers are the real estate industry champion for customer experience education and research.