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The Money or the Lifestyle

by Rita Avdiev - Managing Director, Avdiev Group - published in Australian and New Zealand Property Journal, the official journal of the Australian Property Institute and the Property Institute of New Zealand, July 2015 Vol. 5 / No. 2

At every stage of a property executive’s career there are decisions to be made about the future.

There’s the potential for promotion and the changes they bring in responsibilities, workload and team size.  There’s associated opportunities and challenges to influence the company’s business model, bottom line, culture, market standing, as well as its disruptability.  The executive could seek a  secure place in the company’s future, or a stint on the sidelines while searching for a more rewarding, less pressured role.

Could these choices lead or contribute to a mid-career existential crisis?  Questioning values, sense of purpose and level of happiness can be healthy.  These are easy to lose in the frenzy of deadlines, budgets, and client demands.  The 24/7 work cycle can make for a very stressful existence for older workers with families and responsibilities beyond the work environment, especially for executives in organisations with offices and clients in other tie zones, with the never ending stream of emails at all hours of the day and night.

As pressures mount, choices become clearer - stay on the treadmill or leave.  Is setting up a consultancy at home the answer?  Enticing articles about teleworking from a beach in Bali don’t mention the loneliness of not working in a team, the constant need to search for assignments to keep the cash flow going. There’s the isolation of being away from the CBD or other business hubs with their coffee shops, buzzing ideas and social interaction or the business opportunities just from bumping into someone in the street.  Is loss of relevance a threat?

At the other end of the executive spectrum, the never ending stream of emails, texts and tweets are the lifeblood of digital connectedness for young professionals.  For them, the pressure of complexity of business in the 21st Century  - with its rapid developments in fintech (financial technology), propertytech, and all those other ‘techs’ that are just over the horizon - add to their need for engagement, empowerment and sense of purpose.  They welcome disruption, and are keen to make it happen or see it in their organisation.

Their short term loyalty to an employer is legendary. “Two years and they’re gone” is a frequent lament.  They are a socially conscious lot, they value challenging work, autonomy, frequent positive evaluation and regular pay reviews – always up!  They also rebel against the lack of work/life balance and, if they can, they will take career breaks to volunteer in third world countries, hike through the Himalayas or fight for or against the latest cause they find on social media.

Generation Y seem not just to want, but expect to change the world, while still being able to experience it, with a decent wage to top it all off.  

They are the property leaders of the future. Will they preserve the status quo or continue the revolution?

Your Brand and You

by Rita Avdiev - Managing Director, Avdiev Group - published in Australian and New Zealand Property Journal, the official journal of the Australian Property Institute and the Property Institute of New Zealand, June 2014 Vol. 14 / No. 6

“You’re simply the best, better than all the rest” – is self belief an ego trip or an essential tool in the personal survival kit of the 21st Century?

Can this be built into a personal brand, and can it be extended into the creation and development of a company – your company?

The Brand has a long history, starting as proof of ownership stamped on livestock, evolving through hallmarks and trademarks, becoming a crucial demarcation in a rapidly growing and increasingly crowded post industrial marketplace where product differentiation became vital.

The Brand was firmly established when the emerging titans of the early 20the Century – think Henry Ford, J.P.\Morgan – used their personal passions to promote their products and services. They dominated their market sectors, their names became synonymous with their products – the motor car and financial services and investment.

Advertising agencies were not far behind, working on marketing and brand loyalty slogans.

Professional associations, offspring of ancient guilds, formed to protect the collective brand of each vocation, created ethical constraints and imposed strict controls on their members, especially on advertising their services.

But the entrepreneurial spirits pushed the envelope, the rules, watered down the power of the controls and sold their products and services to their hearts content. The powerful legacy Brands, created in the 20the Century, survived the exit of the founder, mergers with other companies, name changes, a new mix of service offerings, and the occasional demise of a dud CEO.

Brand management has been the key. This is a new profession in charge of the intangible assets of a company, promoting its image quality, values, client relationships and services.

But the Brand Manager is not the business development manager. That work is left to the skilled promoters, the consummate networkers, who can sniff out new business, cut out the competition and get the deals done.

How much does their personal Brand contribute to success? How was this Brand created? The confident ones, projecting a personal presence of intelligence, maturity, emotional control and great charm have worked on their Brand for years, some building on a foundation of innate ability, others by watching role models and their body language, their adaptability to the situation.

Social media can be friend of foe to your personal Brand, as well as your Company. The latest too, but not the last, in your survival kit, the Selfie, the Tweet, the Profile, the Blog, can enhance or damage or destroy your credibility.

When your employer is under attaché by social media, do you duck for cover or fight back, 140 characters at a time?

How much have you relied on your employer’s image of integrity and good name to enhance your own? It is easy for a personal Brand to be subserved by a powerful company Brand, cutting loose can be an act of cowardice or of survival. Loyalty is laudable, but rebuilding one’s Brand is essential. It’s brag or die!

In this Age of Me, modesty and moderation is so yesterday, self promotion is soooo cool! Rise phoenix like from the ashes and fly into a new incarnation, your new Brand.