Francesca Brady, chief executive of proptech company AirRated, on how she got started in property. She also shares her cultural tips, the celebrity she’d most like to meet and the superpower she wishes she had.
How did you join the property industry?
After university, I joined a small proptech company that connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices to a cloud platform. It was worlds away from the environmental science I had studied – it was only when I found out that some of these data feeds were indoor air quality (IAQ) that these worlds then collided.
What does your job entail?
My primary role is steering the company and executing its goals and vision. The parts I enjoy most are promoting the AirRated brand and increasing awareness and knowledge about indoor air quality.
What do you like most about the property industry?
The people. I have found some of the most supportive people in the property industry.
What do you dislike most about the property industry?
The pace of change.
What do you want to change about the industry?
The image – the property industry is notorious for being exclusive and dominated by men. But it’s more progressive than ever at the moment and that needs to be shouted about, so more people feel like it’s an inclusive industry to work in.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
Establishing the company. It’s not easy starting out; it takes time to build a company’s reputation and brand. Landing a few ‘big names’ really is the turning point.
What are you most proud of in your career?
What I’m doing right now! I was also very proud to be named on Forbes’ ‘30 Under 30’ list this year.
What do you like most about yourself?
The fact that I haven’t felt the need to become ‘tougher’ or ‘more assertive’ just to meet the senior management ideal.
What do you value most in people?
Hard work. In a small company that is growing quickly, it is hugely valuable to have people on board who are willing to go above and beyond what is ‘normal’.
A willingness to help is also very important – whether that comes in the form of advice, sharing the workload burden or just being there for a chat.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
Take time to build your network. If you hear a great podcast or panel event, get in touch with those people as you never know where it might lead.