Lily Nash, director of transformation at FirstPort, on how she got started in property, the challenges she has overcome and her advice for young people. She also shares some of her cultural recommendations.

Lily Nash FirstPort

Lily Nash FirstPort

What do you value in people?

Authenticity, loyalty and – crucially – positivity!

What does your job entail?

As transformation director, I support several exciting projects as part of our operational and digital strategy, with the aim of increasing choice and flexibility and finding new ways to meet customer demand. I also lead our customer experience centre, where I focus on making sure our service hits the mark.

How did you join the property industry?

After 10 years working in retail, hospitality and energy, I wanted something new and thought about where my skills would fit. Property management comes down to understanding how people live and what they want from their homes so although the job might be different, the emphasis on the customer is the same.

What do you like most about the property industry?

Property is fast-paced and everything we do revolves around people, so each day is different. Home is such an important part of our lives, so when it comes to making a difference, you really can’t beat working in property.

And what do you dislike most about it?

Property management can be seen as a bit technical or inflexible, but we are busting those myths and showing that it’s all about people. Providing confidence, clarity and choice for customers is FirstPort’s ethos, but at the less professional end of the market, those standards aren’t always upheld. We need to change that.

What barriers or challenges have you overcome?

Since joining FirstPort, I’ve worked hard to really understand our customers and get to know the whole business. The pandemic has changed so much in people’s day-to-day lives. I’m proud of the way we’ve adapted and made sure we’ve kept delivering for customers.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I’ve never been afraid to make bold moves and take calculated risks. I try to think broadly about the job I do and consider what skills and experience I’ll need for the future. So far, that mindset has served me pretty well.

What advice would you give someone starting a career in property?

Think like a customer. You need to balance technical expertise with an understanding of what people really care about. Keep focusing on people and you can’t go far wrong. That should be at the forefront of everything.

What do you want to change about the property industry?

Property managers don’t only look after bricks-and-mortar, but communities, too – some big, some small. Bringing people together is a huge part of our role and as we find new ways to connect, I want us to keep building relationships with the people at the heart of our sector.