Vivian Hoelzl, head of property operations at Kooky, on how she got started in property, her industry likes and dislikes and her advice for young people. She also shares some of her cultural recommendations.
What do you value in people?
I value honesty. Always treat others how you would like to be treated. I also value integrity. Sometimes in our industry, we just need the candid truth in order to achieve our goals as time is always of the essence.
What do you like most about yourself?
I have a strong sense of commitment and once my mind and heart are settled on something, I will stick to it.
What does your job entail?
No day is the same – you could almost say it is a new adventure every day. Generally, however, I ensure the smooth sailing of Kooky projects from completion all the way through lease up to stabilisation and beyond. This includes looking after all operational processes, our amazing customer-care team and, of course, our residents.
How did you join the property industry?
When I was little, I used to tell my dad that people would always need somewhere to live. As soon as I got out of school, I studied real estate and started working in a boutique office in Munich. Thereafter, I wanted to see the big wide world, but didn’t make it very far – I just love London too much.
What do you like most about the property industry?
Variety. I think you can meet someone working in the property industry, but they will be doing something completely different to you, so there are many ways to start your journey and evolve throughout.
And what do you dislike most about it?
As we are dealing with people’s homes, the industry never sleeps. Therefore, you have to be strict with yourself to ensure you have the right work-life balance.
What barriers or challenges have you overcome?
At the beginning, it was challenging to live and try to get a new job in a different country with only limited experience. It was not easy, but I have been very lucky over the past few years. I have had wonderful managers who have supported me along the way.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I am very proud and humbled to have been given so many opportunities to grow over the years. This has ultimately allowed me to achieve my current role at this age.
What advice would you give someone starting a career in the property industry?
Work hard, play hard. Be open-minded and curious and try to learn from others as much as you can. Make sure you nurture your relationships as the property world is small, and you will most likely meet more than once!
What do you want to change about the property industry?
The term ‘landlord’ is often associated with something negative; a lot of tenants have had bad experiences. It is important to continuously work hard to show them that you truly care and really want to make sure they have the best experience.