According to our expert, Monica Koesnovagril, working in this industry has been a constant source of excitement since she joined the business more than 20 years ago. With her Advisory Services team, she handles several projects in various sectors, and feels that the challenges they face are different for every project. She encourages her team to always focus on delivering services to clients in a professional manner, in order to build clients’ trust.
How long have you been in the real estate industry and how did you get involved in the industry?
I started at Colliers Jardine at the end of 1993. At that time, Colliers was recruiting people to join as consultants and I tried to join without knowing anything about property industry. I think the reason Colliers recruited me was because I graduated from management school. At that time, Colliers needed someone who had a background in management, marketing, and finance, so I was suitable for the job. After being recruited, I learned about the property industry from scratch. It was really a whole new world for me, and I have learned a lot since then. I have never thought about moving to another industry.
You have been working in the industry for more than 27 years. What do you like the most about your job?
Short story about my time at work: I started in 1993 and have worked until now, but in the process, there were times when I resigned from the company to be a full time mother. I joined a KJPP company that is now our valuation partner, but not as a full time employee. I resigned completely after a year to take care of my children. I’m not sure just when, but around 13 to 15 years ago Pak Mike asked me to rejoin the company, starting with being a part-time employee. In the period between resigning and rejoining the company, I did some freelance projects related to property. So I have always been in the real estate industry.
Why do I like to work as an advisory consultant? My team and I produce feasibility and market studies all of the time. It looks like repetitive work to those who don’t know the details, but for us the projects are always different, so the challenges we face are different for every project. I don’t think I would find this kind of experience at other company. I know more than enough before I finish one project and move to another project. What makes it more challenging is that the property sector is always moving and adapting to the situation, and the trend is always changing. If we look at the sectors our team is working on, we have projects from office, retail, industrial, residential, hotel, etc. We all need to keep up with the market trends. I think this is what excites me, and I have never felt bored with the work.
Do you have any professional advice for anyone who has just started their career, especially in the real estate industry, or advisory?
You have to love this job and never stop learning. If you think that you know everything, you will find that your job is not interesting and boring.
From what I have observed, there are occasions when someone feels they have learned enough about one sector. They think they won’t get a chance to upgrade their knowledge if they stay in the industry, for example in Advisory Services, since all they will do is make feasibility and market studies.
In my opinion, yes, that’s what will happen, Advisory Services will focus on feasibility and market studies over and over. But, like I said before, you will face different challenges in the future and the way you analyze the projects will always be different. That’s how you learn.
And if I may add one thing that is interesting about this job. I am grateful that I am doing this job in Indonesia. We handle a lot of areas and projects spread throughout Indonesia, and sometimes my team and I get to travel to areas in Indonesia that we are not familiar with, and that is really fascinating for us.
Since the pandemic, what has been the biggest challenge the Advisory team has faced?
We usually visit the location of every Advisory project ourselves, but we can’t really do that since the pandemic hit. For example, we recently had a project in Semarang, and some other cities. Even after eight months of the pandemic, I’m still not comfortable with letting my team visit locations, except for projects in Jabodetabek. However, we have found ways to get around that challenge by hiring local surveyors.
What is the best way to build clients’ trust in you, your team and in Colliers?
Work results and integrity. This is specifically for Advisory, so it might be different in other departments. Advisory is paid to determine if the projects are marketable, or feasible. There are times when other parties dispute our opinions, but as long as you can show your clients that you build your reports in a professional way, and the results can be trusted, I think trust in our services will grow, and clients will have no doubt about using our service in the future. I think it’s similar to how we trust our doctor. We will return to the same doctor if we get a good result the first time we visited them.
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