Common goals and openness are crucial to successful cooperation in real estate management

Three years ago, when I started working as an account manager for one of our larger clients, I was full of enthusiasm for the challenges ahead. During that time, we have developed our common activities in a tremendously open and collaborative spirit. As I see it, the key to successful client collaboration is clear shared goals that we strive to achieve every day.

Collaboration requires an active approach from the start

At Realia, we offer a wide range of property management services, such as housing rental and sales, managing, rental receivables and accounting services and housing management. As I took on my new role, I had a lot to learn. I decided that I would take an active approach to my client from the beginning, asking a lot of questions and taking the initiative with things. I believe that my being active continues to pay off as a way of showing a keen interest in my client’s operations. To get a clearer grasp of the overall picture and the client’s operating environment, I also keep in close contact with the client’s stakeholders.

Development ideas, best practices and listening to the client

One part of the role of account manager is actively considering how to develop our operations and processes. I am also expected to present development ideas and examples, such as accelerating the process of service provision. We are currently working together to develop a reporting tool that meets the client’s needs, and a mobile app for electronic services.

One of the best moments in my work is when we have introduced a new approach that proves to work well and immediately makes a difference to the client.

As a major player in our field, we actively monitor the housing market and conduct regular surveys. Presenting the market trends and signals to my client is very rewarding.  

Part of the development work entails actively listening to the client’s needs and responding to them, drawing on the expertise of Realia and our network. For example, we offer my client a fully tailored housing sales service package based on their specific needs, for which we sought the right partners in our network and developed a well-functioning operating model.

Trust comes from transparency and collaboration

For successful cooperation, it is important to develop things with the client and progress in the same direction. At Realia, we are experts in our services and it is important that our clients can trust us. One key to success is that the client can openly share their information and data with us.

Things do not always go as planned, however, and sometimes we also have to communicate bad news to our clients. In these situations, I believe that transparency is crucial. Things are dealt with together, and agreement is reached on corrective measures and how to handle things in the future. In these situations too, it is important to stay positive – it helps in dealing constructively with the situation at hand.  

I have always wanted to build an open and close relationship with my client. We are in touch with each other every day, informally as well as through meetings.

Sari Seppänen has worked at Realia for eight years, and for the last three years has been responsible for one of Realia Management’s larger clients.