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Collaboration – the key to a successful real estate ecosystem

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Hong Kong’s real estate industry operates within a unique ecosystem. Stakeholders need to collaborate, so they are aware of each other, know what they are doing and leverage opportunities where possible - and ultimately thrive. As a built environment professional, this sentiment resonates with Yuan Zhang, Senior Manager of Project Management. From valuation and sourcing capital for investment to finding occupiers, she understands the importance of where disciplines cross; there is a need to find synergy. This speaks directly to her role at Colliers, where she works with different business lines. To find out more, we take five minutes with Yuan to see how she is collaborating to accelerate the success of our clients and our people.

How did you get into real estate?

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for being creative and trying to innovate. My educational background led me to architectural design and then urban development. However, while practicing at various design agencies, I realised that the business rationale behind urban development fascinated me more. I have been fortunate enough to be involved in high-level decision-making processes with a real estate developer, looking at significant projects. From there, I discovered that real estate is one of the most powerful drivers for a modern urban development and this led to a pivot in my career to the business side of the real estate industry.

Tell us more about your role at Colliers.

I do client services and business development. I work closely with the Project Management team to understand our clients’ needs, develop growth strategies, expand our client base and identify new business opportunities. My role also allows me to collaborate with colleagues across service lines and the wider APAC region.

What has your experience been like so far with Colliers?

As a relatively new joiner, the thing that has been most pleasing is how open and welcoming everyone has been. People are always ready to help and support what I need to do; time can be a precious commodity, so for people to be so responsive is something I have really appreciated.

There are also some nice initiatives I have been invited to be a part of. I was asked to join the CSR Focus Group, with a remit to look at sustainability and what this means for our business and people here in Hong Kong. I have also taken part in some small employee-led boot camps; I love that this is a part of the culture here.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love exploring the city. Having lived in Beijing, London and Hong Kong, I have had the pleasure of experiencing some of the most amazing cities in the world - street life and local culture are always so inspiring for me. Living in Hong Kong allows me to enjoy the best cuisine and the natural scenery. During COVID, I have taken up cooking, which leads me to embrace a heathier lifestyle.

Tell us one thing you are focussed on this year.

There are a lot of skilled experts in the Colliers business in Hong Kong. They have a lot of knowledge, experience, and most importantly, strong relationships with clients. I am challenged with trying to develop new business, but there is also the potential to connect existing clients to some of our other service lines. This does not need to be an integrated offering, but Colliers has such a strong platform there is an opportunity to make sure we’re providing the best possible service and level of care to all our clients. I’d like to bring this closer to the front of our people’s minds; in our current ecosystem, it would be easy to achieve as we have great relationships and a culture of collaboration.