For Andy Harsanto, in order for us to always best serve our clients and survive in this industry, we need to be open to learning different soft and hard skills, and adapt within this business environment.
How long have you been in the real estate industry? How did you get involved in the real estate industry?
I have been in this industry for 25 years. However, I didn’t purposely get into the real estate business in the first place. I started my career in the IT business as a programmer. The company that I was working for had a project related to real estate in 1995. At that time, we had one of the biggest contractors in Indonesia as a client and we supplied them with our IT products related to elevators, such as lift installation for offices, malls, etc. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to handle more projects related to the property business while I was still working at the IT company. So, I was familiar enough with real estate before I began to purely work in the real estate management sector in 2004.
What do you think is the most effective way to build your client's trust in you, your team and in Colliers?
In REMS, we agreed to adhere to all of Colliers’ values, and I will underline points that I think are the most important for us to keep in mind while working with clients. The first and the most important one is to do what’s right. We need to have integrity and honesty.
The second one is to be enterprising; we need to be disciplined and honour our commitments. I believe if we promise anything to our clients, we need to do our best to deliver. However, if in the long run, we discover any challenges and fail to deliver on our commitments, we need to inform our clients and come up with a good solution as soon as possible to avoid disappointing them.
The other is to collaborate. Constantly improving the quality of our service, to not only build our clients’ trust, but also build satisfaction in the service that we deliver. That is important and it has never been easy as takes consistency from all team members.
Most memorable experience of REMS during the pandemic?
During this pandemic, most of the REMS team members have been working on every portfolio that we manage, while most of the other departments are working from home. Moreover, at the beginning of the pandemic, we were quite occupied with a lot of preparation regarding the new protocols, mitigation of risks, emergency plans, etc. It was quite complicated and challenging for the team. However, I think we have handled the challenges well. We are also thankful that most of our portfolios are residential, because during this pandemic, real estate-wise, this sector is currently using our services more than other sectors since most of the residential tenants are working from home. So, in general, we feel more appreciated by our clients and building tenants during this pandemic. Part of our services is to ensure that all facilities in the building are working well while people are home most of the time these days.
Do you have any professional advice for anyone who has just started their career, especially in real estate management?
For me, it is really important to have integrity and discipline. This industry, especially in Jakarta, is narrow. Once you make a mistake, it is hard to exist in this industry in the future. I think this value doesn’t just apply to this industry but also to every business and company.
In REMS, we can describe ourselves as managing our own company, so the skills that are needed here are not only technical skills but include several other skills. The first one is character; the second are soft skills such as leadership, teamwork and good communication; and the third are technical skills such as engineering, licensing, legislation, management vendor, finance, etc. We even need to learn about human resources, because in one project, we might manage not only 5 to 10 persons but sometimes hundreds of employees depending on the property’s class.
In my opinion, it could be really hard to grow or succeed if you are only skilled in one area. Once you get into any business, it’s important for you to be open to learning other soft and hard skills and adapt with the business environment.
You have been working in the industry for more than 20 years. What do you like the most about your job?
To be honest, I still have a lot of interest in the IT business. I am still a gamer and am drawn to anything related to technology. However, at some point, my curiosity is not only about technical things. In REMS, I learned a lot about management and business overall. Another aspect I like about working here is that I can interact and build networks with a lot of different sectors, from vendors, customers and clients, to owners and developers. On the other hand, we also have opportunities to share our knowledge with our juniors and it has now become one of my aspirations to educate others in this sector about property.
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