Applications for the 2022 Emerging Leaders Programme are now open, bringing together 15 mentoring pairs for 12 months of training and guidance. We took some time to catch up with a couple of last year’s participants, mentor Paul Spackman of Spackman Property and mentee Charly Baik of Christchurch City Council to get their take on the experience, including how the programme prompted a change of role (and city!) for one participant!
How did you wind up in property?
PAUL: I bought my first rental property in 1974 and have continued an interest in property ever since. It became a full time occupation in the early 2000s as an investor, developer and real estate agent.
CHARLY: I worked for a residential property management company while studying at university in economics and finance and found my passion in property. I am glad I pursued a career in property because I find myself making a real difference to the people around me and the organisations I work for, which I believe is only possible if you have the passion for it.
What study did you do?
PAUL: I graduated with a Graduate Diploma of Business Studies in Real Estate in 2010 at Massey University with a focus on alternative dispute resolution and negotiations and undertake annual verifiable and non-verifiable training for my Real Estate Licences.
CHARLY: I graduated with a Bachelor of Business Studies majoring in economics and minoring in finance at Massey University (Albany Campus, Auckland). Since moving to Christchurch in 2022, I am looking for further opportunities in development and valuation studies to complement my current line of work.
What made you apply for the Property Council Emerging Leaders Programme?
PAUL: I believe everyone should have a mentor, wanted to give something back to the industry and saw the opportunity to be part of this programme.
CHARLY: I have been looking for ways to improve myself personally and professionally as I grow and become more experienced in the property sector. Property in local government is unique and comes with “special” challenges and I knew straightaway the Property Council Emerging Leaders Programme would provide a pathway for learning and growth opportunities by being matched with an industry leader, and mentor. Getting mentored in any organisation can be challenging due to the hectic nature of property and work demands, so this was an extremely rare opportunity for me.
How was the training day and how have you found the ongoing support?
PAUL: The training day was excellent and well run despite running it during a Covid shutdown. It enabled me to learn how a mentor should work with a mentee in order to get the mentee to focus on what they wanted to achieve, what worked and for them to analyse why certain results were successful.
CHARLY: Since day one it has been very smooth despite Covid restrictions, and the Property Council has been accommodating and helpful to ensure I was supported through the mentoring process. The training day and manual were very valuable and easy to follow.
What have you gained by being part of the programme? What impact has it had?
PAUL: The biggest gain for me was seeing Charly develop his interpersonal skills and grow in confidence in his own abilities and expertise and to use the insights gained to build his career. For me, the reward was seeing the process work out as well as it has and building a relationship that will endure.
CHARLY: Being mentored by an industry leader with a very wide range of experiences in both private and public sectors, Paul showed me what I needed to do to succeed in my role and how I can potentially advance with my career. I felt stuck in my career and during this programme, I was able to move on from property management to a more specialist role in the public works realm of local government.
What was the most surprising thing you’ve learned/discovered so far?
PAUL: I was absolutely blown away that Charly was prepared to change job and move his family to a totally new location well outside his comfort zone following on from the mentoring. I certainly did not expect that!
CHARLY: I felt that Paul and I come from very different levels of life experience and naturally, I didn’t expect I could offer anything in return, we were extremely passionate about property and were able to bring out different perspectives when challenged with a question. I also found that we both realised property was about managing people and not simply all about your technical knowledge and skills.
Paul was able to see through my walls and bring out the best in me both personally and professionally during the mentoring process.
Would you recommend the Emerging Leaders Programme to others in the industry? Who to and why?
PAUL: Absolutely. I would recommend to any person that they engage with a mentor. The mentor needs to fit well the mentee and not to impose their views on the mentee, letting the mentee drive the process.
CHARLY: I would absolutely recommend the programme to anyone who is currently working in the property sector at all levels of experience. I personally believe mentoring is crucial in anyone’s career success, especially if you are in the property sector.
Any final thoughts?
PAUL: The fact that Charly was prepared to open up to me about the issues that were really stressing and concerning him, made a huge difference, so I would urge any mentee to be prepared to be honest and open about their situation.
CHARLY: This programme has allowed me to explore different opportunities and ultimately advance a career which I would have never thought was possible. I would like to say to all mentees out there, that this programme will only be as successful as you make it. If you have a strong desire to succeed, then don’t hesitate and open yourself up to your mentor as the most authentic self you can be, otherwise it will only be a barrier to your growth. I have been open and vulnerable to my mentor which allowed me to build confidence, work on my weakness and guided me to where I am today.
Interested in giving back to the industry or building your career?
Applications for the 2022 Emerging Leaders Programme are now open, closing on 15 July 2022.