(Image source: Property Council Australia. L to R: Miriam Salter (Pritchard Francis), Tom Greenwell (Investec), Sasha Kovic (Frasers Property), Tomas Lancini (Lancini Property & Development) and Kate Angus (Speirs Ryan)).
The Property Council of Australia recently asked five young development industry leaders what their secret is to building a rewarding career.
When asked for her perspective, Structural Project Leader Miriam Salter had the following to say:
1. What drove you towards a career in property?
My education in engineering sparked my interest in the property industry. I enjoy working with architects and design teams to create interesting buildings, which are usually accompanied with challenging engineering problems, requiring creative solutions.
2. What has been your biggest career lesson so far?
Being more self-aware in my communication methods, including the delivery of what I am trying to say. Last year, I had a 360 degree review completed, and it was really eye opening in terms of how I was being perceived by different people I engage with. From that, I recognised that it was essential for me to focus on communicating with my peers and project architects. I've worked on ensuring that I'm not only concerned with the technical aspects of a project, but also listening intently to understand the final outcome that the client is trying to achieve. This may not always be the best structural solution, but it achieves the best overall project outcome.
3. What trend are you trying to get your head around, or do you think the industry's established leaders need to better understand?
Value for money versus cost of fees that is currently driving engagement of consultants is a key area I'm focusing on. At Pritchard Francis, our team spends more time and effort to deliver the best solution for the project, which often results in the client saving significant amounts of money on construction costs (often around 10%). Many experienced clients understand this, and that it takes more input into the design to achieve greater savings on the whole. Despite the opportunities to save money from better designs, many clients choose to progress with the cheapest fee and do not end up with the best building. It has become increasingly common for us to be engaged to provide value engineering later in the design process, when we could have had a far greater impact if engaged earlier in the process.
4. How important has networking been to your career? What tips do you have for other up-and-coming members of the property sector?
Networking is very important in my career; it gives me the opportunity to get to know my clients in a more social environment. People tend to want to work with their friends, so by getting to know your team and getting along with them, this really builds on the relationship. It's also an opportunity to talk about relevant topics I'm really passionate about and gives clients a confidence in my abilities to deliver their projects. My advice for others would be to make the time and effort to attend networking events. When you are really busy, I think people can tend to skip the events, but I think it's really important to still make the time to go.
For more information about Miriam, visit her bio page on our website, or call our office to speak with her today.