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The Entrepreneurial Spirit. Can you live without it?

03 February 2020

The Entrepreneurial Spirit. Can you live without it?

The commercial property sector is crying out for passionate, enterprising individuals


What a difference a few years make in the world of Asset and Fund Management.

It wasn’t long ago that the role of the client-side manager was relatively passive.  ‘Steady as she goes’ was the watchword.  All that was needed to keep assets delivering sound returns was a passive, yet firm hand on the tiller.

How things have changed.  Today, property and fund-management companies demand the maximum return from yield shifts.  More than ever, value-add is fundamental towards maximising capital value.  The principal requirement now is to sweat assets from every possible angle, making the role of the portfolio/asset manager absolutely critical.

Real estate asset managers, unlike their brothers in equities and bonds, have to define and execute on property-level opportunities.  They need to be shrewd and alert to opportunities, using their skill and experience to optimise property values.

But it’s not just on the client-side. Candidates on the consultancy-side who self-generate fees have, for years, commanded higher salaries and bonuses.  They earn faster promotion too.  This applies especially to transaction-led sectors across Agency, Investment and Development where the ability to generate new business through winning clients and structuring transactions are core to being a success.

So, it’s no surprise that a key trait that every candidate needs to possess and convey is the spirit of the entrepreneur.


What exactly do we mean by ‘the Entrepreneurial Spirit’?

When considering candidates, employers increasingly look for someone who:-

  •  is goal-oriented

  • knows how to drive value

  • isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty

  • is happy to pick up the phone and cold call

  • has great communication skills

  • has a creative approach to getting things done

  • has a “can-do” attitude

  • adapts readily to new circumstances

  • knows how to lead teams


“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go”

– T.S. Eliot

Some say that bringing an entrepreneurial spirit to a role comes with risks.  Who’s to say that an innovative new employee won’t rock the boat or fly off at a tangent?  But is this necessarily a bad thing?  Provided employers make clear from the start, the goals, boundaries and accountability, then a creative, innovative employee will surely bring positive outcomes.

In truth, real estate businesses, from boutique private practices, to global fund managers, are increasingly cultivating environments in which independent spirits thrive.  They place their employees into positions where they look after their territory as though it’s their own business.  These days, employers rate passion highly.  The burning desire to achieve is a key characteristic in any successful candidate’s portfolio.

Failure – key to a successful entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is certainly the buzz-word of the moment.  But no-one decides overnight to become a successful entrepreneur, waking up the next morning as Lord Sugar’s business partner.  In the world of commercial property, there are plenty of success stories of Surveyors quickly climbing the ranks to shape and create new ventures for property consultancies or investment managers, some even capitalising on their success to establish their own successful companies. But behind each of these are the challenges, the discipline, the late nights, the heart-ache and yes – the failures. Often, the most successful candidates cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit through trial and error. But no-one would argue that trying and failing to deliver value is worse than not trying at all.

Failure, therefore, is an admirable attribute.  It’s character-forming.  These days, employers are impressed by the qualities required to make a mistake, learn from it and then develop the skills to ensure better results next time around.   Embracing failure is an essential ingredient in the make-up of a successful entrepreneur.

Everyone likes to be around an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs tend to be attractive people.   They literally attract success.  Employers understand this.  The positive attitude of the entrepreneur and their and desire to embrace challenges and relish for the task in hand is enormously appealing to those around them.  They infect the entire team with their enthusiasm.

Never under-estimate the value of entrepreneurship.  A disciplined and dedicated entrepreneur will bring countless benefits to your team, to your clients or investors, and, critically, to your company’s success.

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