The Spaceflow team has witnessed rapid growth and big funding news in 2022. Seeing our company culture welcome more diversity by plugging in talent from 16 countries (and counting!) is truly exciting.
We recently shared the stories of:
- how Adam Danek, our finance manager, joined Spaceflow
- how Patrick Beznoska pioneered our visual identity
- and how Melis Karabulut, our partnerships and events specialist experienced her first month as a Spaceflower.
Now, we have a follow-up on the last one.
In this article, we get an insider perspective into Melis' first quarter at Spaceflow as things fall into place and gain speed after the learning phase (and that applies to having fun with colleagues, too!).
In my language, when we want to praise someone who is using the summer downtime as an opportunity to learn and grow, we call them as hardworking as an ant. That is because ants work together and stock up on food for the cold months, even though they have a relaxed pace in their journey.
That's exactly what we did through my first quarter and summer months at Spaceflow. And it was as exciting, educational and enjoyable as it could get.
Exciting, because as we built our Autumn calendar brick by brick, the thrill was omnipresent. We launched a new version of our product with upgraded features that took countless hours of teamwork, got prepared for EXPO Real and six other events in London, Oslo, Brussels, Vienna, Warsaw and Munich; applied for sector awards and cheered up with several nominations, built new business partnerships and seized the new opportunities piling up.
Educational, because I discovered more and more about the sector, my role and as well as our team. Most importantly, working with them; and how to scale my performance with learnings from things that succeeded and failed.
Enjoyable, because we all took some time off to relax, and do it together at our company-wide team building in Lipno, the Czech Republic.
In my first month at Spaceflow article, I gave hints of an exciting quarter awaiting us at the company with the big funding news. This captured the team with great energy, and it carried on through the summer.
In early June, we attended RE-Smart, a sector event in Luxembourg as exhibitors. This event was a milestone for me; as for the first time, I represented Spaceflow at our designated booth at an event. I needed to put all the so-far learnings of our product into sales action, while at that time I was at Spaceflow for less than two months!
As challenging as it seemed in the beginning, with the support of our CEO, Lukas Balik, who was on the stage for a panel discussion and also on the ground for business meetings, everything worked better than I imagined. Closing the event with great exposure of our brand, we rewarded ourselves with a stroll in sunny Luxembourg.
The positive outcomes from RE-Smart helped me approach the upcoming events with even more excitement, for example, at the Coliving Awards or World Urban Forum 11.
As business took a breather in July and August, we shifted this thrill towards getting everything and everyone prepared for a busy September and October, and especially for our exhibition media presence at EXPO Real 2022. In that period, I deep-dived into planning Autumn activities: advertising on media outlets and newspapers, attending events and awards, partnerships with PropTech and real estate associations. As weeks passed by, the thrill for what is yet to come only built up!
All of this required intensive research (and effective, organized storing and reporting of the findings) of marketing activities that bring value to Spaceflow. It was indeed a challenge to make a choice between a vast number of partnership options to choose from and prioritize them according to our needs. To help with that, Petr Boruta, our Head of Marketing offered his insights into the market.
My key takeaway from the summer months was learning how to work with such comprehensive marketing activities myself and as a team, step by step: decision-making, presenting to colleagues and getting them on board, launching the marketing activity, observing it in action, evaluating the outcomes, learning from successes and failures, and doing it all again. It also helped me understand the industry more, scale up my network and understand how marketing works in real estate and PropTech.
Petr doesn't go without saying a few words about that: “Real estate and PropTech landscapes are vast and one can get lost initially. I’ve never seen anyone onboard and educate so quickly in the new market as Melis.”
“Soon after onboarding, Melis also took responsibility for nurturing social media which wasn’t initially planned, or not planned to that extent. At that time, Logan, our Content Specialist, wasn't available for social media conceptualizing and copywriting anymore, so we needed a solution quickly. Melis, with her past experience in journalism proved to be a great storyteller and has managed social media ever since,” says Petr.
And that is what I enjoyed the most about my first quarter: getting my hands on social media and content writing. Interviewing Xior Student Housing's Dimitri Huygen on their digital roadmap was an inspiring experience and the highlight of my early Spaceflow content. Merging what I love to do further in my role was a good touch on my connection to the position.
Now, don't think that all we did was working non-stop all summer. Barbeques, after-work beers, team buildings were always on the agenda. Though you know you had a good time when you forgot to take a proper picture at those times. That is what happened at our marketing team building in August, when we spent more than five hours together at an escape room game and a great dinner, but left with only one blurry photo!
After spending some of my vacation days in Turkey and Greece, in early September, I found myself at the company-wide offsite in Lipno, Czech Republic together with our London and Prague teams and all other colleagues from everywhere else, in a beautiful resort by the lake.
Our HR packed our program for these two days with so many fun things to do, such as paddleboard racing, treetop walking, bowling, wellness, swimming, cooking sausages over a campfire, and celebrating ourselves with a great party. I believe we all found the chance to chat with colleagues we don't get to meet often, or even talk to some for the first time face to face, and connect with them. This was much needed before September kicked in for a continental team that connects digitally most of the time.
During the team building, we also found some time to sit together in a workshop and evaluate the values that make us Spaceflow. We realized that as our team grew extensively in 2022, so evolved our culture. The brainstorming session brought four words that made us meet on the same page:
- Team: We believe in people-centric environments. Our culture is something we are proud of and always nourishing.
- Passion: You know it’s Spaceflow when you enter the room. We strive for good vibes and positive energy, no matter the situation. Our passion leads us to constantly go after innovation.
- Adaptability: At times, it can be challenging but thanks to our adaptability we are agile enough to find smart solutions to fulfill our vision in the changing world.
- Support: We support each other within and outside of our teams to make sure that everything works in synergy and our clients are happy.
After a ton of fun at the team building, as we all headed home with good memories (and a ton of unanswered emails, well come on, it's September!), I spent the train journey reflecting on how we spent the quarter serving our common purpose - educating the market through the messages that we brought out via many panel discussions, countless content pieces, and everywhere in between.
I believe that three of those unique messages were:
- Real estate is on a good track with digital transformation, even though the market is not there yet, but great examples exist due to the changing needs of the generation who will lead the majority of the landscape soon.
- Digital transformation in real estate is inescapable, and comes as a major need of the customers, rather than a nice-to-have.
- Not all property companies have the same level of expertise and adoption of ESG practices, and the term is still foreign to some. PropTech companies will have a ton of opportunities in changing that!
A worthy quarter this was. Next time, I'll report back from the next quarter, with my review for half a year at Spaceflow.