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Case Study: Building Trust

April 9th, 2015

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Warren Rosenberg

Warren Rosenberg is a co- founder of Watford-based luxury property developer,Fusion Residential and its sister company developing student accommodation, Fusion Students. Both he and co-founder Nigel Henry are Academy Group Seven members. He describes his business philosophy as “doing the right thing and not just finding the quickest route,” something that lies at the core of the company’s approach to client management.

Choose your clients carefully

“For us the big thing is to work with clients you want to work with – some people feel obligated to deal with whoever they come across. We are great believers in focussing on the relationships with people who matter.”

“When we build client relationships we build friendships. Invest time in developing these key relationships, keep in regular contact so you develop a relationship that is based on trust and friendship.” Make friends with your clients

Be human

“One thing I do is to try is to encourage our people to get out of the office and to talk, meet and see clients face-to-face rather than relying on email. The way that we communicate today is very robotic – be human about it. The more technology moves forward the more interpersonal skills become important. Laugh, joke – it makes it more real and it really can lead you to have more successful relationships.”

Be authentic

“Trust is key to building the really long-term relationships – acting honourably and being consistent with your feelings, regardless of whether you are eating lunch with a client or involved in a large transaction.”

Don’t get bogged down in detail

“Sometimes what happens in a transaction is that people get embroiled in detail rather than focusing on the outcome. The same can happen if there’s a problem. In both cases, the ability to see the bigger picture is essential. Issues can take longer than necessary to solve because people get embroiled in the detail. If you’re getting bogged down with a problem rather than finding a solution, try bringing in someone different who can offer a different lens of perceptive.”

Be in it for the long-term

“We have been working with the same banks since the early 1990s. During the downturn we went through a hard time but we continued to support our banks and they continued to service us through thick and through thin. In 2007 we bought a site and the bank gave us a year’s facility. Seven years later we still owned it. Most banks would have terminated the loan, however we worked together and recently it was finally sold and we returned the full amount to the bank plus the interest. That’s all about long-term confidence.”

Make it fun

“We always celebrate success with clients. Next year we are taking some clients ice driving. We try to do things that are unusual and fun – something that they will remember.”

Mix and match – diversity makes for happy teams

“We have a good mix of diversity within our organisation in terms of age and skills. There are the old pros who have been doing this sort of thing since for 20 years and those in their early 20s who are just starting out. Our working environment is an informal learning hub where people feel fully supported. Everyone intermingles – there are no age-related divisions and this happy team environment is in turn reflected in how people of all ages and levels of responsibility interact with our clients.” 

Never underestimate loyalty and longevity

“No one from our organisation has ever come to us and said that they want to leave. This longevity is reflected in the length of time we have worked with our suppliers and clients. We work with one construction company that has been a client for 25 years, and also have suppliers who have been with us for the same length of time, so a long-term focus is imprinted in our organisational DNA.”

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