Branded Property: The Women Re-designing the Property Industry
The property world has a really bad reputation for being a salesy and corporate environment that revolves around deals and figures - think suits, lanyards and lots of money talk at conference centre networking events. While this approach to doing business has its place for some, for others it can feel a little pushy and off-putting. The current industry model clearly needs re-thinking, as it seems to be filtering out women at all levels.
Our Creative Director, Bekki (@bekki_stovell), and Jade Bailey from Beespace (@___beespace), have chatted about this a lot over the past year and decided that it was time someone stepped up to demonstrate how things could be done differently - there is room in this industry for more developers to embrace creativity, innovative design, and a focus on well-being.
We recently partnered with Beespace as their recommended branding studio, to create beautiful, bold brands for their property development clients. Our tactile, illustrative design style isn’t often seen in the property world, and brings a new layer of depth and honesty to a traditionally corporate environment, to great effect. Our work has been fantastically well-received, and the clients we’re working with have welcomed our approach as a refreshing change. We’ve been able to work with businesses that have a much more 'soulful’ mindset, and have found that the industry is crying out for more opportunities to work in this way.
Steele & Stovell and Beespace have collaborated on some really exciting projects, so Bekki and Jade felt that it was time for this conversation to be opened up to a wider audience. They decided to host an event - Branded Property - which would start a conversation about all things branding and property, and explore how design and wellbeing could be prioritised as highly as finances and figures, in the hope that more female property developers would identify and step forward.
Branded Property: The Women Re-designing the Property Industry took place at a gorgeous tapas bar in the centre of Nottingham at the start of August. Bekki and Jade hosted female property developers Philippa Charrier (@fatproperties) and Sarah Hodge (@maygreeninvestments) as part of the panel, and an audience of 60 women in property came together to share stories, network and seek advice.
Jade kicked everything off with an utterly inspiring talk about her move into property and the journey she has been on over the last two years. She shared her expertise in designing HMO’s (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) and talked about how she pulls her brand into every space she creates. It was wonderful to hear her speak so passionately about her work, and what it means to be a woman in this industry.
Bekki took the stage to discuss the importance of branding within the property industry, and shared an insight into the elements that come together to build a powerful identity, encouraging everyone to consider the message and values behind everything they create. She also talked about using brand to enrich the experience within a property, and how this can have a snowball effect for the strength of a brand.
The first of our guests, Philippa Charrier, shared her property story - talking about the importance of prioritising wellbeing when designing a home, and how developers should think of their tenants as customers rather than commodities to enable them to better consider their needs. We were moved to hear Philippa speak so openly about her life, projects and career.
Our final speaker was Sarah Hodge. Sarah has built an incredible property portfolio and her business has now grown to the point where she is able to walk away from the day-job - something she set out to achieve when moving into property. She encouraged everyone to step outside of their comfort zone, to be bold, and not to give in to limiting beliefs.
After the talks, we opened the floor to the audience for a Q&A which was streamed live on Instagram. Over 40 questions were submitted ahead of time, with more put forward on the day, so we worked through as many as we were able to - covering HMO design, marketing a new business, working with small budgets and securing investment.
The event was due to finish at 5pm, but the chatting, story-swapping and drinking continued well into the night. We were blown away by the incredible feedback that we received from this and it really feels like momentum is building around this creative and intuitive approach to property development.
Bekki and Jade will be continuing their mission to provide a platform for women in property - there’s lots of exciting stuff to come - so watch this space and be sure to follow both @___beespace and @bekki_stovell on Instagram for updates.
We’re so excited to see this community flourish.
Photography by Felix Russell-Saw @felixrussellsaw