How RICS account managers work for you
Achieve the right training solutions for your business.
Every surveyor’s career journey is unique and that’s why training solutions are never one-size-fits-all. Here, four RICS account managers reveal how (and why) they’re never fazed by complex training requests.
Matt Burton, National Account Manager, Infrastructure & Construction
“I genuinely admire all of my clients because their work is critical to the future of British infrastructure. My role helps them to understand how RICS can support their business in a relevant way, either through ethics-led training or by supporting their employees’ commercial skills. The construction industry can be very transient, so training is an effective way to improve employee retention.
“I like to think that RICS is helping to create industry champions.”
“Recently, I’ve also been talking to my clients about RICS’ Resilience training. Some of their employees are managing contracts worth hundreds of millions of pounds, which can be seriously stressful. We’re a professional body, but we also need to encourage people to look after themselves.
“We want surveyors to feel they can contribute to RICS on a local and national level and by using our training products we can help make an individual’s development even more significant. RICS gives people a platform to exceed expectations for their clients.
“As a National Account Manager, I like to create strong relationships with our clients. We show them how RICS can have an impact on career progression, learning and development, and training. I spend a lot of time networking with industry colleagues in order to build this rapport. Listen, act and develop empathy – that’s how the best relationships develop.
“RICS touches the whole industry, from sole practitioners to companies with a global workforce. So, every time I have a conversation with someone, I try to bring value to that discussion and I’m constantly trying to come up with innovative training solutions.”
Our training in practice
“A road construction and maintenance company with more than 4,000 employees recently adopted our International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) as the benchmark for all of their major projects. This has been a huge step forward for us because this company works closely with the government to gain funding, which means that the standard is being recognised at a high level. It also means we can work closely with the client because we’re involved in helping the technical teams adopt the standard for their data merging and their working methodologies.
“It’s not just about helping the client with training, we also offered them learning and resource tools, recruitment advice, and help with dispute and conflict resolution. It’s been really great to help the company on such an in-depth level.”
What’s happening right now
“I’m currently working on a brilliant training programme for a major construction company. It’s a multi-year, multi-tiered programme that could positively affect many employees’ career pathways.”
My top tip
“Don’t forget that RICS training and accreditation can take you anywhere you want and training events can be fantastic networking opportunities for your employees.”
Richard Ackroyd, Regional Account Manager
“I aim to be the first point of contact for all of my clients. Often, their biggest challenge can be identifying where their knowledge gaps lie. The RICS website has a long list of training solutions available, but it’s not exhaustive. So, if you speak to us, we can always investigate what else is possible.
“With our volatile economic climate, companies have to adapt. Therefore, if one area of your business is struggling, you should use training to strengthen your skills base in another.”
“I don’t think businesses realise how much flexibility there is either; we can tweak an existing course to suit different skills levels, for example, or we can develop something bespoke from scratch. I honestly don’t think any training provider can do that as well as RICS can and our training portfolio is growing all the time.
“Building a rapport with my clients is crucial and it’s the part of my job I enjoy most. I develop lots of contacts within each account and I always include their regional offices because they often have their own specific training needs.
“Before I joined RICS, I’d never really considered the built environment as a career, but it’s fascinating because it affects us all.
“I love the fact that my clients are genuinely interested in talking to me because it creates a very positive, consultative relationship. I’m also really proud of the expertise among our trainers and members: RICS training and qualifications are recognised across the whole industry, and rightly so.”
Courses tailored to you
“The building surveyors team at the National Trust approached us about JCT training. We had an off-the-shelf course already, but it didn’t quite meet their needs, so we amended it in line with their requirements and delivered it to their team. The training was given in four separate events at different locations across the UK. In total, 120 colleagues took the course with us. Our clients were really happy with the results and are currently talking to us about new ideas for other training courses.”
“My favourite booking was a five-day course in commercial estate agent training for 20 people, which had never been offered before. That was a perfect example of taking a question from a customer, investigating the detail and finding an excellent trainer to develop a first-rate course.”
My top tip
“Even if you don’t think we offer training on a particular topic, always ask the question. RICS training is endlessly flexible and our courses are very good value.”
Krystyna Moxon, Internal Account Manager
“I always ask clients what their training goal is for the year. By knowing this, I can start to figure out how we’re going to achieve it and what RICS can offer to get them there. It also gives me an idea of what already exists in their company so I can provide the solutions they really need. For example, if they’ve got a really good trainer already in place, I’ll start to think about what support RICS can offer them.
“After focusing on clients’ training needs and seeing how we can add value to their business, I also look for their ‘nice-to-haves’ and ‘wouldn’t it be good ifs’. Providing these as part of quality training can really add benefit for the client.”
“The project I’m currently working on is the perfect example of this; a global construction company with more than 1000 employees worldwide asked us where they could find a course about construction measurement standards. Although this isn’t something we currently offer, our response was, ‘We can do that!’. Now we’re in the testing stage of the course, which has been written and developed with our client.
“There’s a culture of learning within RICS that means many of us in the Account Management team also have RICS qualifications. This means that we don’t just have a general interest in the subjects but we put ourselves in the shoes of our delegates to see what they experience. So when I start talking about courses to clients, they listen and respect my opinion because they know that I’ve been through the training myself.
“The fact that we employ industry experts as our trainers is also a huge plus because of the knowledge value we can provide. Our trainers are putting what they’re teaching into practice every day in their work, so if they’re asked a question outside of the course remit, they can answer it because they have that practical knowledge.
“This listening approach and wide-ranging knowledge is what makes our training stand out from the rest. In previous roles, the focus was mostly on sales; here it’s about customer service and I always want to make sure that my clients get what they really need.”
Inside-out training knowledge
“A couple of years ago, I took the RICS Mediation training course, which means that I’m a qualified Construction Mediator. It really helps me when I talk to clients to have this in-depth knowledge of the course. I’m not just summarising it or quoting from a brochure, I have real experience of it myself.”
My top tip
“If you’re not 100% sure what you’re looking for, don’t worry. Just call us and we’ll talk it through to ensure we support you in the right way.”
Bruno Ulmkalns, Account Manager, UK Markets
“I never go into any conversation with a fixed agenda; instead, I find out exactly what my clients are looking for and then we explore the options together. By asking lots of questions I encourage my clients to open up and explain where the skills and knowledge gaps lie. Of course, I understand how commercially sensitive that information can be, so anything I’m told is completely confidential.
“We have all these amazing skills and expert knowledge within RICS so why not use that expertise to best effect? We’re here to help you raise industry standards.”
“Often, I start by speaking to a HR professional, or a member of the learning and development team, and asking them which training areas have been successful so far and where it isn’t working so well. Then, I get together with our training team and come up with potential training opportunities.
“I never profess to know all the right answers, and I keep our training team aware of upcoming trends and developments so that we can identify new training topics. That insight is critical to keep RICS’ training fresh and relevant. The accounts I manage all have varying needs and objectives and our training helps keep them up to speed with the industry changes.
“Often companies are aware of RICS and its history, but they don’t realise how much commercial training we offer. I feel genuinely confident that once a company or an individual has done a RICS course or seminar, they’ll come back again.”
Thinking outside the box
“I recently attended a presentation about inclusivity and diversity. Not long after, a client told me they wanted to be seen as a leader in those areas. So I went back to our L&D team and we’re now in the process of putting together a bespoke course for their European offices. It was a great result.”
My top tip
“You don’t need to come to us with a ready-made shopping list of training courses and we don’t expect an immediate decision. Just be open to our suggestions.”
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