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Get to know Equiem's COO, Joe Stokes

Hi Joe. Welcome again to the Equiem team. We’re thrilled to have you. How are you feeling?

Excited, pumped and happy to be here.

First, tell us a bit about yourself - fill us in on your experience and journey so far prior to crossing paths with Equiem.

I’m an Occupational Therapist by qualification, with Masters qualifications in Science, Business and currently studying Economics. I originally moved into the field of risk by way of injury management, safety and insurance, having served stints in the consulting, healthcare and insurance sectors.

Prior to joining the Equiem team, I spent three years with Voyages Hotels & Resorts (a GPT subsidiary), working in safety, risk and operations across a portfolio of 21 hotels and resorts throughout Australia. Most recently I spent six and a half years at DEXUS Property Group, initially as Group Risk Manager, then as Business Manager, Office & Industrial and finally as General Manager, Customer Strategy & Operations. I was responsible for the creation of DEXUS’s customer strategy, Office and Industrial operations, and the management of customer initiatives such as DEXUS Place, a premium meeting, training and events business.

I’m passionate about learning, art, people and business evolution. I’m constantly challenging myself and see Equiem as the perfect opportunity to pursue a lot of these interests!

Leaving an industry giant like Dexus must have been a big decision. What was it about Equiem that convinced you, this is the right opportunity?

I loved the dynamism, energy and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by the Equiem team. I fundamentally believe in the meaningful role Equiem can play in improving work and workspace, and the real potential to innovate and disrupt the real estate industry.

Fill us in on your new role as COO. What will your everyday and broader responsibilities be?

My role will be to improve the operating rhythm of the business, and increase efficiency as we grow and work with the team on improving how our clients experience working with us. It will be an exciting blend of back-of-house and front-facing operations. I’ll also be bringing my experience to the ongoing evolution of our products and services, how we go to market and how we evolve to address the needs of the global real estate industry.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

So far, it is the diversity of the team and the role demands. I’m also loving the culture here – it has a great energy, enthusiasm and excitement, which is highly infectious.

Let’s shift focus now on the property industry. Like virtually every other industry, it’s been impacted greatly by the “internet age” - the huge explosion of digital innovation that started in the late 90’s, which has now matured to the “age of startups”, where almost every niche has seen disruption. In your point of view, how has the property industry changed in the past decade? What have been the major trends? How has technology and innovation played a role?

With the exception of the design and construction of new stock, the property industry has not changed much over the past decade and is ripe for disruption. What is changing rapidly is tenant demand. Generally speaking, tenancies are shrinking, the number of tenancies within buildings is increasing and WALE’s are tightening. Tenants are more informed, focused more on collaboration, innovation and wellbeing and using the workplace as a tool for competitive advantage.

Tech has a huge role to play in providing insights into the buildings performance, the behaviour of tenants, workspace design, and in creating communities and connections. Our job is to provide the platform that facilitates this!

Which brings me to Equiem. You’ve now experienced Equiem’s platform from both the property manager’s perspective as well as ours. In your eyes, what value does Equiem’s Platform (technology, staff, services) provide? Not just for owners/managers, but also occupants, retailers, and building staff?

The true value is immeasurable. The platform is central to connectedness, communication and community and to unlocking the real value of the building for both owners and occupiers.

What are you looking forward to achieving the most at Equiem?

Solidifying Equiem as a trusted brand that is synonymous with community and value creation in the real estate industry.

Let’s finish this interview with some quick-fire questions. Are you ready? Here we go:

Favourite thing to do outside of work: Hang out with my wife.

Favourite sport & team: NBA, Chicago Bulls

Favourite movie (of all time): Good Will Hunting and Shawshank Redemption (too hard to split)

Favourite app on your phone: Sadly it is Domain, closely followed by Vivino.

Favourite place to travel to: New York City

Vegemite - plain on toast, with butter or...? With butter, lightly spread!

If you had three words to say to Joe Stokes, 18 years young, what would they be? Keep on dominating.

Thanks for your time Joe!

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