TEN Takeaways from David Popler, Managing Director, Solutions Development, JLL
ICYMI: HILO’s David Abrams welcomed David Popler, Managing Director, Solutions Development at JLL to the TEN Podcast to chat about using data to elevate client service. Here are our TEN takeaways:
1. Performance is all about data
David explains that “while his background might seem disparate, the dots really do connect when it comes to utilizing technology where an industry is prime for change. And an industry is prime to advance forward and leap forward. You know it’s all about data. It’s a lot about data at the core and gathering, collecting data analyzing data, getting to business intelligence and then being able to use that data now going forward for being predictive and being prescriptive. So for me, those are the dots that connect together with everything that I’ve done, has had to do with automation and better use of data and analytics.”
2. Real estate has amazing career opportunities
When asked if he has any advice for someone wanting to follow a similar path or a path to real estate, David says “start in parts of the company functionally that you don’t necessarily want to end up in, because the most powerful people in these real estate companies are ones that have been all over the company and all over the world.”
3. Just dive in
Another great recommendation from David for someone looking to start a career in real estate: “I would probably go to a company that I considered a leader and find people that I liked and respected that were in you know, culture wise. And then I would just dive in and do anything and everything I could and kind of suck it all up.”
4. Decisions that we’re making for the workplace are as important as they’ve ever been
This is one of the biggest challenges David is facing right now and is likely the reality for many others as well. He explains, “it’s almost life and death in some cases, right? In extreme cases, it’s very important. At the same time, us logical people who like to use data, and like to take the facts we don’t have a picture of the future. We don’t know. We don’t know, and you can… Normally you could do scenario analysis to help make decisions with your customers. Well, before maybe you had to run five or six scenarios, and now you got to run 30 or 50 because you don’t know what the facts are, right. That’s hard, that’s hard stuff. And there’s ways that we’re addressing that and trying to be the best advisors that we can. But everybody has to realize that you’re making decisions in some dark alleys here.”
5. Invest in training and education
That is what David would do if he was given an extra $100,000 of budget right now. “We’re in a tough spot, separate from our pandemic situation. We’re in a tough spot socially as a country right now. And so I think the more education that we have, the more communication that we have about diversity and inclusion is just better. More is better. JLL is doing a ton of it. We’re doing it all the time and it’s just positive reinforcement. And it makes you know, we’re all from different places and have different values.”
6. It’s all about people and connections
David says, “Our network makes all the difference. Your mentors make all the difference.” When young people ask him what his version of the key to success is, he explains that the ability to work well with people is important. Early on in his career, he didn’t recognize the value of leaning on mentors but after realizing how helpful it can be, he really enjoys being that person for others now.
7. You still have to build the community
Re-entry and re-imagining are at the centerpiece of what David and his team at JLL are doing with workplace. David says, “There’s fatigue, right? Everyone started up with really good productivity, but there’s zoom fatigue, there’s work from home fatigue, there’s having kids at home while you’re trying to work fatigue and all that stuff. And it’s really hard. People are having experiences that are life altering right now. But you still have to work, right? You still have to work. You still have to have a workplace. You still have to build the community, right?” Both Davids agree that building community is more important than ever.
8. Companies need to be assertive in using this difficult situation to change and go forward
Regarding the research and consulting that JLL is doing, David explains that “There are things that [companies] needed to do already but they were just moving too slowly and they know what those things are. And then there’s things that have come up because the workplace is different now, right? It’s not exactly about how many square feet each person has.” He believes “it’s so much deeper than that.”
9. A great project manager is one that connects dots and creates the future
When asked what his superpower would be if he could have one, David says, “I wish I could see the future. If I had the power to see the future my favorite thing and source of joy in business is helping people understand their situation, helping them make decisions.” “A great project manager is the project manager that connects dots out in front of them and creates the future, right?” Some good food for thought.
10. Put yourself first
Some important advice from David “for those of us who are programmed to work hard. You need to put yourself first. If your body’s not working, then nothing else is going to work, and if your body’s not working the first thing that goes is your brain, right? So don’t think you’re going to get great performance out of your brain if you’re not taking care of yourself, right. And so you need to take breaks and you need to exercise and find a way to take good care of yourself because you only have one vessel so you need to treat it really well.”