His career reads like the perfect climb, from trainee to CEO. Sven Odia has worked for Engel & Völkers for 17 years: After his property and housing agent apprenticeship with Engel & Völkers, he obtained one of the first Engel & Völkers licenses for Mallorca in 1999. This was so successful that Engel & Völkers AG took it over at a later point and continues to practise themselves. In 2001, Sven Odia was appointed as Managing Partner of Engel & Völkers International GmbH before joining the Engel & Völkers AG executive board in 2006 and becoming a shareholder in 2007. We asked him to share the secret behind this unique promotion:
First and foremost, the secret is to have a great ambition and passion for the real estate market. In 1996 when I applied for a place on the property and housing agent apprenticeship, it was this fascination for real estate which drove me.
What do you need when you want to climb up the career ladder?
My tip: Stop and look inwards regularly to ensure that you’re still on the right path. I have developed at Engel & Völkers because I never forgot to listen to my needs and goals. This may change during one’s career at which point you must listen to your inner voice. Even though I’ve worked for the same brand for 17 years, I can say that I have not become professionally stuck. I deliberately pass through different stages: As a broker in Spain, I internalised the professional services which we offer to our customers and gained important insights from doing so. Then years later when improving an international marketing strategy at the company headquarters in Hamburg, it can be very useful to have learned the operational side of the business from scratch. Another tip that I would like to give to budding real estate agents or existing colleagues is to never regret any steps and to be prepared to take risks. No risk, no fun! Whether it be taking a step independently or delivering a presentation in English – everyday professional life contains barriers and fears and one can but learn from them. Every step is helpful and every challenge results in new insights.