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edition 1 (237)
January 2019
Eurobuild Awards

The hardest things of all

Interviewer Ewa Andrzejewska

The hardest things of all
Józef Wojciech Wilczak, the manager of the Tryton Business House office building

We spoke to Wojciech Józef Wilczak of EPP, who manages Tryton Business House in Gdańsk, about how to win over tenants – since it was the tenants who handed him the award for manager of the year at the Eurobuild Awards 2018


Was the Eurobuild Award a surprise for you?

Józef Wojciech Wilczak, the manager of the Tryton Business House office building: It was of course a big surprise because when I think of awards I think of spectacular successes and great achievements rather than the mundane everyday work of a normal boring life. Summing up, I would say yes, it was a surprise because I don’t think I do anything sensational.

What was the most difficult challenge you had to face last year?

I wouldn’t call it a challenge but rather a situation. Until recently, Tryton was a new office building [it was opened in spring 2016, editor’s note]. It wasn’t 100 pct occupied, which allowed for a more flexible managerial approach. However, the time came when I had to make my tenants aware that we were going to have to stick to our contractual and regulatory arrangements. My job was to explain this in such a way that the tenants would not take offence and understand that this was actually in our mutual interest. Tenants need to be aware that when a building is almost fully leased, it has to be managed in a disciplined manner.

What do you enjoy most and least about working as an office space manager?

I don’t want to talk about the drawbacks having just received this prize. However, I would like to mention something that has been worrying our tenants over recent months. It’s all this fuss about electricity prices. It’s made it extremely difficult to estimate our operating fees. However, for me, as a person from Central Poland, what I enjoy most about working as the manager of Tryton in Gdańsk is taking in the views from the top floor of the building. I like looking out at the Gdańsk Shipyard as well as the Martwa Wisła river.

Are the needs and expectations of your tenants changing?

Needs evolve but since these are laid out and described in lease contracts, changes can only be made by signing annexes. However, I can talk about how office users’ expectations are changing. For example, sometimes they depend on the seasons – in summer the number of people who come to work by bike increases significantly. This is a real challenge when it comes to finding a space to leave the bicycles, but in winter the problem just disappears. Of course, tenants also have expectations as to how much bandwidth they have for going online. Another thing is the reception area. When talking with the tenants, they said they wanted something other than flowers for its decoration. It’s not that they wanted to put up their ads but they were looking for something else, something unique. Our response was to start working with the Pomeranian Photographic Society.

What gives you the most satisfaction?

I learned my profession from my more experienced colleagues who manage shopping centres. They claim that the most important thing for an administrator is for all the departments to know what they are doing and do it efficiently without having to ask. I see my work as being like a conductor with every member of the orchestra already knowing how to play their part. This is what gives me satisfaction. I know that I have come up with an idea and communicated it properly and also that someone has understood it, accepted it and acted upon it and that the expectations of all parties have been met. Everyone’s happy.

Your recipe for a model manager is...

I don’t have a ready-made recipe. What I do know is that the hardest things of all are communication and patience. Many issues in this job need to be explained calmly, clearly and often repeatedly.

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