In the latest Guru Spotlight interview, where we get to know some of the awesome people behind the Estateguru platform, we spoke to our Credit Officer for Germany, Stefan Grabe. Read on to learn about Stefan’s mission at Estateguru, what he most appreciates about the company’s values, what his infant son knows about Real Estate, and which genre of cinema (and literature) he prefers to consume in his free time.
How long have you been part of the Estateguru team?
Well, officially I have been here for half a year now, but I got to know of the company five years ago, when I was still working in the German banking sector. We did some business for Estateguru and I was very impressed with their business model and the way they conducted themselves. So in my mind, perhaps I was already thinking about working for the company. Officially though, about six months.
What’s your mission at Estateguru?
My mission is to look at the different risks we are willing to take when selecting loans, and how to mitigate those risks for our investors. To ensure that we have the right portfolio for our investors, to cap the risk and oversee the careful selection of projects that offer the right balance of risk and reward.
Estateguru’s key values are growth-orientation, boldness, freedom, honesty, determination, and empathy. How do you experience these values in the company?
Well, (laughs) growth orientation I experience a lot, as it’s a main topic for discussion every day and a principle ambition for us all. Freedom and honesty are also very important. If I take my boss, for example, who is Andres Luts ( Chief Risk Officer ), he is a very honest person and we have an honest relationship, with honest feedback.
I try to be honest in every decision I take. For example, when deciding if we should fund a particular project or not, I always give my honest feedback to the sales team in regards to what I think about each case. I think honesty is crucial in all things, including business.
I also think freedom is very important and I appreciate the flexibility that Estateguru gives us to work in our own style. For example I can work both at home and in the office and that kind of hybrid model is something I appreciate immensely. Different people have different methods and ways of getting things done, and at Estateguru, as long as you are performing and maintaining high standards, you are given the freedom to do things your way.
What do you like most about working at Estateguru?
I like that I’m still working in the real estate financing sector, which I know well, but without the strict and fussy protocols one would associate with the bank. Here you can be more flexible and think outside of the box. It’s a culture of innovation, which I really enjoy.
Tell us something interesting about yourself. What do you do in your free time?
I’ve been a father now for one and a half years, so I spend a lot of time with my son. I try to educate him, but he doesn’t know much about Real Estate yet (laughs). When I have time I like to watch movies and read books. I especially enjoy science fiction and fantasy, like Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings.
Why do you think exceptional talents should join Estateguru?
I think that we need people with outstanding and varied talents. They can’t have only one talent, as you need to connect to other departments and people. At other companies I’ve seen an emphasis on hiring specialists, with expertise in one field, and this might not be enough at Estateguru, as you need to communicate in the right way and have an understanding of other departments and their needs. I also think this provides exciting opportunities for staff to develop a range of skills and aptitudes.