Björn, how did you actually come to Estateguru?
I became aware of the vacancy through a headhunter agency from Hamburg, and the job profile appealed to me directly. When I took a closer look at the position and the company, I was immediately enthusiastic. I remember the recruitment process in particular very positively because there were several personal interviews, for which I was invited both to Berlin and to the headquarters in Tallinn. I found this very appreciative and supportive because it gave me a comprehensive impression of what Estateguru is all about: An international working environment, a spontaneous and open team and the always close cooperation with the headquarters.
What ultimately convinced you to join Estateguru as Country Manager for Germany?
Estateguru has continuously developed its business model over the last ten years, pursued an impressive expansion course and also proved itself on the market during the turbulent Corona years. Despite the already successful track record, as Country Manager of Germany, I still have the chance to actively build up and further develop an important key market. I like the open, communicative and, as already mentioned, international way of working, that suits my nature. It is incredibly enriching to learn from different cultures and working styles. Besides Germany and Estonia, Estateguru has offices in Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Armenia and – a brand-new addition – the UK. For me, the step to Estateguru was therefore the right way to be able to work even more internationally and to develop myself further.
Apart from the internationality, what else do you appreciate about Estateguru as an employer?
Estateguru and all employees have the courage to permanently change themselves. The company constantly reflects on itself. Through the free and open way of working and the lived culture of mistakes, which is an integral part of Estateguru, we all have the opportunity to learn from each other. We can try things out and let each other participate in finding solutions. With that in mind, we also sometimes pursue approaches that we didn’t have in our own repertoire before. And all of this in an exciting, developing industry.
What appeals to you personally about the work and the business model?
I come from a traditional asset manager background and have also worked in the banking environment. Estateguru is a FinTech that is very digitally oriented. Getting to know this own world appeals to me. The special thing is that despite all the technologisation, people are placed at the centre of the work. This combination of both people and digitality, plus a rapidly growing company with a business model that is unique in the pan-European market, this really is fun.
How do you classify Estateguru’s business model? How will it develop in the future?
The topics of digitalization and speed in the development and expansion of new business models and innovative technology have played a role in Estonia for much longer than in our country. The Baltic country is therefore also better digitally developed. Against the background of a smaller domestic market, many Estonian companies had to expand internationally early on. Estateguru’s business model has found a niche in the European market that fits the zeitgeist people are looking for: Clarity and transparency in lending for borrowers on the one hand, a meaningful investment case for private and professional investors on the other, and a mature platform that enables quick and easy loan requests and investments. In the long term, we want to leverage the digital potential across Europe and develop a digital and borderless ecosystem for real estate financing and investment. Therefore, I expect the company to develop extremely positively in the future.
What has been your best experience at Estateguru so far?
My most rewarding experience at Estateguru has been the process we have experienced as a team over the last four months. We continue to grow together every day and despite – or maybe because of – many backgrounds of the individual employees, we form a great team that has big plans together. Through our agile daily routine, we have to overcome and reprioritize new challenges together every day and thus grow beyond ourselves. Our team-building event in Croatia recently, where we carried out change management exercises, was particularly successful. That really brought us all even closer together.
What does a typical working day in a team look like – if there is such a thing?
Always different from what you expect. Every day has new surprises in store and, as I just mentioned, that shapes the way we work together. Every day, unexpected tasks are arising so that we find ourselves in a permanent change process. So, there is no such thing as a typical working day. We have many appointments every day, but no meetings for the sake of meetings. We always have a clear goal in mind. With a coffee in between, joint lunch breaks or dinners, we make sure that we take time to regularly exchange ideas and also relax together, and despite the daily hustle and bustle, we always focus on the well-being of our employees.
What strategic goals have you set for Estateguru in Germany?
We want to understand our customers, both borrowers and investors, even better, win institutional investors and continue to grow, but not – and this is particularly important to me – at the expense of our clients. We are taking everyone with us on our journey and want to develop in the right direction together.
Describe your team in three words. What do you particularly appreciate about it?
110 per cent commitment, loyalty and a lot of empathy. My team really has to be able to cope with a lot of change. But that’s what they all live and work for. My team handles the tasks very responsibly. My employees appreciate the freedom they have. I find the high level of trust we have built up very valuable because it means we can rely on each other and everyone enjoys working together. We all have the same vision in mind and pursue the same goal together every day.
And finally, a few words about you personally: What is your perfect balance to work? And what was your first personal investment?
My perfect balance is time with my family. I also like to go kiting and sailing because there I can just switch off and forget the world around me. By the way, my first investment also gave me an 8 percent return, just like Estateguru does for our investors today. Only back then it was still a conservative, high-interest savings bond.