THAT CAUGHT OUR EYE
Meet the Team: How Licensed Pilot Shelbey Will Take DGA to New Heights
Shelbey Joyce is our new Business Development Manager, and one her many responsibilities is making sure that you are looked after from your first enquiry until you move in to your new home. She’s your first point of contact with the studio, so we thought you should learn more about the person who’ll be on the other end of the line when you call.
How did you become involved in Business Development?
I actually started off in a completely different career.
My background is in aviation, first as cabin crew for Monarch and British Airlines, then I trained for a private pilot’s license. I decided to take a break from flying and moved to London, landing my first job with a high end property investment company where I managed one of their West End sites.
That’s when I fell in love with property, and being a pilot went from being a career to a hobby.
That’s a hell of a hobby!
I know, flying is really fun and there’s nothing else like it. But property is where I realised I belong, and eventually I was offered a role as a practice manager for an architect I had developed a good relationship with. I managed all of their operations, then got into business development, meeting clients, putting together proposals and so on.
Helping small, successful businesses grow is where I want to specialise. I’ve joined DGA to further my business development in a studio I really admire, while also doing a degree in business on the side.
What responsibilities do you have at DGA?
Most importantly, I’m the bridge between the studio and the clients. I’m their first point of contact, I look after them through the project and make sure they feel involved and listened to throughout.
The team here can be very busy and won’t always have the time to talk to our clients, but they know they can always reach out to me if they have any concerns or issues or just an update.
It’s really important to me that I don’t go to work and sit behind a computer every day, I want to be out there involved in our clients’ needs. I’m experience in working with high profile, very busy clients from my previous experience in West End developments.
We’re all here for the same final outcome: we want to design a beautiful home and the client wants their home to be designed beautifully. It’s how you work together as a team to get there.
That’s why I love this practice so much, because it’s all about honesty, transparency and listening to each other. It allows us to completely mirror what our clients want or need or desire and turn what they talk about into designs and, eventually, a home.
What common mistakes do businesses make with their client relationships?
One is to react too quickly when a client has a concern, just to try and make the problem go away. Instead, we need to listen closely, take on board what they’re saying, then go away and do our research to come up with a solution that makes everyone happy and has the best long term outcome.
Another one is businesses presenting themselves too formally. In private residential design, it’s important that clients feel that they can connect with our team on a personal level, and that we really understand who they are and what they want to achieve.
That’s especially important in a creative process like architecture. People need to feel comfortable and trusted around one another for ideas to be able to flow freely. The work we do is very personal and very emotional, so we need to be open and empathetic.
Finally, other than flying, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Painting is another passion of mine, and I’ve had a few commissions over the years. I also love travelling, which is a big reason I got involved in aviation. I think it’s really important to experience other cultures, and I try to have at least one big trip a year.
I’ve been around Europe, America, Asia, Africa. I went to Australia last Christmas, and next up is Canada in July and perhaps New York next year. I think it’s important you always put yourself out there and explore.