Joanne Wrobel, in her office, CBRE.  Romain Gamba

Joanne Wrobel, in her office, CBRE.  Romain Gamba

Joanne Wrobel joined CBRE, the international commercial property consultancy group, in 2014 as Head of Local Marketing Strategy for the Luxembourg office, events and digital marketing. Also in charge of research, her main role is to prepare market studies for clients. Versatile, bubbly and professional, Joanne has mastered every aspect of the property market and describes herself as a 'Swiss Army knife'.

Let's get to the heart of the matter! There's been a lot of talk about the property market since the start of 2023... What do you think about the claim that the property sector is currently unstable?

Joanne Wrobel. - I wouldn't describe the current situation in the sector as unstable. I would say that, like any other sector, the property market is reacting to the consequences of recent health and macroeconomic events, which have certainly upset the balance. On the other hand, I would rather speak of a phase of adaptation, of readjustment, because it is true that a few certainties have been shaken up recently, such as our ways of working and well-being at work following the Covid-19 crisis, or more recently property prices and interest rates due in particular to the war in Ukraine. It is always said that out of every challenge there emerge opportunities, and I think that this is absolutely the case for the property sector.

This phase of questioning pushes the market to evolve and improve, supported by its great power of resilience and responsiveness.

What are CBRE Luxembourg's communication challenges?

The strategy that we are working on and that we intend to develop is to highlight our expertise in all our areas of activity, because we believe that our differentiation power lies in our ability to demonstrate that our team is made up of experts who can provide accurate and reliable data on the property market that will enable our clients and prospects to make reasoned choices about their property strategies. 

Another challenge lies in articulating real estate realistically though reassuringly during a time that I would describe as challenging. We have also started to integrate the concepts of ESG, sustainability and responsibility into our messages, as they are becoming a major issue for the sector. There is a real demand for data and information thereon from the market.

And finally, as a Luxembourg branch of an international group, we need to ensure that our local communication fits in harmoniously with our global communication.

What does your office look like, and what does it say about you?

Joanne Wrobel's office (CBRE)  Romain Gamba

Joanne Wrobel's office (CBRE)  Romain Gamba

There are two of us in the team and we've recently set up our hub a little way away from the main open space so that we can talk freely without disturbing our colleagues. Because we talk a lot in marketing! We ask for advice, opinions, talk about current projects, but also about life.

On my desk, there are only the essentials: my laptop, my mobile phone, my notebook and my pen that I take everywhere with me, as well as my folder in which I store all the documents I use most often. We've adopted a clean and flex desk policy, so we have to leave the workstations as neutral as possible for the colleagues who follow, which suits me quite well because I'm naturally organised and tidy.

What are the first 3 things you do when you arrive at work in the morning?

After I've settled in quickly, I go round the office to say hello to the colleagues already there (I'm lucky that our office space is a reasonable size!), and then I head off to the kitchen for a cup of tea.

It's always nice to start the day with a chat and a smile.

I then settle down at my desk, check my latest emails, have a quick look at our various social networks, check the latest news and I'm ready to start my day!

CBRE Group is known worldwide. How do you see your future digital communications strategy in Luxembourg?

As I said earlier, one of our current priorities in our strategy is data. We have the strength of an international group in terms of "Thought Leadership", which produces a lot of extremely high quality research and which encourages the local branches to do the same. So our digital communications strategy for the future will place even greater emphasis on this area, in terms of both content and the tools and data we make available to our customers.

We're also going to keep up the momentum on ESG, which will become a recurring theme. And all this will involve creating even higher quality content, both in terms of content and form, across all our different channels (social networks, website, newsletters, etc.).

As marketing/communications manager, what are your 3 tips for maintaining communication during a difficult period?

I would say, first of all, to be transparent in all circumstances, even if we tend to be too optimistic to reverse the trend, and not to adopt a strategy of avoidance, because even if it's always easier to communicate in positive situations, we also need to be able to do so in the opposite situation. And finally, perhaps take advantage of this difficult period to question your own strategy and make sure it's appropriate.