Leaders in Real Estate Series - Featuring Anouk Khan
Learn the value of data-driven decision-making, and creating a more inclusive and equitable built environment
In the latest installment of our interview series, our COO Rasheq Zarif caught up with Anouk Khan. Anouk is the Head of Growth at Cambridge Finance, a premium provider of real estate finance training and real estate financial modeling consulting. She is also the COO of Real Estate Women (RE:WOMEN), a non-profit networking membership association with a mission to connect real estate professionals to create an equitable, inclusive and resilient built environment.
Rasheq Zarif: Hi Anouk, thanks for talking with us. As the ‘Head of Growth’ at Cambridge Finance, you primarily focus on sales, customer experience and growing the brand globally. Could you tell us a bit more about what your role entails?
AK: I have a multifaceted role that I love! It is everything before, during and after sales. My primary task is to find new customers. We run public courses every month which need to be filled up. I run all our digital marketing, live events and webinars as well. Everything is centered around growing the business from a b2b, b2c and consulting perspective. My role entails thinking both strategically and creatively.
Rasheq Zarif: When approaching a potential customer, how would you define the value that financial modeling training provides individuals and companies in the real estate sector?
AK: Our training gives our customers confidence. Confidence in their job, confidence when working with their peers and confidence when managing clients. This confidence comes from having learnt expert skills, which enable reliable investment decision making for both company and client.
Rasheq Zarif: How important is having comprehensive and accurate financial data to making good decisions within real estate?
AK: Data is everything. Our customers work in capital markets, investment management, portfolio management, private equity, debt lending companies and banks. Having access to accurate data enables building better financial models which results in better investment decision making.
Rasheq Zarif: You are also the COO of Real Estate Women. Do you feel optimistic about the state of equity and inclusion within real estate?
AK: I am so glad you mentioned equity first! Our mission is 100% focused on reaching equity in real estate. We have partnered with the University of Warwick in the U.K. to compile a report on the gender pay gap and have been running roundtables to facilitate conversations amongst real estate professionals. We are now approaching companies directly to participate. With this project in hand, I feel optimistic, however I am conscious it is a long and hard road. Companies are on board but change is shockingly slow.
Rasheq Zarif: What steps has Cambridge Finance taken to achieve increased accessibility for underrepresented groups across the built environment and real estate sectors?
AK: We set up a scholarship to help people from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds to access our training. We help by partially funding their training which can be up to 50% of the costs. This was a result of seeing that over the years we have been in business, 90% of our client base is white and male. Our objective is to find both women and men who are being overlooked by companies and give them an opportunity to scale their career
We’d like to thank Anouk for taking the time to speak with us.
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