At LEXXUS, we believe that the key to success is a strong team made up of leading experts in the field. Denisa Višňovská and Jakub Sedmihradský are most certainly two of them. They help developers in development of a lot of projects, thus participating in formation of the real estate market in the capital.
Our philosophy is to build our success on people who are experts in their field. I am glad that a lot of them have been connected with the LEXXUS brand for more than a decade. I would like to use this part of the Norton magazine to introduce some of our colleagues who contribute towards the success of our partners and our own success with their knowledge and abilities.
LEXXUS has established a large part of its commercial activities through specialisation in development projects. The services which we provide to developers are based on the experience which we have been gathering and improving on since the nineties. Our clients appreciate the comprehensive nature of our work, and apart from actual sales, in particular our professional consultancy while setting up projects from a technical, procedural and sales perspective. Savings or an increase in revenue are the main benefits which our services offer. Denisa Višňovská is a Partner of LEXXUS and has been working in the company for 17 years now. She is responsible for project set-up and provision of consultancy to developers.
Over the course of her successful career, Denisa has participated in more than 45 projects with more than six thousand units. Jakub Sedmihradský is the Business Development Director and was there in LEXXUS more than 20 years ago at the birth of specialisation in development projects. Since that time, Jakub has engaged in development of the company’s sales activities and looks after new clients who contact us with their projects. Over the course of his career, Jakub has helped dozens of developers to successfully implement their projects.
Later in the Norton magazine, we will be introducing some of the new projects we are able to work on in LEXXUS, in part thanks to our colleagues Denisa and Jakub.
Karel Bor MBA, CEO
Denisa Višňovská, Partner
Denisa Višňovská has been a Partner since 2015. She is responsible for business development and PR. She started her career in LEXXUS in 2001 in the position of estate agent and subsequently project manager. She has collaborated with developers such as Star Group Ltd., Daramis Management, s.r.o., B.C.D. Development s.r.o. or White Hill, s.r.o. for nine years. Denisa holds a master’s degree in pedagogy from Charles University.
You have been active on the real estate market for 17 years. What motivates you to work?
Work must not be just a job, but a way of life. It has to fulfil me and give me a sense of meaning. Then I fall for it head over heels and give it my all. I am an optimist in life and I also see my work like that. I believe that everything will turn out for the best and always believe in the purest motives and intentions. This is why again and again I set out to face every new challenge with an open heart.
Your responsibilities include management and development of the sales team. Which principles do you apply?
I have learnt that you get what you give. Maybe that is one of the reasons I have been lucky to work with great people, but also on amazing projects which move the real estate market forward. First and foremost, there is no project which we work on which is seen as small or less important. Each and every one is worth the same care and attention. This is why I only choose like-minded colleagues. We are then together able to overcome what is often a very rocky road to success. I also believe in the power of the team. When the team is working and creating with enthusiasm, passion and understanding, we are unbeatable. Everyone has free rein and my confidence. My colleagues are experienced and determined just like me. We mutually complement each other, allowing us to create an environment that enables us to achieve amazing success stories.
Real estate is a hard and changeable business. What is your recipe for beating the competition?
I am not afraid of the competition and I never compare myself with it. We are unique and our partners on the market inspire us to move even further forward. It is important to be able to accept mistakes. Everyone makes them. Every mistake is an opportunity for change, for improvement. And I am not afraid of either change or innovation, yet at the same time I am also not disdainful of tradition and like to build on many years of experience. Whenever we find a weakness, we look for a way to effectively solve the problem.
Which types of projects do you regard as the greatest challenge?
I like dealing with things which seem to have no solution or which people say are “not possible”! They are possible. Finding a solution is a matter of willpower and choosing the right path. That is why I really like working with start-up developers or people who simply see things differently. On the other hand, the market has a clear set of rules which, with all due respect to original innovation, it is worth respecting.
Where do you find strength and inspiration for your work?
If I run out of breath or am looking for inspiration, I find it at home. As a mother of three children, I do in fact learn life lessons every day, every day I look for individual and varied ways to do things and solutions and I am grateful for that opportunity and possibility. It is then above all thanks to the children that I see the world in a much less dramatic light and I know that there are in fact no problems, we only create them.
How do you manage to combine a large family and a demanding profession?
My work isn’t work, but a way of life and then it all works together fine. But sometimes you need to switch off and get lost in the countryside, far into the country where life is still simple and real in the here and now. Where people are simply just people and me and my rucksack and my family, my friends, just exist. I feel great wearing high heels, but also wearing climbing boots and shorts, I feel great with long black hair, but also with short ginger hair. Because I am not changing. I am a little older and more experienced, but I am still myself whatever happens on the outside.
Jakub Sedmihradský, Business Development Director
Jakub Sedmihradský has held the position of Business Development Director since 2015, when he returned to the company after spending a few years resting in the mountains. He is responsible for development of relations with developers and acquisition of new projects. He has been working in LEXXUS for more than 20 years. Apart from LEXXUS, Jakub held the position of head of the residential department at Colliers and sales director for the developer SIDI. Jakub graduated from Unatego High school in New York and then started to establish his career. After work, he practices yoga and aikido.
People say that you should change your job after seven years. You have been with LEXXUS for 20 years.
I am where I want to be. Thanks to the company’s open policy, I have already been able to nip away for a while and try out other positions in other companies twice. In Colliers, I established and managed the residential department for three years, I recharged my batteries in the mountains and at the developer SIDI, I was responsible for sale of 600 new apartments in Malešice.
And what led you to return to LEXXUS?
The work I love. LEXXUS gives me almost absolute freedom to do that and the possibility of immediately implementing my plans. Although we are a large estate agent, we are a relatively small, maybe medium-sized company numbering around fifty professionals. That is why the decision-making processes are quick and flexible and a good idea can be brought to life immediately. That opens up the path to achieving a quick result.
Which results would you highlight?
My work is to pamper very demanding clientele - our developers - and to establish new relations. Over the past two years, I have acquired 12 new development projects for LEXXUS which we provide exclusive or co-exclusive representation for. In view of the situation on the market where almost no construction has been performed for several years now, I regard that as a good result. We are managing to retain developers and are gradually selling off the individual projects. The offer which is in general limited is currently helping us a lot with this.
Does that mean that just about anything is being sold nowadays regardless of quality?
We still keep an eye on the quality … We fine-tune individual projects according to the current requirements of the buyers together with the developers. Prices of new apartments have however shot up so much that regular buyers are often unable to afford them. The majority of effective demand, not only in the luxury segment, is thus made up of investors and real estate professionals, followed by foreigners and only a very small number of users. The typical middle-class family is nowadays forced to buy housing on the peripheries of Prague if not outside of the city. Even so, they are usually only able to afford to buy real estate using a mortgage. Luckily interest rates are still very low and banks are very willing to lend.
How do you assess the current state of affairs? Is a new property bubble starting?
There was a time when developers were practically able to do what they wanted. Corruption was no exception to the rule in the sector and zoning plans were altered according to the developer’s willingness to provide a bribe. The situation changed into the opposite together with the change in political atmosphere and also as a result of the economic and property crisis in 2009. Officials are now afraid of being accused of corruption and are reluctant to provide a clear standpoint regarding individual plans for new construction projects. Due to their own feeling of safety, the prefer to issue endless comments, often lacking any factual arguments. There was a time when the developers were the winners. Nowadays, the winners are those who already own an apartment and on principle do not want any further construction. Thanks to this, there is nothing to offer and prices have shot up to levels which even us real estate professionals shake our heads at. So this concerns a bubble which can only burst when new construction is performed. And I can’t see that happening at the moment.
In a situation like that, which projects are you currently vying for, if there are any at all?
A lot of developers have purchased land and have even elaborated complete projects. All they lack is a building permit. For this reason, we are competing for a large number of projects, we just don’t know when sales will start. But to be specific. Linkcity is planning construction of almost three hundred luxury apartments between Stromovka and the Vltava. This is a lovely project, truly surrounded by greenery. We are currently selling the Rezidence Churchill project by SUDOP. These are apartments along Italská ulice with a wonderful view of Prague with Prague Castle in the centre of the view. Our existing developers purchased some new apartment buildings for renovation. Among others, in Vinohrady, Smíchov and Vyšehrad. These buildings will be restored to their original beauty. A new apartment block is being built on Sámova ulice near Grébovka Park offering classic urban housing in the style of the First Republic. I could go on. So we do have enough work and we are looking forward to the time when the projects do really get started.
How do you find the energy for new challenges at work – I have heard you do a lot of sports?
I have been practising yoga for 11 years and aikido for 8. Both with the goal of relaxing and further developing myself. But neither is a sport. Sport is about competition. Yoga and aikido are about development, physical and spiritual. Aikido is also a relatively new concept which has been known for roughly 100 years. The means is a martial art, via which gradual cultivation of the individual occurs. I like the comparison with a diamond which must be carefully cut to achieve its full beauty. I devote 2 or more hours a day to that cutting. I have set that as a priority. Thanks to that, I find time to exercise. My reward is my improving health, self-confidence, happiness and fulfilment. ☐