22 January 2020

Mastering relationships

Mastering relationships

According to tenants, the best manager in the shopping centre sector is Mayland Real Estate – the manager and owner of Serenada in Kraków. We spoke to Maciej Kiełbicki, the managing director of Mayland RE, about the significance of this accolade and the most important aspects of working as a mall manager

Mayland Real Estate, the manager and owner of Centrum Serenada, has been chosen by tenants as the best shopping centre manager of 2019, while Serenada itself also won best shopping centre. What do these awards mean to you?

Maciej Kiełbicki, managing director and board member, Mayland Real Estate: The biggest challenge for the shopping centre sector involves meeting the constantly evolving needs of consumers. This is the role of the tenants, our closest partners. The awards granted by them confirm that we have lived up to their expectations and we have together been able to provide our customers with the quality they now expect. Receiving two Eurobuild Awards is both a delight for us and motivates us to work twice as hard! Thank you on behalf of the entire Mayland team.

The Eurobuild Awards have a ten-year history. What do these latest awards mean to Mayland?

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your wonderful ten-year anniversary. For the real estate scene the Eurobuild Awards have always been an important reflection of its achievements and a kind of confirmation of companies’ presence in the mainstream of the sector. It’s our sector’s ‘Who’s Who’. Down the years these awards have recorded the history of the evolution of the large shopping centre market in Poland.

What do you think is most important aspect of the work of a mall manager?

Most of all it’s the ability to combine the tenants’ business goals with the requirements of customers and the local market. It’s the ability to create a coherent and comprehensive tenant mix. It’s also necessary to be able to adapt in a rapidly changing business environment and to the changes on the local market. You need to be observant and reach conclusions quickly. The ability to build relationships with the shopping centre owner is also important. A good manager is someone who is great at both B2B and B2C relationships. And this is quite a unique quality to have.

What are Mayland’s plans for the next few months?

We are planning the extension of Serenada. This is a thriving retail and service centre, but it would be natural to enlarge it, since it offers multi-format gastronomy, a wide fashion range, entertainment and the public space that are needed so badly in this part of Kraków. This extensive, mixed-use centre can bring about the desired integration of the entire Olsza sub-district. We are now in the process of obtaining the financing for this scheme. At the same time, we recognise the growing importance of mixed-use projects. In Rzeszów, we’ve embarked upon a novel concept for us that goes beyond the retail sector: we’ve already completed the first stage of a residential project that will be later supported by a shopping complex. We are also busy preparing the launch of a mixed-use project – this time in Warsaw’s Czerniaków district.

What was your evaluation of the real estate market in 2019?

It wasn’t an easy year for retail. The sector is full of voices sceptical about the prospects for shopping centres. However, I think that large and good centres that are well-established and dominant in their locations are doing very well, one example of which is Centrum Riviera in Gdynia, which we also built and now manage. Last year it was close to achieving a footfall of ten million. The state of the market has also motivated us to work on mixed-use projects and to expand our non-retail portfolio, thus opening up new opportunities for our further growth.