To put it very simply, I call myself a developer when I hand over the keys.

November 25, 2017

As I drive through Dubai in the evening, I sometimes pass homes that MAG has developed. I feel a sense of accomplishment, not just at the architecture and the facades, but when I notice the warm lights that glow from the windows. These lights indicate that the houses I built are now homes. These are moments that make me smile.

By definition, a developer is one who gets a team in place to construct a building. But is that all who we are? Within the few years that it takes for a vision to become a blueprint, a blueprint into a masterplan and finally, a masterplan into a fully constructed project, there are a multitude of things that a developer promises – from deadlines and quality of materials to safeguarding investments. I believe that only when these promises are met and all shareholders, teams, investors and customers are happy with their homes, can one earn the right to call himself a developer.

It takes experience to become a successful developer. There are many promises to keep, trust to earn and reputations to build. At the end of the day, I could construct a building, attract investors and even manage to sell all the units, but if my end user isn’t happy, I will not be able to build another property with a clean conscience.

Real estate is one of the most major investments a person makes in their life. It is a commitment to a huge chunk of time and hard-earned money. More importantly, it is the cocoon where they store all that they hold dear, celebrate their achievements and bring their lives to fruition. When the stakes are this high, as a developer, each decision must be meticulously calculated, every promise fulfilled to the highest standards and every detail of every project is fine-tuned to perfection. Reputation and trust are the key drivers of our industry – and it takes vision and time to earn them.

The vision for my projects come from one question – what do my customers want from their home? This includes where they want to live, where they come from, who they want to be, what their aspirations are, what kind of interiors do they want, how financially flexible do they wish it to be, what is the lifestyle they desire, and so much more. My key decisions on elements of every project, are based in the answers to these questions.

Management books and articles today are full of advice on customer satisfaction being the key to keeping a business strong. However, when one is in the business of building spaces for homes, just customer satisfaction isn’t enough. For me, it’s about delighting customers with all I have to offer and then tailoring my offerings exceed their expectations. Because if not for them, then who else am I building for? One of our core values at MAG is to first think about our customers’ needs and happiness, and then work backward from there to envision and build spaces that cater to all their wishes, and go the extra mile to give them more.

Whether it is a preferred location, a unique type of design, or flexibility in payment, we at MAG always think about Customers first. When their needs are met and they have happily taken the keys to their new home, that moment is what defines my success – and it is only then that I call myself a developer.

– Talal M. AlGaddah is the Chief Executive Officer of MAG PD and CEO Middle East Awards’ ‘Young CEO of the Year’ – 2017.