Inspirational Woman: Darya Kolas | Director & Head of Social Housing, Copping Joyce

Meet Darya Kolas

Director, Copping Joyce

Copping Joyce is among London’s leading surveying firms, working with the likes of the Crown Estate, government departments and family estates, handling major real estate deals. Darya is Copping Joyce’s youngest and first female equity partner; an impressive career trajectory that has seen her quickly rise-up the ranks. In 2017, she launched Copping Joyce’s social housing team – following strong year-on-year growth it is now one of its best performing departments.

Today, Darya is Director and Head of Social Housing at Copping Joyce, where she plays a key role in the direction of the business, spearheading an ambitious growth strategy.

Tell us how you got into real estate; did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Absolutely, yes – real estate was always the plan, for me. I studied Finance and Financial Services at the University of Westminster before completing a Masters in International Real Estate and Planning at UCL. My dad is in property and I very much followed in his footsteps.

I joined Copping Joyce in 2015 and quickly became Head of Department just two years later, launching the firm’s first Social Housing department. Our social housing offer has been really-successful and has seen huge year-on-year growth; we’re on track to hit £1million this year.  

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Yes, certainly – but success never comes without its challenges. The real estate and finance industries aren’t for the faint-hearted; you need a really-strong work ethic and commitment to make it to the top. There have been a lot of long days, long nights and, like anyone building a successful career, I have had to make sacrifices within my own personal life, putting work first.

Resilience is so important and has played a major role in my journey – it’s an essential quality for any leader. It is positive to see more businesses beginning to switch onto the importance of providing more in-house support for employees in high-stress positions, making sure that people are supported emotionally and mentally so that their careers can continue to fly.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Consistency – it isn’t about being the best, but being consistent and continually showing up and performing your role to the best of your ability. That and being brave – not shying away from trying new things and taking calculated risks; learn, adapt and be resilient.   

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Building a network is really important, whatever industry you’re in, whether it’s real estate, finance or fashion – young people should get out there early and build their connections; start creating their own network. You will build new relationships, which will grow with you – never discount people your own age; their careers will bloom alongside your own and you will be able to support each other along the way.

I’d also advise finding a mentor – he or she will be able to offer invaluable support and insight as you build your career, while helping to dodge any potential mistakes! A really-good mentor is brilliant at any age or stage in your career, but it is particularly useful for those just starting out.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

I’ll be focusing on growing our social housing department and working with the wider team at Copping Joyce as we target £5million.

I’m extremely proud of the career I have built so far and whatever the future holds, I’m pretty- sure it’ll be in real estate!

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