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Secrets of a Membership Manager

Runway East

4th January 2018

From what we can tell, Megan spends her days having lovely conversations where everyone near her smiles a lot. Is that a job? How has she wangled this? We sat down with her, determined to get some damn answers…

So what is a Membership Manager, anyway?

Well, basically I create and maintain our relationships between our brilliant startups and our brilliant spaces. I make sure we create the spaces our clients want, I keep up to date with what they might want next, I keep our contractors on schedule, sort contracts and generally get brilliant people what they need.  

Hence the smiling?

I mean… ideally there is smiling involved, sure.

So what’s a typical day for you?

Every day is different! I might be touring round one of our buildings, checking on our updates or recent builds, I might be investigating a brilliant new startup that I think would be a perfect fit for us, I could be meeting with our members to see what else they’d like to see in their space, the startup world is very much my oyster.

Is there a best bit to this oyster?

Er, I think the ‘solving our brilliant members’ problems’ part of the oyster is my favourite bit of the oyster.

And the worst bit of the oyster?

Right, the word oyster’s lost all meaning now

Sorry, yeah, not sure how this has happened

But if you’re asking what’s the hardest part of my job…?

Yeah, let’s go with that

I’d say it’s when we can’t quite manage to get an amazing startup to join us, due to whatever circumstances – it’s frustrating when I can see just how much we could contribute, and how we could help, but it doesn’t quite work out.

So, dealing with our members is your favourite thing?

Absolutely. I love finding perfect solutions to what our members want that cover all bases. It’s my whole thing.

Also don’t they sometimes send you flowers and balloons to say thanks?

Look, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t in this almost exclusively for the balloons.

So what made you choose to work at Runway East?

It was really clear to me that everyone here is ridiculously passionate about what they do, and about taking care of the community they were building. I wanted to work somewhere where we’re encouraged to go above and beyond for our members, and that is exactly what Runway East is about.

Also, it’s impossible not to be inspired by our members. There are some incredible people working in these companies – they’re the whole reason our team exists! – and it’s a genuine privilege to spend so much time around their ideas and energy.

Do you want to brag about anything specific you’ve done?

Can I?

I mean, we won’t send you balloons for it, but sure.

Well, we managed to fill one site with amazing startups in just 5 weeks – a whole building! From 0 to capacity! What was great about that is it was such a great testament to the communities we’d already built – people knew we were trustworthy, knew we delivered on our promises, knew that they could rely on us to offer the best space in town.

So what’s the secret to success??

I’m afraid the secret is really pretty boring – it’s being transparent, dependable and reliable. Set realistic and appropriate expectations, and then meet or exceed those expectations. Never promise something you can’t 100% guarantee, and if you don’t know the answer to something, don’t pretend you do.

‘Let me get back to you on that’ is absolutely not a dirty phrase, just as long as you do get back to them. Listen to what people want, and treat every deal like you’ll win it. Earn trust, prove you’ll do what you say, and always think about how you could be doing more. Do they count as secrets?

Not really?

Ah well, they’ve worked for me so far.

What would you say to a future Membership Manager?

Always put our members at the centre. Start with the customer, and you’ll make the right decisions. Also, balloons.

Always balloons. Thanks Megan!