Eve Thomson

Experts in Spotlight: Eve Thomson – Head of Marketing

This series has received a lot of positive feedback, and we are overjoyed. In light of this, we will continue our series of interviews in an effort to find new information, specialists, and people ready to impart their experience. The focus of today’s interview is on design, co-space living, and the various forms of accommodation that Kosy Living provides from a Head of Marketing perspective. Let’s see how Eve Thomson works as a marketer in the field of property development and operation.

Introduce yourself, describe your present position and provide some information about the business you work for. 

My name is Eve Thomson, and I am the Head of Marketing at Kosy Living. Kosy Living is a UK-based property developer and operator that is creating communities in the co-living, build-to-rent, student housing and later co-living sectors. Our main sector at the moment is co-living, and one of the largest projects we are working on just now is the delivery of Brighton’s first co-living and co-working urban village.

How people live and work has and is changing. Kosy Living’s mission is to build spaces that encourage and facilitate human connection and collaboration, enhance lifestyles, and create unforgettable memories for residents. The design vision is always with the three crucial things in mind: how it will work for the end user– residents and the Kosy Living team, how it can be futureproofed in terms of adaptability and sustainability, and how Kosy Living can make a positive contribution to the community and the wider community whilst minimising environmental impact.

Our co-living communities are attractive to a variety of people from newcomers to a city, professionals, graduates and freelancers, to budding entrepreneurs. We provide destinations in great locations where they can live in a community, with all bills and amenities included. Residents will have the ability to enjoy their own privacy and serenity yet have a multitude of spaces to relax, socialise, get to know their neighbours and work with unlimited access to the co-working facilities. 

What is your background, and how did you get to where you are now?

I decided to do a business degree in 2011 and within the first year I found I had an interest and natural flair for marketing, so chose to specialise in that field. After graduating with a Business with Marketing (Hons) degree, I worked as a Sales and Advertising Coordinator at a University Union where I focused on business development, marketing, advertising and sponsorship. I took the lead on advertising campaigns for external organisations seeking to promote to the Glasgow student market. I also organised various events including fresher’s week and student accommodation fairs where I met many people within the PBSA (purpose-built-student-accommodation) industry. This led to my next career move in student accommodation where I was assistant manager for two years, helping with the launch, marketing and sales, and management of a new student accommodation before moving into a new role with a new company as a marketing executive.

I was brought in to build a brand and help to sell out the company’s flagship student property in Glasgow. It was a big success, won multiple awards and sold-out year-on-year. I delivered the website, online and offline advertising campaigns, and led on sponsorship and various PR. I have also done marketing work for clients through the consultancy arm of the business which gave me great experience in different property sectors.

After four years as a marketing executive, I was given the opportunity to join Kosy Living as their Head of Marketing in 2022.

I have always been interested in property – I’ve watched all types of property shows on TV for as long as I can remember! That’s why I decided to move into the industry when offered the opportunity. Discussing large projects from the early stages to seeing them be designed, constructed, fitted out and then becoming a home for people is a fascinating journey to be a part of. The technology and sustainability initiatives that can go into buildings now is amazing and continues to progress at a fast rate. 

What are your tasks/responsibilities at Kosy Living?

It’s my job to manage the brand and marketing strategy. I help model the communities we want to create through service and design and lead on all B2B and B2C marketing and public relation activities from the planning and construction stages right through to the promotion of the apartments available to rent for prospective tenants.

My tasks vary and involve planning, writing content, creating documents and press releases, producing and delivering advertising campaigns, social media, the website, SEO, and working with colleagues and partners to create and deliver campaigns, and successful developments. 

Who has been your most important professional mentor?

My mother has been a huge inspiration to me. A single parent, she raised both me and my brother herself, studying part-time to then go on to build a career. She was the Public Information Officer for a district council and has done a lot of similar work to what I do now, which is interesting and something I didn’t realise until quite recently! I learned a lot from her work ethic, and she taught me to be confident in what I do and the value I bring, to always be keen to learn new things and “if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right”. She balanced work and personal life perfectly, which I think is hugely important in any career. 

What underutilized tools are a need for your work?

One tool which I cannot recommend enough is Canva. Not just for marketing roles, I even have some friends that are teachers using it now. It’s an online graphic design platform that provides templates and functionality to create visually brilliant presentations, social media posts, videos, and other documents. I want to point out that it absolutely does not replace the amazing and complex work that graphic designers do, but it’s an easy-to-use tool that allows users to be a bit more creative and professional when producing materials.

I also use HubSpot regularly and various google products e.g. analytics, ads and search console. Also, as I work from home, Microsoft Teams is massively crucial for me to speak and collaborate with my team. 

If you could go back and give your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Read more. I’ve always enjoyed books but didn’t read enough when I was younger. Reading is so beneficial. You learn, your vocabulary increases, it improves focus and memory, and enhances creativity.

Every day I search for the latest industry news, research, and articles. Feedly is a great tool for this as you can choose your interests and find relevant publications.

I also read books in my spare time. I have just finished Billy Connolly’s autobiography which was brilliant. He is so funny and straight talking. His attitude to life is just so admirable as he has been through a lot of hardship.

Another great book I read recently was Jamie’s Keepsake by Michael Gallagher. A wonderfully written novel by a Glasgow author, and I found out that he is donating all profits to Cancer Research, which is commendable. It’s a fantastic story that made me laugh out loud and cry. He describes Glasgow so well, and the characters are really engaging. There was also a great twist at the end. Highly recommended.  

What is the most well-known aspect of your company or workplace?

The co-living village in Brighton has become well-known. The building design, studios, shared spaces, and amenities are very impressive, and we have some excellent imagery and videos to show what it is going to look like once complete.

We believe that having great outdoor space is essential and it reflects in this scheme as it has various garden courtyards and a roof garden terrace. Having outdoor spaces are so important for the positive mental health and environmental benefits they bring. The village will also use low and zero-carbon technologies including air source heat pumps and solar photovoltaics, plus a 1500m² green roof space which has the ability to improve air quality and increase biodiversity.

We have also been involved a lot with Property Week over the past year which has been great. They are one of the leading B2B publications on the commercial and residential property markets. Kosy Living has been on several front covers of their magazine, featured on the website, e-newsletters and in news articles.

What’s one lesson your job has taught you that you think everyone should learn at some point in their life?

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need – whether it be extra support from colleagues on a project, additional training, time off or a salary increase. There is no harm in asking. Sometimes we need to be proactive and ask for what we need to continuously work towards the best version of ourselves – personally and professionally. The worse they can say is no, and even at that, it’s likely to open the conversation and work towards some sort of resolution.

At what time of day do you get your best work done?

I’m a bit of a morning person! I work from home mostly, so I get up, have breakfast (I always blend a fruit smoothie in the morning) and start the day. I find it important to stay hydrated, and if it’s a dry/sunny day I always try to get out of the house at lunchtime, even if it’s just a 20-minute walk around the park or walk to the local café to pick up lunch. These little moments make such a difference in the afternoon to keep up energy levels and stay focused throughout the day. I do enjoy an espresso too…