Posted on 05/07/2018
‘Without trust, we have nothing’ – Laura’s favourite quote.
What is a typical day in your role?
As with any role, no day is ever the same. But, from start to finish, a typical day in my role is always concentrating on the customers. The morning will start off with checking over my emails, it gives me the chance to prioritise tasks for the day and make sure I’m assisting with as many queries as possible. It’s incredibly important to make sure I’m communicating with all customers and clients, so this is the main priority for me on a daily basis. I go out to visit the sites I manage at least once a week, so there’s a lot of pre-planning that goes into the visits. The most important are the FRAs and GRAs (Fire Risk Assessments and General Risk Assessments) that I carry out on each visit to ensure that our customers’ environment is as safe and comfortable as possible. It’s great to be out there on the site as it gives me the opportunity to ensure that any maintenance requests are completed, which is great, it gives me the chance to meet with the leaseholders on site to talk over and investigate any issues there and then.
I currently manage properties in Leicester, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire, and between myself and the team we cover Manchester, Leeds, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire, with a brand-new property up in Middlesbrough! During my 6 years as a property manager here at SDL, I’ve made sure that communication is at the heart of everything I do, whether that’s creating transparent and reliable relationships with our contractors, creating an encouraging and motivating workspace for the other property managers and property assistants.
How do you ensure the customer is at the heart in everything you do?
I always like to build personal relationships with each customer. Keeping the customers at the heart of everything I do. There are hard times, I won’t deny that, but it’s always important to be truthful and honest with the customer. I will never tell them something just because that’s what they want to hear, I’ve always believed it’s better to have difficult conversations that are truthful rather than telling the customer an outcome that has no truth behind it, just to make them happy. I always show my appreciation to each leaseholder who gets in touch with myself or the team to let us know about what’s going on at their property, whether that’s positive or negative, it’s really important to me for these clients to feel like they can communicate with us on an issue no matter how big or small. We’re all human, and I understand that things can happen incredibly quickly and change without it even getting picked up on! I want to make sure that regardless the issue all clients, customers, contractors and team members are speaking up and discussing these issues, it’s really important!
What are the most common issues you deal with?
Lights 💡 Intercom 🔔 Lifts 🏢 Fire Alarms 🔥
With these issues in mind, an important bit for advice I would give to leaseholders is to consider the out of office charge. The yearly charge provides you with 24/7 access to the out of office services, so in a nutshell if there’s something that happens whilst we’re not there, there will always be someone to pick it up and work on it with you not matter what time of the day!
As a property manager you must have been in some funny/awkward situations! Tell us about one:
Well, as a property manager you are prone to coming across some interesting happenings! I think for me personally, one of the most interesting experiences was when I was visiting a site (which shall remain nameless for reasons which will make sense in a few seconds!), as I’ve mentioned no matter how big or small the issue, I like to make sure each client has that personal touch. I was handing over a set of keys to one of the residents, and to ensure that this was carried out securely I decided I’ll hand them over to the resident at my next site visit. I knocked on their door, no answer, knocked again, waiting, a gentleman from another flat had come out to join me and we got chatting, next thing you know, the door fly’s open and the resident was there…completely nude!
Laura has been recognised as an SDL legend due to her hard, committed work over the last 6 years as a property manager. Laura radiates passion for both SDL and her customers. She will challenge and fearlessly stand up for what she believes in and will take the lead getting things done alongside making sure she’s doing her best for her customers.
Two years on since the launch of SDL Property Partners, we take a look at how the network has developed so far.