Meet George Cooper

Posted on 13/11/2018

“a DREAM written down with a date becomes a GOAL a goal broken down into steps becomes a PLAN a plan backed by ACTION makes your dreams a REALITY” – Georges favourite quote.

What’s your role here at SDL, and how long have you been part of the team?

I’m currently based in the London office, working as a Property Assistant after working my way up the company. I’ve been with the company for about 2 years and 8 months, maybe a little longer! I moved down to the London office at the start of March this year, I originally started my SDL career down in Birmingham. It was such a fantastic opportunity for me to progress my career (and also have the opportunity of a lifetime to live down in London), I just couldn’t say no! There is such a great vibe with living in London, there’s always something going on.

What is a typical day in your role?

Wow, there’s no such thing! I know everyone says this, but every day really is different. I’m always speaking with suppliers, residents and leaseholders. The conversations are really varied, from discussing the maintenance of the communal areas, to raising orders with the suppliers. The one element that doesn’t change is communication. I’m always in constant communication with people, whether that’s over the phone, on a 1-to-1 basis or over email. It’s so important in my role to ensure that communication is at the heart of what I do. There are a lot of tasks that you just naturally dip in and out of when they happen, such as when my PM’s are away, naturally I just step in and take initiative, especially when there are unexpected surprises such as broken-down lifts or property damage from the weather.

How do you apply our company values on a daily basis?

I’ll be totally honest, it can be difficult to ensure that all residents are happy all of the time. It can be difficult to make a decision that I know will benefit the whole development, even though some residents may not be happy about. I ensure the company values are followed through and through, by being completely honest and realistic with the residents, suppliers and anyone I communicate with both internally and externally. Whenever I prioritise my to-do list, I’ll always let residents know what the situation is. If there is a development who are experiencing an issue with security and another development are enquiring about getting the flowerbeds replanted, I’ll always be honest and let them know that there is a security emergency and the safety of the residents is my main priority.

It can sometimes be challenging trying to explain all the work that goes on behind the scenes, there are so many elements that are involved in my role and situations can sometimes be a bit intense, by ensuring I’m completely honest from the get go (even if that means letting them know something they won’t like), I know I’m doing the best for my customers. It can make such a difference; an honest conversation really goes a long way, it can really change a resident’s opinions and feelings towards a situation.

What are the most common issues you deal with?

The issues I deal with on a daily basis change all the time! There are some that regularly occur because my main focus is the maintenance of the development, I’ve come to learn that there are some issues which are just inevitable. I work on similar issues to my Property Manager, assisting them with their own projects too. One of the most interesting aspects for me, is assisting with the fire risk assessments for each development. There are so many different elements involved, knowing how important they are for our resident’s safety, makes it so rewarding once I’ve completed it. Property Managers regularly attend development meetings with the residents for that block. Conducting these meetings has really helped develop an honest, open relationships with the PM team and the residents, we really value their honesty, it allows us to learn a lot from them! Once my PM has returned, we have a debrief and it allows me to work on the issues that the residents have raised, making it better for them in any way that I can. I’ll be completely honest, there are some difficult moments when liaising with the residents.

My drive in this role is to ensure that I stick to the management pack and the terms of the lease, but also maintain a great relationship with each and every resident. It’s so important in this industry to remember that the issues raised, and the situations that these residents are in, affect their everyday life, it’s where they live! It’s super important that I maintain an honest relationship, inevitably there will be situations that both the residents and I would rather not happen, but that just can’t be helped all the time. I think it’s fair to say that in the past, our industry has come under fire and had a lot of stick for how situations have been dealt with. I’m here to help change that, every issues raised by residents is so important to me, I’m here to make it better and love our customers.

George has been recognised as an SDL Legend for making it better. George’s passion for SDL Property Management and the industry is infectious. Revolutionising the customer’s experience of property services is at the forefront of everything he does – thank you George!