Posted on 05/07/2018
“Head down, plow on” – James’ favourite quote.
How long have you worked for SDL Property Management and what do you enjoy the most about your role?
In 2011, the company I worked for (Curry and Partners) merged with Bigwood to form CPBigwood. I’ve been with the SDL Property Management family since 2016, when CP Bigwood were acquired by SDL Group. The thing I enjoy the most about my role is the variety that comes with it. There is so much for me to get involved with and work on. This is partly due to the nature of my role, but also because of the type of person I am. I always love to immerse myself in as many new and exciting opportunities as possible, so this role is perfect for me.
As a surveyor, what key areas do you focus on?
The main area that I focus on as a SDL Property Management Surveyor is residential block management. I work very closely with the property managers for each block to ensure that any maintenance within that block, is taken care of. It’s been great for me as I’ve built so many strong, trusting working relationships with each block manager. That’s one of the most important aspects for me, it’s crucial to build strong and honest relationships with my colleagues so that we can both take an honest approach to any situation, ensuring that the residents have the best outcome.
Commercial work is another side to my role here at SDL Property Management. The key area I focus on is once a company decides to depart from our commercial property, I then go in to assess the schedules of condition and dilapidations. Once a company moves out of the building, it’s important to check they have met the terms of the lease in regard to repairs and maintenance.
What is a typical day in the life of James Simpson?
You’ll be surprised to know…there’s no such thing as a typical day! Each and every day in my role is completely different and can range from spending the day in the office, completing the paper work or creating reports that are needed for each element of my role. Or I can be out on site, conducting various inspections and surveys with the block management team.
When I’m out on site, the tasks can be so varied. One day I can be working on major works that is needed for the residential blocks, these are things like re-roofing, decorating, resurfacing the car park etc. there’s no denying that these jobs can take a long time to complete, as naturally they can’t just be fixed overnight. But over the years it has been really interesting following these projects through from start to finish, working with suppliers on larger scale operations that you wouldn’t be exposed to on a daily basis! I can also be working on longer term maintenance plans. Again, working extremely closely with the property managers to plan for those inevitable repairs that are needed on a property over a 10-year time scale.
I think one of the most interesting, and certainly unexpected days at work was the aftermath of the recent Storm Doris. I was in the office, completing my paperwork for the week, when a property manager approached me, it has to be said that she was slightly flustered! I was told I needed to attend a residential block in Birmingham as the roof had been blown off thanks to Doris, I wondered if maybe it had been blown slightly out of proportion (pardon the pun) but nope! When I arrived half the roof was in the road (resulting in it having to be shut) and the other half was swinging around! Certainly not what I expected, but an interesting opportunity to get work on a different project.
What are the values that drive you?
For me, the core value that resonates with me is “make it better” it goes without saying that I love our customers and dare to be different at every opportunity I can. But, with the nature of my role here at SDL Property Management, the make it better mantra just seems to be the perfect fit. I’m constantly working on all kinds of projects to ensure that we are making things better for each and every one of our residents and properties. Naturally, there are going to be situations that aren’t the most pleasant and in the first instinct can be a bit of a disappointment. But as I mentioned previously, it’s so important to build trusting and honest relationships with everyone involved. The benefit of this really shines through in the sticky, less desirable situations as we can approach the situation honestly and head on to ensure we achieve the best possible outcome regardless.
From May 2018, James has played an important part of the legends scheme here at SDL. He’s heavily involved in the judging process, working as an official adjudicator. Since joining, James has overseen the nominations and judging process, with colleagues sharing he has “made the while process more structured and operationally streamlined”.