Grab a coffee and take 10 minutes...
Read about Kate Magill, our Associate Director in the North
Kate Magill is Associate Director at Mainstay Residential, a block management company in the north west. She is a workaholic whose passion for her job has seen her carve out a successful career in a very male dominated industry.
Over a decade since Kate’s induction, the multi-faceted property company is now on track to turn over a record £25.9m this year, with a total employee headcount of 726.
Kate is responsible for a team of 45 and oversees the management of Mainstay’s entire northern integrated property management portfolio – the companies fastest growing outpost.
To what do you attribute your success to date?
Working for a fantastic company, who have believed in me in from day one. I joined Mainstay Residential in my early 20’s – I was young, quite shy and unassuming. In February I celebrated my 11-year anniversary with Mainstay Residential and when I look back, I cannot believe how quickly time has passed. I believe I have flourished with Mainstay’s support and guidance but ultimately, I love the industry that I work in – this has meant that I am passionate about what I do. Mainstay has given me the knowledge and skills to help me grow and I have backed this up with honesty, integrity, the ability to think quickly and to think outside of the box, whilst being innovative and fearless.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
I have been given so much great advice over the years. One of my closest friends, who runs her own successful business, said to me that doing the business is the easy part, bringing staff on board and actually managing staff is the hard part as not everyone has the same vision or passion that you have. You have to be confident in your approach and not let others question your ability. If I was to impart advice then I would say, mistakes happen, we don’t get everything right all of the time, it is how you learn from those mistakes and move on from those mistakes that helps you to grow. The most successful people in business will have made mistakes at some point in their careers and will be better for it.
Who inspired you most in your career?
Without any doubt my parents, they have always supported my career aspirations. Even now I go to my parents for advice. They installed within me self-belief and the attitude that women can have it all. It might be a struggle and difficult at times but the best things in life are the things we have had to fight for.
How do you maintain a work / life balance – and what do you do to relax?
Firstly, I definitely would not say I have mastered the work / life balance – that is definitely a work in progress. I am a workaholic but that comes from loving my job. To relax, it is the usual things, spending time with friends and family, walks and I am a huge fan of the Halle and Philharmonic Orchestra. I adore how classical music sooths you and helps you lose all the stresses of the day. Thursday nights are Halle night.
How have you carved out a successful career in a saturated and very male dominated industry?
Being the best person for the job regardless of gender, I know when I do a job I have done my due diligence which is paramount in my industry as I am responsible for managing our customers investments. The property industry is a constantly evolving industry. I have to take ownership to ensure that I am always up to date with legislative changes. Personality is also vital, why send endless e-mails when you can meet someone for a coffee and a good old-fashioned face to face chat? I make sure I am always readily available to my customers.
What is the number one attribute you seek in members of your team?
Integrity is essential to being successful as I want my employees to take pride in what they do. Not only are they responsible for delivering excellent customer service, they work for a company that puts the customer at the very core of its business. I want my staff to feel empowered to always do the right thing and to deliver a holistic customer experience.
What are the main challenges you face in Property Management?
Managing our customers expectations. The Property Industry is presently going through an incredibly difficult and challenging time. Our customers have brought their properties as homes or as investments and through no fault of their own they have got caught up in an ever-moving situation. As a managing agent we are having to deliver some really difficult news to some of our customers and I pride myself on always putting myself in my customer shoes, empathising with their situation and giving them the full truth.
What impact have market disruptors / technology had on your sector / day to day Property Management?
The advancement in technology means that we can document absolutely everything now, from e-mail interactions with our customers, to uploading site inspections and cleaning inspections, defect reporting and managing processes. We have to be careful however, that we do not become complaisant and let technology do the work for us. Technology can carry us, and it is an important platform for helping define our customers experience but we still need expertise and skills and a personable manner. Social Media, whilst a fantastic tool and one which I thoroughly embrace at all of my developments, can also be a double-edged sword where information becomes distorted and misconstrued.
What is your why (the reason for getting out of bed).
I love being a problem solver, being given an almost impossible challenge and working through a process to deliver the best possible outcome. My job means that I deal with different people and organisations, no two days are ever the same, and I enjoy the anticipation of what is to come.
How do you relax?
This is definitely a work in process – reading, listening to classical music and getting completely absorbed in a Netflix boxset.
What was the last book you read? Do you prefer Paperback or Kindle?
As soon as Kindle was launched I was all over it and I love my Kindle. It has assisted with decluttering but as time has gone on, I cannot but help miss reading an actual book, turning the pages is satisfying. I love my Kindle for ease and convenience – but a good old-fashioned book has to be my preference. The book I am currently reading is by Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl.
What is your favourite Holiday Destination?
That’s an easy one, New York. I love everything about it, the hussle and bustle, the fast pace lifestyle and the amazing architecture – both modern and old.
What is your favourite restaurant?
I really like going to Piccolinios in Manchester, but actually I am more about evenings in with friends nowadays, dinner parties as after all staying in is the new going out.
With thanks to Manchester Evening News