Susanne Annis walks us through a typical working day in her role as Mainstay's senior mobilisation co-ordinator.
The team ensures a smooth and efficient handover of new build (and previously managed developments and estates) to Mainstay as the managing agent.
Today, I’m up early to travel to a new development to review the areas we will soon be taking management of. The pandemic has meant that carrying out site inspections has proved more of a challenge than usual, but between myself, Sharon Cross (Mobilisation Manager) and Nikita Smith (Senior Mobilisation Co-Ordinator), we have all worked in accordance with guidelines to ensure its business as usual across the country.
Despite all the challenges, we have been really busy this year, taking on over 50 new sites, with over 4,000 units, which we are really proud of. Developers have also worked so hard this year to keep their schemes on track and keeping us updated with their progress following the first lockdown.
The site inspections are an important part of the mobilisation process as they help us to really understand the structure and systems of the developments so we can set them up to be maintained to the required standards. They also enable us to confirm that everything is as stated on the development site plans, which we take with us and refer to – not an easy task on a wet and windy day!
The inspections vary from walking through the outside landscaped estate schemes (my favourite in the summer months) to climbing numerous staircases of apartment blocks. My manager, Sharon, tends to inspect the larger apartment schemes as these can be quite complex, and can also require the involvement of Greg Scrivens, our building services engineering manager.
We also invite the property managers and advisors to join us so they can familiarise themselves before we handover the development to them to be managed.
After a quick lunch break, I’m back in the office, where I begin my paperwork and tackle my emails. Taking over a site involves liaising with many of my internal colleagues as well as numerous external third parties.
We work closely with the developers and their solicitors to ensure all of the information we require about the site and customers is received and set up correctly in our management systems. We will also send out the first contact letter to customers to inform them that we will soon be their new managing agent and what this entails, followed a further letter soon after the handover date, which provides them with all the contact details they need.
Our department also sets up the initial contracts required for the grounds and building management, alongside our Compliance department. We will then liaise with many teams, including our financial and property management teams to let them know who is working on the scheme. Once we take handover, we issue our ‘Live Notification’ emails to the whole of our Mainstay colleagues – this is probably the hardest part, ensuring the email is correct before sending it to every staff member!
I’m so lucky that I work with Sharon and the rest of the mobilisation team. I joined the department four years ago and I can honestly say that I have loved every day. We’re quite a small team, just five of us with Julie Taylor and Tara James, but the sheer variety of the role means that no two days are the same. And with new legislation coming into our area of work, our jobs are always evolving and becoming busier each year.