A behind the scenes look at a Property Managers 'normal day'
I’m based in Chester and I manage a portfolio of properties in the North West of England and North Wales. The area is pretty large and includes Liverpool, Manchester, and across to Rhos on Sea, which is where I’m heading today.
My main responsibilities are managing properties to ensure the smooth running of the development from a works and financial perspective, as well as keeping our customers happy.
It's a beautiful day...
My day begins by being woken up (at a very early hour) by a very energetic and loud three-year-old so there is no need for alarms in our house!
After carrying out the daily nursery ‘drop off’, I’m on the road at 7.30 am to begin my site visits.
As the region I cover is quite large, I tend to do these on a grouped basis i.e. the North Wales sites all in one go and then my Manchester sites etc. I enjoy the drive to North Wales and Rhos on Sea and, from the motorway, I can see the castle where ‘I’m a Celeb’ will be filmed this year.
I carry out a full site inspection looking out for any maintenance issues. I also undertake compliance checks, such as testing the lift line and emergency lighting. Then I’m back in the car on the way to Wrexham, where I have two developments.
The first one I visit is a large estate so I’m assessing the grounds and play areas. With the site being an estate, the main cost residents pay for is landscaping. As such, I don’t feel I can accept average landscaping — it needs to demonstrate good value for money.
The last North Wales site I visit is a block of flats. I again ensure any compliance checks are carried out — checking the lift line, door entry, emergency lighting, vehicle gate, AOVs etc.
During this visit, I also meet with the Residents Management Company Directors. They are a friendly group, who care greatly about their homes. Many of the Directors have held the position for years and I’m fortunate that we have such a strong, positive working relationship with them.
Over time, I have had the pleasure of getting to know them personally, so a section of our meeting is a simple ‘catch up’ on how we all are – and what we have been up to. While these meetings do take some considerable time out of my day, I strongly believe that building these relationships is such an important aspect of my role and one I hope conveys my genuine care for my clients and customers.
While grabbing a bite to eat back at home, I’m uploading the completed site visit reports, so they’re fresh in my mind. I then move on to responding to any emails or queries that have come in, complete any budgets that need preparing and review any accounts.
Throughout the afternoon, I also ensure I keep in touch with my property services advisor as we’re ultimately a team and so it’s important I offer my fullest support.
I tend to turn my laptop off at around 5:30pm so I can pick my daughter up from nursery.
The ‘battle’ then begins to get her to eat her tea (or ‘dinner’ for any southern readers), wind her down and get her ready for bed.
Once she is down at about 7.30-8pm, I may turn my laptop back on, depending on what’s happening site wise. After all the above, to be honest, I’m shattered so I usually then just watch something on Netflix with my wife!
So, James, what do you love most about your job?
The feeling of success and accomplishment when I’ve overcome a hurdle. The role can be pretty challenging, but I find that I really enjoy resolving any issues.
I’m proud to work at Mainstay as I genuinely believe we care about our customers and try to offer the best service possible. Additionally, as a company, Mainstay is always looking to be better and does not rest on its laurels.
I’m still a Mainstay ‘newbie’, having been here for just under a year, but the time has absolutely flown by and I believe I’m now making a real difference to our sites and customers.