Julie Griffiths, An Inside Outlook
Julie Griffiths (Property Manager) is responsible for all Mainstay properties in Swansea, Cardiff, and Bridgend. Speaking with Julie, she was able to outline how her role has changed and the obstacles she has had to overcome in a short period of time to ensure the safety of her residents.
Previous Property Manager insights
Over months gone by, we’ve spoken with Property Managers to give insightful outlooks on ‘Being a Property Manager: https://www.mainstaygroup.co.uk/news/being-a-property-manager/ & ‘Day in the life of a Property Manager’ like. https://www.mainstaygroup.co.uk/news/day-in-the-life-of-a-property-manager/
With the growing number of workers transferring to home working. This has led to an upsurge in the amount of waste which is therefore being generated. Residents are eating more meals at home and aren’t having lunches out whilst at work or dining out in the evening. Julie has had to ensure that all her sites and their bin stores have been able to cope with this increased demand.
Due to being unable to view developments directly, this has affected Julie’s ability to instruct maintenance to be completed. If a light has unfortunately failed or something has been broken, Property Managers are able to see these issues in person during their site visits and inspections. However, in the current situation Julie is having to instruct based on photos and videos received from residents directly.
Residents spending more time at home has led to an increase of clearing unwanted items from cupboards in and around their properties. As the local waste amenity centres have now closed this has meant a vast increase in the level of waste being left throughout the bin stores and surrounding areas. We are also currently dealing with a higher than normal level of communication around noise from neighbours or acts of antisocial behaviour as more and more residents are confined to their homes, matters of which are not within our power to resolve.
Julie has had to carefully monitor which services are still able and prepared to work at developments; some of the larger national companies we work with on major projects have ceased to work, meaning planned projects such as decorating all communal areas in apartment blocks has been placed on hold. All communal lighting in the large blocks of Copper Quarter were due to be changed to LED to improve our carbon footprint and running costs. As a result of the current situation we find ourselves in we have decided to place this on hold until the restrictions are lifted. We have also allowed the portion of the service charge invoice for the LED lights to be deferred where needed to help our Leaseholders cash-flow.
We have elderly residents whom due to government restrictions are unable to leave their homes. Where possible, Julie has set up a buddy system in each apartment block, letters were sent to 3 large developments in Swansea then each notice board had a poster placed up enabling residents who can offer help to others to place their name and phone numbers. Where we have contractors undertaking works for us they are using video chat a lot more to be able to show their Property Managers what the problems are whilst on-site and discussing the options for the correct solutions to fit all parties. Julie’s working relationship with the usual Head-Office based Property Service Advisor has become different, “for Abbie & I, we are having twice daily calls, one voice and one video, to ensure that we are capturing between us all that is needed and sharing the load of managing the developments, our residents and our contractors.”