In the second in our series of blogs about the role of our central team of lettings experts – and how they support our landlords - we find out about the role of Assistant Team Leader, Matthew Leech.
Matthew, what is your position within Your Move and what does your job briefly entail?
I am the Assistant Team Leader of the Property Management Team and have been with Your Move for three years. Although I originally came to the business with no lettings experience, I was able to combine my experience in retail (and my understanding of the importance of good customer service) with sheer enthusiasm and hard work and, as a result, worked my way up from being a co-ordinator to my current role which has led me to be responsible for a team of 30 lettings experts.
Why do you think it is important to have a specialist team like yours to support landlords and tenants?
It’s understandable that some customers may think that, as a central team based in Southampton, we’ll be unable to offer the same level of service as those located in the vicinity of a particular rental property and that, in some cases, there are too many points of contact within the business. What I’ve seen during my time at Your Move, however, is that it is constantly looking at ways to adapt and react to the customer's needs and, as a result to these particular concerns, we’ve created the Property Maintenance (PMC) Team. This offers our customers a more personalised service when dealing with maintenance and end of tenancy queries and, by having "one point of contact" strong and lasting relationships have been built and the level of service has vastly improved.
A testament to this success is that originally many of our existing team were concerned to move to the Property Maintenance Team role but, seeing the new challenge and the obvious success it was generating, within three months we had a full team of enthusiastic members who continue to be fully committed to the new role. The added advantage is that, by working with the branch, we can combine the local knowledge of our local teams with experts in specific areas of lettings which creates the "best of both worlds" and means that we can offer, what I believe, is an exceptional and unrivalled service to landlords.
What do you do on an average day?
We have routine meetings to discuss any changes in the lettings market or regulatory requirements and also ways to improve our service further – bearing in mind both staff and customer feedback. On average our team will deal with about 150 - 200 incoming calls a day and often have to react quickly to deal with emergency maintenance. The typical day will involve taking maintenance calls, seeking landlord approval to maintenance requests, sourcing the most appropriate and cost effective contractor, getting the works instructed and keeping both landlord and tenant up to date. It will also involve dealing with end of lease queries and negotiating on amounts to be deducted from the deposit and reaching an amicable agreement between both landlord and tenant. It’s something that some landlords, without a letting agent to support them, would have to do themselves.
What are the key problems that you are faced with and how do you solve these?
Every call in the PMC team will have a "problem" to be resolved. Calls are normally either from tenants reporting maintenance issues, landlords calling about the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy or tenants calling to request the return of their deposit. We appreciate that these subjects are emotive for our customers and we like to resolve these issues as quickly as possible - whilst still working within the parameters of our role.
The fact is that everyone in our team likes to be a "problem solver" and takes pride in trying to rectify an issue for the customer. Our aim is to be quick in our response, offer clear communication and updates and see the problem through to the end.
All of our team draw on the experience of others and take advice from colleagues. Everyone wants to do the best that they can and all like to help each other - as well as our customers.
You provide a great service to our customers – what does this mean to you?
As a team we are all aware of the importance of our role and the fact that we have been entrusted to manage our landlord's property and, as a result, this is not a role we take lightly. The sense of pride in reaching a resolution for our customers is immense.
Customers realise this is our role but the success in the Lettigns Agency of the Year Awards 2016 - when Your Move won the Gold Award for Best Property Management - gave us even more reason to be proud and instead of resting on our laurels we have all committed to becoming even better.
Sum up Your Move Lettings in three words
Striving for excellence.
Thanks Matthew for giving us an insight into the important work of the Property Maintenance Team – and, we hope, help landlords and tenants appreciate the efforts Your Move makes to providing the best service possible to them.
More blogs about the role of our lettings experts will follow soon and, if interested, you might like to ‘Sign up for Updates’ by providing your details at the bottom right of this screen to ensure you receive these, and other Your Move blogs, automatically.