Chloe Gallagher is the first person to receive an OPR Gold Standard award for her contribution to the industry and her exceptional customer service. She is currently Senior Block Manager at Lee Baron.
1- How long have you been in block management for?
I worked in the property industry for around 8 years but made the change into block management in 2016 when a property assistant position became available. I had worked in Credit Control prior to that and really enjoyed learning about budgets and service charges.
2- How has Covid-19 changed your estate management practices?
Although working apart, I think this has brought people closer together. Residents have certainly responded well to regular updates, which I have purposely kept positive. I kept seeing the updates on the news and thought that we all had enough of doom and gloom. There were good things happening in the world that I was completely unaware of, so I knew the Residents probably would be too. I organised positive updates, positive new stories, shared well being apps, free exercise classes and trials, anything really that would help them, in any way, through this time. I put on and Easter Drawing competition and a virtual quiz, and all of this was really well received. I definitely think this period of time has required something more than property management, and we’ve had to look at the way in which we engage with Residents, on a personal level. This has echoed through the community, with Residents providing positive feedback to Management and Concierge staff on how they are grateful to feel part of a community at this time.
3- How have you managed to maintained leadership at distance whilst in lockdown?
It’s been crucial to ensure we have regular meetings with the team over zoom, even if it’s just to check in on each other. Initially, this started every morning, extended to twice weekly, and now once a week as we are adjusting to the new normal, and things are settling back to the way we are used too. It was also important for us to split into group A and Group B, meaning that there was always a management presence on site, as we felt we couldn’t ask the concierge team to come to work if management were not. We believe this kept staff morale up during a difficult time. All Teams have WhatsApp groups, and we are always in regular daily contact.
4- What is the number one thing you look for when hiring Concierge?
I’m looking for someone with the right energy. I think that certain things can be taught, but the right energy and enthusiasm to work, and not just carry out the standard job role is important. We try to encourage all Concierge to know these are their buildings, and they should have some input into the running of them, and pride in doing so. This all starts with someone having the right positive attitude and energy, the rest can be taught or trained.
5- What is the number one thing you look for when hiring Estate Managers?
As I have previously mentioned, community engagement is becoming just as important as standard day to day management. Place-making is high on Developers agendas and I am always looking for someone who is keen to get involved with this, bring new ideas, and really get stuck in to creating a community that they are excited to be involved in. I think that when an Estate Manager exhibits this energy, it opens up the door for them to really get to know their Residents on a personal level and provide the human touch Estate Management needs. I also look for someone who knows the job isn’t 9-5:30, property management just isn’t functional that way.
6- What do you love about your job?
I have loved my job for years, genuinely. I work for a fantastic company that has supported me from the beginning and continues to do so. They have always encouraged me in training and support, and to push myself further. I love the interaction with Residents, and getting to know them personally. All Residents have my number, and know I am available at any time. Only last week one of my lovely Residents had her baby, and was sending me photos of him, and then another had brilliant news she was pregnant and shared this with me – its these personal insights I really enjoy.
7- What career advice would you give yourself 5 year ago?
Don’t stress the small stuff and try to be patient. It’s easy sometimes in property management to only hear the negative things – often residents may not contact you to tell you you’ve done a good job, but you’ll hear about it if there is an issue. Sometimes this can be thankless, and I’d remind myself 5 years ago to not stress all that or take it so personally; you can’t please everyone (despite trying!).
8- What is your favourite place/thing to do in London?
I really like Southbank in the summer when they have the markets. When I came to London, this was the middle ground for me and my sister to meet up, and we spent so many good times walking along the river, eating the market food, and having a drink (or 10), then crossing over to the other side near Embankment for Gordons Wine Bar. If you haven’t been, and haven’t heard of it, where have you been?
From our very first conversation Andrew knew exactly the kind of role I was looking for, I didn’t have to go through job role after job role asking him to go back to the drawing board, there was an immediate understanding. During the recruitment process, Andrew was supportive and gave me all the tips and confidence I needed to sell myself during the interview stages. Once I was offered the job, the contract was explained to me in full and the process of negotiation and finalising was very easy thanks to Andrews reactive working and Client relationship management. A big thank you to Andrew for placing me in a role I am able to be excited about again, I now love my job finally.
- Sarah Fitzpatrick, Senior Estates Manager
Andrew is an extremely dedicated and hard-working recruiter. He’s friendly, listens to what you want and knows how important it is to match you up with the right role for you.
- Dorrie O’Brien, Customer Experience Manager
Zoe possesses a deep knowledge of the residential property management sector and works with a wide network of organisations ranging from developers and managing agents. What I value the most is that she always listens and was available to talk, recruiters have a tendency to treat property managers/estate managers as a commodity and this was not the case with Zoe. She is supported by like minded colleagues Andrew and Lucy who are great people also. Making the decision to look for another job is always daunting and Zoe was there to guide me and offer career advise. Thank you so much Zoe for finding me the next step in my working career, I will forever be grateful.
- Aki Spyrou, Estate Manager
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Lucy for your help in placing me in my current role. You were so easy to deal with and your communication was amazing! In the past when I've had contact with agencies they have failed to chase back up on leads or arrange interviews that they had promised. From start to finish you were so efficient and quick at what you do and I'm very happy in my new role. It was exactly what I was looking for and you kept in constant contact with me throughout the whole process. You're a star!
- Faye Davies, Assistant Estate Manager
I have worked with Zoe for a number of years and can happily say that she is one of the most professional and diligent recruiters I have ever worked with. Zoe has always ensured that every candidate has been properly vetted prior to passing me any CV’s for review. For those I progress to the interview stage, Zoe will always make sure they come properly prepared which shows her diligence for understanding the needs of the client, as well as understanding of the position being advertised. I am also thankful to Zoe for acting as my recruiter for my most recent appointment as Head of Operations. I have to say she is proactive in ensuring I was kept up to date every step of the way through the interview process and has regularly kept in touch with me since to see how I am developing into the position.
- Ben Belcher, Head of Operations
I cannot recommend Zoe enough! My client was having difficulties securing a maintenance operative given their specific requirements, and had interviewed 8 candidates from two alternative agencies, but to no avail. Zoe was attentive in understanding the business needs, and the client swiftly secured a prime candidate at a competitive market rate. Her market advice and professionalism meant that the process was efficient and effective
- Tom Young, Senior Property Manager
Lucy was professional and genuinely wanted to find the best job to fit my needs. She was able to land me a progressive role within days, helping me throughout the whole process. I was extremely impressed with the dedication to regularly check in to see how I was doing after starting the new position. Thank you!
- Anthony Bryan – Concierge
Lucy helped me find my new job. She is an absolute pleasure to work with. Very attentive, she communicated very efficiently at every stage of the process giving me enough notice to prepare along with very useful tips. She never failed to wish me luck before every important juncture be it a telephone interview or the final interview with the Directors. I cannot recommend Lucy enough!
- Jigar Savla – Property Manager
Lucy is a fantastic recruiter, she really took her time to listen and find out my needs and requests. She is very proactive, attentive, friendly and very easy to communicate with. She helped me secure my dream job and I would highly recommend her to all my friends in the property industry.
- Funmi Akinwande – Property Manager
I cannot recommend Lucy enough. Her professionalism & organisation are second to none and her knowledge and efficiency meant that the entire process of finding me a new role was stress-free and made simple. Lucy’s communication was brilliant and she was always available to answer any of my many questions. She is infinitely patient and nothing was too much trouble and I can’t thank her enough for that. If you are looking for a genuine and honest consultant to deal with, look no further than Lucy - she’s a superstar!
- Sampson Burrows, AIRPM – Block Manager
Inspired Property Management have been working closely with Zoe to find candidates to fill vacancies within our workforce. Zoe and her team have demonstrated high levels of professionalism and courtesy when sourcing candidates. They are always prompt to respond and honest and understanding of our needs. We would not hesitate to recommend them for recruitment services.
- Chris Peters – Head of Property Management, Inspired
Zoe consistently provides us with quality candidates and exemplary standards of practice. Zoe is there for market advice when needed and without hesitation I would highly recommend her for your recruitment needs.
- Dean Clarke – Director Lee Baron
Zoe has been absolutely amazing throughout the entire recruitment process. I have never met such an honest and dedicated recruiter. Zoe listens to you and advises based on her strong knowledge of the sector and your career/client objectives. I found Zoe to be supportive, motivating and highly professional during my job search and felt nothing but confident during every part of the process. I cannot thank her enough for believing in me- Zoe you are brilliant at what you do!
- Alannah Cairns, Operations Support Manager