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    Apply for Gold Standard Award Interview Chloe Gallagher

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      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?

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