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    Apply for Gold Standard Award Interview with Michael Paul

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      Michael is the Founder and Managing Director at Strangford Management and is continually striving to deliver the best service within the industry.  He has been awarded OPR’s Gold Standard for November 2020!

       

      1. What makes a good block manager?

      That is quite a broad question and it really comes down to a mix of experience and softer skills. The best property managers I have worked with are the ones that have had experiences, good and bad, which they have learnt from and improved themselves thereafter. This role entails a constant cycle of learning and the best ones are the ones that constantly strive for an improvement to themselves and others around them. The softer skills are communication, strategy, persuasion and empathy, all needed for the role!

       

      2. What do you class as excellent customer service?

      I think it comes down to communication really, that when combined with a strategy leads to successful results. With an effective strategy you can start to pre-empt issues, solving them before they become large enough to be noticed and if you can start to achieve results in that manner, then communicate them frequently, you will start to notice peoples reaction to your customer service.

       

      3. What advice would you give your younger self 5 years ago that you know now?

      Well I started Strangford Management about 5 years ago so that would be a very long answer as the difference between then and now is considerable. Steering it away from Property Management for a moment, one great bit of advice I received (amongst many others) was to read more. You can gain such valuable experience vicariously through someone else’s experiences so whilst you may not be exposed to certain situations yourself, you can make great improvements just through reading more. That, and meditation, huge game changer!

      4. What is your favourite place in London?

      I feel like I have a favourite place in each borough of London really so that’s difficult but as our office is in the City I will stick to there. I would say St Dunstan in the East, early in the morning as the sun breaks through the ruins, it’s a magical place at that time and it’s a special place for me personally.

      5. How has Covid effected block management?

      With property management being a customer led business, and with Covid having a huge impact on all our customers, it has brought many challenges, from the restrictions of meeting face to face, learning new technologies to adapt, the challenges of managing staff remotely and issues around mental health both internal and external, it’s been a learning curve that we have all experienced and are continuing to do so.

       

      6. What is the biggest challenge within your role?

      I am quite a hands on Managing Director and sometimes that is a blessing and a curse. It is a challenge to be getting involved in day to day issues whilst at the same time promoting the vision of the company and helping the employees and business on a macro level. Business is all about people and that can be a juggling act at times.

       

      7.What do you look for when hiring onsite staff?

      Experience in the industry and the softer skills I mentioned previously however I think a lot of agents overlook the suitability of matching the staff to the development. Certain onsite staff will match a certain type of development or building and therefore we really look to find the best fit for both the employee and the development as a whole.

       

      8. Why do you love your job?

      I love the people first and foremost, from the people I work with to the people we engage with outside of Strangford. I find people fascinating and love dealing with all sorts of people from a wide variety of backgrounds, you can learn so much and experience a lot in this industry through the people you deal with.

       

      9. What makes Strangford Management different to other managing agents?

      We look at Block Management is a different way to most and that is reflected in the way we have internally structured our staff for each client, the way we charge our clients and the systems we have in place to promote reporting and communication. I believe we have a deeper understanding that the industry is not just managing buildings but managing people, managing systems and managing results. We have a fantastic network of consultants that allow us to introduce technology to the company that continually innovates and promotes improvements.

       

      10. Where is your favourite place to holiday?

      I would say San Diego in California, I have family there, that combined with the beaches, the relaxed culture, the food, the weather….I could go on!

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