Service: Property & Asset Management | Contact: Aimee Purdy
Q. How did you get into PM?
I left university with a degree in business management and then was faced with the same responses when applying for various office jobs – not enough experience! I worked for a company that had repair and maintenance contracts with large social housing organisations so I dealt with tenants on a daily basis arranging repair works and organising quotes and managing a diary of busy contractors.
I joined a West End property management team and spent four years gaining lots of experience before moving into an assistant surveyor role for a large international company. Whilst there I was promoted to surveyor and remained with the company until a left to join Gerald Eve in a senior surveyor role!
Q. What’s the best part of the job?
I love how varied the job is and no two days are the same. I enjoy meeting with the tenants and building relationships with them and I always find that once you create these relationships, if there ever is a problem (and there often is!), they can be resolved much easier! I enjoy visiting site and seeing different locations across the UK even if they often are flying visits – visiting site means that the weeks are varied and you are not sat in front of a screen 5 days a week! I manage all sectors so I have to be able to think and apply different emphasis for example the level of cleaning and security might be different for a heavy industrial estate to that of a multi-let prestigious London trophy building. There’s always so much to consider but at the heart is still the relationship with the tenants, the team and the investor.
Tell us about your route to becoming a chartered surveyor – As I completed a degree in Business Management this was not an RICS accredited degree. I joined the Associate pathway which is based on experience and I completed this in October 18. As I get such a wide variety of experience I can see that within a few years I will be fully qualified and MRICS. It’s hard working full time and studying but I am very well organised and determined!
Q. What PM achievement makes you proud?
I took on the management of a new property that was purchased in Birmingham. The tenants had various issues and complaints regarding the previous managing agents so it was our opportunity to shine. I held a tenant meeting early on where I met all the tenants and discussed our vision for the building. I also set a new service charge budget where I managed to reduce costs but also included works such as the replacement of the lifts which had been an ongoing bug bear for the tenants, new changing facilities for those that cycled to work and installing a new access control system that would allow us to reduce security costs which in turn reduced the overall budget. I feel that along with support for the FM who is fantastic we have managed to build some good tenant relationships and create a more positive attitude in regards to the building. My role is really important to the asset manager because there are a few floors vacant and she is letting these. I can see how my role directly affects those lettings.
Q. How does technology help you in your job?
Technology helps massively and without stating the obvious having a phone and email allows you to be contactable 24/7 so if there ever is an emergency a tenant can get hold of you.
We have a PAM Whatsapp which is invaluable and can also be a lot of fun. It always gets an immediate response so I am never stuck for long waiting for information. It is also used for safety reasons to make sure lone working is made safer. I have had a number of occasions when I have received encouragement just at the right time and also useful for canvassing opinions – this reception desk or this one!
Another piece of technology I use is ‘on the go payments’ of suppliers. Never a wasted moment anymore on buses and trains. We have a superb record for quick supplier payments which means we are always at the top of the list for quick responses when we call someone out. Another example of relationships worth working at for everyone’s benefit.
Aimee Purdy – Property Manager, Senior Surveyor
T: +44 (0)20 3486 3619