Day in the Life: Residential letting manager
I’m usually up and on the move from 7am. I take my dog for a walk, get dressed and then head to the CKD Galbraith office in Inverness, which is a 30-minute drive from my house.
By this point I’m in need of my first chocolate fix of the day. I’ll listen to my answer-machine messages and sort through e-mails – prioritising work and planning my journeys. Last winter I had a horse to muck out and feed in the mornings and I’m shortly getting another so that will mean 6am starts, which I’m not especially looking forward to.
A full lunch-break is a luxury for me – I don’t often have the time to stop completely as often lunchtime is when people wish to view properties. I can also be out meeting clients or just driving through lunchtime to get to the next property.
If am in, lunch is eaten at my desk while e-mailing, or else it’s a packet of crisps in the car. I’m not complaining, though, I love the pace of my work and being kept on my toes.
Overall, I’d say that 40% of my time is spent out of the office, I get to travel all over the Highlands to visit properties, clients and tenants. This has given me quite a few interesting tales over the years. One of the most memorable trips was when I went to do a property viewing in Dalcross and couldn’t get up the very long driveway as two lambs were stuck down the cattle grid. I managed to free one but the other lamb had been gorging on the grass growing in the grid and was too fat to get out so I had to search for a nearby farmer to rescue it.
Another property visit resulted in me accessing the house via a cat-flap as the keys didn’t work. I’ve also taken trips to clients on remote islands which meant arriving by private boat, probably the most breath-taking commute I’ve ever taken on a working day.
I can still be out and about or sorting out paperwork for the next day, organising repairs, checking up on works, doing appraisals on new properties, updating landlords and tenants, carrying out inspections or tenant check-ins or even preparing inventories.
Generally I spend a lot of time on the phone, it’s important to build good relationships with clients, both landlords and tenants. This is often done through honesty and maintaining regular contact; keeping them informed of legislative changes and maintenance work to their properties or often just reassurance that the minor details are being dealt with for them.
I usually get home before 6.30pm. I may be on appointments further afield and just head straight home or at a managers’ meeting down in the central belt. Once home I begin a new set of tasks. First job is to take the dog out for a walk and light the fire, and then I will exercise the horses, feed and put them to bed. I don’t usually eat or sit down till after 9pm – by which point I’m not likely to get up again.