Working and living with Dandara
Mandy Anderson, 31, started as the lettings manager with Dandara Living in November 2015. Jobs in Scotland finds out how her first year in the job has been.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE FOR YOU?
I’m based at the lettings suite at Forbes Place, so I’m ideally located to welcome new tenants to their new home and also help existing tenants with any queries relating to the property or their lease.
The development really has a community feel and it’s great that we’re on-site and able to provide a prompt personal service to our customers.
A lot of new residents have moved in recently so most of my time has been taken up helping them with their move, and providing home demonstrations so they are able to enjoy their new apartment as soon as they arrive.
I’m also regularly required to give tours of the development to companies which are considering Forbes Place for employee accommodation.
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE?
I have previous experience of working in retail and marketing roles, and spent the past eight years working in the lettings industry.
I started off working for a family business where I was given the opportunity to gain a lot of experience on all aspects of the industry, from property viewings and inspections to the important administrative tasks and regulatory requirements involved in leasing properties.
TELL ME ABOUT FORBES PLACE
The development is one of Scotland’s first bespoke Private Rental Sector (PRS) communities. Located within Dandara’s award-winning Stoneywood development, Forbes Place features 292 fully-furnished apartments and townhouses available for rental only. Residents can choose from studio, one and two bedroom apartments, which are available from £660 per month, as well as our exclusive three-bedroom townhouses which are located just minutes from the city centre.
We have an experienced management team based on-site, and we provide a secure parcel receipt and temperature controlled grocery storage service. There’s also a Co-Operative food store within a couple of minutes’ walk and a new Marks and Spencer Simply Food store is due to open at Stoneywood very soon which will be really handy for all residents.
HAS THE ENERGY SECTOR DOWNTURN AFFECTED THE RENTAL MARKET?
Forbes Place is a really convenient option for people who will be working in Aberdeen for a specific period of time. As a result we’ve secured a high number of tenancies with people who need to be based in the city but prefer having the flexibility that renting a property offers them.
The development provides luxury living for those not investing in a permanent home – giving them the very highest standard of accommodation without the need to secure a mortgage. At the moment our first block is more than 70% occupied and we are already operating a waiting list for the launch of the second block.
HOW HAS DANDARA LIVING ADAPTED TO THE CURRENT MARKET?
We developed Forbes Place in response to continuous high-demand for rental homes which provide security of tenure. Forbes Place is owned by a major institutional investor, so there’s just one landlord. This means our residents have peace of mind that their tenancy can last as long as they need it to.
There’s no need to worry about receiving an unexpected notice to leave their property because the landlord has decided to sell it or move back in themselves – which can often be the case when renting from an individual landlord.
There are also a whole host of other benefits, such as all communal areas, landscaped grounds and the apartments themselves being under active management, so any maintenance is arranged quickly under the instruction of one landlord.
Forbes Place also addresses a significant shortfall in quality rental accommodation in Aberdeen. The development is perfect for companies who need access to high quality accommodation for employees, and professionals who move from location to location and don’t want to rely on hotels to provide the standard of living they desire.
This new PRS concept is designed to give our residents extra special treatment.
DO YOU ENJOY WORKING IN PROPERTY?
Absolutely – my job is challenging, very fast paced and really rewarding.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR JOB?
I enjoy listening to customers, finding out their requirements and expectations, and making sure we provide them with a great customer service experience and, ultimately, a home in which they can enjoy a comfortable and quality lifestyle.
WHAT EDUCATION AND TRAINING HAVE YOU HAD?
I completed a BA (Hons) in Business Studies at Robert Gordon University and was lucky to get the opportunity to work in New York, on a one-year placement, as part of my course. I also recently completed a Scottish Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management, accredited by the National Federation of Property Professionals.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE FOR ANYONE WANTING TO GET TO A SIMILAR POSITION?
Be adaptable, creative and organised. Try to get some experience in a lettings agency where you can develop your organisational and communication skills as these are absolutely vital for a role in the property industry.