Our latest Just a Minute participant is Nic Mayall, managing director of James Gibb residential factors, which has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and manages 24,000 properties throughout Scotland.
How did you get started in the industry?
I’ve always worked in property in some capacity. Initially I started in estate agency, diverged into letting and then spent 10 years in corporate relocation. Moving into property factoring was a bit of a shot in the dark but it’s been incredibly rewarding and I only wish I had made the move earlier.
Biggest professional achievement:
I’ve been lucky enough in my current role as Managing Director to have the opportunity to input into shaping our business and develop innovations in customer service. We’ve recently invested in a new client access portal and launched a range of customer guides, all of which have had amazing feedback.
Best advice you received:
It’s hard to say as I’ve received a lot of good advice over the years and I try to take the best bits on board! A previous boss of mine used to say, “the sun will still rise tomorrow” and that’s always a good way to contextualise things.
What is the most important part of the industry?
Customer service without a doubt. When I started in factoring, the main emphasis was on property knowledge. Whilst this is important, we are in a customer facing industry and good customer service is what makes companies stand out.
What do you like most about your job?
The continuing variation. No day is the same and it’s all about juggling balls and making sure you catch them! I’m lucky enough to work with a great team of people who are highly motivated and professional and that makes it so much easier.
E-mails. I used to receive letters from clients when I first started but nowadays, communication is almost exclusively by e-mail. E-mail is a great quick way to communicate but there can be an expectation that everything has to be responded to immediately. Sometimes it’s better to spend a little more time and compose a better, more comprehensive reply rather than fire off an immediate response.
What you would most like to change in housing?
I think there is still some room to look at adopting more generic Deeds of Conditions for properties so there is more consistency. Incorporating a provision for a sinking fund for developments is also a sensible way forward.
What future issues do you see arising in housing?
We’re at an interesting point in housing in Scotland. I think the social sector and the private sector have a lot to learn from each other and there are plenty of opportunities for partnerships going forward.
Which newsletters do you receive?
Scottish Construction Now which helps keep me up to date and the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce newsletter.
How would you change Scottish Housing News?
I wouldn’t – I like the layout and depth of information.
Do you read a daily newspaper?
I used to read about 3 but perhaps it’s a sign of the times that I now get my news online. If I’m taking the train to work, I’ll read The Metro but I probably get most of my news from the BBC news website.
Which social media sites do you use?
As a company we’re now using social media which is a great way to communicate and get your brand known. Personally I use Facebook and Twitter a lot as well as LinkedIn for business purposes.
Hobbies and interests:
I’m a big rugby fan and still turn out for my local vets team. However, I’ve just ruptured my Achilles tendon playing 5 a -sides so I may have to take up something a little more sedentary! I’m a keen quizzer and have appeared on The Chase and The Weakest Link in the past.
Favourite holiday destination:
I’ve been fortunate to visit a lot of great places so it’s hard to pick a favourite and there’s still a lot left on the bucket list. We’ve been to Turkey a couple of times and the weather is glorious, the people friendly and the standard of hotel is exceptional.
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