Monthly Archives: December 2018

How Property Managers Can Embrace Technology

With the right set of property management software tools, you have access to an entirely new level of efficiency and scale. Paperless processes free up time for your staff and improve efficiency, which leads to more time to focus on growth opportunities.

Less Paper Means Easier Document Recall

Going green is always good, but this is far from the only benefit to you by using modern property management software. Being truly paperless means you have quick and easy access to digital records as well as a reduction in the risk of human error in your processes.

You won’t need to worry about not being able to read your documents from five years ago because the ink has faded. No longer will your process be subject to a misplaced digit or a loss of records due to a physical office move. And putting your files in the digital space improves your data security. The best cloud solutions put the protection of your sensitive business data first.

Portfolio Expansion Opportunities

Many property management businesses want to grow and add units, but they lack the time and resources to scale. Adopting modern, online tools into your processes gives you the ability to spread your wings into new territories. Modern property management software comes equipped with built-in processes that work regardless of your proximity to the property. Everyone on your team can stay connected and complete their daily tasks–from handling maintenance requests to paying owners to signing a lease – all from their mobile devices out in the field.

Heightened Efficiency Levels

Automating your workflows equals more efficiency. The ability to immediately pull up records is only the tip of the iceberg. It saves your team time and keeps processes consistent across offices and regions.

Workflow automation goes beyond helping your current team, but imagine being able to ramp up new employees by allowing software to guide them through recurring processes. Less time spent on training means more time for your senior team members to focus on service and strategy.

Going paperless, expanding your portfolio, and streamlining processes are just a few of the benefits of embracing technology, but it doesn’t stop there. Look for a property management solution that will help you run your day-to-day while being your tech partner as your business grows and evolves over time.

Still healthy demand for construction work on fit outs and office refurbishment

Although the new commercial development sector may be subdued, specialist contractors are seeing a continued demand for construction work on fit outs and office refurbishment. According to Glenigan the construction sector has been buoyed up by a series of major refurbishments of government offices while some large private sector groups are also investing to update and modernise their commercial space. For example, Overbury and Morgan Lovell, one of the leaders in the sector and part of Morgan Sindall Group, recently reported a 13 percent increase in revenues at its fit-out division to £831 million and a record profit of £43.8 million, which was above its target range. However, the competitive nature of the sector was reflected in an unchanged margin of 5.3 percent.

The average value of Morgan Sindall Group’s fit out enquiries received last year was £2 million and around three quarters of its projects involved refurbishing office space which was currently being occupied.

The need to modernise central government offices is emerging as a key source of construction-related work for fit-out specialists

The company has seen a number of large new office construction fit outs. Major new projects started over the past year included 220,000 sq ft of space at Royal Dutch Shell’s new multi-story office in London, a 27-storey fit out at the nearby Shell Centre tower and a 155,000 sq ft fit out at BBC Cymru Wales’ HQ in Cardiff.

The need to reconfigure and modernise central government offices is emerging as a key source of construction-related work for fit-out specialists. Tenders are currently being invited for a £16 million office refurbishment and fit out at the Dept of Transport’s London base at Horseferry Road, where work is set to start in summer 2019 and continue for 18 months.

Significant client

In the UK regions, HM Revenue & Customs is proving a significant client. Tenders have been returned and construction work is set to start this coming August on a £20 million fit out of the HMRC Government Hub in Edinburgh and continue for nine months, with Turner & Townsend acting as project manager. Tenders have also been returned on a £20 million fit out at HMRC’s Cardiff office with work set to start in July and continue for 20 months.

The pipeline in the sector is also benefiting from some significant office fit out projects in the City of London. Meanwhile, bills have been called on a £7 million office refurbishment of two offices for the Hon. Society of the Middle Temple in EC4, which is set to get underway in autumn 2019 and continue for 18 months.

5 Questions You Shouldn’t Ask in an Interview

When it comes to conducting interviews, there are a handful of questions you simply shouldn’t ask the candidates in front of you.  Whether it’s because your words could be misconstrued or cause offence, sometimes you need to look for a way around a certain question if you want to get to know your interviewee without putting them on the defensive.

Here are just five questions you really shouldn’t ask in an interview, with a few alternative ways of finding out the information you need…

1. Do you have kids?

It’s a given – you should never ask if someone is expecting or already has children.  It probably wouldn’t even cross your mind to ask the ‘family question’ of a man, so don’t ask it of the woman sitting in front of you either. You could try, instead, to ask whether they see any problem with the working hours if they have other commitments outside the office.  That gives your interviewee a chance to let you know if they have little ones who will need picking up and dropping off at school or other relatives they need to care for.

2. When did you graduate?

Asking when someone left university could be a tricky one, as it’s almost as good as asking their age.  Rather than run the risk of being accused of age discrimination, try to find a slightly more tactful way of asking about their degree and subsequent experience. You might try asking about what and where they studied and hope they raise their graduation year of their own accord.  Failing that, asking about where they see their career going or what they are looking for in a new job can get them to open up and talk about past achievements.

3. Where do you live?

Commuting can really take it out of you, so most recruiters want to know their candidate isn’t going to be making a gruelling hundred-mile round trip to get to and from work each day.  Asking where someone lives could, however, be misconstrued as prying or finding grounds for discrimination. You might try highlighting any commuting benefits your company offers, such as travel discounts or car sharing schemes.  Alternatively, try asking if they are happy with the location of the office and give them a chance to talk about how close or far it is from home.

4. How many sick days did you take in your last job?

Asking about sick days is tantamount to asking about a person’s health, and that’s a definite no-no.  If someone has a condition they feel they need to tell you about, then they will tell you in their own way and at the time of their choosing. Never pressure someone to reveal any medical details.  Instead, you could try asking if they see any barriers which might make it tricky for them to carry out their work, giving them the space to talk about their health if they feel the need to.

5. Why should we give you the job?

It’s still a staple question in many interviews, but most candidates will be put on the defensive if you demand to know why you should hire them.  It can come across as confrontational, and you won’t get the most out of the candidate if they feel you’re putting too much pressure on them. There are much friendlier ways of posing the same question, so you might want to ask them to highlight the key skills and experience they have which make them suited to the position.

Some questions have to be completely off the cards, so never ask anything which could be seen to be prying into ethnicity, religion or a candidate’s health and wellbeing.  Most interviewees will volunteer the information you’re after if you leave your questions fairly open-ended, so phrase things creatively and let your candidates speak freely if you want to get the most out of your interviews.