We spoke to Lorraine McDonald, owner, and MD of Speirs Gumley on the Blocktalk Podcast.
Lorraine has worked in the property management industry for 42 years so she has a wealth of knowledge and expertise and we were delighted to hear what she had to say. We’ve selected a few of her best bits to share in this news article. And, of course, you can listen to the full podcast, which is available on Spotify, iTunes, and Google Podcasts and on our YouTube channel.
So just a few years, in the property management industry Lorraine, tell us about your time in it?
I’ve been in business a long, long time. Despite being in the business a long time, I still have so much to give because it is such a challenging industry, it’s an industry that was really hard to offload the reputation that we have, which sometimes and a lot of times is actually poor. One of the main reasons for that and I constantly tell the staff there says that we manage properties that are multiple ownership properties so you know, you can have a flatted development with 500 flats in it or 300 flats in it and if you can imagine you probably have the active 40 different agendas within each development.
Therefore you can only please a certain number of owners and other owners are unhappy that there’s isn’t higher up on the agenda. And it’s a constant battle trying to strike the balance with clients and it’s not necessarily getting any easier it’s actually going to be a bit more demanding so yeah, it has had its challenges with despite that and after 40 odd years, I’m still determined more than ever to make sure the property management is recognised as a good service supplied to clients and a necessary service that should be recognised as such.
There’s still something to do I might be able to see a massive achievement but the time I retire massive change rather by the time I retire I’m not quite sure we’ll need to wait and see.
So, so let’s talk about the most challenging aspects of your time in property management. And also, what’s the biggest change you’ve seen?
Yeah, I think the most challenging thing is actually just trying to change the attitudes of clients. And it’s still a challenge. I said that at the beginning. Yeah, chatline, you know, like, no matter. You know, what spirits probably could be the best property managers out there. But as long as there’s other property managers that are even not quite doing the right things or whatever, then we will still continue to be tarred with the same deputations. So it’s an uphill struggle. So I would say that that still that was been the most challenging thing and still remains the most challenging thing and probably the biggest thing to happen impromptu most probably the property factors act. You know, that was, that was a fairly major change. And the reality though, as this just made, most of the good property managers pull up their socks and become a bit more efficient, it hasn’t really gotten rid of rogue factors, or whatever the case may be.
Because I think I told you the story of blind about how, you know, I went to fill up the fit and proper test to become a property manager. And I kept it for the Scottish Government to say, I can’t get to the next page, where is the next page in this? And they’ve said, there’s only one page. I was like, you’re joking. Oh, my goodness, this isn’t credible. And so you know, that’s fine. And that’s just that’s the way it was implemented by the Scottish Government. But as a result, you know, there was a lot of tightening up to take place. And for others, I mean, that really wasn’t a great change in terms of what we were doing already.
The biggest change for us was the first-year job, you know, so you know, having to deal with a tribunal. And listen to cases, some of which have fixation and not recognized by the first-year tribunal. So that’s been the biggest change, whereby you wouldn’t believe some of the stuff that we have to do for that someone necessarily saw and some, of course, justified. But you tend to find that you won’t let it go to tribunal. If it’s justified. You need to defend your position sometimes. So I would say it’s probably been the biggest change and property management. And we’re just going to do another one where they’ve just updated the intro, another consultation, and relationship factor sites. And again, that was all during August of this year.
Contact Brian at brian.welsh.co.uk
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