THE lockdown measures hit businesses across the North-east hard. But for The Property Management Company (PMC) the future is bright with management reporting “above average” lettings for July.
The firm which deals with both property management and lettings has undergone recent changes to its structure with former operations director Neale Bisset stepping up to the position of managing director.
The lettings office, in Aberdeen’s Holburn Street, has also had a refurbishment with a new shop front and Kim Middleton being appointed lettings manager earlier in the year.
The company, headquartered in Oldmeldrum, deals with the management of developments from as far north as Inverness to as far south as Kilmarnock. It also has a growing lettings division, based in the centre of Aberdeen.
Like many other businesses Covid-19 had a knock-on effect to operations. Contractor provided maintenance services were put on hold due to closure and there was a large number of move out’s from tenants. However, PMC have worked hard to ensure there was no disruption to the services they provide.
Kim, who has 11 years experience in residential lettings, said: “There were a number of people who opted to move out of their rental properties within the first two weeks of lockdown. However, since the reopening of the property market, the news has been much more positive.
Kim, who joined PMC in February, said: “Over the last couple of months, we have taken on a number of new properties to add to the portfolio and the aim is to keep it growing from strength to strength.
“Since I joined PMC, the industry has gone through a very difficult time, given that we went into lockdown and the closure of the property market.
“However, since June, and the opening of the market, there has been a big uplift in tenant move in’s, with above average activity for July.
“In the scary times that’s happening just now we have managed to maintain a level of support for all our existing landlords throughout the difficult period, and we are in a very good position coming out of it.”
For Mr Bisset, who has been with PMC for 10 years, he is looking forward to implementing new changes within the company to help bring further positive moves to the lettings department.
“We’ve had a real change around within PMC, with myself and fellow director Annette Hudson able to concentrate on the day to day management of the company. The time during government lockdown was certainly a busy time, as we looked to make use of the period of disruption to bring new changes of structure within the company.
He said: “I believe the restructure will give us the opportunity to improve further our already high level of customer service, which we pride ourselves on.
“The global Covid-19 pandemic has brought about particularly challenging times for businesses, however I feel PMC have acquitted themselves very well.
“We maintained staffing levels throughout, with our employees working remotely from home, in order to maintain our level of service.
“We kept in daily contact with our staff, utilising technology such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. The way the technology works has allowed for this to quickly become the new norm and allowed our teams to stay connected. This has not been without its challenges, particularly with some areas of rural Aberdeenshire struggling with low broadband speeds.
“The most challenging time for us was probably just after the lockdown was announced, which I assume was the same for the majority of companies. The initial uncertainty certainly didn’t help. On top of this, the majority of the contractors we use shut down their operations, so there was a three-week period where there was limited works which could be instructed.
PMC, which employs around 25 members of staff, is now pressing ahead for the future with a big focus being on the lettings side of the business.
Mr Bisset said: “We’ve used the time during lockdown to put in place new structures and try to improve our customer service and quality control further, for both our factoring and lettings divisions. We aim to continue pushing to higher levels of customer service and professionalism throughout the firm, and for this benefit to be passed onto our clients.
“Specifically for the lettings we’ve used the time to work on a new pricing structure and incentives for new customers. We have also changed our Holburn Street shop front completely, with new window displays to better advertise the properties available. It’s looking a lot better now and we are looking to grow the lettings side further.
“We’ve consistently been operational right the way through the pandemic, in order to provide the same level of service. Going forward we’ve got the new structures in place to further improve the service provided for our customers and we are very much looking forward to continue to grow the business.”