Laura Cochrane, property investment manager for Belle Property Cashmere and Samford, enjoys the fact she gets to work with beautiful homes and would have pursued architecture or interior design if not for property management.
When did you first join the PM industry?
I first joined the PM industry six months ago, but was working for two years prior to that as an administration manager.
Why did you join the PM industry?
It’s always been something that appealed to me. I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people find their new home and ensuring the process is as seamless and pleasant as possible.
What would you like your next career step to be?
I’m always looking for new ways to better myself and my professional profile. My next goal is to successfully manage a portfolio of 100 properties and have good relationships with all tenants and landlords.
What piece of technology do you find the most useful for your business and why?
My phone is an extremely valuable asset in my daily routine. It’s my way of keeping my calendar, contacts and maintenance updates together in one place when I’m out of the office.
What area of PM needs more training focused on it and why?
The main area of focus always needs to be relationships with clients. It’s important for them to see as us accessible and personable during their time at the property.
What skills does a PM/BDM need to be successful?
A PM/BDM should always go above and beyond for their client. No matter the situation - having a great product or service is important, but it’s only part of the job. I believe the main ingredients in being a successful PM/BDM are communication, trust, reliability and honesty.
Where do you believe a PM’s responsibilities should start and end?
I think a PM should meet the landlord at the first appointment alongside the BDM to create a happy client relationship from the word go. I believe it should never end; you should always keep contact with both landlord and tenant. They are always going to be in the real estate market; they might not be looking at this stage, but they will in the future.
How do you deal with disgruntled and aggressive tenants?
You should look at it as a challenge rather than a problem. I start by listening to their concerns with empathy. Reason with the tenant, apologise and find a way to take action and tackle the challenge.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in the PM industry?
If I wasn’t in the PM industry, I would go into interior design or architecture. It’s always appealed to me and I love my job because I get to go through so many beautiful houses, so I really get the best of both worlds.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy coming to work every day and experiencing new challenges and meeting new people. No two days are ever the same. It always keeps me on my toes and I love it!
What are the most stressful aspects of your job?
The most stressful aspect of my job is finding the balance between work and personal life. It’s a struggle to go home and shut off from work when it’s a 24-hour job and there are always a thousand things to do.
How do you relax after a stressful day at work?
After a stressful day at work, I like to go home, do some yoga and read a book. It’s an easy and quick way to relax.
How would you describe a perfect property management day?
My perfect property management day would be filled with happy tenants and landlords and successfully maintaining all properties to the high standard that is required.