Getting to know Mehreen – MIH’s Property Manager
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So this is Christmas. For most, 2020 has been an awful year and we are sure that there is not one person who will be sorry to see the back of it. From the memes we see the idea is to delete the year from the annals of time, however while we may be feeling that personally (and particularly when considering the separation from our families over the festive season) for MIH it has actually been bittersweet.
As always when we come to the end of the year, MIH look to review their year and to consider both the highpoints and the low points so that we can consolidate, reassess and reconstruct where necessary. For us every setback is something we can learn from and although we appreciate that this might sound a bit new age we assure you that it is always on the basis of how it will benefit us and ultimately our highly valued clients.
We start at the very beginning of the year when we returned from our festive break with the memories of our Christmas party far behind us, weight gain on all sides and a pledge from nearly everyone to stick to “Dry January”. We also returned to the January blues but being a positive and upbeat team, we tried to shrug these off, and with this attitude continued to take on new business throughout the first quarter of the year and start the difficult search for new offices.
Regrettably the warning sides from China were not heeded and writing this on a bleak December day, our founder can remember watching the morning news hearing these stories and thinking it would bypass the UK. How wrong she was and March saw our first lockdown with MIH beginning to make contingency plans prior to the official Boris announcement. Although we as a company pride ourselves on our proactivity, nothing could have prepared us for a three-month separation and how this would affect morale. Although we tried very hard to keep up spirits with the usual virtual calls, working on a rota system so that staff weren’t tied to their computer for a solid 8 hours a day it was not an acceptable substitute for being together and the office banter that we are accustomed.
Our lesson learned if any, was how important it is for the MIH team to be together and when we returned in June, our office relationships were strengthened as we were all aware of how unique the MIH working environment is and how vital it is for the craft of property management to learn from each other, both junior and senior members of the team.
We were lucky enough to continue to work together until the second lockdown and those months proved to be busy ones, so much so that MIH began to look for a new Property Manager.
While we always have an eye on the bottom line in the accounts, we are always acutely aware that a Property Manager has to be happy with their portfolio to ensure peak performance and if they feel overloaded then it is up to us to relieve that burden.
A high point has definitely been the recruitment of Mehreen. In previous blogs, there have been comments about the interview process at MIH being like no other and thankfully Mehreen was able to ignore the vagaries and has already very much become part of the furniture. Mehreen was described as a “joy to work with” by one client and I think that all of us would agree.
Although our silver lining was then pierced by our then Head of Department and longest serving member of MIH leaving in September, the smile was soon back on our face with the arrival of Finley.
Although the interview process at MIH may be like no other – (eminently true if you consider that our founder met Finley working in hospitality during the lockdown) Finley is also fiercely individual.
She has been a breath of fresh air to the office and has reminded the more senior entrenched members about how rewarding training and teaching property management can be. Her successes so far, which are many are celebrated by all of us. It is extremely satisfying to see that our harvested knowledge being passed on to others and working so effectively.
However, any gaps in our service couldn’t just be filled by Mehreen and Finley alone notwithstanding the stars that they are and October and November saw the final pieces of the jigsaw complete (well for now at least) with the arrival of Stuart, Candice and Brian who have all quickly become part of the MIH team. All, despite coming in during a very difficult time have already started to make their mark at MIH and complement and enhance the MIH team.
So, having touched upon some of the bittersweet events of 2020, I turn to perhaps the most important one. Initially when MIH started at the end of 2017, the team comprised of Sarah Fisher alone and a part time accountant. As at January 2021 we will be team of 11 and it has become apparent that changes had to be made a MIH to keep up.
The first significant change is that we are looking to move offices in January. Back in June we had made the decision to look in London Bridge as it was a central hub and meant most of our staff would only need to take one form of transport to work. Something we felt was a no-brainer due to the pandemic. However, due to our growing team and portfolio across all areas of London it was felt that we needed to have offices more accessible to our properties and therefore MIH will be looking to take two offices in the new year so watch this space.
You can watch this space by looking at our new website, which was our second significant change and something that we had to get our heads around. However, over 2020 it has become increasingly apparent that MIH is no longer based around our founder who stared the business from her kitchen table and our clients need to know more about our team.
Although we wanted to stick to our fundamental principles of having a user friendly and informative site, you can now learn a little more about who we are and pandemic permitting, we will be arranging a photo shoot in the new year so that you can see who they are in addition to knowing what they think about property management.
The third significant change is that we now have a Senior Management Team as we believe that much like the African proverb about taking a whole village to raise a child, MIH needs a whole team.
During the pandemic we realised that a company is only as good as its constituent parts and we are pleased to say that the well-oiled machine at MIH works the way in which it does because of this. As we look to end this blog, we would give particular thanks to Joe Starkey who stepped up to be Head of Department and has already made the role his own and to Richard Townsend, who has been a proverbial rock since starting last year. At MIH we are lucky enough to call our colleagues our friends and that is what makes MIH so rare in the property management industry.
This leaves us with only one thing to do which is to wish all our Staff, Clients, Contractors, Future Clients and their families a very happy merry jolly and every other positive adjective that you can find, Christmas. We also take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy 2021 and look forward to continuing our collaborations in the New Year.