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Now we are four. Having come through the terrible twos and the troublesome threes, we are looking forward to the fabulous fours, as almost poetically this blog comes out four days before what will be MIH’s fourth official birthday. Much like the Queen, we have two birthdays, the 7th November 2016 being our Founders day! and the 25th of December is when we took our first property on.
As we approach the end of our third year I think it is only right to look back at both the highs of the year although we will admit there have been some lows.
So to start with the highs, MIH has continued to grow exponentially, with staff settling in and staying put, the accounts department has grown by a third as has the property management department all due to the continuing expansion of our portfolio.
In addition, our team has been supplemented by those joining who are not directly from an industry background but bring a whole lotta experience (paraphrasing Led Zeppelin) which props us and fortifies those of us who are purely property management.
I think all MIHers would agree that with the event of those who have joined us from the hospitality industry have managed to refine what was already a very good level of customer service. In the period that we have been in the office, our team is often wreathed in smiles after having spoken to our clients and being showered with compliments on the individual service they have given. As Mehreen, a Property Manager through and through, put it after she joined, MIH genuinely cares about what they do!
The property management industry continues to grow, thrive, and diversify, keeping us on our toes. For the senior members of staff who can sometimes feel a little like they are stuck in a rut – there is a limit to how many times you have to explain that an overflow is an owner’s responsibility. New legislation keeps it both challenging and interesting, if at times somewhat frustrating to deal with.
As with anything, our team is now getting to grips with new legislation including Cladding Reports and EWS 1 forms, and working alongside our clients to try and overcome the difficulties presented by them. The vagaries of the classification system, A1, B2 are beginning to become clearer to us now and form part of our everyday vernacular.
On our commercial and AST management side we have had to deal with the ban on evictions but have managed to come out of the other side with all properties remaining occupied and rents being paid in full on time even if to our chagrin, rent reductions have had to be agreed to keep it this way.
As always MIH keeps up to date with the latest trends with our younger members of staff keeping us up to date! It is truly amazing what they find on the internet to shock us and making (some) of our receding hairlines curl.
Perhaps most importantly with the growth of our portfolio is the strengthening of our relationships. MIH has always been a tightly-knit team of like-minded people who really do want to provide an outstanding service to our clients. For those clients who have been with us since the beginning, our relationships continue to flourish, with the benefit to those clients being that we can anticipate their needs before they have even given issues any thought.
For our newer clients, they are able to take advantage of our long tenure in the industry which results in not much having got past us and from our fresh approach to the management of their property. The proof being in the pudding when a new client commented “Thank you! It’s making me feel a bit dumb, to be honest; all those emails and anxiety could have been avoided for just £360” when we obtained a quote for legal advice on a long-standing issue they faced.
The strong bonds between our team and our clients are further reinforced by our ties in the industry. When MIH was first conceived, part of our ethos was that is we couldn’t deal with an issue we could find someone who could, hence the moniker Make it Happen. As we mature, our panel of contractors and experts has grown and we continue to astound ourselves even when we find the right person or company to deal with something no matter how inconsequential. Rather than the best case of flattery being imitation for MIH, the best case is when our advice is sought and followed through to what is usually a satisfactory conclusion
Having written about the highs of the year we feel duty bound to at least mention the lows to ensure a proper balance. Although the specter of Brexit had been looming over us all, the true impact has still to hit. However, the very real threat of COVID -19 has cast more than a shadow over our business, with our office having had to close in March for an extended period and the fall out being that two established members of staff reassessing their lives and making the decision to move on from MIH. We were sad to see them go although we did manage a few weeks with both when we returned to the office.
Perhaps more heart-breaking though was making the decision in mid-September to say goodbye to our offices again due to the re-emergence of the virus. As a company that values its staff, we did not feel that we continue to risk their health with the increasing number of infections, notwithstanding that our office had been designated as COVID safe space.
We really do miss working with each other and are currently finding innovative ways and places to meet up to ensure that we don’t lose the all-important MIH team spirit. Sadly, this has also had a knock-on effect on our office move and we have to delay this until the new year when we hope there will be some more stability and we can all go back to being the noisy, loud but ultimately committed bunch we have always been. Inevitably and much to our disappointment there have also been some management lost and MIH has had to accept that sometimes things just run their course. While these are regrettable, our takeaway must be that sometimes MIH can’t Make it Happen for everyone.
At the risk of this blog becoming sleep-inducing, we think that it is time to conclude and to focus on the positives that being four years old will bring. From the ashes of being three, a new team structure emerges with a strong Senior Management Team who have been tasked with consolidating the three main areas of our business, Property Management, Accounts and Administration to ensure all provide phenomenal service. An ever-growing portfolio populated by happy clients who are looked after by a growing team committed to the hard work needed to Make it Happen and finally, a new home for MIH in the new year where all staff can work together. Much like the hackneyed wish made by Miss World contestants in the ’70s and ’80s for world peace, MIH’s birthday wish when we blow the candles out will be for the end of COVID 19 so that everyone can get back to normal.