What can we say about 2020 that you don’t already know? We’ve had to learn a whole new lexicon – furlough, lockdown, social distancing, covid-secure, we could go on… as well as getting to grips with an ever-changing set of rules.
At Clear, we were glad to have five plus years under our belts as managing agents: our established systems, suppliers and customer-first approach have definitely helped to see us through some of the more challenging months.
So, in a year that has – at times – felt never-ending, we thought we would take a look back through the diary to pick out our month-by-month highlights:
January: Clear is appointed to manage a new 16-storey block in Liverpool. This is just one of several ‘big blocks’ to join the family.
February: Covid is starting to make the headlines. Our team is busy with residents’ meetings and discussions with new blocks – lots of enquiries about new work!
March: The government announces the first lockdown towards the end of the month, and fortunately we had already been busy planning for how to deliver good property management in a pandemic.
April: We are finding that more and more of our suppliers and contractors are on furlough and we are flat out trying to deal with scheduled maintenance work.
May: A sigh of relief when the government launches a £1 billion building safety fund to support the remediation of unsafe cladding – although it’s quickly apparent that it won’t be sufficient. At Clear, we were working hard to ensure our customers would get their share of the funds.
June: Three months of lockdown and pets are suddenly all the rage! We recorded requests to keep pets of all shapes and sizes and we worked with directors and leaseholders to secure acceptable compromises (and allow well-behaved furry friends).
July: There were no ARMA Awards this year sadly but, on the upside, the Law Commission published its very welcome proposals to improve and simplify the Right to Manage process.
August: We welcome a fantastic new caretaker to our London Road development in Stoke-on-Trent. This wonderful testimonial also reminded us of the importance of our site staff.
September: Summer is drawing to a close and it doesn’t look like coronavirus will be disappearing any time soon. However, we have made several successful applications to the building safety fund for cladding remediation, so we are super busy ensuring all the information and deadlines are being met.
October: This is the month for our annual re-assessment for the Customer Service Excellence Award. Clear was the first managing agent to secure this Cabinet Office award and we were delighted to sail through with flying colours in 2020.
November: Exciting times for Clear as we welcomed Paul Spence to the team, bringing stacks of industry experience gained from working a number of managing agents. Paul is a full member of IRPM and is already proving to be a big hit with many of our clients.
December: As for many managing agents, December was a time for budgeting, meeting with directors and leaseholders and getting ready for 2021. We were also occupied with the finishing touches to a powerful new bit of technology with compliance, communication and transparency at its core. We can’t wait to tell you more about it this year!
So, all in all, we are finishing on a positive note, but never again will we take our usual freedoms for granted (or at least not for a few years anyway!).
Wishing you all the very best for 2021.
Ian, Pete, Kevin, Paul, Hilary, Bill, Andy, John & Gordon at Clear Building Management