Each year we are delighted to be able to send a group of our Property Factoring staff to the annual PMAS Conference and on Friday 27th October 2023, a selection of our Directors, Team Managers and Property Managers attended this year’s event, ready to be informed and updated on several important topical issues including cladding, insurance, and EV charging.
Jennifer Reoch, TV and Radio Presenter, hosted the event and James Groves of Indigo Swan immediately engaged the audience with his interesting opening remarks.
Industry professionals delivered excellent and informative presentations on the following subjects:
- Everyone Can Help to Tackle Debt
Christine Convy – Dunedin Advisory
Dean Kressinger – Gallagher
Alistair Halley – Sedgwick
- Cladding Update
David Reid – Past President of PMAS
Amy Stuart – Scottish Government
- The Joy of Reading Deeds
Aaron Kane – BTO Solicitors
Lucy Dunlop – BTO Solicitors
- Prioritising Workload / Productivity
Lyndsey Segal – Think Productive
Stewart Hamilton – Allied Surveyors
- EV Charging
Duncan Lead – Pod Point
Gordon McGregor – Energy Saving Trust
- How to Deal with Negative Feedback
Andrew Pain – Mental Health and TEDx Speaker
Feedback on this year’s event has been very positive with everyone enjoying the day and learning more about the important topics currently affecting our industry.
Our team found the Q&A-style Insurance presentation engaging, with interesting points including the duties of disclosure under the Insurance Act 2015, and areas where the onus lies to share information with insurance providers, such as where a property is under-insured or may have relevant previous insurance claim information. The sharing of real-life examples in these areas further captured the interest of the audience and the points raised in these discussions will add to our internal training and guidance resources.
The team found the cladding presentation informative, and it was useful to have an update from those at PMAS who are closely involved in engaging with Government and other stakeholders on this issue. The Scottish Government’s position was reiterated – that homeowners should not be held liable for any costs in relation to cladding remediation – and this prompted interesting discussion within the smaller groups.
The interactive session on reading Deeds was found by some of our newer, less-experienced team members to be useful but challenging. This has emphasised the importance to us as a company that time is taken to ensure these trickier aspects of the property factor’s job are given special focus and the suggestion has been made to offer dedicated in-house training workshops on how to understand Deeds and their sometimes complex terms and references.
Everyone found the presentation on EV charging to be interesting and relevant particularly as this is proving such a hot topic for new build developments and how the maintenance and costing for this will be handled going forward. Some of our customers have been exploring retro-fitting EV charging points to their developments and interest has been expressed in exploring the option of sharing this presentation with the rest of our property factoring teams. This is, and will continue to be, such a relevant topic and it is therefore our intention to form a group of in-house subject matter experts to keep an eye on updates, particularly in the area of grants and funding.
Repairs are a huge focus of the service we assist our customers with, and it was interesting to see some of the new tools and technology that is now available, as well as learning more about the process of working through major repairs. Some commented on the grants that are made available by some local councils, albeit with reports of funding being cut as well as possible two-year waiting lists!
Special mention was made of Andrew Pain’s presentation on handling negative feedback – with the concept of the “happy anchor” – a joyful activity we look forward to and which lifts our spirits and energises us – striking a chord with many of the team – and the helpful and practical advice given by Productivity Ninja, Lyndsey Segal, which included recommendations of apps to help us optimise our time as well as suggestions of using red and green flags to alert others to our availability throughout the working day.
The group also enjoyed being able to network with industry friends and representatives from the various event sponsors, making new connections and building on existing relationships which will continue to be of benefit in their daily work.
One of our team members concisely summarised the event by saying “the sessions were really interesting and helpful and there was something to take away from all of them”. The group has been sharing their experiences of the event with their colleagues and are looking forward to putting their knowledge into practice as they continue to deliver the best possible service to our homeowner customers.