What we’ve learned while reaching 1,000
At the end of 2018, Umega Lettings passed the significant milestone of 1,000 properties under management. For any letting agency, reaching 1,000 properties is a very significant point in the journey. We knew last summer that we would reach the magic number around the end of the year so we started a countdown with our team and planned a small celebration to congratulate everyone on reaching this significant landmark. The run in was exciting, the celebration night was fun and I think it was right that we recognised hitting 1,000 properties and toasted the trust our customers have put in Umega, but… it was very un-Umegalike to focus on growth and we learned some unexpected lessons.
Company Culture Focus
Umega has always focused on two things; company culture and customer service. As anyone who has worked in a service based industry will tell you, company culture and customer service are inextricably linked. It’s naive to think that customer service can be increased significantly and sustainably without making similar improvements to the company culture. Our approach has always been to focus on both culture and service but to prioritise company culture as that’s the best way to drive improvements in customer service.
Growth is an Ouput
By focusing on Umega’s company culture, we’ve been able to push our customer service to new heights which in turn has caused an output (or by-product or side-effect) of a rapidly growing managed portfolio. When we recognised that we were closing in on 1,000 properties and promoted the countdown within our team, we had not realised that we were moving our focus to something that was not within our control and that our team could do very little about.
We’re not here to count properties
Although reaching 1000 properties was worth celebrating, growing our managed portfolio is not why Umega exists. It’s not what gets us out of bed in the morning and it’s not why we all come to work everyday. Umega exists to smash negative stereotypes of letting agents and become one of the best small businesses to work for in the world. That’s our mission and that’s why we are here.
We know what we’re all about
Everyone in our team has had a negative experience in the private rental sector before joining Umega Lettings. That’s not unusual, you’ve probably had one too, but it pisses us off and it doesn’t need to be that way. We are smashing the letting agency negative stereotype on a daily basis, by building real relationships with every single one of our customers, by listening to feedback and allowing space to improve and innovate, by recognising our mistakes and giving everyone in our team a chance to consult and change things around, by having a good laugh, by being open, positive, playful and by creating a family that is trustworthy! Our team love working with a purpose, they’ve embraced this mission and our customers appreciate us for it. That’s why we come to work in the morning and that’s what we’ll be doing for many, many years to come.
So whether Umega manages 100 properties, 1,000 or 100,000, the number is not important. It’s the “why” and the “how” that make Umega what it is and that’s what gets us out of bed in the morning.