A day in the life of a Resident Liaison Officer…Mary Lesporis

When and how does your day start?

My day starts as early as 6.30am as I need to get ready and travel to work by train.

The journey to work takes about an hour by public transport. An updated programme of works is always sent to me via email by the Site Manager. Based on this, I text the Residents I will be seeing on the day to notify them in advance if my visit will be in the morning or afternoon. Both myself and the Residents can organise our day accordingly - I leave home prepared and organised to meet the first Resident.

 

Do you need to go to your office every morning?

At Breyer Group it is not compulsory for the RLO to be present at the site office every morning, unless there is an urgent site meeting or an emergency.  I usually liaise with one of the Site Managers letting them know my whereabouts and plans for the day: although I work on my own, I still feel part of a big team because of the continuous support I get from the Contract and Site Managers.

 

When I arrive to the Resident’s property I firstly establish a relationship with them: I typically take a friendly and professional approach in doing this, as I believe it makes the works easier for both party. Every time I go back to visit the same Resident, I make sure I listen and take note; this helps me a lot when I need to relate the issues to the Client, Site Manager or Customer Service Manager.   

 

What is the main priority in your job?

I always prioritise safety when works are ongoing in the Residents’ properties.  Seeing a big smile on the Resident’s face brightens my day, so I go an extra mile to guarantee Residents’ satisfaction.  Other important elements of my priority list include signing in/out of the Operatives and subcontractors, and obviously resolving complaints and issues when they arise.  

 

Do you manage to solve all the issues in the same day?

Depending on the gravity and urgency of the issue, it can take from few hours to few days to efficiently complete the issues. I always tell the Residents that it is better to have the Operatives in the property for an extra day and solve the issue finally, rather than having to come back for further works. Over the years as an RLO, I have learnt that the Residents love to be kept informed, so I always give the Residents constant updates about works in their property.

 

What tools do you use to help you do your job?

I have access to a laptop to process the paperwork and I am given a company smartphone for the day-to-day tasks. Personally, in my role I use the smartphone more than the laptop, as I often need it for emails, calls/texts and for the ‘before & after’ photos – it really makes my job very stress-free.

 

What is the most exciting aspect of your daily job?

For example, I get as excited as the Resident when I see their kitchens being fitted and completed. I am always pleased when the Residents thank me for bearing with them, because I understand how they feel when works are going on in their property. So I can definitely say that what excites me the most is seeing the big smile on the Residents’ face once they see the end result.

 

What is challenging about it?

I would say that the most challenging aspect of being a RLO is dealing with complicated Residents: particularly trying to convince them of how their kitchens will look like once it is finished.

 

What three words sum up a typical day for you at work?

Working on site as a RLO is really dynamic; there is never a boring moment. I would say that my typical day at work is fast paced, enjoyable and rewarding!

 

Do you get a break? 

I always bring my sandwich to work, but I never get to stop and eat it - I am mostly on-the-go, so I eat my lunch in between one visit and the other. Whenever I am not too busy I meet up with other RLOs in the area for lunch.

 

Have you ever had any remarkable experience at work? 

Yes, every day is significant at Breyer Group….We recently started working on an  elderly woman’s kitchen and bathroom, under the Lambeth contract. Being that she has some medical issues, I went an extra mile to find her someone that will be caring for her. Thanks to my connections with some of the council’s officers a young lady, who happened to be her neighbour, was appointed to support her daily. Till today the elderly woman is very grateful for my help.

 

What do you describe as a ‘successful day at work’?

To me a day at work is successful when I am able to get a “Thank you for your help Mary’ from the Residents. It makes me feel that I have helped them solve an issue that was bothering them.

 

What time do you finish work? 

Normally I finish at 5pm, though I stay back after working hours to make sure I complete the tasks for the day.

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