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Meet Liam – FirstPort’s ‘Manager of the Year’ at this year’s colleague awards

Meet our award-winning team

As part of the Emeria UK group, FirstPort colleagues were recognised in the very first Emeria UK Awards, which took place in October 2023. In this series of blogs, we’re chatting to the FirstPort winners about their career highlights and how they’ve made their mark in the world of property management.

Liam, Regional Manager, Retirement Division – Winner of: ‘Manager of the Year’

Tell us a little bit about your role at FirstPort and your FirstPort career?

I’ve been with FirstPort since 2009 when I started at an Assisted Living development in Kent as a Kitchen Assistant. I was only 17 at the time, so it was just a bit of a part-time role.

I then started moving into Assistant Manager shifts on the same site and still worked part-time at the site when I went to university. I finished at Uni and went on to become a Development Manager in retirement and I was there for about four-and-a-half years.

During that time, I was a trainer-manager, so I trained new Development Managers as well. I hit a point where I needed to do something more, so I left FirstPort for a year to gain some experience of different ways of working, then I came back to FirstPort a year later as an Area Manager in retirement. I then became a Regional Manager in September 2022.

What do you think you’ve done to make such a mark?

I think I’ve always tried to give the best possible support to my colleagues. In my previous roles, I’ve been part of a big team and then I’ve also managed a fairly big team of Development Managers, so I know the support I can give to them. They know they can come to me, and I can answer questions and give them the help they need to resolve an issue.

I think because I’ve been around the business for a long time, I’ve worked with a lot of people and have still managed patches while I’ve been recruiting, so my colleagues know they can come to me for support, and they know I care.

How does it feel to be recognised by your peers?

Even to get the first email to say that I was shortlisted and I’m going to the awards was really good. To have that acknowledgement from people, whether I’ve supported them, worked with them or managed them, was a really, really nice feeling.

What’s the most enjoyable thing about your role/working for FirstPort?

I like that the people I’ve got in my regional team are brilliant. We know where we’re at, and we know what we need to do.

I enjoy the flexibility of my role, it’s a mix of being desk-based, and out on the road, visiting developments and colleagues and getting to meet customers.

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a career in property management?

There are a lot of rewarding roles in property management, with lots of different divisions and things you can get your teeth into. So, do your research, there’s lots to learn and a lot has changed, particularly in terms of things like building safety.  There are lots of opportunities out there – property management is often a bigger remit than people think!

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