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// Your FirstPort Team

Meet Gareth Cayford: Director

We genuinely believe we’re here to do the right thing by our customers. The values here sit well with my own.

I was looking for a better work/life balance, following the birth of my first son. I hadn’t gone to uni thinking I wanted to go into property management – I knew little about the industry and my career had primarily been in retail. But I was approached by an ex-colleague about a FirstPort Area Manager role, managing 25 residential development managers and I went for it.

In the 7 years I’ve been here, the role of residential development manager has evolved. They’ve always been focused on fostering a good social atmosphere whilst managing the property. Over time they have been given the support, training and equipment to have greater influence in actively managing the property and keeping our customers safe. Becoming empowered and responsible for resolving issues onsite. It’s a bigger, more fulfilling, more professional role.

The biggest tick in the box for someone I’m recruiting is a strong desire to do right by the customer. It may sound like a line but I’m 100% serious. The customer has to come first. In Retirement leasehold living, your customers are people who have owned their own homes and been the key decision maker. It isn’t enough to be good at doing things for them; you need to connect on the human level.

Our customers deserve and demand respect and empathy. And many have led people and operations during their working lives. You have to be able to understand their views and values – and relate to them. Critically you must be able to communicate in an effective manner. All of this needs to be underpinned by a strong operational capability and professional knowledge base.

This is the most fulfilling role I’ve ever had, working anywhere.  If you ask me why you should come here, it’s a lot to do with satisfaction. We genuinely believe we are here to do the right thing by our customers. This place sits right with my values – that’s so important to me. It’s the only place I’ve worked in where, if someone has a good idea, leadership will say ‘let’s try to support you to do that’. We trust people and respect them. The advantage of our size and scale is security, and our continued growth means there are opportunities for you to develop your career in different parts of the business.

Ready to join FirstPort?

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