In the first of an ongoing series exploring the people who make the property industry tick, I catch up with James Peacock, head of brand at Winkworth, to find out what his typical day looks like.
Take it away, James…
6am: Alarm goes off. I get up and ready straightaway (usually!), help my wife get the kids ready for the day and head out of the house. The journey to work takes just over an hour, so I start by taking a cursory glance at my emails so I know what I’m heading into and then use the rest of the time wisely to catch up on some much-needed sleep – oh, the joys of having a young baby!
8.30-9am: I arrive at work and have a quick catch-up with my team to see how everyone is and what they’re all doing that day. Then I start to sift properly through my emails and prioritise which I need to work through first. As well as managing my team (which includes our marketing manager Bethany, our graphic designer Alec and our PR Isabelle), I also do my fair share of design work. With around 100 offices in our network who all have their own bespoke needs, I need to prioritise my ‘quick-wins’ and then delegate the rest to my team.
10am: I go into a ‘Digital meeting’ with our chief financial officer, head of IT, head of client services and head of corporate relocations. We recently launched a ‘Seller’s Portal’ to our website where vendors can check the progress of their sale and viewing feedback. We catch up on its roll-out (around 30% of the offices are using it now) and how the offices are finding it. It’s going well and we’ve had lots of positive feedback, so the next step in our digital plan is to start working on the launch of our ‘Lettings Portal’.
11am: Back to my desk and it’s cake time! Every time someone in the office has a birthday, they bring a cake in so we have a fair share of cake. I check my emails again… amongst other things, I see that some artwork has been approved for some flyers, so I send it off to the printers. Lots of the emails I receive tend to be simple questions, but with so many offices in the network these can add up, so I spend a while just firing off replies.
11.30am: I’m called into a meeting by James Campbell, our new franchising executive, to meet with a potential new franchisee looking to open a cold start office in South West England. I often take part in these meetings to give prospective franchisees an idea of the support they can get from the marketing team. This includes everything from kitting their new offices out with new interiors, creating flyer campaigns and setting them up with our online printers before their launch, to ongoing support with PR, our design service and other bespoke needs once they’re up and running.
12.15pm: I’m back at my desk and I receive a call from one of our franchisees about their interior redesign. We’ve had our new interior ‘style’ for about five years now and have been working steadily on bringing all the offices over to our new interiors. The franchisee I speak to is in the first stage of the process, so we discuss setting up a stage one meeting with our interior designers and I follow up by sending over images of some of our latest office redesigns.
1pm: Lunch… finally. Usually I make myself sandwiches, but today calls for a treat so I quickly head down to Wasabi to pick up my much-loved chilli chicken yakisoba.
1.30pm: One of the office managers calls me with some questions about a new social media advertising platform that we’re using. He has been speaking with his franchisee and calls me to get a better understanding of the system. We have just launched this system which allows us to directly advertise our properties on Facebook. We’re currently rolling this out across our entire network, so inevitably I’m receiving lots of calls with questions about it, but feedback so far has been really good.
2.30pm: Time for a Berocca…lack of sleep is catching up with me now and these things get me through the afternoon. I spend the next hour ploughing through more design work. The less glamourous side of my job means I have lots of jobs like designing and amending our sales agreements. Normally, our graphic designer Alec would do this but he’s snowed under at the moment so I take the opportunity of a quiet couple of hours to get working on it.
4pm: Another meeting, this time to discuss content with our marketing manager Bethany and editorial team at the content company we work with. In this meeting we discuss the upcoming magazine that we’re pulling together – the WM (the Winkworth Magazine). This is our second issue and we need to decide on deadlines and editorial content. Bethany handles all the day-to-day management of the WM and makes most of the choices, but I attend these meetings to ensure the overall look and feel of the magazine is up to standard.
5pm: I have a quick catch up with my team to ensure everyone’s days have gone to plan and they haven’t had any issues or need any questions answering.
5.30pm: I then have a quick catch up with our chief executive Dominic to discuss our regional advertising strategy. This is for all of our offices outside the M25 (we call them our ‘country’ offices). The strategy focuses on advertising in regional and local newspapers, as we find this works best for our offices outside London.
6pm: Back at my desk, I quickly write myself a to-do list for tomorrow and check I’ve replied to all my emails. Then, I need to do some preparation for tomorrow’s meeting with a franchisee focus group to discuss our next flyer campaign. This is to find out what they want and what works for their offices.
6.30pm: I change into my walking shoes and get ready to leave the office. I’m meant to be starting training for the 10km run a team of us have just signed up to in order to raise money for our new charity Habitat for Humanity, but it’s the dreaded snow week so I’m just focusing on getting home.
8pm: I arrive home just in time to put the kids to bed…work never ends when you have two young children at home!
Great stuff, James. Until next time…
*Nat Daniels is the Chief Executive Officer of Angels Media, publishers of Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today. Follow him on Twitter @NatDaniels.