Laura Armstrong manages Octagon Developments’ unique after sales service, providing personal assistance for all new purchasers in a role that varies wildly from day to day.
Having worked part-time for Octagon for nearly five years, Laura has always lived in the Surrey area, giving her the unparalleled local knowledge essential for the job. Here she talks us through a typical day in her role…
7.00am: I work mostly from home, so by 7.00am I’m on my emails with a cup of coffee and ready to start the day. I check to see if anything urgent has come through during the night (nothing today!), and ensure any subcontractors I’ve booked in for clients are on track for the day’s work.
9.00am: I touch base with the site managers working on our current homes – both the speculative builds and the made-to-measure homes that have come through our Bespoke teams, which usually takes over an hour. I ask if there’s any updates that may need relaying to the Octagon office or directly to the Bespoke clients – today I inform a couple that the custom marble for their master en suite has arrived, so installation will begin this afternoon, which they’re very excited about.
11.00am: Throughout the week, I pop into the properties we currently have on the market and ‘snag’, to ensure the Octagon standard is continually maintained and they’re always ready for viewings! This morning I go to Willowbank, our latest build in Cobham, where I arrange for the cleaners to revisit before the weekend, when the house will be open on both Saturday and Sunday for potential buyers to visit.
12.30pm: I have a pre-booked appointment with a new owner, who recently exchanged on their home. Today we go through how everything works, from the in-built technology systems controlling lighting and music to the electronic gates, underfloor heating and kitchen appliances. I have to keep on top of all the new systems – being a luxury developer, Octagon installs the best quality tech and gadgets, which can be quite confusing and overwhelming – and no-one reads manuals. We’ve found a personal walk around is the most effective way to introduce our clients to their new home. Whilst I’m there, I am able to advise them about the best-rated local schools, as they’re thinking of transferring their children to somewhere closer for the next school year.
4.00pm: I’m the first port of call for our new homeowners, linking them up with my little black book of trusted contacts, from dog walkers and curtain makers to interior designers and cleaners. A client has just called to ask where their local tip is – they have just moved in and have an overwhelming amount of boxes, but aren’t familiar with their new area.
4.15pm: I usually pop into the Octagon office in Hampton Court around three times a week to catch up with the various teams and relay anything that may need handling in the next few days – we have a full-time maintenance team, so any issues are fixed in record time.
7.30pm: Spending so much one-on-one time, I develop a fantastic personal relationship with a lot of clients, often keeping in touch long after they’ve settled in their new homes. Moving house can be incredibly stressful, so if I can help to ease that even slightly I feel I’m doing my job well – more often than not, I’m relied on as someone who’ll simply listen! A couple I became very friendly with last year, when they purchased one of our speculative builds, has just called to see if I’m free to go for lunch tomorrow.