So, here we are, fresh from another series of ´Britain´s Benefit Tenants´ and just because the camera´s aren´t on, doesn´t mean we stop working! As well as filming commitments, property sales, investments, welfare guidance and refurbishments, we also have our personal brand with which we use to engage with and promote all aspects of our life - both inside and outside Yorkshire. November was a busy month for us, as well as being broadcast on Channel 4, we made a lot of actions in the office, as your about to see!
November – Week 1
As we head into November we welcome colder days and Christmas preparations. It´s a pretty typical Monday morning for us as we head back to our office to make all our plans for the week; this makes Monday our busiest day which is normally stacked high with problems that had occurred over the weekend, and this weekend was no different! Thank goodness for Wednesday, when we met with our staff from 2 Let 4 Sale at the Boat Inn in Barnsley (if you get the chance, check it out!) for an informal meeting over lunch and drinks.
The rest of the week was more sociable as we let our hair down (not literally said Andrew!) with travels to the Whitby Goth Weekend. For those of you who don´t know, this is a bi-annual festival which takes place every April and October in the coastal town of Whitby and is the town´s largest and most engaging festival, out-stripping Christmas and New Year, and this year was no different; the town was absolutely buzzing with a friendly, alternative environment.
Thank goodness we booked our tickets a year in advance! The Saturday night was really memorable for us as we hosted a private party for good friends at Hammonds Boutique Apartments. We started doing this three years ago and it has since grown to be an annual and much loved event by everyone!
November – Week 2
Back to our basics of bricks and mortar; it´s nice to relax a little after a really wonderful time at Whitby, the champagne and cheer was flowing which took its toll on us after a few days! Not many dramas occurred this week in the agency, so a few hours of time planning and site visit arrangements with Alan put us back on track.
Now that´s our third series of ´Britain´s Benefit Tenants´ completed – our management are looking to develop us in other areas, which is really exciting. On Monday, we took a trip ´to the Toon´ of Newcastle to meet with the lovely Elspeth from Channel 4 to discuss future projects and proposals. We spent a really productive day with our Creative Director Craig Wilde and Manager Simon Quarmby at the opulent Malmaison Hotel which sits on the waterfront of Newcastle. We managed to catch the last train back to Barnsley and felt excited about our future and working with such a talented team!
The next few days saw us catching up with general business activities and schedules of resources which left us free to pop over to Gran Canaria for some winter sun! It was an early start from East Midlands airport where we were fortunate enough to get the VIP package from the lovely staff and management there.
We spent a really lovely couple of days in the tourist mecca of Maspalomas where we enjoyed the ´Winter Pride´ festival and got to hang out with the one and only M People´s Heather Small and Danny Beard! We felt very European swapping Goldthorpe for Gran Canaria and even got a moment on Spanish TV when we were caught on the main float of the procession which headed up over 4000 followers!
¨ Everyone has problems with payments, that’s why it´s important to be honest with your agency – more times than not they actually can help you! ¨ - Andrew Dyke
November – Week 3
You know the time, you know the place – Monday morning meetings in 2 Let 4 Sale confirmed that some of our tenants were moving out, so we were left wondering what to expect in the way of maintenance and repairs; thankfully the handy men were on standby to make good and mend all the bigger problems.
Family business took over the rest of this week for Alan and I as sadly, my cousin passed away at the age of 42 from a sudden heart attack leaving a young family and friends. We gathered to remember a wonderful man at a peaceful funeral.
November – Week 4
As any business owner or agency staff will tell you, the end of the month is a demanding time – ´operation cash flow´ saw all the team chasing rent payments and arrears for the end of the month. Everyone has problems with payments, that’s why it´s important to be honest with your agency as more times than not they actually can help you! It´s the tenants who consecutively pay late with (some terrible) excuses that gets everyone down!
This also had to be followed by phone calls and letters. On average, we find ourselves writing around 15 letters a week ( in order of complexity) – as most of our tenants are on benefits, with some of these also having complications such as being blind, dyslexic or having learning difficulties, so a lot of ´non-standard´ solutions are needed for the good of everyone.
Sunday saw everything a little more light hearted again as we took a trip up North to Manchester´s New York New York bar where the wonderful Tracey and her staff looked after us whilst we participated in the World Aids Day charity fundraiser. Everyone had a wonderful time fund-raising for such a good cause and we ended up dancing the night away in the Village next to Sally Dynevor from Coronation Street! After that, we went off to bed in the lovely Gotham Hotel wondering what the next day, and the next month would bring.
Best, Andrew & Alan x