This month’s spotlight is on our resident liaison officer, Paula Wynne, who talks about her role at the Harvist Estate in Holloway where Diamond Build PLC is building 24 new council homes for Islington Council.
What are your main responsibilities at Harvist Estate?
My focus is on building and maintaining positive relationships with existing residents to keep them informed about the project and let them know that we’re here to help in any way we can.
I assist with any questions about construction, put together a monthly newsletter, regularly update the site notice board, and display dust and monitor reading schedules. I also make myself available for residents’ association meetings, which are usually held every one or two months.
Any queries are logged so that our client and the residents’ association can keep up to date with any issues raised and how they have been actioned and resolved.
Can you describe a typical day?
That’s a difficult question to answer as no two days are ever the same. The role is very varied, dealing with many different aspects. Some days, I may have several queries to address, which could relate to issues such as access for deliveries or noise from a piece of machinery as well as more general questions about the length of the project.
Although tenants can report any questions or concerns directly to their residents’ association, I also receive direct phone calls or emails requesting assistance and I’m more than happy to help.
I also walk around the existing blocks at least twice a day so residents can see me in person. I’ve got to know several people through this approach and often have a little chat as and when time prevails.
What skills do you need to be a resident liaison officer (RLO)?
One of the most important skills is being a people person, ensuring residents are listened to and respected. As an RLO, it’s your responsibility to help individuals there and then, and when required, reassure them that you’ll look into their issue and provide them with an update as soon as possible.
It’s also important to remain calm in any situation and sympathise with residents and their situations.
What advice would you give to others about to embark on a similar career?
Just remember to treat everyone the way that you would like to be treated. No one should ever feel undermined, and you need to remain calm and relaxed in every situation. You must make each person feel welcome and most of all, comfortable.
What do you enjoy most about your job / working for Diamond Build PLC?
Being an RLO is a very rewarding role, especially when you receive either a phone call or e-mail from a resident thanking you for helping them or just giving them that little reassurance that made them feel better.
The team on this project is great to work with, which always makes a huge difference to any role. Although I’ve only worked for Diamond Build since February of this year, I find the company and the people are so accommodating. I’m looking forward to the next 15 months on the Harvist Estate project – onwards and upwards!