Day in life July 2020
Well as I come to the end of my second three-month rotation and look back on the past six months in the bank it really has been a whirlwind. My first three months at work were based in valuations where I got a valuable insight into how our Internal Valuations Team (IVT) works and the kind of work that is completed day in day out as a property valuer. It was toward the end of this rotation that COVID struck and I was sent home to work, this was an interesting time for me however I feel as recent university graduates we were best prepared to work from our “home offices” as we were used to working from home as uni students not all that long ago. Nonetheless it was a challenge for all to adjust to the differences in work routines and habits, none more so than the lack of social interaction in the workplace.
Come the beginning of May and I was beginning my new rotation in sales where the dreams of farm visits and client interaction was cut short by that pesky virus again. However, as I reflect it has given me a real opportunity to learn the processes in office, especially given we were in the peak of review season when I began my rotation. In the past few weeks (given I am based in WA – the lucky state) we have been fortunate enough to get out on the road and visit some clients again. Its been great to get away from my computer for a few days and chat with the customers whilst also being afforded the chance to kick some tyres whilst looking at the crops bounding away, some good rainfall always makes the conversations a bit more enjoyable. Sales has really given me an insight into the value of relationships with clients as the core of our business model and has provided a perspective into the day to day challenges all our customers face that we must cater for in our day to day operations.
Over the coming weeks I will be wrapping up my time in Sales and moving onto Products, although this was meant to be a move across the Nullarbor for me the current situation means i'll be starting my rotation virtually. I am looking forward to the opportunities in the following months as I continue to explore different areas of the business, albeit through numerous teams and WebEx meetings!
Day in life
Wake up and get ready for the day, I’m not much of a breakfast person so I usually just have a coffee and I’m out the door for work. I always try to pack for work the day before so I can maximise my time in bed as I’m usually not one for early mornings.
Leave the house on my ride to work, luckily I live reasonably close to the office so I can ride my bike from home with relative ease, it usually takes me 20-30 min to get to the building before I can then have a shower and up to the office.
Arrive at my desk and open up my emails to start the day, as we are living in the past over here in WA I usually have a few emails from the eastern states crew who are already half-way through their day by the time I make my first cuppa. As I am working with the Internal Valuations Team (IVT) at the moment, this usually involves a range of Real Estate Market Appraisals (REMAs) to be completed and some panel (external) valuations to be reviewed. I usually categorise these and assign them a priority for the day so as to ensure I get done what is most important first up, especially when we only have a few hours to get anything back to the eastern states teams before they go home.
Today we have a regional sales meeting for the northern region of WA, which I have been invited to attend to get a feel for the sales team and their current progress. This meeting is held downstairs in a larger boardroom so that we can fit the Elders managers in as well. As we have such a large state many of the branches join in via WebEx. An update is given on the region as a whole and where we are tracking regarding our targets for the month and year to date. Then each manager gives an update of their portfolio and any potential new clients or work in progress that may be coming on board this month. My role in the meeting was to observe and take in as much information as possible – despite being hard to keep up with the lingo sometimes it’s important to ask questions after the meeting to ensure you understand what was meant.
Move back up to the office and continue working on allocated work for the day, checking in with my leader as I come across any nuisances in each different scenario. I was given the opportunity to work on some valuations from New South Wales and I can tell you with certainty the surveyors in that state really decided to map their properties in a strange way. After battling to figure out how long a ‘link’ and a ‘furlong’ are I managed to get a property mapped out and valued.
Lunchtime, we have a nice courtyard outside our office with ample space to sit down in some fresh air, so I usually try to eat my lunch outside and go for a little walk. Looking at a screen all day can be hard on your eyes so it’s important to get out and get some fresh air outside of the office.
Head back to the office and continue with work as it comes through. It’s about this time that you need to get onto anything from the eastern states as they are about to close. Usually I am in the process of completing the REMAs and sending them off for approval by my supervisor by now. Sometimes as we work so close to the managers its handy to have a conversation with them regarding certain information, a simple conversation can make all the difference. It sure makes you appreciate how much they know about every individual client, down to the type of tin on their client’s workshop or how many lines in the fencing around the boundary of the farm.
Home time and I work a second job as a supervisor in my old boarding house, so I have to leave to get there for work starting at 5:00 pm. Although this means some long hours I find working with and helping to better the education of kids very rewarding. Also, I get a free dinner so I’m not complaining at all. Lucking this is only one-two nights a week.
Leave work from boarding and pack my lunch/bag for the following day. Then shower and off to bed.
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