Philip James Asset Management is the newest addition to our team’s diverse selection of property management products.
Driven by a passion to help landlords and investors manage their properties effectively, we recently welcomed Matthew Coakley to the Philip James team as the manager of our new asset management division.
We’re joined today by Matt who’s taken time out of his day to answer a few of our questions in our latest ‘Ask the Expert’ interview.
PJ: What exactly is the role of a Philip James’ Asset Manager?
Matthew Coakley (MC): My role at Philip James is to head up the new asset management division. By asset management, we mean maintaining and managing our clients’ property, from small six to eight apartment town houses to large 100+ apartment blocks.
My job is to ensure all properties are well maintained, legal and profitable. I also work closely with developers during the planning stage and existing apartment block landlords.
PJ: And that’s different from the normal Asset Manager?
MC: Yes, we are different from your ‘traditional’ block management company as we look at our property portfolio differently.
We’re proactive in our approach to the property and look to alleviate problems before they happen with careful management and regular property reviews.
We believe that maintaining your property carefully and to a good standard will stop large bills and extensive work being required to the property. This in turn will benefit the developer or block owner by making their development more profitable.
With a creative management strategy, we can work with owners to make their property a place people want to live, thus keeping it occupied and profitable.
PJ: How long have you been in the property industry?
MC: I’ve been in the industry for over 12 years now. I started out whilst at college as an office junior for a small block management company. Then I moved into property sales and lettings but I quickly realised estate management was for me. It’s the complexity and variety of the role I love; no two days are the same.
PJ: What does your average day look like?
MC: The only consistent thing about my day is that it starts with a coffee. My day is so varied. One day I’ll be instructing contractors to replace light bulbs or doing a health and safety report and the next I’ll be visiting a building plot with a developer. I enjoy the diversity the most but I also enjoy providing a hassle-free service to my clients whilst maintaining and developing their properties is very rewarding.
PJ: If you met a young Matt Coakley, what advice would you give him?
MC: The best advice I’d give anyone is to learn the ropes, listen and pick up as much as you can from experienced managers.
We all start out at the bottom, having to learn our way around a kettle and make a good cup of tea. Don’t be put off. It’s gets better and everyone is still learning new things, whether it be a health and safety change or the inner workings of the latest smoke venting system.
PJ: And what drives you now?
MC: Success. Not just business success, but helping a developer to tweak their designs for a new building or taking on a project that needs some TLC and turning it into a sustainable building where people want to live for years to come. All of this provides me with a great sense of achievement and pride to see the great and profitable properties we manage for our clients.
PJ: Finally, a little bit about you. What would your ideal weekend involve?
MC: Wow, this is the toughest question! Although I love nothing better than a quiet relaxing weekend, I’m also an Officer in the Royal Air Force Air Cadets so most weekends are spent navigating teenagers up the side of mountains, teaching first aid or marksmanship principles on a live shooting range.