Whenever weather permits, you can spot a brisk jogger twice a day in the Helsinki Central Park. It’s Property Manager Anne Väliniemi on her way to or from work. The five kilometre commute is the perfect length for running or cycling.
Väliniemi has been managing Lumo houses for a year, but she has five years of experience in real estate and property management in the private sector. She has a further vocational qualification in property management. Her studies in educational sciences and social services are also helpful in her current job.
Currently Väliniemi is responsible for 20 premises.
“A large building may have as many as 180 apartments. There are so many different things to take care of and no two workdays are the same.”
Prioritisation helps when things get hectic
Väliniemi likes that she gets to plan her workdays herself. Maintenance starts their work at seven in the morning, so the property manager’s phone starts ringing by eight o’clock as well. The work hours are flexible, but it’s good to be at your post early.
“I would like to spend as much time as possible on site, but paperwork takes about 80 per cent of my work hours.”
Every day, Väliniemi receives lots of messages from residents through various channels. Someone who’s just moving in might ask for help or an established resident might report a fault or file a noise complaint.
“All messages end up on my desk, and I sort them for maintenance, different contractors or for key management, for example. There are plenty of things to do and little problems to be solved. Prioritisation is important: some things need to be taken care of right away, others can wait until tomorrow.”
Some of the working time is spent on meetings and maintenance work related to the properties. The work involves working together with the technical team, administrative property manager and technical manager.
The resident comes first
In addition to her regular work, Väliniemi needs to keep up with the challenges posed by new technology and new regulations, laws and national guidelines.
“You’re never done: there’s always something to learn and practise. You learn something new every day.”
Sometimes the property manager needs to intervene in conflicts between neighbours or contact law enforcement. She also needs to handle matters such as various accidents and lost keys.
“The challenge is to tackle issues quickly. If everything goes well, you get positive feedback from residents, the Lumo team [link] or other parties handling the building’s matters. You have to serve everyone, and the resident comes first.”
Development work with the Lumo team
Väliniemi interacts with the Lumo teams on a weekly basis and meets them every now and then.
“The property manager needs to have the drive and vision to bring up new ideas and inspire the Lumo-teams to get involved in developing their residential areas.”
For example, a yard project is being worked on in the Veromies district in Vantaa. The small yard areas of the property are each assigned a new function: one is for small children, another has flower beds and places to sit, the third one is for working out and the fourth one for barbecuing.
Väliniemi sees Veromies as a developing area that is close to nature. The Lumo buildings include a club room, sauna and laundry facilities as well as Smartpost parcel lockers and city bikes. There’s a small van in the parking lot for use by the residents of the Lumo homes [link].
Work and hobbies go hand in hand
According to Väliniemi, a property manager’s work is important ‒ who else would take care of the wide range of responsibilities? She says she knows the buildings and her work like the back of her hand.
“Lumo buildings and homes stay in good shape, and you also need to have good teamwork and communication skills. Everybody expects good service, and a property manager must not be authoritarian.”
Väliniemi has also picked up building and teamwork skills in her earlier walk of life: she has participated in remodeling and renovating houses. She has also worked on her own home, a newly built dwelling where her two children also enjoy living.
“My work and hobbies have gone hand in hand. I also enjoy exercise, such as jogging, French boxing and yoga. In the summer I act as a trail riding instructor.”
Versatility is key during free time as well. Väliniemi has plenty of energy to go around.
Property manager is a friend of the Lumo team
The property manager actively communicates with the Lumo teams operating in Lumo buildings. If you want to contact the Lumo team for your building, the property manager knows the team leader and directs you to the right address. The property manager also calls a residents’ meeting if your building does not yet have a Lumo team or if you and your neighbour would like to set up one.
The property manager should also be contacted in matters concerning Lumo funding. Each Lumo team is eligible for Lumo funding. The amount is based on the size of the housing company. For example, if the size of your building is 2,000 square metres of residential space, your annual Lumo budget will be approximately €1,000. In practice, the team’s purchases are paid using the S business card, which is ordered by the property manager.
Learn more about what the Lumo teams do at lumo.fi/lumotiimi