A DAY IN THE LIFE OF: Kevin Smith, director of operations at myhomemove...
A typical day starts at 5.15am when I open the door to my home office, log on and check any emails or updates from Pune and Baroda, our off-shore offices in India. As director of operations for myhomemove, the UK’s leading conveyancer, it’s my job to ensure that every process we undertake and transaction completed is a success. I’m there to help people deal with situations, to support our staff and to deliver the best service possible to our customers and clients.
I usually work for a couple of hours before my family wakes around 7.15am and then it’s half an hour with the boys – the perfect de-stress before jumping in the car and reaching our head office in Leicester’s Grove Park around 8am.
Having been born and brought up in Leicester, it’s fascinating to see how the city - and its business structure - has changed over the past 30 years. Originally a city with a strong manufacturing and textiles base, today it’s become a double university town producing some of the best creative, legal and business minds in the country – the perfect talent pool for myhomemove.
Once at my desk, I spend the first couple of hours dealing with the day’s priorities, highlighting potential issues and providing direction to the team. I have seven direct reports and I’m ultimately responsible for guaranteeing that the 10,000 plus home moves we are currently dealing with are progressing quickly and efficiently; meeting our customers’ needs and our introducers' expectations. We have a lot of people to please in our business - from the home buyer/seller, introducing customer to the mortgage broker, finance lender, estate agent and counterpart lawyer - because ultimately conveyancing is a business about people. We don’t have tangible assets to trade, instead we offer a first class service that is powered by innovative technology and delivered by fantastic people. Our mission is to ensure the customer is at the centre of everything we do and their experience of doing business with myhomemove, through our subsidiary companies, is first class.
Once my one-to-ones are complete, I then pick up on any emails. In my job I deal with any issues that have been escalated and review performance from industry leading management information that we have developed. Our customers are regularly delighted with the service they receive and are happy to recommend us to their friends and family. Despite our innovations and love of new technologies, which help us offer a more transparent and efficient conveyancing service, myhomemove is still a little old fashioned at heart. We value our customers tremendously, so taking the time to write or call to discuss an issue - or thank someone for their kind words - is part of the fabric of our business. We are a values based company and we are driven to provide a trusted, personal service to our customers.
Lunch often passes me by but if I happen to be in the right place at the right time, I grab a sandwich form the deli van which travels around our business park. However, if I’m very lucky and there’s a birthday in the team then cake is usually on offer! I think the days of long business lunches have pretty much gone, especially with the advent of email, conference calls and Skype. However, I’m a firm advocate for meeting people in the flesh, so at least three or four times a month I’m on the road seeing customers and discussing opportunities, ideas and next steps.
My afternoons comprise of catching up with people from our various operational centres. I’m a strong believer in talking to people and taking the time to hear news first-hand, offer guidance and take control when the situation requires it. We are a people business and I like talking to our people! I also use the afternoon to measure our progress against our strategic goals and operational planning activities. I enjoy watching the team develop and changing for the better; the way people buy and sell property. A key requisite of working at myhomemove is to be “change ready”. We are constantly evolving and looking at ways to improve.
I have a promise to my family that I’ll be home to see the boys before they go to bed. I’m usually back by 7.30pm but once they’re settled - and I’ve seen my wife for a few hours - the computer goes back on and I’m working from after the news headlines at 10pm until midnight.
I graduated from the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Programme in 2010 and I use the late evening to catch up on reading publications by thought leaders circulated to Alumni by HBS. I also spend this time catching up on legal industry news. Thankfully I’m designed to only need four or five hours sleep a night.
In our household, sport dominates the weekend routine so if we’re not watching Leicester City then we’re playing football in the park or glued to Sky Sports – with three boys in the house (all be it one is 46), what more can you expect!
About Kevin: Last year myhomemove, through its subsidiary companies, Premier Property Lawyers and 1st Property Lawyers, helped nearly 30,000 people to purchase and sell their homes. It employs over 400 people in the UK, over 100 in India and is currently the market leader for home mover conveyancing. Over the next three year, the firm plans to treble in size. It is currently on a recruitment drive to increase its workforce meaning it will be able to deal with 100,000 conveyancing cases a year. As operations director, Kevin Smith has an integral part to play in ensuring the company’s expansion runs smoothly.